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The ULTIMATE List Of Chicago Area Paczki Bakeries

If you’ve never had paczki, you need to find some. If you just need to find the best Chicago paczki, I’m here to help.

Spunky Dunkers packzi

Paczki (pronounced poonch-key) are a Polish tradition. Much like my Espicopalian church celebrates Shrove Tuesday with pancakes and crepes and New Orleans and others celebrate Mardi Gras with all the excess, Polish communities celebrate Fat Tuesday and Fat Thursday with paczki.

Why paczki? As Lent starts and so many treats become verboten, families had to use up the good stuff first. That meant all the sugar and fat and everything turned into delicious treats devoured before Ash Wednesday.

The Poles got it right. Paczki is my favorite way to celebrate before the start of Lent.

With its huge Polish community, you can find paczki all over the place in Chicago, and that includes the grocery stores. Do not buy your paczki at the grocery store, however. They’re mediocre, at best.

Paczki should be fresh. No grocery store can compare to what you can find at a good bakery.

While I may make my own donuts, paczki I always buy. If you’re a donut lover instead, check out my favorites at the bottom of this article.

A word of warning: If your bakery offers the option to order your paczki in advance, do it. They get busy and sell out of the most popular flavors. Some bakeries hit their baking capacity with preorders and can’t take walk in purchases as Paczki Tuesday approaches.

I did my research, and my jeans attest to the fact that I worked hard on this. Did I miss one of the best Chicago paczki locations? Let me know so I can add it – and visit it next year!

Can I order paczki online?

For the bakeries here, you can order many of them online, but they are for pickup only. These bakeries do not ship.

Paczki are best fresh, so it takes a lot of expertise to ship them properly to ensure that when you receive them, they taste as amazing as you anticipate. That said, there is a solution.

If you’ve never ordered from Goldbelly before, you’re in for a treat. They specialize in mail order foods local to specific areas from the locations you know and trust – and they know how to ship them properly.

Rose’s Fine Foods from Detroit offers paczki via Goldbelly, but make sure you order quickly. People have figured out this secret, and they sell out fast every year.

Goldbelly also features king cakes from a variety of bakeries (no surprise, mostly in the New Orleans area for true authenticity) if that’s more up your alley.

Use the code GetInMyBELLY to get $15 off your first order of $50 for new customers.

What are paczki?

Before we get too far into this, let’s talk about paczki. Paczki are not “just donuts” as many think. They’re bigger, always filled, and lighter and fluffier than traditional donuts.

Some stores – especially chains – sell what are essentially jelly donuts and market them as paczki. Paczki are not simply standard donuts made at a special time of year.

They have unique flavorful fillings, and they are lighter and fluffier than traditional donuts.

What makes paczki lighter and fluffier?

Shhhh there’s just a little bit of vodka added to the dough that lightens the texture and also ensures they don’t absorb as much grease from the frying oil.

Once fried, paczki traditionally get rolled in sugar, dusted with powdered sugar, or lightly glazed. Some flavors, like custard, may have a chocolate glaze.

Because they are bigger and fluffier, you should see a lighter “line of demarkation” around the middle of the paczki where it’s too tall to fit into the oil on either side. It still gets cooked, but doesn’t have the time in the oil to get the color.

Traditional packzi

Less greasy, lighter, bigger, and filled with awesome flavors? Sign me up!

What are paczki flavors?

Paczki – by the way already plural, so no paczkis – always have a filling. Traditionally, they remain “whole” and get filled through a hole, pun intended.

Generally the filling is a sweet fruit compote, almost like a jam, although custard also fits that traditional bill. Rose, plum, apricot, strawberry, etc are some of the most common traditional fillings.

As with any foods, you find them outside the traditional, as well. Some say they aren’t “real” paczki, but find what you like best and enjoy it.

To that end, you find many bakeries cut the paczki in half before they fill them. This ensures a more even and consistent filling, but they also tend to be messier to eat.

I’ve seen flavors everything from peanut butter chocolate to key lime to salted caramel and more. Many bakeries fill with whipped cream and fruit (more traditional) or cream cheese and fruit (semi-traditional) or buttercream and fruit (not as traditional).

No matter what, paczki are different from jelly donuts, and not only because I flat out don’t like jelly donuts. The filling should not be jelly, but more of a fresh fruit compote.

How much do paczki cost?

Paczki vary greatly in price from bakery to bakery. Polish bakeries tend to be less expensive, as they sell huge quantities to their Polish clientele.

Other bakeries (Country Donuts is a notable exception) may make great paczki but treat it as more of a novelty and price it accordingly. In 2023, I paid anywhere from $0.79 to $5.25 for a single paczek.

Where to find the best Chicago Paczki

Country Donuts

Yes, paczki are a Polish tradition, but the paczki at Country Donuts are probably the best I’ve ever eaten. They make them fresh and sell them fast. In fact, this bakery ran out of paczki on Sunday – for the year. All their baking goes toward fulfilling preorders.

Country Donuts offers the most limited selection of paczki of any bakery I’ve been to, but the flavor makes up for the lack of variety. All their paczki are double filled with buttercream and your choice of custard, black raspberry, or strawberry.

Country donuts black raspberry packzi

Each of the light paczki then get dusted with powdered sugar. This makes a delicious treat that isn’t too rich or overpowering in its sweetness but just perfect.

Country Donuts packzi

Country Donuts has two locations for this family owned business. Find them both in Elgin and in Crystal Lake, but do it quickly! In my book, these are the (second) best Chicago paczki, hands down.

Oak Mill Bakery

I have been visiting Oak Mill Bakery for over 20 years, and it’s probably better for my waistline that the Niles location is no longer along the way of my daily commute. They are an amazing Polish bakery that creates gorgeous custom cakes and sweet tables for special occasions, as well as daily baked goods to enjoy.

With locations now in Harwood Heights, Niles, Arlington Heights, Des Plaines, Chicago on South Harlem, there are plenty of locations to find some of the best Chicago paczki no matter where in the area you live. Each bakery has different operating hours and open dates, so make sure you check yours.

Their items are always beautiful, and I love that their paczki have a flavor that keeps me coming back. In fact, they offer 25 different flavors, plus mini paczki in 3 traditional flavors (rose, raspberry, and custard).

Their paczki range from $1.99 for plain paczki rolled in granulated sugar to $3.59 for the gourmet versions sliced in half and filled with fruit and either whipped cream or cream cheese. In between, the more traditional flavors like apricot and custard and raspberry cost $2.39 apiece, while premium fillings like advocaat and black currant and chocolate sundae cost $2.89 apiece.

While I like to try a few different varieties from each bakery I visit, I had a tough time deciding here because so many sound so good. I finally settled on six paczki though I had to skip the salted caramel this time.

Six different fancy paczki on a wooden board.

I love that the paczki are so round and puffed, a sign of a quality dough and proper cooking. The dough is tasty with the hint of orange oil in it and obviously very fresh.

Inside, most of the paczki were decently filled, though you can see the different between the strawberry paczek and the black current paczek was significant. These are a tiny bit smaller than some bakeries, but they are not undersized.

