While many people around the US love to celebrate Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, we celebrate Paczki Day here in Cleveland!
Now if you’re new here, or you’ve never heard of the word “paczki” before, allow me to elaborate. Paczki (pronounced like “pawnch-key” or “poonch-key” here in Cleveland) sort of resemble jelly filled donuts… but don’t call them donuts! These tasty treats are made with a special sweet yeast dough and are a unique pastry in their own right.
History of paczki in Cleveland
Paczki come to us from the country of Poland. Way back when, Polish Catholics needed to get rid of certain foods before the 40 days of Lent began. To use up all those rich, indulgent ingredients like eggs, butter, sugar, yeast, etc., they decided to throw them all into one delicious treat: paczki.
Paczki are traditionally made with flour, eggs, milk, sugar, yeast, vodka, and oil or lard, and then filled with cream, custard, or jam and sprinkled with sugar or a glaze. The result: the densest, most delicious filled pastry you’ve ever had.
Now I know what you’re thinking. Why the heck do Clevelanders (and many others in the Midwest), celebrate Paczki Day when most people are celebrating Mardi Gras?
The answer: the Midwest has a huge Polish population! The Paczki Day tradition was brought to Cleveland by immigrants from Eastern Europe, and the tradition has only grown over the years.
So while you can of course celebrate Mardi Gras in Cleveland, you should definitely also plan to celebrate Paczki Day. Which brings us to the top places to get paczki in Cleveland!
*Note: While a select few bakeries might offer paczki year-round, or for a couple weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday, the tradition is often a one-day one for most places! So if you’ve got your heart set on paczki on Paczki Day, definitely order ahead or prepare to stand in line for them.
Where to find Paczki in Cleveland For Fat Tuesday
1. Rudy’s Strudel & Bakery
5580 Ridge Rd, Parma
Known For: Both sweet and savory paczki
Rudy’s Strudel & Bakery knows paczki. And after 75 years in business, it isn’t a surprise!
This place serves up all kinds of different paczki every year, from apricot and blueberry to pina colada and chocolate custard. Rudy’s is always cranking out amazing paczki – and they usually have them in their bakery case for a couple weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday!
If you’re not into sweet treats, they offer savory paczki too! Their most popular is the Parma-Cristo with ham, turkey, swiss, and a light raspberry filling. They also have the Polish Village paczki with potato, cheese, kraut, and kielbasa, among many others.
Needless to say, this place offers paczki for everyone’s tastes.
Other than paczki, enjoy other Polish foods here, too, like their pierogi, potato pancakes, and kielbasa sausages.
2. Krakow Deli
5842 Ridge Rd, Parma
Known For: European foods
Good to Know: They make their paczki using an old Polish recipe.
This Polish deli sells European foods all year long, so it makes sense that they keep with that tradition for Paczki Day.
And while I’ve mentioned traditional flavors like chocolate mousse above, that’s because in Northeast Ohio, that is traditional to put into paczki. At Krakow Deli, they definitely do more popular flavors like those, but they still sell paczki made the old Polish way with flavors like prune and rosehip.
3. Kiedrowski’s Bakery
2267 Cooper Foster Park Rd, Amherst
Known For: Grandmother-approved paczki flavors
Good to Know: They sell paczki on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays throughout Lent.
While you definitely need to try America’s best paczki here, if you happen to miss out on Paczki Day, then don’t worry, they sell paczki throughout Lent!
Enjoy their flavors like sugar paczki, apricot, lekvar, rose, poppyseed, and edelweiss. These paczki will satisfy any Polish grandmother.
And if you want to party it up before Lent, then definitely book tickets for the Paczki Ball they throw on the 2nd Sunday before Fat Tuesday.
4. Colozza’s Bakery
5880 Ridge Rd, Parma
Known For: Both popular and unique flavors
Good to Know: Keep up with what is on offer at the bakery via their Facebook page!
Colozza’s Bakery is well-known for its cakes, particularly wedding cakes. But when the weather gets chilly and Paczki Day is around the corner, they also make several flavors of the delicious confection.
They have the more popular paczki flavors like lemon, raspberry, and custard, but also expect to find some unique flavors like peanut butter fudge, pistachio, and cannoli.
5. Goldie’s Donuts & Bakery
5211 Mayfield Road, Lyndhurst
Known For: Both great paczki and donuts
Good to Know: You can order online ahead of time, and they have a drive-thru!
Goldie’s sticks to the classics when it comes to paczki, but they sure do know what they’re doing. As one of the best donut shops in Cleveland, they make apricot, blackberry, and raspberry paczki that are absolutely doused in powdered sugar.
