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Places to find paczki in Chicago

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

Photograph: Christina Slaton
Do-Rite Donuts

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, February 13, 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 February 13.

Where to find paczki

Racine Bakery

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.


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Garfield Ridge

Andy's Deli

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.

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Jefferson Park
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Kolatek's Bakery & Deli

Starting Thursday, February 8, 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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Montclare

Do-Rite Donuts

Doughnut darling Do-Rite will serve packzi from its three Chicago locations February 10–13. Like all of its delectable dough, these filled treats will go fast and advanced online orders are encouraged. We recommend going with an assortment so that you can try all three flavors: salted caramel with vanilla custard, raspberry and Nutella.

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Streeterville
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Weber's Bakery

This family-owned bakery kicks off its paczki celebration on Thursday, February 8. Head in to choose from 12 delicious flavors including chocolate custard, apricot, apple-cinnamon and fresh strawberries. 

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Garfield Ridge

West Town Bakery & Diner

You missed your chance to pre-order paczki from this bakery's two locations, but if you're hoping to score some walk-in dough, we're told they'll have of filled pastries on hand for Fat Tuesday on February 13. 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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East Village
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Oak Mill Bakery

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 8 to 13. New flavors for 2018 include peanut butter and jelly, red velvet and cream cheese and black currant. 

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Wicker Park

Bennison's Bakery

The Evanston bakery is known for its paczki-eating contest, hosted Saturday, February 10, but you don’t have to participate to indulge in the Polish treat. Starting February 8, paczki will be available in-store, but customers are encouraged to call ahead for large orders. Same-day orders will not be accepted on February 12 and 13. Enjoy a mix of old-school and contemporary flavors like prune, lemon curd, praline chocolate mousse and German chocolate.

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Evanston
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Dinkel’s Bakery

Indulge your paczki cravings from February 8 to 13 at Dinkel’s, where online orders must be placed by February 11 at noon. Last year the Lakeview bakery sold over 22,000 paczkis—so you know it's good. Try apple-cinnamon, blueberry, cherry, chocolate silk and lemon.

 

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Lake View

Bridgeport Bakery

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 19 flavors like peach, lemon, custard with chocolate and blueberry.

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Bridgeport
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Cocoa + Co.

Cocoa + Co.

This Lincoln Park café enlisted the help of Naha pastry chef Craig Harzewski to elevate the Polish pastry. Due to limited quantities, guests can pre-order up to four raspberry- or chocolate-stuffed doughnuts. Advanced orders will be accepted until Friday, February 9 at 5pm, and paczkis can be picked up on Tuesday, February 13 from 8 to 10am.

Sweet World Pastry

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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Jefferson Park
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Delightful Pastries

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. Just be sure to place your order by February 10.

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Lincoln Park

Comments

20 comments
Lisa H

Allegrettis Bakery in Norridge! 

Ingrid D

Hello? The photo at the top of the article is credited to Delightful Pastries, but where is their entry? Have you tried their Paczki? They are some of the best in the city.

Jenna C

Swedish Bakery in Andersonville has them too!

Jo Q

It doesnt matter where you get them, just get some Paczki, preferebly from a Polish or Eastern Euro Deli. Poland WAS Eastern Europe so its still good.

Joanne S

Paczkis at Vesecky's in Berwyn

Megan F

Suprised they didn't mention rueters bakery on grand&harlem

Gerardo D

The best place for a paczek is Laramie bakery and deli

Len W

Try Dunajec Bakery at Archer and Kedvale or on Harlem at 83rd Street in Bridgeview.

Caroline S

Attention People!!  They are not just Polish!!!! They are found throughout Europe ( i.e. Germany known as Krapfen, Berliner, etc) and in Israel where they are known as Sufganiot.  They are actually pretty easy to make at home and yummy!

Jo Q

@Caroline S Sure Caroline just spew out false information. Eastern Europe was Poland Lithuania so any current involved nation would be Polish influence. German and Jewish have mediocre pastries but they are not Paczki.

Lu M

Lutz on Montrose. is the best

Derek T

Oak Mill bakery not mentioned????

Mo M

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

Agata F

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

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

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

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?

Margaret

Or any Polish/ European deli :-)

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?

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!