Not well filled strawberry paczek from Oak Mill Bakery.
Well filled blackberry paczek from Oak Mill Bakery.

The fruit filling was fantastic. The black currant had a perfect level of tartness to go with the sweetness of the others I enjoyed, and the apricot had small bits of the fruit, which I love.

The custard was not my favorite of the fillings, as it had a strong cornstarch undertone to it. However, the Nutella had a delicious hazelnut flavor to it, much like the coffee notes in the whipped cream of the coffee bean paczki.

Six Oak Mill Bakery paczki on a board sliced in half to see fillings.

Though they usually open mid to late mornings on most days, on Polish Paczki Day and Fat Tuesday, they open at 6am to accommodate the rush of customers. 

Like most bakeries, you can order online, though you need to order in quantities of 6 or 12 of classic, premium, or gourmet paczki. Basically, you can’t choose peanut butter and jelly in combination with prune or sour cherry with whipped cream.

If you want more flexibility to mix and match, you need to go in the day of. If you do order for Polish Paczki Day or Fat Tuesday, make sure to order at least two business days in advance (and note that they are closed Mondays, so that doesn’t count).

Lilac Bakery

Find Lilac Bakery in downtown Lombard, where they also sell their paczki only on Paczki Day. I strongly suggest you order in advance – by the Saturday before Fat Tuesday at noon.

In addition to having preorders (and prepaid) customers go through a separate line to pick up your paczki quickly, they sell out of flavors quickly, as well.

I visited before 10am, and a few flavors were already sold out. And the line to purchase? It was long and not the most efficient.

The paczki, however, are worth the wait. They make 20 different paczki flavors in 2023 ranging from traditional poppyseed and prune to the more decadent and delicious raspberry chocolate mousse and blueberry cream cheese.

Paczki from Lilac Bakery on a cutting board.

Their basic paczki cost $1.98 each (think buttercream filled, raspberry, chocolate silk, etc). The premium flavors cost $3.10 apiece (think pineapple, strawberry cream cheese, apple, etc).

Most of their paczki come cut in half and filled, but some are filled without being cut. I expected the blueberry and peach to be “stuffed” but were instead sliced and filled.

That is not a complaint, as each bite is more likely to contain filling. However, they are sometimes more messy this way!

Four Lilac Bakery paczki cut in half

The blueberry was very jammy, while the peach contained large slices of fruit that tasted of fruit versus filling. The raspberry chocolate mousse, however, stole the show. I got just one bite before my daughter devoured the remainder.

The dough for these packzi is also fresh and delicious. However, I did notice that the exterior was slightly tough compared to some bakeries.

Weber’s Bakery

Located on South Archer Avenue in the city of Chicago, Weber’s Bakery is well known for their paczki. While you can purchase paczki in person starting the Thursday (Paczki Day) before Fat Tuesday and going through Paczki Day, I highly suggest you order in advance.

Four paczki from Weber Bakery in Chicago are sitting on a wooden cutting board.

Preorders get a choice of 15 different paczki from custard with chocolate icing to strawberry or apricot rolled in sugar to poppyseed with a fondant top to raspberry jelly with a peanut butter top and more for $1.40 apiece. A four pack of fresh strawberry with whipped cream costs $12, and the four pack of fresh strawberry with powdered sugar cost $9.

You can also order an assortment that has one of each flavor except poppyseed and fresh strawberry for $16.80. They do not allow customization of the assortment.

The provide paczki from the Thursday prior to Fat Tuesday (Polish Paczki Day) to Fat Tuesday. Note that they are closed on Mondays.

When I visited, the walk in offered “just” five options, so ordering ahead means you know you get the flavor you want.

However, you must order at least one day in advance (and by noon), so plan ahead. Once the online order period shuts off, you do not have the option even to see what you could order until 7am the next day.

This also means you need to order on Sunday by noon for Fat Tuesday paczki. Also, you must order a minimum of six paczki if you plan to pick up on Fat Tuesday, which generally isn’t an issue, right? (Fresh strawberry four packs don’t count towards the six.)

Another benefit to ordering ahead is that they do pickup in a tent to the side of the bakery for quick in and out. Walk ins wait in line to get into the bakery, and even on Thursday morning, the wait was over 15 minutes.

That said, Weber’s Bakery makes good paczki. The dough is extremely soft and fresh, and though they did not feel overtly heavy, the paczki I purchased were reasonably well filled.

Paczki cut in half show the fillings you get from from Weber Bakery.

The strawberry buttercream was one of my favorite paczki from any bakery, and though I usually don’t love cookies and cream type flavors, I truly enjoyed the cookies and cream paczek with oreo topping.

Few bakeries carry poppyseed paczki, and I loved seeing the traditional flavors like this, as well as the fresh strawberry with whipped cream and apricot. The do not offer prune or rose, the other traditional, less common flavors.

My paczki had some variance in filling, and I wish my apricot had more filling in it, but they leave nothing to complain about. Weber’s offers a solid choice for paczki.

This is another bakery that also offers a cinnamon king cake for those who look for that.

Peterson’s Tasty Delight Bakery

I love that Peterson’s is a small local bakery. You can find them on Algonquin Road in Hoffman Estates where they have the most delicious giant cookies, in addition to their daily donuts and coffee cakes and more.

Their paczki are available for preorder, but make sure you do so by the Friday before Paczki Day, which is their cutoff.

They offer a discount on a dozen paczki versus purchasing one or five, so keep that in mind. They also are one of the bakeries to offer king cakes if you prefer those.

Peterson’s provides three types of paczki: traditional with classic cream and preserves ($1.95 each or $20.95/dozen), a specialty cream filling ($3.10 each or $28.95/dozen), and fresh fruit and combos ($3.60 each or $38.95/dozen).

Pick up anything from a banana cream with chocolate glaze to Oreo with either chocolate glaze or powdered sugar to prune with frosting or powdered sugar. With 33 different flavors in 2023, this bakery has some of the widest variety of any bakery I visit.

Petersons Bakery packzi hoffman estates

Their paczki are very fresh. When I picked up mine the weekend before the big day, I had to wait to have them filled to order. They are heavy and well-filled, which is always a plus.

I love that their filling tastes like fruit and not pie filling. In fact, many of the flavors had actual slices or chunks of the fruit in them.

The custard I tried was definitely homemade, but slightly grainy, so maybe stick with the fruits. They offer everything from prune and raspberry to apricot and pineapple in preserves.

Their fresh fruit and combos include blueberry and apple, as well as peach and raspeberry mousse, plus so many more. And of course you can’t go wrong with the specialty flavors like peanut butter and jelly, key lime, or cannoli.

EuroFresh Market

I know, I know, I’m putting a grocery store up there with the bakeries? I am. I didn’t expect to, but sometimes I surprise myself.

EuroFresh Market, located on Northwest Highway in Palatine, is a fantastic grocery store with the best (and cheapest) fresh fruits and veggies that I buy all the time. Their bakery is on par with the quality of their produce. (I used their strawberries to make my s’mores stuffed strawberries, just to give you an idea.)

I just happened to notice a sale sign for their paczki, and of course I had to buy some. In 2023, they sell paczki two for $3.

