Move over Mardi Gras. Chicago celebrates Fat Tuesday with some serious deep-fried deliciousness. Enter paczki. These round, powder sugar-coated or glazed Polish pastries have traditionally been filled with fruit fillings, custard or mousse.
Today, they are looked at as a special binge-worthy sweet before the sacrifice. This “little package” of sin has Chicagoans lining up around bakeries all over town. While Paczki Day might look different this year, many bakeries are offering pre-order options. Here are our favorite bakeries to pick up some delicious paczki.
- Address: 1000 Davis St., Evanston
- Pre-order options: Available now online, not accepting same-day orders on Feb. 15-16
A North Shore institution since 1938, this bakery usually holds an annual paczki eating contest (canceled this year due to COVID-19). But it offers standard traditional flavors and a few exciting flavors like Funfetti and German Chocolate.
Wolf Bakery’s offers a paczki menu with 10 choices for families in the South Suburbs. Its Lemon Fluff paczki is inspired by its delicious cake by the same name.
- Address: Various locations in Chicagoland
- Pre-order options: Order online
Of course, Stan’s Donuts is not letting us down on Fat Tuesday with delicious flavors like vanilla, cherry, chocolate and cannoli. We might have to try all of them!
- Address: 36 Northwest Hwy., Des Plaines
- Pre-order options: Call 847-827-7810
The best kept secret in Des Plaines, Cumberland Bakery is slinging up some serious paczki competition. It is offering 26 traditional and unique flavors like peanut butter and jelly, coconut cream and key lime.
In the Western Suburbs, head to Ingram’s Busy Bee Bakery to find an assortment of stuffed doughnuts. You can also order 6-pack or 12-pack paczki if you want to try more than one flavor.
Chicago’s only vegan-owned doughnut shop opened in 2020 and it is ready to join the Fat Tuesday fun with vegan paczki. It is selling a 6-pack with three paczki filled with pastry cream and covered in rose glaze, and three paczki filled with cherry pie filling and dusted in powdered sugar.
Bridgeport Bakery has always been a Chicago staple and one of our favorite spots to pick up paczki. This year, it has 16 wonderful flavors ranging from apple and lemon to peanut butter jelly.
The North Side bakery offers a variety of paczki for customers to enjoy. Its strawberry cheesecake flavor sounds amazing. It is also selling king cakes, a New Orleans tradition.
Good luck choosing just one paczki flavor at Orland Park Bakery. Some options that caught our eye include pineapple, strawberry cheese, and cookies and cream.
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This story originally published in 2017. It has been updated with the most updated information.