Where to get Paczkis in Detroit
By Jason Clinton
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! February 21st is just around the corner and in Detroit, we celebrate Mardi Gras with a side of jelly and powdered sugar. Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday/Paczki Day is the day before Lent begins, a Catholic season where followers will either fast or give something up for 40 days. Therefore, it’s prudent to pack on some winter weight before you start to fast. Enter: paczkis (pronounced POON-ch-KEYS) a cakey piece of fried dough often filled with jelly or custard that came to Detroit through Eastern European immigrants. They have since become a highly anticipated part of the winter season. These treats are usually only available around this time of year, and getting your hands on some is serious business in Detroit. It’s not uncommon to see the people lining up outside of a Polish bakery just so they can get their hands on one of those powdered sugary delights. Finding them on Mardi Gras can also be tricky as some places sell out before the end of the day. Fortunately, we’ve got your back on some recommendations of places to get your sweet tooth fix.
New Palace Bakery
New Palace is known as the Paczki headquarters. The aforementioned line out the door? That can usually be seen outside of the New Palace Bakery on Fat Tuesday. Known for their European pastries, but especially their Paczkis, the New Palace Bakery has been a staple in the community since 1908. As far as flavors go, New Place offers raspberry, blueberry, apple, chocolate, peanut butter and jelly, and more. Plus, if you want to avoid the line, you can order the Paczkis in advance.
9833 Joseph Campau Ave, Hamtramck, MI 48212
Tuesday – Friday 8 am – 5 pm
Saturday 8 am – 4 pm
Chene Modern Bakery
Voted “Best Bakery in Metro Detroit” by WXYZ Detroit in 2018, Chene Modern Bakery has been around since the 1930s and has a loyal base of customers that have been coming here for years, generations even. Among the paczki flavors that will grace their display case are standards like raspberry and strawberry. But you can also get a peanut butter and jelly paczki if you’re interested in something out of the ordinary.
17041 W Warren Ave, Detroit, MI 48228
Tuesday – Saturday 7 am – 6 pm
This donut shop is nestled in the middle of southwest Detroit and has had staying power due to their delicious donuts, coffee, and friendly atmosphere that’s perfect for starting your day. While they specialize in donuts, you can get dulce de leche, mango, and other flavors of paczkis this time of year.
6020 Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48209
Sunday – Saturday 5 am – 6 pm
With their motto being, “Make Pierogi, Eat Love”, Pietrzyk Pierogi has a focus on investing in the community, providing living wages for employees and often partnering with local nonprofits. But just because their a pierogi place doesn’t mean that they’re afraid to delve into dessert territory. You can order their paczkis in advance and the pastries will be available for pickup on the 20th and 21st. If you’re feeling a little spicy, you can even order a jalapeno paczki.
1429 Gratiot Ave Suite 109, Detroit, MI 48207
Monday – Friday 10 am – 3 pm
Saturday 10 am – 4 pm
The Family Donut Shop
I can’t complete this list without at least one more Hamtramck bakery. The Family Donut Shop has been around since the early 80s and their fresh pastries are a wonderful treat on a Monday morning. The paczkis they’re offering this year include custard, raspberry, blueberry, plum, chocolate, and others.
11300 Conant St, Hamtramck, MI 48212
Monday – Friday 5:30 am – 7:30 pm
Saturday 6:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sunday 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
BONUS: Paczki Day Vodka from Detroit City Distillery
While it’s not exactly a paczki, I had to include it on this list. This vodka has been distilled with paczkis and contains no artificial flavors. They made this same vodka last year and it was sold out within 24 hours. You can order a bottle on Detroit City Distillery’s website.
About the Author
Jason is a Detroit artist and an administrative assistant for City Tour Detroit. He grew up on the northwest side of the city and became interested in Detroit when attending Renaissance High School and learning about the contributions Detroit has made to America’s history. He received his BA in theatre from Wayne State University and upon graduation, found a way to combine his love of history with his love of public speaking; being a tour guide! Jason continues to lead tours and does research and administrative work for City Tour Detroit in addition to running its blog.