While they have limited flavors – just custard, rose, raspberry, apricot, and plum – they are traditional and popular flavors, including my two favorites.

Eurofresh Paczki

While they have limited flavors compared to other bakeries, you can’t beat the price. They were incredibly fresh, and appropriately stale the second day.

These paczki were decently filled – especially for the price – and tasted good. They aren’t as ginormous as some, but I have no complaints about the size at all.

For a quick fix of nothing fancy, I would buy these all day long!


Deerfield’s has been one of my favorite bakeries since I first got a job in the suburbs and someone brought in a chocolate coffee cake to the office one day. They do amazing baked goods.

They have locations in Deerfield and Buffalo Grove, with all baking happening in Deerfield. Sadly, the Schaumburg location closed.

I’ve never had a product from Deerfield’s I haven’t liked, but a heads up that they are a higher end bakery, and their prices reflect that. Pay in cash, as they add 2.5% to any credit card transaction. Though they call it a “cash discount,” the prices listed are the cash price, and credit card has a fee added.

They have absolutely gorgeous paczki and so much variety, you’ll be hard pressed to choose. Thankfully, they provide large boxes for you to abet your addiction.

The offer the prettiest paczki of any bakery I’ve been to. Thankfully, the flavor matches the looks.

Like Konrad’s, the paczki have filling throughout, and they taste as fresh as though they just left the oven. Their filling tastes more like fresh fruit than many bakeries, proving beauty is more than skin deep.

Beautiful packzi deerfields bakery

While most bakeries keep their products behind the counter, at Deerfield’s you have access to the paczki on shelves to take as many of each variety as you choose. Thankfully, they make a ton of paczki, so you’re less likely to run out of what I consider some of the best Chicago paczki here than many other bakeries.

Deerfield’s does, however, take preorders to ensure you get the exact flavors you want. Preorders now run for two full weeks, including up to Fat Tuesday.

The offer 22 flavors in 2023, with prices ranging from $2.49 for a traditional lemon or custard to $2.99 for a cherry or birthday cake or cookies and cream to $3.99 for chocolate mousse or peanut butter.

You can also pick up an assorted dozen for $31.88. That box comes with two each of custard, chocolate custard, raspberry, lemon, blueberry, and apple – and no, you cannot substitute out.

They also sell king cakes ($21.95), for those who fall on the southern end of the celebrating spectrum, as well as Mardi Gras themed cookies.

Clarke’s Bakery

Ironically, Clarke’s is an Irish bakery located in Barrington on Northwest Highway. While they offer all the usual Irish specialties on a daily basis, in the days leading up to Fat Tuesday, enjoy all the paczki here.

While Clarke’s doesn’t tend to run out of paczki entirely, you may not get your favorite flavor if you don’t order ahead. Clarke’s offers both traditional flavors and some unique varieties (hello Bailey’s whipped cream).

Their paczki come covered in powdered sugar, glazed, or dusted in powdered sugar after being filed with whipped cream and fresh fruit.

Clarkes packzi

My kids love the pineapple and apricot glazed paczki, while I enjoy the custard and chocolate like a Bavarian. You can also find everything from a traditional rose flavor to lemon powdered sugar to chocolate buttercream to a fresh banana and so much more.

Clarke’s does a pretty good job with their dough, as I always find it light and fluffy though not always with the most traditional flavor. You can tell they make each one that morning.

They charge $2.99 for traditional paczki and $4.50 for the whipped cream versions. They accept preorders over the phone or when you walk in to ensure you get exactly the varieties you want.

Clarke’s generally starts selling paczki the week before Paczki Day through Fat Tuesday, adding more varieties as the day gets closer.

And yes, Clarke’s is another bakery where you can get your king cake if needed.

Aracely’s Bakery

Aracely’s Bakery has locations in both Cicero and Franklin Park, as well as a pop up location at Horton’s in LaGrange just on Fat Tuesday itself. They offered 15 different paczki flavors in 2022, as well as king cakes ($12.00).

Their paczki range from $2 for most flavors to $3 for the maple bacon. In terms of quality for price, Aracely’s provides what may be the best bang for the buck.

Strawberries and cream and strawberry with Nutella are the mid range at $2.49.  In any case, they remain a good value for the paczki, especially given their fairly large size.

You can also get a 4 pack of your choice for $8 or a dozen for $22 ($0.50 additional for each strawberry cream with Nutella). Those have a slightly limited selection but still offer nearly all the flavors.

Aracelys Bakery paczki shot from overhead on a wooden cutting board.

These paczki are very fresh, and they do a great job with filling, partly because they cut the paczki in half and then add filling. I love when every bite has a taste of the special flavor.

They also offer paczki ahead of Paczki Day, starting the Thursday before Paczki Day, but they have limited flavors for walk in customers. If you wish to get the flavor you want, order ahead, and they offer both online orders, phone orders, and in person advance orders to make it simple.

Online orders are available for pickup at the Franklin Avenue location or the pop up location only, and on Fat Tuesday, with one additional later date for each location.

Blueberry and custard paczki from Aracelys Bakery show plenty of filling cut in half sitting on a cutting board.

The blueberry glaze may not have had the bright flavor notes I’ve had in some blueberry paczki, but it remained tasty. The dough and the complete filling help a lot here.

The cream with powdered sugar, on the other hand, is one of the best creams I’ve tasted. It was rich and cooked perfectly, and not at all grainy like so many are.

If these two paczki – which also have my favorite packaging with their individual paper cups to hold them – are any example of the quality of their other flavors, this is a bakery you do not want to skip.

I can’t wait to try more, from their Nutella with Nutella topping to lemon glazed to raspberry and pineapple and more. Next time, I will order in advance.

Krystyna’s (KD Market)

You can find Krystyna’s within KD Market, a full size Polish grocery story, in Wheeling, Mount Prospect, Schaumburg, and Schiller Park. This is the exception to the rule about not finding the best Chicago paczki in a grocery store.

Krystyna’s attracts a clientele that knows their paczki. Like Deerfield’s, you find the paczki on display for you to choose and purchase, and the variety is beyond overwhelming.

They stick with the traditional, however, with Nutella the most “out there” option. In 2023, they offer black currant, mixed fruit, apricot (Fat Tuesday only), raspberry, plum butter, Nutella, rosehip, and custard with chocolate frosting.

You can order half dozens of each flavor or a mix of flavors for $11.99 for the six paczki. You can also walk in the day of to select individual paczki of your choice.

Krystinas Bakery packzi

One unique aspect about Krystyna’s I loved is that they offered mini paczki for $0.79, which allowed you to sample more flavors with less guilt. In 2023, they are not offering this option, but I hope it comes back in the future.

Their paczki tend to be large and heavy, but watch the ones you pick up. I picked up a few lighter paczki that had far less filling than any paczki should. Others, however, had the filling I expect to see

Just grab a bag and add what you like, then head to the front checkout to pay.

Packzi missing filling

I found these paczki fairly soft and fresh, but make sure you don’t grab any overbaked ones. These have the feeling of assembly line paczki to some degree versus the small batch in other bakeries, but they still taste great.

