10 places to find paczki

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

Paczki

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 12. 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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Where to find paczki

Alliance Bakery

The Wicker Park bakery is offering new interpretations of paczki classics, including blueberry lemon, raspberry rose and vanilla bean custard.

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Wicker Park

Bennison's Bakery

The Evanston bakery is known for its paczki-eating contest, held February 14, but you don’t have to participate to indulge in the Polish treat. Paczki flavors include prune, apricot, cheese, raspberry, custard and apple. More elaborate paczki include fresh banana cream, praline chocolate mousse and fresh strawberry with whipped cream.

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Evanston

Bridgeport Bakery

This 35-year-old South Side favorite will be selling paczki for 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, including apricot, peach and pineapple, made just for this week. 

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Bridgeport

Delightful Pastries

Polish pastries are the specialty at Delightful Pastries, which has three locations. Call and order ahead at the Jefferson Park location (5927 W Lawrence Ave), at Old Town (1710 N Wells St) or at at the French Market (131 N Clinton St).

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Old Town

Dinkel’s Bakery

Indulge your paczki cravings from February 12-17 at Dinkel’s, which is making 14 varieties. Try cheese, chocolate, custard with caramel fudge and fresh strawberry.

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Lakeview

Oven Fresh Bakery

This Polish bakery adds a touch of brandy to the dough and fries its paczki in lard. Close to a dozen flavors of paczki are offered year-round, but the fresh strawberries with buttercream is a delicious combo.

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Norwood Park

Scafuri Bakery

Scafuri might trace its origins to Southern Italy, but the bakery can sure make some delicious paczki. Ten flavors, including strawberry and whipped cream, custard and nutella will be offered from February 12-19.

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University Village/UIC

Swedish Bakery

From February 12-17, the European-style bakery is offering numerous flavors of paczki, including cherry cheese with fudge, pineapple and custard.

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Andersonville

Sweet World Pastry

The bakery offers prune, raspberry, apricot, custard and fresh strawberry-filled pastry during Mardi Gras. Our pick is the paczki filled with rose hip jam.

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Jefferson Park

Weber's Bakery

The family-owned bakery celebrates Paczki Day on Fat Tuesday, February 17, but the pastries are also available from February 12-15. Head in for 12 flavors, including apricot, poppy seed and fresh strawberry.

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Southwest Side

Comments

9 comments
Derek T
Derek T

Oak Mill bakery not mentioned????

Mo M
Mo M

They're not pronounced poonch key, but rather pōnch key. One pączek and many pączki.  Thanks for the reminder!

Agata F
Agata F

Old Warsaw Buffet - I have been going there for over 25 years. THE BEST!  NO PLACE COMPARES.

krystyna F
krystyna F

ANDY'S DELI ON 5442 N MILWAUKEE AVE CHICAGO IL 60630!!!!! IN JEFFERSON PARK!

THEY HAVE REAL TRADITONAL STYLE POLISH PACZKI! AND PACZKI DAY IS ACTUALLY FEBRUARY 12 FOR POLISH PEOPLE AND FEBRUARY 17 FOR AMERICAN'S FAT TUESDAY! SO YOU CAN ACTUALLY GET THESE DELICIOUS YUMMIES TODAY AND TOMORROW AS WELL AT ANDYS DELI!

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!

SteNov c
SteNov c

@MM There are dozens and dozens of actual Polish places around the city that sell authentic Polish food, and this article doesn't list a single one. Seriously, who is going to go to some place named "Swedish Bakery" to buy Polish food?

SteNov c
SteNov c

@Margaret Yeah, seriously, is this article a joke? How about you buy Polish paczki from an actual Polish bakery or deli? If you want the authentic stuff, why would you go to some obscure place?