My favorite day of the year is approaching – Paczki Day! On Fat Tuesday (or even before), local bakeries crank out paczki, 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 crazy about them,and patiently (or impatiently) wait every year for them. And lucky for us (not for our diets), there are plenty of places to get paczki in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Okay, enough talking. Check out these places that we’ve personally tried where you can find paczki. (I know, I know it was a hard task but someone had to do it!)
In case you’re wondering how I rate Paczki. The ratio of dough to filling (needs to be a good balance) and the dough (dry is a big no no!)
*Updated for 2021*
Happy Paczki Day/ Fat Tuesday!
Where to find paczki in the northwest suburbs of Chicago
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 (custard, black raspberry, and strawberry), Country Donuts is a prime example of a keeping it simple and excelling in what they do.
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: $1.75 each.
Tip: Pre-order early by calling their hotline. You can even pick up your order through their drive-through or curbside pickup. They are available from February 11th-16th.
Where: 11801 Main Street, Huntley
Why: If you’re looking for paczki with a variety of flavors, Morkes has you covered. Anything with their yummy whip is amazing!
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.
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 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: $2.25 each for regular flavors. Specialty flavors are $3.50 each.
Favorite flavor: chocolate silk, custard. My kids loved the lemon.
Tip: Pre-order by emailing [email protected] your order or call 815-526-3947. They do open at 6 a.m. on Fat Tuesday. They recommend coming early before they sell out.
Stay tuned for 2021 information
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 paczki. These 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. In the past, they’ve offered vegan options.
The verdict: Oh my, oh my, oh my. Although these were a little more expensive, these were out of this world. Anything with the cream cheese filling has won my heart. Just wished that the strawberry frosted donut had more frosting, but it was still excellent especially with the chocolate filling.
Favorite flavor: in 2019, 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.)
Where: 1309 Riverside Dr, McHenry
Why: A wonderful bakery that does NOT skimp on the filling! They offer so many flavors so you’re bound to find something you like.
The verdict: Riverside is another favorite in the area. Great ratio of filling and dough. You won’t be disappointed. I highly recommend anything with whip.
Favorite flavor: Strawberry whip is always a favorite!
Price: Prices range from $1.38 to $3.40 per item.
Tip: Preorder early by calling. Orders can be picked up Friday 2/12/21 thru Tuesday 2/16/21. Cash or check only.
Where: 1601 S. Randall Rd., Algonquin
Why: As a new authentic Polish grocery store in the area, I had to try their authentic paczki. Paczki are always available if you have a craving. I picked mine up about 2 weeks before Fat Tuesday.
The verdict: I was limited to what was available: plain, Bavarian Creme, raspberry, and plum. I bought everything except plain.Oh, how I wanted to love them but they were not my favorites. The dough to filling ration was sad and the dough was too dry for my taste. I don’t think this will be my last visit to Deli 4 You, thought. Everything looked so good in their dessert/pastry section.
Favorite flavor: If I had to choose, definitely Bavarian creme. It almost balanced out the dryness of the dough.
Price: Very affordable at $1.29/piece. Tip: Preorders are available but when I called it was a 50 piece minimum!
Other places to find paczki
A few local places will carry paczki during this time so you don’t have to drive far to get your fix!
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Where: 395 Cary Algonquin Rd. Unit E, Cary
Why:They will carry paczki from Riverside Bake Shop.
Tip: Pre-order by placing on order on their website and pickup from 2/12 to 2/16. If you love ice cream and paczki, try out their awesome paczki ice cream sandwich, a paczki loaded with Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup.
Where: 316-A N River St East Dundee
Why:They will carry paczki from Jarosch Bakery.
Tip: Pre-order by calling the cafe or messaging them via Facebook. Pickup is on Fat Tuesday 2/16.