Kolatek’s Bakery and Deli

You can find Kolatek’s Bakery and Deli at Harlem and Fullerton in Chicago with a new location on Rand Road in Palatine. When you walk in and have the staff greet you in Polish, you start with a positive feeling about the offerings.

Their paczki are among the prettiest of the bunch, rivaling Deerfield’s. You can purchase their Paczki starting the Thursday before Paczki Day, as well.

Unlike many bakeries, they have all or nearly all their flavors available for in store purchase rather than just a few. That said, I still recommend ordering in advance to get the flavors you want, especially as the holiday approaches.

In 2023, Kolatek’s has raspberry, plum butter, blueberry, rose, custard, and apricot with additional premium flavors of Nutella, Limoncello, tiramisu, rum, caramel bacon, and fresh strawberry with whipped cream.

One unique order ahead function? They take their orders via Facebook Messenger and phone. So yes, you’ll want to contact them through the Kolatek Bakery Facebook Page.

At $2.69 per premium paczek and $1.99 for the standard flavors, they provide a reasonably priced offering, which includes their boozy paczki. 

Standard priced options include raspberry, cherry, plum butter, blueberry, rose, custard, and apricot – most of the traditional paczki flavors. Their premium options tempted me, however, so I cannot speak to these paczki.

Four gorgeous paczki from Kolateks Bakery sitting on a wooden cutting board, shot from overhead.

It’s hard to choose from the other flavors which run the gamut from Nutella, Limoncello to tiramisu, rum, and fresh strawberry with whipped cream. All told, they have 12 varieties, so you’re sure to find a favorite.

Cut open paczki from Kolateks Bakery

The rum raisin (no longer offered) was less strong on the rum and raisin than expected, as I used rum raisin ice cream as my baseline. I did like the buttercream frosting (not whipped cream) on top, as that fit will with the flavors.

The custard for that was somewhat grainy, possibly because of the rum in it. The limoncello, however, had a much stronger flavor and as a better choice if you want boozy paczki.

For those who love a sweet and salty mix, the caramel bacon provides a solid choice. All paczki were good and fresh, though not the softest dough of the paczki I’ve tried.

These paczki were hit or miss on the filling, however. The black current (no longer offered) was beautifully filled, and I will share that with no one in my house. However, the filling for the caramel bacon left a lot to be desired. The limoncello paczek had a little more filling than this, but still not the right ratio.

Skimpy filling inside Kotalek Bakery paczek.

Central Continental Bakery

Central Continental Bakery in Arlington Heights will always hold a special place in my heart, as they baked my wedding cake many, many years ago. They do a fantastic job with so many of their baked goods.

Continental has amazing paczki flavor from the traditional lemon and prune to fresh peach and apple to really fancy varieties. Their s’more flavor looks amazing, as does the lemon meringue pie and mocha latte and more.

Continental Bakery Arlington Heights Packzi

Altogether, Continental has 46 varieties to choose from in 2023, which can be overwhelming. They do a good job filling their paczki, although their custard tends to be less well filled than fruit or specialty varieties.

They start taking online orders in late January for the six days they sell paczki for pickup between Paczki Day and Fat Tuesday. Again, if you want a specific variety, order online so you don’t risk not having your favorite flavor.

Place orders online by 1pm for pickup the next day (unless you order way ahead obviously!) Orders close at noon on Sunday for pickup, however, given the high volume on those last couple days.

To me, they taste slightly more like a donut passed as a paczki than true paczki. That said, they do a decent job with a homemade custard and decent filling flavor.

The real downside to Continental is the price. Their standard paczki are $3.90, and they range up to $5.70 each. Now my $5.70 key lime paczek was delicious, I won’t argue that, but it’s hard to buy more than a couple at those prices.

Ania’s Polish Deli

Finally, a traditional Polish location, right? That’s where you expect to find the best Chicago paczki.

Ania’s Polish Deli in Lake Zurich and Round Lake Beach doesn’t make their paczki onsite, but they have a fantastic Polish bakery that delivers their paczki daily – except on Sundays.

Because they don’t make the paczki on site, they aren’t as amazingly fresh as Country Donuts, for example, but they still taste great and are one of my favorites. As with any paczki you purchase, eat them the day you buy them because they don’t last well.

Anias Polish Deli packzi

Here you’ll find the traditional sugar rolled paczki, as well as powdered sugar paczki in all the traditional flavors. You have rose and plum, as well as other fruits. They do not offer the “exotic” varieties that you may find elsewhere, but they have plenty to choose from.

Spunky Dunkers

If you have a specific paczki flavor you want from Spunky Dunkers in Palatine, order ahead. They offer over 27 varieties and don’t make each one daily.

Spunky Dunkers, like Country Donuts, is open 24/7 and makes donuts fresh daily on site, so you always have an incredibly fresh paczki. Their fruit fillings are more similar to pie filling than the jam you find in many other bakeries, which makes them even sweeter.

Fruit filled packzi

Their paczki are cut in half and then filled rather than being filled from the side. That means every bite has the filling, something some paczki miss.

That said, my family finds some of their paczki too sweet with a thick layer of buttercream or cream cheese combined with a fruit filling. Granted, I have yet to make it there when they have just the cherry, lemon, banana, apricot, etc filled paczki, which I suspect more closely resemble the paczki I am used to.

In 2023, their paczki cost $3 apiece, with a dozen available for $33. Unlike many other bakeries, you can choose exactly what you want in your dozen from the 27 they have available this year.

Jarosch Bakery

Jarosch Bakery in Arlington Heights is another old school famous Chicago area bakery. They also recommend you order in advance, and they even include their order form on their website each year to make it easier.

Each order has a minimum of two paczki, but that’s not a problem, is it? The only challenge is that you have to get two of each flavor you want, which makes walking in a possibly better option.

Online orders are available through the Saturday prior to Fat Tuesday. After that, you must go to the bakery and cross your fingers they still have what you want.

The offer “only” twelve varieties of their incredibly fresh paczki, but you’ll find your standard favorites from cheese to prune to custard and more. While they don’t have the over the top fancy flavors, you can tell they focus on tradition.

Jarosch Bakery packzi

They have a great dough for their paczki, one of my favorites. This makes up for the fact that their paczki tend to be slightly smaller than many other bakeries’ paczki, partly again as they stick to tradition.

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I love their philosophy on ensuring each paczek has as much filling as possible. They cut their paczki in half, then fill them, which gives you filling in every bite no matter what.

However, they don’t have my favorite filling. Their custard had an odd taste to it, almost like they mixed it in a bowl that had something else in it first. Their filling tastes more pie filling like to me, which isn’t my favorite.

Each paczek costs $2.95, and they have them available for two full weeks prior to Fat Tuesday. Jarosch also offers king cakes for $21.80 each for that same time period.

Country Style Donuts

Do not confuse Country Style Donuts located in Hanover Park with Country Donuts that has locations in Crystal Lake and Elgin. They are two completely separate bakeries with two very different takes on the paczki.

They offer 15 different – mostly – standard flavors that range from chocolate iced Bavarian to strawberry, lemon, or prune to black raspberry, apple ‘n spice, or mango.

Six paczki from Country Style Donuts sitting on a wooden board.