Aside from paczki, they have more traditional donuts too like Boston cream, chocolate sprinkle, and cruller. They also have a Donut of the Month each month with 10% of the proceeds from those sales going to charity.
6. Michael Angelo’s Bakery
8035 Broadview Road, Broadview Heights
Known For: A large selection of paczki
Good to Know: You can build your own paczki box and have it shipped to you anywhere in the continental US.
Flavors like Bavarian maple, strawberry mousse, and marshmallow are all available at Michael Angelo’s Bakery. If you prefer popular paczki flavors, then opt for apricot, raspberry, or custard.
And if the name Michael Angelo’s sounds familiar from our Cleveland wineries guide, you’re not wrong. Michael Angelo’s has both a bakery, where you can get these fabulous paczki in Cleveland, as well as a winery.
7. Davis Bakery & Delicatessen
28700 Chagrin Blvd, Woodmere
Known for: Great deli sandwiches and baked goods
Good to Know: You can place your paczki order at (216) 292-3060.
Davis Bakery & Delicatessen definitely has quite the bakery and sandwich menu! But, when Paczki Day rolls around, they create and sell several of these delicious fried desserts.
They are pretty popular paczki and are typically filled with cream or raspberry, apricot, or lemon jelly.
8. Samosky’s Home Bakery
6379 Pearl Rd, Cleveland
Known for: Traditional homemade pastries
Good to Know: You can order your paczki now by calling (440) 845-3377.
Samosky’s Home Bakery makes its pastries fresh daily, and Paczki Day is no exception.
They only sell paczki on Fat Tuesday to keep up with demand, and it’s the only day of the year they offer it! They even start taking orders a month in advance.
Enjoy all their flavors like lemon, chocolate mousse, vanilla cream, poppyseed, and marshmallow. For those who want to keep it simple, then opt for plain paczki rolled in cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar.
9. Becker’s Donuts & Bakery
22088 Lorain Rd, Fairview Park
Known for: Their many kinds of donuts including both filled, cake, and yeast
Good to Know: Grab a special blended coffee while you’re there.
This donut place is already fantastic with its filled donuts, so it is a no-brainer that they would also make paczki on Fat Tuesday in Cleveland.
With flavors like pineapple, poppyseed, chocolate or vanilla cream, apple, apricot, and more, you may want to pick up a dozen.
10. Jack Frost Donuts
4960 Pearl Rd, Cleveland
Known for: A daily donut menu that is massive
Good to Know: Preorders for Fat Tuesday are highly recommended. You can call (216) 351-3638 to order.
Jack Frost has a seriously massive donut menu. They also update and rotate their menu daily!
So when it comes to their paczki, you know they have a gigantic list of creations here too. We’re talking about unique paczki like strawberry cheesecake, s’mores, buckeye, and banana split as well as more popular flavors like lemon, raspberry, and cream.
11. Gentile’s Bakery
5626 Broadview Rd, Parma
Known For: Cakes for all occasions and tasty paczki
Good to Know: They do not offer an option to order ahead of time.
Get in line early to get paczki on Fat Tuesday at Gentile’s Bakery! They make paczki for the big day.
If you’re hungry for something else while you’re there, be sure to check out their extensive deli and pizza menu, too.
12. Fragapane Bakeries
28625 Lorain Rd, North Olmsted
Known For: A huge selection of sandwiches, bread, donuts, and pastries
Good to Know: Order your paczki ahead of time at (440) 779-6050.
This Italian bakery may not be the first place you think of when ordering this Polish treat, but they certainly participate in Paczki Day too!
They keep it classic and serve paczki just on Fat Tuesday. Expect flavors like vanilla or chocolate custard, apple, lemon, blueberry, and raspberry.
13. Stan’s Northfield Bakery
9395 Olde 8 Rd, Northfield
Known For: Traditional paczki and pierogies
Good to Know: Order online for Paczki Day now! (But also note that Stan’s serves up a more limited paczki menu all year round!)
With the option to order online, you’re given several choices like one of the many pre-mixed packs or even the option to purchase 6-packs of flavors like chocolate or coconut custard, vanilla or chocolate buttercream, raspberry jelly, or even poppyseed.
If you’re peckish for more than paczki, then opt for some of their tasty pierogies too!
6501 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland
Known For: An ever-rotating and unique selection of donuts. They also serve beer!
Good to Know: Follow their Instagram for tempting treats and their updated menus.
This place is always hopping, so you better believe you’ll want to get in line early on Fat Tuesday!
