- Polonus in Wyandotte has dill pickle soup, melt-in-your-mouth city chicken and crispy potato pancakes. Try a combination plate.
- Polonia Polish Restaurant in Hamtramck offers authentic cuisine, old-world atmosphere and Polish vodkas and beer to boot. It has been in biz for 40 years so you know the food is fantastic. Expand your culinary horizons by trying the smalec ze skwareczkami and pickles (Polish famous bread spread with bacon, bacon crumbs, fried onion and spices).
- Ivanhoe Cafe is home of the Polish Yacht Club, just outside Hamtramck. Wait till you see the plate full of pickles and peppers that comes to the table. A mound of coleslaw pre-meal is also tradition. Sample the pierogi or go right for the kill and inhale several polish sliders: kielbasa, kraut and cheese on a bun.
- Try Three Brothers in Plymouth, where regulars are quick to recommend the chicken dumpling soup, the kraut pierogies and the nalesniki aka Polish-style crepes.
- Wawel Polish Restaurant is in the Polish American Cultural Center in Troy, so be sure to check out the Polish-style goings-on posted on the activities calendar. That is, of course, after you take your fill of the Wawel Platter. They fit so many items on the plate – from kielbasa, kraut and meatballs to pierogi, stuffed cabbage and city chicken. And you cannot leave without sampling the dill pickle soup. Some say it’s to die for.
Food & Drink
Detroit, Beyond Detroit, Wayne, Oakland
AUTHENTIC POLISH RESTAURANTS IN METRO DETROIT
WHERE TO BUY PIEROGI
Metro Detroit has a number of stand-alone shops selling their own homemade Polish dumplings by the dozen. Fresh or frozen, ready for you to fry, boil or saute at home and serve.
- Pierogi Gals, Grosse Pointe
- Jennie’s Pierogies, Garden City and Warren
- Lila’s Pierogi, Livonia
- Kielbasa Joe, Wyandotte (yes, this is a kielbasa/meat shop, but it sells really good pierogi, too)
- The Little Pierogi & Crepe Kitchen, Wyandotte
- People’s Pierogi Collective can be found at Eastern Market on Saturdays for pierogi with urban and funky flavors.
DON'T FORGET DESSERT
Yes, Hamtramck has awesome bakeries baking up classic Polish sweets. Angel wings (fried dough covered with powdered sugar) and kolacky (flaky pastries filled with fruit, cheese, nut or poppy seed paste).
- New Palace Bakery, Hamtramck
- New Martha Washington Bakery, Hamtramck
Suggestion: If you happen to be in town on Fat Tuesday (that’s the day before Lent begins, which usually falls sometime in February) get a paczki or three from one of these storefronts. Super dense, jelly filled and meant to sustain your sweet tooth through the 40 days of Lent. Yeah, you can get paczki elsewhere, but a Hamtramck-made paczki is WAY better. Trust us.
ONE-OF-A-KIND POLISH FINDS
- Visit the Polish Art Center in Hamtramck. This Hamtramck original is one of the country’s premier emporiums of Polish cultural and traditional goods. The selection of authentic souvenirs is unparalleled. The Polish pottery is intricate and colorful. The pisanki eggs and paper chandeliers (pajaki) are magical. And there’s a great selection of Polish candy, too.
- Spend a day at the Hamtramck Public Library. It has a large collection of books in Polish and hosts a variety of educational programs year-round.
- Take the family to the St. Mary’s Polish Country Fair. Held Memorial Day weekend, this classic is Michigan’s largest county fair with food, food and food, along with a carnival midway and a Vegas tent. Unique Polish souvenirs.
- The American-Polish Century Club in Sterling Heights hosts the American Polish Festival & Craft Show on its grounds each year. It features live polka music, Polish dance ensemble performances, a pierogi-eating challenge and a fine selection of crafters. Lots of Polish food.
- In town on Labor Day. Attend the annual Polish Day Parade on Jos. Campau in downtown Hamtramck. Considered one of the largest ethnic parades in the state of Michigan.
Read more about Detroit restaurants.
Photo credit: Polish Art Center eggs by Bill Bowen
25249 Joseph Campau Ave, Detroit, MI 48211313-925-5335
102934 Russell St., Detroit, MI 48207313-822-0885
1210335 Joseph Campau Ave, Hamtramck, MI 48212313-872-1988
153535 Commerce Rd Orchard Lake, MI 48324248-706-6775