Paczki time! 10 places to find the fried Polish pastry

From traditional fruit- and custard-filled paczki to versions stuffed with booze, these are the best Polish pastries to scarf down before Lent

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Delightful Pastries makes paczki just before Lent.

Delightful Pastries makes paczki just before Lent. Photograph: Cindy Kurman

It wouldn’t be Fat Tuesday without a paczki (pronounced "poonch-key"), the eggy, yeasty and round Polish pastry. In Poland, Paczki Day is tradtionally Fat Thursday, the Thursday before Fat Tuesday, and this year that falls on February 27. But lots of bakeries are offering them through Fat Tuesday and beyond. Here’s where to find everything from traditional fillings to boozy paczki.


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Alliance Bakery

  • Price band: 1/4

The Wicker Park bakery is offering new interpretations of paczki classics, including raspberry rose, blueberry with lemon zest glaze and cinnamon sugar–topped apple paczki.

  1. 1736 W Division St
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Bennison's Bakery

  • Price band: 1/4

The Evanston bakery is known for its paczki-eating contest, held March 1 at 2 pm, but you don’t have to participate to indulge in the Polish treat. Paczki are available now, and flavors include prune, apricot and custard. More elaborate paczki include fresh banana cream, praline chocolate mousse and fresh strawberry with whipped cream.

  1. 1000 Davis St, Evanston
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Bridgeport Bakery

  • Price band: 1/4

This 35-year-old South Side favorite will be selling paczki from midnight on March 3 to midnight on Fat Tuesday, but they go fast, so call ahead to place your order. You can get the custard, strawberry and raspberry jelly anytime, so this time of year, try the 16 other varieties made just for this week.

  1. 2907 S Archer Ave
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Delightful Pastries

  • Price band: 1/4

Polish pastries are the specialty at Delightful Pastries, which has three locations. Call and order ahead or line up on March 4 at 5am at the Jefferson Park location (5927 W Lawrence Ave), at 6:30am in Old Town (1710 N Wells St) or at 7am at the French Market (131 N Clinton St). It’s tough choosing between all the varieties, but the Lent-only “boozy custard” is the one to get.

  1. 1710 N Wells St
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Dinkel’s Bakery

  • Price band: 1/4

Indulge your paczki cravings from February 27 until Fat Tuesday at Dinkel’s, which is making 16 varieties. You can go for the traditional strawberry, plum and apricot paczki or try the Parisian lemon or the pineapple and white fudge with coconut.

  1. 3329 N Lincoln Ave
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Oven Fresh Bakery

  • Price band: 1/4

This Polish bakery adds a touch of brandy to the dough and fries its paczki in lard. The bakery will be offering paczki all through next week starting at 6am. Close to a dozen flavors of paczki are offered year-round, but the fresh strawberries with buttercream is a delicious combo.

  1. 7210 W Foster Ave
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Scafuri Bakery

Scafuri might trace its origins to Southern Italy, but the bakery can sure make some delicious paczki. Seven flavors of the pastry will be offered from March 1 through the week of Fat Tuesday starting at 7am.

  1. 1337 W Taylor St
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Swedish Bakery

  • Price band: 1/4

On Fat Tuesday, the European-style bakery is offering 16 flavors of paczk,i including prune, apple, lemon and pineapple. For even more of an indulgence, try one of the cherry cheese fudge, fresh strawberry with custard and raspberry with cheese.

  1. 5348 N Clark St
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Sweet World Pastry

  • Price band: 1/4

The bakery opens at 7am on Fat Tuesday, and you can stock up on prune, raspberry, apricot, custard and fresh strawberry-filled pastry. Our pick is the paczki filled with rose hip jam.

  1. 5450 N Milwaukee Ave
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Weber's Bakery

  • Price band: 1/4

The family-owned bakery celebrates Paczki Day both Polish and American style. Head in on February 27 for a first fix of the Polish specialty and return on Fat Tuesday for another one. Weber’s will offer its 14 different paczki starting at 4:30am both days.

  1. 7055 W Archer Ave
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Users say

3 comments
MM
MM

I disagree with Esther Castillejo about Paczki time! 10 places to find the fried Polish pastry.... BIG NO NO NO NO, wrong places, I live in polish neighborhood, I would say a few names but there is more : Szymanski Deli , Andy's Deli , Old Warsaw Buffet, Pol-Mart Deli (different owner and different name), Montores Deli , and southside of chicago where highlanders live etc...... BUUUUUUU for Esther Castillejo

Margaret
Margaret

Or any Polish/ European deli :-)

Paulina
Paulina

You forgot the best location where people wait in long lines for these at Old Warsaw Buffet 4750 N Harlem Ave, Harwood Heights, IL 60706, they have the best!