Easy to eat and difficult to pronounce, we are in the thick of pączki season in Pittsburgh!
With our beautiful Polish heritage, Pittsburgh bakeries are flooded every February and March with this famous pre-Lenten dessert. Pączki are a Polish donut, typically enjoyed on Fat Thursday (Tłusty Czwartek) as a way to indulge before the beginning of lent.
Traditionally, making the donuts uses up gluttonous ingredients (like lard and sugar) that are avoided during Lenten fasting.
It’s relatively easy to find pączki in the city, as long as you know where to look! Below we’ve outline a few of our favorite spots for pączki in Pittsburgh.
Oh, and for the record, after watching several pronunciations videos, I believe a phonetic spelling pączki looks like this: pown-chkey.
That is, of course, if you’re talking about two to four donuts. A singular donut is pown-check. And if you want more than five… well it gets a little more complicated. But as long as you get pown-chkey down pat, you should have no trouble ordering!
Where is your favorite spot for pączki in Pittsburgh? Any tips on a phonetic spelling? Leave it all in the comments below!
The Best Spots for Pączki in Pittsburgh:
Party Cake Shop
The Party Cake Shop has an entire “Paczki” section on their website, so you know they mean business. The Paczki at found at Party Cake are some of the most popular in Pittsburgh, with customers anticipating them all year long. But hurry – they are only available for a limited time! The Paczki available include plain, vanilla custard, lemon, apricot, buttercream, chocolate buttercream, raspberry jelly, or prune. Each is finished with a sprinkle of granulated sugar.
Party Cake Shop (706 Brookline Blvd)
Head to either Potomac location (Dormont or Mt. Lebanon) to get your Paczki fix! Each treat is priced at $1.50, and is available in lemon, chocolate, or strawberry flavors. Also to celebrate Mardi Gras, Potomac is offering King Cake and yellow/green/purple sugar cookies, thumbprints, and iced cookies.
Potomac Bakery (Dormont and Mt. Lebanon)
For many Pittsburghers, the year at Oakmont Bakery revolves around Paczki season! Starting on January 6th and running through Easter, the glass cases at Oakmont are filled with hundreds (and hundreds!) of these Polish donuts. This year, Paczki are the perfect excuse to check out Oakmont’s brand-new headquarters, located on the aptly name “Sweet Street” in Oakmont. Stop by to sample a few donuts from Oakmont’s plethora of flavors, including: coconut, maple bacon, apple, blueberry, cherry, cookies n’ cream, custard, lemon, Oakmont cream, peach, Pittsburgh cream, plain, raspberry, prune, and the bakery’s newest flavor – peanut butter!
Oakmont Bakery (1 Sweet St)
Another popular spot for these seasonal treats is Bethel Bakery, which has locations in Bethel Park and North Strabane. The bakery offers Paczki filled with Raspberry, Bavarian Cream, Lemon or Buttercream fillings. It is possible to order online, or stop in the bakery before the start of Lent to get our hands on (more than) a few!
Bethel Bakery (Bethel Park and North Strabane)
A quick and easy place to get your hands on some Paczki is Giant Eagle! In the weeks leading up to Lent, Giant Eagle wants their customers to “to eat, drink and be your merriest,” especially by indulging in seasonal treats like Paczki and King Cake. Both are available at Giant Eagle locations through the beginning of Lent. And if you really can’t wait for your Paczki, shop online for curbside pickup, where the treats are on sale (through March 6) for $0.83/each.
Giant Eagle (Multiple Locations)
S&D Polish Deli
It makes sense that the popular Pittsburgh Polish deli, S&D, would be a great place to snag some Paczki before Lent. Flavors include: Rosehip, Lekvar (Plum Butter), Vanilla Buttercream, and Chocolate Buttercream.
To order: Call: 412-281-2906 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org at least 3 days prior to pickup date.
All other donuts are first come, first served, so be sure to get to the shop early if you’re taking your chances!
S&D Polish Deli (2204 Penn Ave)
Customers can order Paczki from Prantl’s online and over the phone. Flavor options include: Peanut Butter Buttercream Fill, Chocolate Iced, Glazed Raspberry Fill (pictured above), Glazed with Signature White Buttercream Fill, and Chocolate Iced with Chocolate Pudding Fill.
Prantl’s Bakery (Locations in Shadyside, Market Square, Greensburg)
At Kretchmar’s Bakery in beaver, Paczki and King “Coffee” Cakes are available until Fat Tuesday. This local bakery has been a staple for families in the area for decades, and Paczki season is the perfect reason to try their pastries, cakes, warm beverages, and more! Another specialty item to check out while at the store is Kretchmar’s “Thin Mint Icebox” cookie.
Kretchmar’s Bakery (664 3rd St, Beaver)