If you’ve been checking out my Instagram feed, you may have noticed how crazy I’ve gone for paczkis, the traditional Polish donuts usually filled with jelly or some other sweet variation. Ever since I had my first bite of a paczki, I’ve been a fan and ever year have made it my goal to find the best places to find paczki. And lucky for us (not for our diets), we have plenty of places to get these delightful treats in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Here are a few places that we’ve personally tried. I know, it was a hard task but someone had to do it.
*Updated for 2020*
Happy Paczki Day/ Fat Tuesday!
Where: 181 W. Virginia St., Crystal Lake
Why: This is THE place to go to in the NW suburbs. In fact, they churn so many paczki. (Last I heard they had 60,000 orders!) With only 3 flavors to choose from, Country Donuts is a prime example of a keeping it simple and excelling in what they do.
Flavors: Buttercream and Custard, Buttercream and Black Raspberry, Buttercream and Strawberry
The verdict: The dough is perfect fluffy while the combo of buttercream and filling melted in our mouths. They definitely don’t skimp on the filling, plus the fillings weren’t too sweet. So, so good!
Favorite flavor: Although Black Raspberry may be Country Donuts most popular flavor, buttercream and custard was ours!
Price: $18.55/dozen, $10.40/half dozen or $1.75 each.
Tip: Pre-order early by calling their hotline. You can even pick up your order through their drive-through. They are available from February 20-February 25th.
Where: 11801 Main Street, Huntley
Why: If you’re looking for paczki with a variety of flavors, Morkes has you covered.
Flavors: Choose from bavarian custard (chocolate or vanilla icing), black raspberry topped with sugar, black raspberry with yummy whip, apple with streusel topping, prune with vanilla, blueberry with vanilla, apricot with vanilla, strawberry and yummy whip topped with powdered sugar, peach with yummy whip topped with powdered sugar. We tried blueberry filled, strawberry with yummy whip, blackberry with yummy whip.
The verdict: Oh so delicious, especially those with the yummy whip added. This girl, a strawberry fanatic, LOVED her strawberry whip paczki.
Favorite flavor: Strawberry with yummy whip and Bavarian custard with chocolate frosting.
Price: $19.95/dozen or $10.95 for a half dozen or $1.95 each.
Tip: Pre-order by calling, filling out their form, ordering online, or stop by the shop.
Where: 9531 Ackman Rd., Lake in the Hills
Why: For an authentic Polish bakery, you can’t go wrong with Konrad’s. You’ll have plenty of different flavors to choose from: Raspberry, Strawberry, Apricot, Lemon, Custard, Rose, Chocolate Silk, Fresh strawberry/whipped cream as well as a prune. Looks like they added a few more flavors this year: blueberry and cream cheese, cherry and cream cheese, apples and cream cheese. You can even order a King’s Cake ($14.95+ tax) with a baby in it such as Cheese, Almond, Cinnamon. Although we never found the baby?
The verdict? In the past, we’ve tried chocolate silk and custard. So yummy. This time around, I slacked and didn’t get a pre-order in. So I only could try those what was available which was lemon and raspberry. They were both very good!
Price: $25/dozen or $2.25 each. Fresh strawberry with whipped cream, fresh strawberry with chocolate mousse, blueberry and cream cheese, cherry and cream cheese, apples and cream cheese are $3.50 each and not included in the dozen.
Favorite flavor: chocolate silk, custard. My kids loved the lemon.
Tip: Pre-order by emailing [email protected] your order. They do open at 6 a.m. on Fat Tuesday. They recommend coming early before they sell out.
Where: 124 W. Main St., West Dundee
Why: It’s one of my favorite coffee shops in the area (Read all about it here), so I’m not surprised that they made amazing paczkis. They aren’t your regular cookie cutter paczki — they have so many unique flavor choices (fig and nutella?!) I especially dig the fact that everything is made in-house.
Flavors: With so many choices, it was a hard decision. (*Update* Most of the flavors I tried last year are not available including the Irish Coffee Cream! Boo!). Last year I chose cream cheese and lemon curd, Nutella, Irish coffee cream, strawberry frosted chocolate ganache filled, coconut cream filled chocolate frosted, cream cheese and raspberry jam filled, cream cheese and fig jam filled. They are offering a couple vegan flavors for 2020 include banana creme and Boston creme. Thank goodness, they still have the Nutella one as it has already been requested by my husband.
The verdict: Oh my, oh my, oh my. Although the donuts were a little bit more expensive, these were out of this world. Anything with the cream cheese filling has won my heart. And don’t get me started on the Irish Coffee Cream with a tinge of salty and perfectly sweet (but not too sweet.)*Update 2020: They no longer offer the Irish Coffee Cream!) Just wished that the strawberry frosted donut had more frosting, but it was still excellent especially with the chocolate filling.
Favorite flavor: The Irish Coffee Cream was OUT OF THIS WORLD. WOW. My family loved the Nutella one as well.
Price: Prices range from $2.99 each to $3.49. Follow their Facebook page for sales. Check out their pre-order sale that gave a pretty nice discount.
Tip: Pre-order online or stop by. If you have time, take time to enjoy the ambiance, your paczki, and a cup of coffee (I recently discovered their brown sugar oat latte and fell in love.)