You can order in advance on their website for pickup in store. To ensure you get the flavors you want, I suggest you do so. They have a form on their website that sends an email to the store, though unlike most, they do not require payment in advance.

I did this the day before, but they did not have my order. Thankfully, they are continually refilling and I was able to get the paczki I wanted to purchase.

Their paczki cost $3.69 apiece or $29.99 a dozen. You can mix and match as you choose.

Their paczki were large and somewhat flat compared to the traditional mounded shape. Most paczki come coated in powdered sugar, so don’t eat these in your car.

Interestingly, most of their paczki are cut in half before filling rather than filling the center, though there were a few exceptions to this. The paczki have the traditional lighter circle around the center showing how much they do rise as they fry.

Paczki from Country Style Donuts cut in half sitting on a wooden board.

I tried six paczki, including the mango I was super excited for as it is relatively unique. I expected a filling similar to a traditional apricot filling, but this was more of a mango pudding. It was tasty but not quite what I expected.

I also got apricot, as this is my favorite flavor. This one did have the chunks of tasty fruit in the filling. The only downside was that the one I received had very little filling, unlike most of the other paczki I tried from Country Style Donuts.

Poorly filled apricot paczek from Country Style Donuts held by a hand in front of subway tile.

The chopped cherry was another paczek I looked forward to, again expecting chopped pieces of fruit inside. This was not sliced in half but was filled with a similar amount to the apricot, and it did not have the chunks of cherry I expected.

The chocolate iced Bavarian was well done. It had a good taste and texture to its custard, and it was well filled and delicious.

The black raspberry was the most filled of all the paczki I tried this year. It was a black raspberry jelly inside with no seeds, which I appreciated.

The vanilla cream was one I picked up just for fun. The buttercream was light and fluffy and filled the paczek completely. Though it was sweet, this is what I expected for a buttercream filled paczek.

Country Style Donuts starts providing paczki the Monday before Fat Tuesday all the way through Fat Tuesday itself.

Chicago Pastry

You can find Chicago Pastry in Bloomingdale, where they sell king cakes for $27.99 in addition to the paczki for $3.39 apiece (aside from the fresh strawberry and French cream for $3.89.

Overhead of five paczki from Chicago Pastry on a wooden board.

You can also purchase a six pack for $17.99 or a dozen for $30.99, though the fresh strawberry is excluded from the packs.

Note that they sell their paczki through Fat Tuesday starting in early February though with fewer flavors to start. Check their socials on Facebook and Instagram for when they launch each year.

They start with the most popular flavors of custard, apricot, lemon, and raspberry. As Fat Tuesday approaches, you’ll also see apple, blueberry cheesecake, cannoli, cherry, fresh strawberry with French cream, Nutella French cream, and raspberry.

On Fat Tuesday, they are open 7am to 4pm.

Their paczki are large but somewhat flat, so I was concerned, but they have soft dough and are well filled.

Paczki cut in half on a board from Chicago Pastry.

The blueberry cheesecake was a unique flavor I had to try even though I don’t love cheesecake. The filling was light and fluffy with more of a blueberry flavor than cheesecake, and I really enjoyed it.

The raspberry was a jelly and included a more traditional coating of granulated sugar. It was fine, but not the filling style I prefer.

The apricot was what I had hoped the raspberry would be. It had delicious chunks of fruit without being too sweet.

The Nutella French cream was interesting. I actually detected no Nutella flavor, and the filling by itself was not very sweet and heavy on a bittersweet chocolate flavor, but it paired beautifully with the pazcki dough and may have been my favorite from this location.

The cherry was incredibly well filled, as it was sliced in half and placed on a paper wrapper to keep it secure. It was more of a cherry pie filling flavor, which again isn’t my favorite style but was still tasty and enjoyable.

Donut Drop

In Schaumburg, Donut Drop always has cool and funky freshly baked donuts. They limit their paczki to only Paczki Day, unlike most bakeries that create them in the days leading up to Fat Tuesday.

Again, order ahead as they make a limited run of their paczki. You have the option of six traditional flavors like sugared raspberry, sweet cream cheese, and sugared apricot. While they used to offer more unique options like sugared guava and chocolate iced coconut, they do not in 2023.

Note that their online ordering system does not default to Fat Tuesday, but know that all paczki are available for pickup only that day. Be sure to order online before noon on Friday to get what you want.

Their paczki cost $2.75 each, with a half dozen for $16.50 and a dozen for $33. If you choose a half dozen or dozen, you can either get a random assortment or choose from their six flavors.

Donut Drop packzi

That said, make sure to get your preorders in early. They cut them off the Friday before Fat Tuesday.

The paczki from Donut Drop tend to be smaller than other paczki, but they have the freshness factor I look for in a good paczki. They also do a great job filling their paczki thoroughly.

These paczki were fine, but not my favorites. The fillings didn’t quite do it for me, and the size was relatively small for the price compared to what I can get elsewhere.

Pete’s Fresh Market

As you may have noticed, many of the local grocery stores that are more produce markets than mass market super stores tend to carry paczki during the season. And many of them are worth checking out.

Pete’s Fresh Market has 17 locations across Chicago, with plans for more. You can find them anywhere from Lemont to Oakbrook Terrace to Willowbrook and more.

The offer their paczki in their bakery section, and they have a pretty wide variety available. You can choose traditional fruit filled varieties individually from apricot to raspberry to custard and more.

Each location has different flavors, but they generally cover the traditional bases at every store. Similarly, the prices vary slightly from location to location, so check your closest store for accurate info.

Petes fresh market paczki

In addition to those offerings for $0.99 apiece, Pete’s also sells four packs of additional varieties for $4.99 that they slice in half and fill. Many of these are cream and fruit, and they have more options if you choose to purchase more.

Petes Fresh Market paczki packs

As I’ve bought and eaten too many paczki already this year, I picked up a few individual ones to try rather than the four packs. Pete’s makes relatively good paczki.

They have fresh good dough where the flavors of the orange oil and rum come through, something too many bakeries miss.

However, the filling leaves a lot to be desired. Though their sliced in half paczki are well filled, the traditional filled versions lack filling. Each of the three I purchased were a disappointment in that regard (though less so than the ones from Craft Donut and Coffee).

Petes not well filled paczki

My recommendation? Spring for the four pack and enjoy the filling and flavors in those.

Kuppie’s Bakery

Kuppie’s Bakery in Villa Park makes all their products from scratch, as a good bakery should. Their standard donuts look amazing enough to almost convince you to forget buying paczki. Almost.

They offer 17 different varieties for $2.50 apiece, including the elusive poppyseed filling a friend has been telling me I need to try. Of all the bakeries I’ve visited, this is the one of the very few to offer a poppyseed paczki.

Most of their paczki are traditional filled from raspberry to lemon to prune, as well as fun flavors like cheese chocolate chip and chocolate covered custard.

Kuppies Bakery paczki

Their paczki are among the versions that get slit in half then filled. Needless to say, that means lots of filling in every bite.

They also have three fresh fruit varieties – apple, cherry, and strawberry. Like most bakeries, if you have a flavor you want, order it in advance.

