Paczki Day is melancholy for us ever since our favorite Polish bakery period burned a couple of years ago, though it held the title not because we loved the traditional pre-Lent Polish take on doughnuts specifically, so much as because we loved the sweet old ladies, the Warsaw-1954 atmosphere, the way that going into a Polish bakery was stepping out of Chicago entirely for a moment. So what we're saying is, don't necessarily think of Paczki Day as a competitive sport which requires finding the very best; think of it as an excuse to check out your nearest Polish bakery and appreciate the alternate Chicago universe that it represents. That said, of course there are some standout ones, and several local sites have their favorite-paczki roundups today. Chuck Sudo named his at Chicagoist last year (but bumps the post today), starting with his local Bridgeport Bakery (and reminding us that we named Delightful Pastries our favorite paczki once, so it must be true); The Huffington Post has a slideshow of top spots including (again) Delightful Pastries and Oak Mill Bakery, among others; CBS Chicago's list has a lot of suburban spots not otherwise covered; and check out listings at WBEZ and Metromix.
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