Above:Charcoal and blueberry taiyaki at Mini Mott Photos: Jeff Marini
Mochi Cream

1 Mochi Cream

at J.Sweets

Could there be any sight finer than row upon tidily organized row of Technicolor mochi? The ones from this purveyor inside a suburban Japanese supermarket are lighter than what you’ll find in the freezer at your typical grocery, and they’ve got tasty fillings in flavors like caramel macchiato and raspberry mille-feuille (complete with bits of flaky pastry). $2 to $2.50. Mitsuwa Marketplace, 100 E. Algonquin Rd., Arlington Heights



2 Pancakes

at Sushi-San

The cooks here whip lots of extra egg whites into their pancake batter and then pour it into ring molds on the griddle to create unusually tall and uniform pancakes that stack up prettily. A drizzle of black sugar syrup sweetens the deal. $8. 63 W. Grand Ave., Near North Side


Matcha cheesecake

3 Matcha cheesecake

at Izakaya Mita

This twist on the dessert-case classic involves infusing a standard cheesecake base with green tea and then cooking it gently in a water bath instead of baking it. Doing so puffs up the dessert to soufflé-like proportions and gives it a cakier texture. $9.50. 1960 N. Damen Ave., Bucktown


Milk bread

4 Milk bread

at Kumiko

It’s like the world’s most decadent French toast: super-squishy Japanese-style white bread toasted with loads of butter, then coated with sugar that gets torched to a caramelized crisp. It’s all topped with fermented honey ice cream and black truffle shavings. #luxury. $8. 630 W. Lake St., West Loop



5 Taiyaki

at Mini Mott

These soft-serve treats come in an ever-changing array of flavors — blueberry and vanilla with peppercorns are two recent offerings — but really, it’s all about the adorable fish-shaped waffle cone, which is made in-house daily in a custom cast-iron mold. They’re almost too cute to eat. $6. 3057 W. Logan Blvd., Logan Square