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A plate of pierogi.
The Pierogi Kitchen in Bucktown produces some lovely Polish fare.
Sandy Noto

Where to Find Terrific Polish Food in Chicago

Enjoy zurek, pierogis, sausages, and more

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The Pierogi Kitchen in Bucktown produces some lovely Polish fare.
| Sandy Noto

Thanks to Chicago’s huge Polish immigrant population, there is no shortage of places to get a stacked plate of potato pancakes, Polish sausage, and pierogi throughout the city. Poles have been immigrating to Chicago since the 1800s and that’s reflected in the broad range of delis, buffets, modern second generation restaurants and old school time capsule spots throughout the city. These 15 spots provide a range of options whether you’re looking for a traditional home-cooked meal or pierogi with a brisket filling.

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U Gazdy

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Head to Wood Dale and this warm home-style restaurant to experience the culture of the Polish Highlands. Start with complimentary rye bread and smalec — a lard spread — before diving into comforting plates from the country’s southernmost region. Standouts include sizzling lamb chops, 24-hour beer-marinated pork shank, crispy duck baked with apples, and pork tenderloin escalopes covered in smoked cheese and mushroom sauce. Online orders can be placed here.

A platter of crispy pork shank.
Diners take a culinary trip to Poland’s southernmost region at U Gazdy.
U Gazdy [Official Photo]

Tata's Pierogi

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This family-run Elk Grove Village spot specializes in pierogi and is one of the few places to offer a gluten-free option. Tata’s Pierogi also has a few rarer potato dumpling varieties such as pyzy (a stuffed dumpling often filled with meat similar to knish), kopytka (a flour and mashed potato dumpling), and Silesian dumplings (a potato starch and mashed potato dumpling that’s pleasantly chewy). Tata’s Pierogi also has a built-out takeaway section of reasonably priced pierogi. 

Tradycja Polish Fusion Cuisine

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Providing a modern take on classic Polish cuisine, this stylish Orland Park restaurant thinks outside the box to create exciting flavors. Owner and chef Damian Piekarczyk comes up with dishes like duck confit with gingerbread dumplings and roasted hummus; scallops with mascarpone risotto and fried corn; and creamy potato soup with sheep’s cheese, shiitake mushrooms, chives, and truffle oil.

A variety of Polish dishes and drinks spread out on a table.
Polish food goes in a new direction at Tradycja.
Tradycja [Official Photo]

Szartoka Restaurant

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Off of the 55, past an industrial corridor, Szartoka is a traditional Polish restaurant. Plan to arrive hungry because portion sizes are extremely generous. Dishes are cooked traditionally and the Highlander soup has a refreshing sourness to it. If you come with a group, get a plate of potato pancakes to share.

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Jolly Inn Restaurant & Banquet

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Jolly Inn has been around for over 30 years. This all-you-can-eat buffet has many classic Polish dishes so you can get a taste of bigos (hunter's stew), pierogi, gałumpli (stuffed rolled cabbage), and multiple variations of grated beets. Make sure not to skip the soups that are included in the $19.99 buffet fee ($25.99 on weekends), the pickle and mushroom options are exceptionally delicious.

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Racine Bakery

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Racine Bakery provides cakes and sweets to a lot of delis and Polish shops throughout the city. Their home base has paczki year round, not just for Fat Tuesday, but call ahead before making a special trip since they occasionally sell out.

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Smakosz Restaurant

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Smakosz, is a family-run spot, with a distinctive exterior. Look for the red wooden shingles with their yellow sign. The restaurant has a range of Polish classics available to try via their assortment plate. They also have a few specialty dishes such as Lublin pork (a regional dish of a pork chop with a potato pancake with mushroom sauce), pork knuckle, and chicken de volaille (a breaded, stuffed, rolled, and fried chicken dish similar to Chicken Kiev).  

Montrose Deli

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Montrose Deli is the place to go if you want to stock up on eight varieties of smoked sausage. This deli and grocery store has all of the Polish essentials. Be sure to stop by the pickle aisle to marvel at the variety and the bakery section for some sweet treats.

Karolinka Club

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Locals turn to this watering hole for a few cold ones after work, but it also functions as a great spot for Polish food. Beyond devouring pierogis at the bar, the menu features potato pancakes, goulash, and some traditional bar snacks like chicken tenders and fried shrimp. There’s also a Karolinka Club radio station, so expect this to be the place for polka.