Kuppie’s is closed on Mondays (including the Monday before Fat Tuesday), so make sure to get any advance orders in by Sunday. You can call them or walk in to place your order.

The paczki were made to order, just like at Peterson’s, because I came in the weekend before the big day. I love how fresh that makes my treats.

The filling tasted delicious, and I enjoyed it. That said, the outsides of the paczki were overly crispy, almost as though they’d been fried just a little too long. 

Deli 4 U

Deli 4 U is a traditional Polish grocery store with locations in Norridge, Schaumburg, Prospect Heights, Niles, and Algonquin. They have everything from your traditional European dry goods to an authentic hot deli and so much more.

Two Deli 4 U paczki on a wooden board.

Of course, they bake their pastries in house. Deli 4 U is one of the few places that sell paczki year round and not just before the start of Lent. Their year round flavors are far more limited – just custard, rose, and plum – but for Fat Tuesday, they go all out.

They will have raspberry, rose, plum, vanilla custard, Nutella, whipped marscapone with strawberries, and whipped marscapone with blueberries.

Both for the daily paczki and in “paczki season,” they cost $1.79 apiece, much more affordable than some of the fancy bakeries.

Unlike many other bakeries, they do not offer a traditional preorder for families. If you want to preorder, there is a 50 paczki minimum.

They do promise to not run out, but I still suggest heading over at a reasonable hour – just in case.

I picked up two paczki – the plum and the custard – and I could tell they were baked just that morning. They were incredibly light and fluffy, with a ton of crumb as I cut into them.

The custard tastes amazing, lots of rich flavor of the eggs and vanilla in it, compared to some that taste more like boxed pudding. It was not grainy at all, and I could have eaten just that alone.

My family also enjoyed the plum flavor, not too sweet but definitely a delicious filling. The only downside was the relative lack of filling.

Deli 4 U paczki cut in half and stacked atop each other, custard on the left and plum on the right.

I love paczki that have filling in every bite, and this was one where you definitely have to be patient until you reach it. The perfectly cooked dough helped make up for that disappointment, however.

When you do, make sure to pick up other treats you don’t get in a standard grocery store from the stuffed cabbage rolls to the pierogi to Hungarian stew to fun cookies and candies and more. Make the most of your visit!

Sweet Generations

Sweet Generations is a Polish bakery in Wood Dale where I was greeted in Polish, something that always bodes well.

They provide rose hip, strawberry, raspberry, plum butter, and apricot with both powdered sugar and glaze options for $2.49. The custard also has a powdered sugar and chocolate glaze option for $2.69. Nutella is $2.99, advokat is $3.19, and whipped cream with strawberry is $3.99.

Four paczki on a board from Sweet Generations sitting on a wooden board.

The paczki here are bigger than some bakeries I have tried though not the largest. The are well decorated and designed to look like they are well filled but they were not as quite full as I had expected given the filling spilling out the sides of them.

These also had a drier dough than most paczki, and I suspect they may have been made in advance or frozen before being filled. They were definitely not stale but not as soft and fresh as so many others.

Four paczki cut in half from Sweet Generations sitting on a wooden board.

The raspberry was ok, though I had to go back to my notes to confirm what flavor I had chosen, as it did not scream raspberry to me. The pistachios chopped on top were pretty but didn’t really add much to boost the flavor.

The apricot was interestingly more of an apricot butter (think apple butter style), which I have never seen in a paczek before. I prefer the chunks of fruit, but it was still decent and was by far the best filled of the bunch.

The custard had good custard in terms of taste and texture, and I enjoyed it. The glaze on top was the slight surprise, as it was more like a melted dark chocolate than a traditional glaze.

The Nutella cream was a good combination with a vanilla cream custard paired with the Nutella to cut the sweetness some. I really enjoyed the flavor although there was not a ton of filling throughout.

Vanilla Sugar Bakery

I visited Vanilla Sugar Bakery at the suggestion of a friend who has gotten their paczki before and enjoyed them. 2021 was probably not the year to try them (though in 2023 they are still only doing weekly to go orders and not operating as a traditional bakery).

They take only preorders for Paczki Day, but they close preorders 10am 8 days previous, so ordering is a challenge. The good news is that they put their online order up over a month in advance to help you plan.

You can try to walk in, but know that you will have limited options. They release “extras” after filling all preorders, but when I visited, it did not happen in the morning as they had communicated to me but at nearly 12:45pm.

Their paczki cost between $3 and $4 apiece.

That said, the online site quickly sold out of the banana cream and strawberry whipped cream that my friend claims are the best, as well as the raspberry my son wanted. I did snag and Oreo cream pie and Nutella cream filled, which worked.

Vanilla Sugar Bakery paczki shot from overhead.

The paczki are heavy, and they are decently filled. Vanilla Sugar Bakery cuts them in half then fills them.

However, I did not like the fillings of the two I purchased.

The Oreo cream pie tastes like chocolate pudding with some crushed Oreos mixed in. It was a pretty paczek with the buttercream and Oreos on top, but it was nothing special.

Vanilla Sugar Bakery paczki cut in half.

Nutella is my love, so I was excited about the Nutella cream. However, it tasted like Marshmallow fluff mixed with a bit of cocoa powder. There was no hazelnut flavor of the Nutella at all.

One other note about Vanilla Sugar Bakery: They are focused on baking and not on customer service or social media.

If you call and get voicemail, they alert you that they check voicemail only once a week. If you send an email, they warn their turnaround is 1-3 business days.

On social, they go many days between posting, and they do not respond to customer questions or comments on their posts.

They make gorgeous cakes, and they have the feel of a bakery that wants to make great fancy cakes. Except someone told them they need a storefront, and they have done so begrudgingly.

If you want to try them, order in advance, and get the banana cream and strawberry whipped cream that my friend recommends.

Smakowski’s Deli

This small grocery store in Palatine offers paczki at their deli counter, proudly open early on Fat Tuesday. While they typically don’t open until 9am, they know their customers want paczki early! (Note: they do not have a website.)

They sell their paczki just on Tłusty Czwartek (Thursday) and Fat Tuesday.

These paczki are large and heavy, always a good sign. They’re incredibly fresh and soft for paczki not made on site, and the price is definitely right with these paczki.

They sell a limited variety of six traditional flavors. You have your choice amongst raspberry, plum, Bavarian cream, rosehip, Nutella, and advokat (an egg and sugar based liqueur).

The first two cost $1.89 apiece and the Nutella and advokat paczki cost $1.99 apiece.

Smakowskis Deli packzi

The fruit in their filling doesn’t taste processed and overly sweet. It has a great tang, and you can feel the small fruit chunks in the filling that I prefer.

The only down side is that they tend to be less well filled than some other bakeries, but the remaining paczki has such a great flavor and soft texture that I don’t mind as much as I would otherwise. This puts it on my best Chicago paczki list – fresh always wins in my book.

Not well filled packzi

Hanna’s Bakery and Cafe

Located in Bloomingdale, Hanna’s Bakery and Cafe opens at 4am on Fat Tuesday and the previous Fat Thursday. Those are the only two days they offer this variety of paczki, but they offer rose, apricot, and plum paczki throughout the year.

