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Do-Rite Donuts
Photograph: Christina Slaton Do-Rite Donuts

Get your paczki fix at these Chicago bakeries

From traditional paczki to versions stuffed with booze, these are the best Polish pastries to scarf down before Lent

By Time Out Chicago editors
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It wouldn’t be Fat Tuesday without a paczki (pronounced "poonch-key" or "punch-key"), the yeasty, sugar-dusted Polish donut that's stuffed with sweet jelly, custard, pudding or fruit. This year, Paczki Day will be celebrated on Tuesday, February 25, and good Chicagoans know that if you want to get your hands on this messy treat, you must plan ahead. Some of the finest bakeries in Chicago suggest ordering in advance to ensure availability. This is serious business, people. If you want to score some of the best donuts in Chicago on Paczki Day, check out the bakeries below and call in your order STAT.

RECOMMENDED: Discover more of the sweetest desserts in Chicago

Where to find paczki in Chicago

Bennison's Bakery, bakery, sweets, cakes, chi_fd_bennisonsbakery_1014
Photograph: Courtesy Bennison's Bakery

Bennison’s Bakery

Restaurants Bakeries Evanston

This Evanston bakery is known for its paczki-eating contest, hosted Saturday, February 22, but you don’t have to participate to indulge in the Polish treat. Stop by the store or call ahead for larger orders—either way, there's plenty of fresh banana cream paczki to go around.

Do-Rite Donuts
Photograph: Christina Slaton

Do-Rite Donuts

Restaurants Bakeries Loop

All six Do-Rite locations will have paczki stocked and loaded, with flavors like raspberry sugar, salted caramel and blackberry-lemon. These pillowy pockets are available in limited quantities through February 25, so order online if you want to be the office hero.

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Photograph: Mink Mingle on Unsplash

Weber's Bakery

Restaurants Bakeries Garfield Ridge

This sweet family-owned bakery kicks off its paczki celebration early, with jelly-filled doughnuts flying off its pastry racks days before Fat Tuesday. Head in to choose from a handful of delicious flavors—we're suckers for the classic chocolate custard variety.

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Photograph: Brent Knepper

Dinkel’s Bakery

Restaurants Bakeries Lake View

This old-school Lakeview bakery only brings out the paczki for Fat Tuesday, so it's best to order ahead of time if you want to score a box. Paczki are available in four-packs or by the dozen (go big or go home, right), in flavors like apple-cinnamon, strawberry cheesecake and Parisian lemon.

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FirecakesDonuts.venue.jpg
Photograph: Max Herman

Firecakes Donuts

Restaurants Bakeries River North

If you don't feel like battling the lines on Fat Tuesday, Firecakes will deliver your paczki order through Grubhub, which means you can sit back, relax and wait for a box of fluffy, raspberry-filled doughnuts to arrive at your doorstep. That was too easy.

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Liza Lagman Sperl

Racine Bakery

Restaurants Bakeries Garfield Ridge

It’s worth taking a ride out to this snug, old-school spot for its seriously tasty take on paczki. Choose from 12 varieties including blueberry, rosehip, cheese and poppy. If you want a taste without committing to a full-sized paczki, four popular flavors (raspberry, custard, apricot and rosehip) are also available in miniature versions.

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Bridgeport Bakery
Photograph: Martha Williams

Bridgeport Bakery

Restaurants Bakeries Bridgeport

Much to the dismay of longtime fans, this Bridgeport icon suddenly closed in 2019, only to reopen under new ownership months later. There's no need to fret, as Paczki Day is still on. Choose from a whopping 17 classic flavors, including apple, apricot, peach and pineapple. The bakery will open at midnight on February 25, so be prepared to stand in line if you didn't call ahead.

Delightful Pastries, paczki, doughnut, donut, donuts
Photograph: Courtesy Delightful Pastries

Delightful Pastries

Restaurants Bakeries Portage Park

The Polish pastry specialists at Delightful Pastries keep us on our toes with three "drunken" paczki—named for their fillings, like Jameson-spiked chocolate custard—as well as gourmet selections like passion fruit jelly and pecan-studded German chocolate and from-scratch salted caramel.

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Alliance Bakery
Photograph: Nick Freeman

Alliance Bakery

Restaurants Bakeries Wicker Park

This beautiful French patisserie is known for its over-the-top cakes and decorated cookies, but in honor of Fat Tuesday, the bakers are rolling out six filled doughnuts in flavors like raspberry-rose, apple-cinnamon and vanilla bean-ganache. There will be limited quantities in cases at both locations, so go ahead and phone it in 24 to 48 hours in advance.

Photograph: Courtesy Kolatek's Bakery & Deli

Kolatek's Bakery & Deli

Restaurants Bakeries Montclare

This bastion of Polish deli fare, imported sweets and Eastern European breads enriched with sprouted grains and other good-for-you ingredients is expanding its year-round paczki lineup with some decidedly non-traditional offerings. Look for quirky flavors like rum raisin, limoncello and black currant.

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Photograph: Sarah Zelman/West Town Bakery

West Town Bakery

Restaurants Bakeries East Village

If you don't need a dozen paczki, West Town Bakery is where it's at—and with locations in River North, Wrigleyville and West Town, you don't have to go far to find some fried dough. The usual suspects (raspberry cream, blueberry jam and chocolate) will be available in cases while supplies last, but if you do decide to upgrade to a box, you'll have to reach out to West Town's wholesale department.

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