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.
Good Cakes and Bakes
An LGBTQ+, woman-owned bakery on Detroit’s historic Avenue of Fashion, Good Cakes and Bakes specializes in organic and vegan baked goods. Try their red velvet, lemon, and strawberry Paczki flavors.
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.
Check out Yum Village on March 1st for an Afro-Caribbean spin on pączki! Flavors include plantain cream, kuli kuli cream, sweet potato cream, and more