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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
Photograph: Courtesy Delightful Pastries
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 doughnuts that are filled with sweet jelly, cream, custard, pudding or fruit. This year, Paczki Day will be celebrated on Tuesday, March 5, and good Chicagoans know that if you want to get your hands on this messy treat, you must plan ahead. Most area bakeries suggest ordering in advance to ensure availability (yes, these doughy delights go quick!). Take a look at the bakeries listed below to figure out where you'll pick up your paczki order on March 5.

Where to find paczki in Chicago

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Liza Lagman Sperl
Restaurants, Bakeries

Racine Bakery

icon-location-pin 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) will also be available in miniature versions.


Restaurants, Bakeries

Dinkel’s Bakery

icon-location-pin Lake View

Dinkel’s only sells paczki on Fat Tuesday, so it's best to order ahead of time. The Lakeview bakery sold over 22,000 paczkis in 2017—so you know it's good. Try apple-cinnamon, blueberry, cherry, chocolate silk or lemon.

 

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Photograph: Courtesy Andy's Deli
Shopping, Specialist food and drink

Andy's Deli

icon-location-pin Jefferson Park

This nearly century-old Jefferson Park mecca for Polish meats also happens to have a great bakery department up its sleeve. Whether it's Fat Tuesday or any old Tuesday, pop in for super fresh, pillowy paczki in flavors like rose, marmalade and custard.

Photograph: Courtesy Kolatek's Bakery & Deli
Restaurants, Bakeries

Kolatek's Bakery & Deli

icon-location-pin 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 chocolate-chili, tiramisu, strawberry cheesecake and banana cream.

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Restaurants, Bakeries

Weber's Bakery

icon-location-pin Garfield Ridge

This family-owned bakery kicks off its paczki celebration on Thursday, February 28. Head in to choose from 12 delicious flavors including chocolate custard, apricot, apple-cinnamon and fresh strawberries. 

Restaurants, Bakeries

West Town Bakery & Diner

icon-location-pin East Village

West Town starts selling paczki roughly two weeks before Fat Tuesday, and you can either order ahead or pick up in-store. Indulge your sweet tooth with the usual suspects (strawberry, blueberry, chocolate and raspberry) or try a special coffee cream-filled paczki.

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

Bennison's Bakery

icon-location-pin Evanston

The Evanston bakery is known for its paczki-eating contest, hosted Saturday, March 2, but you don’t have to participate to indulge in the Polish treat. Starting February 25, paczki will be available in-store, but customers are encouraged to call ahead for large orders. Enjoy a mix of old-school and contemporary flavors like prune, lemon curd, praline chocolate mousse and German chocolate.

Bridgeport Bakery
Photograph: Martha Williams
Restaurants, Bakeries

Bridgeport Bakery

icon-location-pin Bridgeport

Come Fat Tuesday, lines stretch down the block and paczkis fly off the shelves at this South Side institution, so call ahead or stop by to place your order. You can choose from a whopping 13 flavors like peach, lemon, custard with chocolate and blueberry.

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Oak Mill Bakery paczki
Photograph: Adam Sokolowski
Restaurants, Bakeries

Oak Mill Bakery

icon-location-pin Garfield Ridge

With five locations throughout the Chicagoland area, there’s bound to be a branch of this European-style bakery (founded by a Polish expat) nearby when Paczki Day rolls around. This year, the special menu will available from February 16 to March 5. Available flavors include apricot, salted caramel, chocolate custard and many more.

Photograph: Courtesy Sweet World Pastry
Restaurants, Bakeries

Sweet World Pastry

icon-location-pin Jefferson Park

This quaint, Polish-owned Jefferson Park 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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Courtesy Delightful Pastries
Restaurants, Bakeries

Delightful Pastries

icon-location-pin Lincoln Park

This year, Polish pastry specialist Delightful Pastries is bringing back its three “drunken” paczki—named for their fillings like Jameson-spiked chocolate custard—as well as gourmet selections like guava, passion fruit and peanut butter and jelly. Place your order by March 1 or sign up for a paczki-making class on March 2, where you'll learn how to roll, shape and fry the pillowy dough. 

More to explore

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