You can preorder from them, but you must order at least two dozen paczki to do so. Thankfully, they have plenty available for walk ins.

Their paczki cost $2.49 for their plum butter, rose hip, raspberry, apricot, and strawberry. The Nutella and advokat cost $2.99, custard is $2.69, and whipped cream with strawberries costs $3.69.

Four paczki on a board from Hanna's Bakery and Cafe.

Their paczki are well shaped, though on the smaller side, with fresh and delicious dough. Unfortunately, they had less filling in every paczek I tried than I expected.

four paczki cut in half from Hanna's Bakery and Cafe.

The raspberry had less than a teaspoon of filling, but it was a tasty and bakery made filling without being too sweet. It is one of my favorite raspberry fillings I’ve tried, if only there were more of it.

The apricot was much the same with little filling, though good flavor. The Nutella also lacked filling but had a fun dollop on top that makes it look pretty, though I added my own Nutella to round it out.

The custard was a good custard with a good flavor and texture, though it was a little heavy on the cornstarch. This had the most filling of any of the paczki though still not a ton.


Certain Costco locations started carrying paczki from an outside bakery. As much as I love products from the Costco bakery, these paczki were not up to snuff.

In fact, DO NOT BUY paczki from Costco.

They offer strawberry filled and custard filled in a dozen box, with six of each for just $8.99, making these the cheapest paczki I’ve seen in years. You cannot choose anything but the two or a smaller quantity than a dozen.

The paczki are incredibly heavy and well filled, as well as solidly frosted. However, these paczki were soggy when we first tried them about two hours after I brought them home – and I had picked up a box that was just being loaded to the shelf.

The next morning, the paczki were not just soggy but wet. In fact, the entire box had water on the bottom. We threw them away, and I have never thrown away paczki in my life.

As incredibly disappointed as I am to say, don’t buy your paczki from Costco.

Bennison’s Bakery

Bennison’s in Evanston is a bakery friends have been telling me I need to visit for years. Judging by the line around the building, the word has spread far and wide.

Pro tip: Order online in advance. There is a separate entrance and non-line line for those who have their orders waiting for pickup.

I waited so long in line that I had to go refill my parking meter because I ran out of time.

One of the fun unique paczki traditions for Bennison’s is that they offer paczki again in August for a “halfway there” celebration. If you need your fix outside normal months, you have your place!

Bennison’s also tends to offer paczki for a longer period of time than most bakeries. They start on the Monday before Polish Fat Tuesday and continue all the way the Friday after Fat Tuesday.

You can find 11 different flavors here, ranging from lemon to German chocolate to banana whipped cream and more.

The standard flavors like apricot and raspberry cost $2.40 apiece.

If you order online – and make sure you give 24 hours notice! – you can only get four packs of German chocolate, chocolate praline, banana whip, and strawberry whip for $14.40. In person, you can get singletons for $3.60 apiece.

Four paczki flavors from Bennisons bakery cut in half sitting on a wooden board.

When I tried my paczki, the chocolate custard was not super well filled, but all the other paczki were. The small circle of yellow was the entire filling; it was wet and doughy around the filling, which makes it look like more filling in the photo.

I found it had more of a pudding flavor versus a custard taste, and it was not my favorite. It tasty salty to me, and it was a little overcooked, so the custard had a gelatinous mouthfeel, too.

The chocolate praline was split in half, versus the other flavors that were filled like the jelly donut you’re used to seeing. I enjoyed the chocolate praline mousse, so definitely add this to your list.

I tried the apricot and cherry paczki, as well. They were both well filled, and the apricot was fantastic with chunks of fruit. The cherry was more like a pie filling and tasty but not quite what I had expected.

Hewn Bread

Almost across the street from Beth’s Little Bake Shop in Evanston is Hewn Bread, which makes more than “just” bread – and has a second, newer location in Libertyville.

They bake rather than fry their paczki, so they are not traditional paczki, but don’t let that stop you.

The offer two flavors only, chocolate pastry cream and lemon curd, both for $4.20 apiece. You can also order the chocolate pastry cream online in a four pack for $18, but do it early because they shut down orders the Thursday before Fat Tuesday.

Their paczki are available only on Fat Tuesday, and they do not make as many as most bakeries. I purchased two of the last five lemon curd at 9:15am that day.

The paczki get rolled in granulated sugar, which is somewhat unique, as well. They are incredibly fresh with a light dough, which I enjoyed.

Hewn Bread Lemon and chocolate paczki cut in half sitting on a wooden board.

That said, they are somewhat unevenly filled. The chocolate pastry cream had a pudding like taste and was decent. The lemon curd, however, was worth the drive – so incredibly good!

Beth’s Little Bake Shop

Also located in Evanston on Central Street is Beth’s Little Bake Shop. They also only have paczki on Fat Tuesday itself.

You can order online to ensure you get the flavors you want (some of mine were sold out that morning), but they do not have the long line that some other, more well known bakeries do.

They cut off online orders early because they sell out of what they can make in this small bakery, so be organized if you want to try this one or chance what they have left for walk ins.

Beth’s has just four flavors, but they are fun ones – raspberry jam, strawberries and cream, bananas foster (with rum), and chocolate mousse.

The two paczki I got were very different sizes, and they dough tasted different, as well. This photo has them sitting side by side and represents the size differential accurately.

Head on view of two paczki from Beths Little Bake Shop to show the size difference between them.

The chocolate mousse was thick and a good tasting mousse, but slightly grainy. The dough was delicious and soft, but it was almost too rich for me.

I also tried the raspberry jam, which interestingly was a different dough and size paczek. The raspberry filling was very sweet and definitely a jam, while the dough was a bit dry. Had it been the same as the chocolate mousse, it would have been a much better paczek.

Raspberry and chocolate paczki from Beth's Little Bake Shop cut in half sitting on a wooden board.

The raspberry flavor is $4.30 apiece, while bananas foster and chocolate mousse is $5.25, and the strawberries and cream rings in at $5.50 per paczek, which makes this one I would not rush back to.

Delightful Pastries

A friend recommended that I absolutely had to try Delightful Pastries on Lawrence in Chicago. Not only did they have great paczki, she told me, but they make boozy paczki.

That was enough for me to add it to my list.

In 2023, their paczki range from $3.25 for traditional fillings like rose petal jelly and plum butter to $4.79 for fancier ones like German chocolate and $4.89 for their drunken paczki.

The fresh strawberry and fresh strawberry with whipped cream cost $5.25 apiece. In total, they have 13 flavors available.

Four packzi from Delightful Pastries

However, Delightful Pastries did not quite live up to the hype. They make extremely pretty paczki, and the dough was soft and fresh.

However, the paczki I purchased had sparse filling in all four paczki. The apricot had approximately a teaspoon for the entire paczek, which is not a ratio I want.

Delightful Pastries paczki cut in half

Every bite of your paczki should give you the selected flavor, so this was a disappointment. Had they doubled or tripled the filling, these paczki would have been amongst my favorite, however.

The photos on their website show some paczki that are very well filled, especially the raspberry and custard. If only they truly held filling like this!

