Fat Tuesday is next week (February 16), and the holiday means it's time to get in line for an annual tradition: Paczki. These Polish doughnuts — traditionally fried with vodka and packing 400 or so calories — sweeten anyone's day, any time of the year. Chicagoans know that even during pre-pandemic times, securing an adequate amount of paczki (pronounced "poonch-key") on its special day requires stratagems.
Even more planning is required for Paczki Day this year, as bakers work to keep the usual in-store bustle to a minimum due to COVID-19. Be on the look out for online order forms and deadlines. Wake up early or carve out enough time during lunch hours to drop by a bakery near work to score a bag. Some bakeries even deliver paczki, and a few serve the sweet treats all year long. Check out the list below to find the best spots for these sweet treats for the food holiday, or anytime.
As of January 23, Chicago restaurants are permitted to serve customers indoors with a 25 percent maximum capacity per room, or 25 people — whichever is fewer. At the same time, despite winter weather, a number of Chicago restaurants continue to offer outdoor seating. Regardless, the state requires reservations for indoor and outdoor dining. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as an endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns. For updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.Read More