Paczki Day in Detroit: Celebrate Fat Tuesday in Style

February 9, 2018  

Paczki (pronounced PONCH-KEE) are deep-fried balls of dough traditionally filled with prunes and covered with powdered sugar or icing. They were originally created to use up all the fats and sugar in the house before Lent and help avoid temptation in the coming weeks. Modern Paczki are just as rich, but come in a variety of flavors, so don’t worry if prunes aren’t your favorite filling.

Metro Detroit’s Polish enclave, Hamtramck, is the place to be on Paczki Day. Lines can stretch out the door at bakeries known for their Paczki, so order ahead or expect a wait when you stop at one of these popular shops – it’s all part of the experience.

 

Fat Tuesday in Detroit

New Palace Bakery

New Palace Bakery has been a Hamtramck institution for more than 100 years, and they’re experts on traditional Paczki, with 12 traditional fillings and five specialty fillings to choose from. And if you just can’t decide, try one of their two-in-one or three-in-one fillings. We recommend ordering ahead to be sure you get a batch on the big day.

New Martha Washington Bakery

Rivaling New Palace with their wide selection of flavors, the New Martha Washington Bakery draws one of the biggest crowds on Fat Tuesday, and once met the challenge to make the largest Paczki in Michigan.

Dutch Girl Donuts

One of Detroit’s best-loved donut shops, the family-owned Dutch Girl bakery is famous for making your favorite pastries the old-fashioned way. While donuts are their specialty, they mix things up and add Paczki to the menu for Fat Tuesday.

West Warren Baking Company

The West Warren Baking Company was opened by the Petkovski family when they emigrated from the former Yugoslavia more than 50 years ago. They specialize in European baked goods, so of course they go all out for Paczki Day.

American Coney Island

It’s back. The coney paczki makes a return to American Coney Island this year. Try a taste of two Detroit staple foods combined.

If you want the full Paczki Day experience, head to Hamtramck for the annual Paczki Day Parade, Polish dancing and a meal at one of the city’s traditional Polish restaurants. Festivities extend into the evening, with many local bars and music venues hosting after-hours Paczki parties.