Sparsely filled apricot paczek from Delightful Pastries

The apricot filling tasted amazing, with fresh apricot flavor coming through and a great texture that didn’t just taste like pie filling or jam. I also really enjoyed the flavor of the salted caramel, though interestingly it had an almost burned note to it, but that worked really well with the dough and salt.

The lemon vodka paczek had a strong lemon flavor I enjoyed without the vodka overpowering it, but there was so little filling that it was hard to fully appreciate. The custard was… fine, but nothing special.

Maybe I had built up my expectation too high for Delightful Pastries, but I think I would have felt similar no matter what given the lack of filling in the paczki.

Life’s Sweet Inc

My friend Annie insists that Life’s Sweet Inc has the best Chicago paczki, and this Rogers Park bakery is on my must try list for next year.

While they don’t offer the most traditional paczki, they do adhere to pickup on Paczki Day only from 8am to 4pm, so make sure you order in advance. In 2023, all preorders are due the Tuesday before Fat Tuesday.

While they offer strawberry and cream, you’re more likely to find cookie butter paczki (yes please!) and almond guava or oreo cream. The offer 10 flavors in 2023.

My friend swears the filling just melts in your mouth.

You can order individual paczek for $3.75 apiece for traditional flavors and $4 for the rest. With their cottage kitchen space in 2023, they do not offer dozen orders as they used to.

The 2023 flavors are: Nutella, apricot, rose jam, raspberry jam, mocha, cookie butter, almond guava, coconut cream, oreo cream, and strawberry cream.

Bakeries NOT Selling Paczki in 2022 (closed or for other reasons)

Konrad’s Bakery

Konrad’s Bakery is still open, selling their usual assortment of treats. However, starting in 2022 they no longer make paczki, as they do not have the staff to make them in addition to everything else.

They do, however, still make king cakes in cheese, almond, and cinnamon flavors.

In Lake in the Hills, Konrad’s Bakery ran out of their paczki each day. When I tried them, they quickly shot up to near the top of my list of the best Chicago paczki.

Why did I love them so much? First, they’re big. So many bakeries try to sell “normal sized” donuts as paczki. Nope, paczki should be large.

Konrad’s also does an amazing job filling their paczki so that you get a taste of the filling in just about every bite. They are beyond fresh, and the filling tastes great – not reminiscent of pie filling at all.

Well filled packzi

Doughs Guys Bakery

Dough’s Guys Bakery is another bakery that is also still open but choosing not to sell paczki anymore.

My friend Lisa recommends Doughs Guys Bakery as her best Chicago paczki pick. You can find them in Crestwood and Palos Heights, as well as at the two Orland Park Metra stations and the Metra stations in Palos Park and Rock Island (Oak Forest).

Pick one of their 23 flavors, which like some bakeries are cut in half then filled, unlike the traditional paczki. One note: do not try to go there on the Monday before Fat Tuesday as they do not open for the day before Fat Tuesday.

What flavors can you expect from this bakery with delicious products that consistently supports local schools and organizations? Grab everything from apple to nutella buttercream to poppy seed and even pina colada. They also create premium paczki like fresh strawberry fudge and fresh banana custard, for just two examples.

Ingram’s Busy Bee Bakery

Ingram’s Busy Bee Bakery closed in spring of 2021, but the owners hope to find someone to purchase the bakery and open it again. I can only hope they succeed!

New to me in 2021, Ingram’s Busy Bee Bakery was my new all time favorite paczki bakery of all the ones I’ve visited. This Downers Grove bakery only offer paczki on Paczki Day, so you can’t get them in advance – unlike many other bakeries.

Four paczki sitting on a wooden cutting board.

The paczki are heavy, and that’s a good thing.

Seriously, check out the filling on this apricot paczek. They were all like this.

Well filled apricot paczek from Ingrams Busy Bee.

Craft Donuts + Coffee

Craft Donuts + Coffee closed all their locations, so they no longer have paczki available.

Craft Donuts + Coffee offered fun flavors like Nutella (NOT vegan obviously) that I couldn’t resist, as well as peanut butter and jelly, along with traditional options like raspberry. 

Craft donut and coffee paczki

The dough for their paczki was extremely soft, a plus. However, it was salty, as in I tasted salt over any other flavor.

While I appreciated how fresh their paczki were, the filling left a lot to be desired. I’m pretty sure my Nutella paczek had more Nutella spilled on top of it than actually inside it, and the fruit filled wasn’t much better.

Craft donut and coffee paczki filling

If you’re vegan, go for it. If not, I’d advise another bakery unfortunately.

Where do you find the best Chicago paczki?

Looking for some donut recipes you can make at home? Try these:

Where to find the Best Chicago packzi in the suburbs. Celebrate Fat Tuesday with traditional and unique Polish packzi at your favorite bakeries #packzi #fattuesday #chicago #bakeries

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Thursday 16th of February 2023

Wow! Thanks! The pictures are great and so is the detailed reviews. I am having trouble deciding!!!


Tuesday 28th of February 2023

Thanks! And trust me, I have a hard time deciding every year, too. I've already started my list for where I'll visit in 2024 :)


Thursday 16th of February 2023

I wanted to let you know of a GREAT location in Tinley Park. Creative Cakes -

They have amazingly tasty and creative "Extreme" Paczki creations.

e.g., Dutch Apple, Banana's Foster, Cinnamon Churro, Boston, Atomic, Cannoli, and traditional flavors as well.

Thought I'd let you know about this suburban delight.

Thank you kindly.


Tuesday 28th of February 2023

That sounds really fun, thank you for sharing. It's a drive for me, but I may have to make a trip to try them out.


Tuesday 31st of January 2023

Great column, Michelle! A Polish student of mine brought me rose paczki about 20 years ago and they’ve haunted me ever since, like Rosebud in Citizen Kane! I live in the burbs so I’m so happy your list has options for me to not go into the city! We Indians love us some rose filling, but I wonder where to go for the best? Not rose hip but rose…any recommendations for the best rose? Thanks again for this post!!


Tuesday 28th of February 2023

Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoy this. So rose is not my favorite flavor, which means I may not be the best one to recommend that. However, I would suggest trying Oak Mill Bakery, as I found they had some of the most traditional filling done well, and they have multiple locations, which makes it easier to have one near you. Enjoy!


Friday 19th of August 2022

House of Cakes in Chicago at Canfield and Talcott make the most divine paczki. Their fresh strawberry with buttercream are legendary; lightly crisp exterior and soft, pillowy interior. Preorder to ensure you get what you want, but you can still get just about any of their flavors as a walk-in. You'll take a number and wait outside either way.


Monday 5th of September 2022

I will have to add them to my list of places to try next year. Thanks for the tip!


Monday 15th of February 2021

KD Market paczki are delicious! I love paczki with plum butter which is a traditional flavor. This year I discovered Black Currant and from now this is my number one.


Monday 15th of February 2021

I didn't have the plum butter there, but yes, they make good paczki - so long as you make sure to pick up heavy ones ;) I had a black currant for the first time this year at Weber's, and that is also MY new favorite flavor that I'm going to search for everywhere! I'm hitting up three more bakeries tomorrow that only have paczki on Paczki Day and have my fingers crossed for more winners - and more black currant!

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