Staropolska Restaurant

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Often one of the first places that get’s mentioned in a list of Polish restaurant recommendations. Staropolska has been around since 1984 and provides a good selection of all the most popular Polish dishes. If dining in, plan ahead and make a reservation for the best experience. Or order here for delivery.

Kasia’s Deli

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While pierogi might be a staple of Polish cuisine, not everyone has the time or energy to whip up a fresh batch. Thankfully Kasia’s Deli has been making it easy to stock up on pierogi and other favorites since 1982. Whether it’s right in the restaurant, at home, or even at the Taste of Chicago, customers can look forward to dependable Polish fare. Online ordering is available here.

Pierogi Kitchen

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Formerly Firewood BBQ, Pierogi Kitchen owners Artur Wnorowski and Gosia Pieniazek reconcepted this Wicker Park spot from barbecue to Polish food at the start of 2024. The menu provides a mix of traditional dishes like hunter’s stew and żurek with more modern twists like brisket pierogi.

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Podhalanka

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Podhalanka is a time capsule restaurant where you can enjoy pierogi, stuffed cabbage, and mushroom soup next to a poster of Princess Diana from the 90s. Most dishes get delivered with friendly but no-nonsense advice and dish suggestions. Bring cash, as this is one of the few places in the city still firmly cash-only.

Kimski has recently shifted away from fusion Korean and Polish cuisine. Chef Won Kim took a sabbatical in 2023 and reprioritized more traditional Korean dishes but thankfully kept the Kimski potato and cheese pierogi on the menu. This Bridgeport spot attached to Maria’s Packaged Goods continues to make some of the best pierogi in town.

Polombia

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A Colombian and Polish spot that has location-hopped a bit over the last few years. They’re currently at Washington Hall, the food hall formerly known as Urbanspace Chicago, located in the Loop near City Hall, on Washington. Partners Phillipe Sobon and Cynthia Orobio, who previously operated out of Politan Row food hall, offer dishes that combine ingredients from both their respective heritages. That means creations like “emparogis” filled with potato and short rib; kielbasa topped with muenster, pickles, and pineapple glaze; and zapiekanka, a Polish-style pizza featuring a toasted baguette loaded with muenster, sofrito, garlic aioli, pineapple glaze, and choice of protein. Online ordering is available here.

Multiple Polish-Colombian dishes spread out on a counter.
This Time Out Market Chicago vendor blends Polish and Columbian flavors.
Polombia [Official Photo]

U Gazdy

Head to Wood Dale and this warm home-style restaurant to experience the culture of the Polish Highlands. Start with complimentary rye bread and smalec — a lard spread — before diving into comforting plates from the country’s southernmost region. Standouts include sizzling lamb chops, 24-hour beer-marinated pork shank, crispy duck baked with apples, and pork tenderloin escalopes covered in smoked cheese and mushroom sauce. Online orders can be placed here.

A platter of crispy pork shank.
Diners take a culinary trip to Poland’s southernmost region at U Gazdy.
U Gazdy [Official Photo]

Tata's Pierogi

This family-run Elk Grove Village spot specializes in pierogi and is one of the few places to offer a gluten-free option. Tata’s Pierogi also has a few rarer potato dumpling varieties such as pyzy (a stuffed dumpling often filled with meat similar to knish), kopytka (a flour and mashed potato dumpling), and Silesian dumplings (a potato starch and mashed potato dumpling that’s pleasantly chewy). Tata’s Pierogi also has a built-out takeaway section of reasonably priced pierogi. 

Tradycja Polish Fusion Cuisine

Providing a modern take on classic Polish cuisine, this stylish Orland Park restaurant thinks outside the box to create exciting flavors. Owner and chef Damian Piekarczyk comes up with dishes like duck confit with gingerbread dumplings and roasted hummus; scallops with mascarpone risotto and fried corn; and creamy potato soup with sheep’s cheese, shiitake mushrooms, chives, and truffle oil.

A variety of Polish dishes and drinks spread out on a table.
Polish food goes in a new direction at Tradycja.
Tradycja [Official Photo]

Szartoka Restaurant

Off of the 55, past an industrial corridor, Szartoka is a traditional Polish restaurant. Plan to arrive hungry because portion sizes are extremely generous. Dishes are cooked traditionally and the Highlander soup has a refreshing sourness to it. If you come with a group, get a plate of potato pancakes to share.