For Fat Tuesday, Brewnuts usually rings in the special day with both paczki and king cake donuts. So head over there and indulge in paczki flavors like chocolate oreo cream, custard, raspberry, lemon, and apricot, or get a nice king cake donut.
And if you are here for a party, then be sure to pick up one of their hurricanes, served in a half yard party cup.
15. Baigio’s Donut Shop & Pizzeria
35523 Vine St, Eastlake
Known For: Donuts and pizza
Good to Know: This is their busiest day of the year, so don’t forget to pre-order.
While Biagio’s is known as being a donut and pizza shop most of the year, come Fat Tuesday, they are full on serving up paczki.
The delicious fluffy paczki dough is well worth the crazy lines on Fat Tuesday, as this is their busiest day of the year!
16. Bigmouth Donut
1418 W 29th St, Cleveland & 19265 Detroit Rd, Rocky River
Known For: Classic donuts as well as gluten free and vegan options
Good to Know: You can order their goods online!
People avoiding gluten, rejoice! They have gluten free paczki at Bigmouth Donut!
So you can order up these tasty Polish delights and enjoy them on Fat Tuesday too. They make both regular and gluten-free paczki in their traditional flavors.
17. K&K Portage Market
3364 Warren Road, Cleveland
Known For: Being a market that specializes in several meat products and has a deli and bakery
Good to Know: Grab all your Lenten groceries plus paczki.
This meat market sells quite a lot of products, including specialty grocery items, deli goods, and, of course, baked goods.
So when it comes to Paczki Day, you know they have them available! Order up a traditional paczki or hot cross bun, and then pick up your lenten groceries like fresh fish for Fridays.
18. Donut Land
1321 Pearl Rd, Brunswick
Known For: Traditional donuts and coffee
Good to Know: They are open 24/7! You can also order them on DoorDash if you live nearby.
I think it’s safe to say that several donut shops around Cleveland sell paczki on Fat Tuesday. I mean, with such a large Polish population and the popularity of this once-a-year treat, how could they not?
Donut Land is no exception, as they sell traditional flavors on top of buckeye, various jelly and cream cheese flavors, and Boston Cream paczki.
19. Buettner’s Bakery
704 E 185th St, Cleveland
Known For: Their pizza bagels plus their paczki and king cakes on Fat Tuesday
Good to Know: Be sure to call (216) 531-0650 to preorder your paczki.
With amazingly fluffy donuts year-round, you know this place brings it on Fat Tuesday. Expect light and fluffy paczki here.
And if you are searching for other tasty snacks for Mardi Gras, then be sure to pick up a king cake or a few of their famous pizza bagels.
20. Dick’s Bakery
70 Front St, Berea
Known For: Kuchen, cinnamon rolls, and chocolate chip cookies
Good to Know: This is their busiest day of the year – so order ahead of time at (440) 234-1192.
Dick’s Bakery is well known for its incredible cinnamon rolls, kuchen, and chocolate chip cookies, but on Fat Tuesday every year, they’re cranking out dozens upon dozens of paczki.
This is their busiest day of the year, so calling in your order in advance is highly recommended!
21. Breads and Beyond Bakery
5578 State Road, Parma
Known For: Breads, obviously
Good to Know: They have a variety of paczki and king cake for Fat Tuesday.
While they definitely make a ton of bread and things like cookies, pies, breakfast pastries, etc., this bakery also does it big for Paczki Day.
With 12 different flavors of paczki ranging from prune to cherry, you’ll definitely be able to fulfill your paczki cravings here.
They also make king cake, so be sure to pick that up to celebrate Fat Tuesday.
22. The Mad Batter Bakeshop
17800 Chillicothe Rd, Chagrin Falls
Known For: Delicious donuts and baked goods
Good to Know: Follow their Facebook page for updates.
This bakery is well known for its delicious donuts and other baked goods, but on Paczki Day they’re slinging out the delicious Polish treats.
From apple to apricot and prune to peanut butter, they’ve got all your paczki needs covered for the big day.
As you can clearly see, there are ample places to get your fix of paczki in Cleveland on Fat Tuesday. From bakeries to donut shops, everywhere you go seems to enjoy these tasty fried pillows of Polish dough.
Which flavor of paczki would you most like to try?
Kat is a Cleveland transplant and has lived here for over 5 years. She loves to eat, drink, and explore all across the city, and has made it her personal mission to find the best breweries and pizza in Northeast Ohio. She also runs a couples travel blog and podcast called World Wide Honeymoon.