Sandy Noto

Jolly Inn Restaurant & Banquet

Jolly Inn has been around for over 30 years. This all-you-can-eat buffet has many classic Polish dishes so you can get a taste of bigos (hunter's stew), pierogi, gałumpli (stuffed rolled cabbage), and multiple variations of grated beets. Make sure not to skip the soups that are included in the $19.99 buffet fee ($25.99 on weekends), the pickle and mushroom options are exceptionally delicious.

Sandy Noto

Racine Bakery

Racine Bakery provides cakes and sweets to a lot of delis and Polish shops throughout the city. Their home base has paczki year round, not just for Fat Tuesday, but call ahead before making a special trip since they occasionally sell out.

Sandy Noto

Smakosz Restaurant

Smakosz, is a family-run spot, with a distinctive exterior. Look for the red wooden shingles with their yellow sign. The restaurant has a range of Polish classics available to try via their assortment plate. They also have a few specialty dishes such as Lublin pork (a regional dish of a pork chop with a potato pancake with mushroom sauce), pork knuckle, and chicken de volaille (a breaded, stuffed, rolled, and fried chicken dish similar to Chicken Kiev).  

Montrose Deli

Montrose Deli is the place to go if you want to stock up on eight varieties of smoked sausage. This deli and grocery store has all of the Polish essentials. Be sure to stop by the pickle aisle to marvel at the variety and the bakery section for some sweet treats.

Karolinka Club

Locals turn to this watering hole for a few cold ones after work, but it also functions as a great spot for Polish food. Beyond devouring pierogis at the bar, the menu features potato pancakes, goulash, and some traditional bar snacks like chicken tenders and fried shrimp. There’s also a Karolinka Club radio station, so expect this to be the place for polka.

Staropolska Restaurant

Often one of the first places that get’s mentioned in a list of Polish restaurant recommendations. Staropolska has been around since 1984 and provides a good selection of all the most popular Polish dishes. If dining in, plan ahead and make a reservation for the best experience. Or order here for delivery.

Kasia’s Deli

While pierogi might be a staple of Polish cuisine, not everyone has the time or energy to whip up a fresh batch. Thankfully Kasia’s Deli has been making it easy to stock up on pierogi and other favorites since 1982. Whether it’s right in the restaurant, at home, or even at the Taste of Chicago, customers can look forward to dependable Polish fare. Online ordering is available here.

Pierogi Kitchen

Formerly Firewood BBQ, Pierogi Kitchen owners Artur Wnorowski and Gosia Pieniazek reconcepted this Wicker Park spot from barbecue to Polish food at the start of 2024. The menu provides a mix of traditional dishes like hunter’s stew and żurek with more modern twists like brisket pierogi.

Sandy Noto

Podhalanka

Podhalanka is a time capsule restaurant where you can enjoy pierogi, stuffed cabbage, and mushroom soup next to a poster of Princess Diana from the 90s. Most dishes get delivered with friendly but no-nonsense advice and dish suggestions. Bring cash, as this is one of the few places in the city still firmly cash-only.

Kimski

Kimski has recently shifted away from fusion Korean and Polish cuisine. Chef Won Kim took a sabbatical in 2023 and reprioritized more traditional Korean dishes but thankfully kept the Kimski potato and cheese pierogi on the menu. This Bridgeport spot attached to Maria’s Packaged Goods continues to make some of the best pierogi in town.

Polombia

A Colombian and Polish spot that has location-hopped a bit over the last few years. They’re currently at Washington Hall, the food hall formerly known as Urbanspace Chicago, located in the Loop near City Hall, on Washington. Partners Phillipe Sobon and Cynthia Orobio, who previously operated out of Politan Row food hall, offer dishes that combine ingredients from both their respective heritages. That means creations like “emparogis” filled with potato and short rib; kielbasa topped with muenster, pickles, and pineapple glaze; and zapiekanka, a Polish-style pizza featuring a toasted baguette loaded with muenster, sofrito, garlic aioli, pineapple glaze, and choice of protein. Online ordering is available here.

Multiple Polish-Colombian dishes spread out on a counter.
This Time Out Market Chicago vendor blends Polish and Columbian flavors.
Polombia [Official Photo]

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