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A sizzling platter of lamb chops.
U Gazdy explores the cuisine of Poland’s Highlands region.
U Gazdy

Where to Find Terrific Polish Food in Chicago

Enjoy zurek, pierogis, sausages, and more

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U Gazdy explores the cuisine of Poland’s Highlands region.
| U Gazdy

Chicago’s Polish population is among the largest outside of Poland, so it’s not surprising that the city has some of the best Polish food in the world. From places that span decades to newcomers that are putting modern spins on classic recipes, there are plenty of good options. Here are the top picks for hearty Polish meals full of soups, dumplings, potato pancakes, and paczki.

As of June 11, Chicago restaurants have fully reopened and the city has lifted restrictions on capacity, masking, and social distancing. For updated information on coronavirus cases, 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 safety guidelines. The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is available here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Qulinarnia

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1730 W Golf Rd
Mt Prospect, IL 60056
(847) 981-0480
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Billing itself as a modern Polish restaurant, Qulinarnia puts new twists on classic recipes. Owner Agnes Janowska offers dishes like pork tenderloin in a wild mushroom sauce; pan-roasted cod on a potato pancake with shiitake sauce; and lobster and spinach pierogi roasted with garlic butter and tossed with cherry tomatoes. Of course, traditional items such as smoked sheep’s cheese and beef tenderloin tartare are also available. Online ordering is available here.

2. Bacowka

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1120 S Roselle Rd
Schaumburg, IL 60193
(630) 283-0023
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A lodge-themed dining room is the setting for Old World meals in Schaumburg. Bacowka treats diners to plates such as breaded pork chops, beef liver, smoked cheese, sauerkraut soup, and more.

3. SMAK-TAK! Polish Restaurant

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5961 N Elston Ave
Chicago, IL 60646
(773) 763-1123
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SMAK-TAK!’s cozy atmosphere is what makes the Jefferson Park spot special. There’s stuffed cabbage rolls and hunter’s stew, plus sweet cheese blintzes to finish off a traditional meal. Online ordering is available here.

4. Andy's Deli

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5442 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60630
(773) 631-7304
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The finest Polish deli in the city is stocked with an assortment of meats and inexpensive delights. Customers can pick up breads, soups, pastries, cold cuts, and other prepared foods. The must-get items, though, are the house-made smoked sausages that line the wall behind the counter.

5. Smakosz Restaurant

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5619 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60630
(773) 205-1771
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Smakosz, with red wooden shingles, has a humble look from the outside. But don’t be deterred from heading inside and grabbing a seat in a booth. The full bar pours cold ones to help diners eat plate after plate of dumplings.

6. U Gazdy

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270 W Irving Park Rd
Wood Dale, IL 60191
(630) 694-5840
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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]

7. Staropolska Restaurant

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3030 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 342-0779
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From a Vienna schnitzel to zucchini pancakes, Staropolska has plenty of Polish options, plus some non-Polish choices like chicken fingers and Caesar salad. There’s also a selection of soups and sweets, such as kolacky, to end the meal with. Order here for delivery.

8. Kolatek's Bakery & Deli

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2445 N Harlem Ave
Chicago, IL 60707
(773) 637-3772
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This Montclare shop specializes in all things bakery related and becomes a popular destination around Paczki Day, but the kitchen also serves up a variety of sausages and other Polish specialties that aren’t just baked goods. There’s hunter’s stew and red borscht, plus European groceries.

9. Podhalanka

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1549 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60642
(773) 486-6655

Podhalanka is an old-school restaurant that whips up traditional Polish recipes. In addition to the long list of soups, pierogis, salads, and favorites like stuffed cabbage, this is also the place to find some of the rarer dishes.

10. Kasia’s Deli

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2101 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 486-7500
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Veal meatballs, pierogis, and borscht are staples on the menu here. Kasia’s Deli also has a wholesale line that brings blintzes and dumplings in various flavors to tables all across the country. 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.

11. Polombia

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Time Out Market, 916 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607
(832) 202-4574
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Polish-Colombian food stall Polombia has found a new home inside Time Out Market Chicago. 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 muester, 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]

12. Kimski

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954-960 W 31st St
Chicago, IL 60608
(773) 823-7336
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Untraditional yet wholly unique, Kimski is a Korean-Polish mashup that delivers fascinating bites. Chef Won Kim’s street food lineup includes a Polish sausage on a bun topped with soju mustard, kraut-chi, scallions, and sesame seeds; pierogis filled with potato and cheese; and a sausage plate with Ko-Po-inspired banchan. Folks can enjoy their food on the restaurant’s lovely backyard patio or take it next door to essential beer temple Maria’s, which is run by the Marszewski family who are Polish and Korean.

13. Karolinka Club

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6102 S Central Ave
Chicago, IL 60638
(773) 735-0818
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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.

14. Mabenka

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7844 S Cicero Ave
Burbank, IL 60459
(708) 423-7679
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A hearty taste of Poland and Lithuania attracts folks to this diner in the southwest suburbs. Feast on stuffed cabbage, potato pancakes topped with pork goulash, blintzes, borscht, and more. Parking can be challenging as the lot is often full but the delicious rewards are worth the effort.

A cup of borscht.
Mabenka offers both Polish and Lithuanian specialties.
Mabenka [Official Photo]

15. Tradycja Polish Fusion Cuisine

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14478 South La Grange Road
Orland Park, IL 60462
(708) 949-8109
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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]

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1. Qulinarnia

1730 W Golf Rd, Mt Prospect, IL 60056

Billing itself as a modern Polish restaurant, Qulinarnia puts new twists on classic recipes. Owner Agnes Janowska offers dishes like pork tenderloin in a wild mushroom sauce; pan-roasted cod on a potato pancake with shiitake sauce; and lobster and spinach pierogi roasted with garlic butter and tossed with cherry tomatoes. Of course, traditional items such as smoked sheep’s cheese and beef tenderloin tartare are also available. Online ordering is available here.

1730 W Golf Rd
Mt Prospect, IL 60056

2. Bacowka

1120 S Roselle Rd, Schaumburg, IL 60193

A lodge-themed dining room is the setting for Old World meals in Schaumburg. Bacowka treats diners to plates such as breaded pork chops, beef liver, smoked cheese, sauerkraut soup, and more.

1120 S Roselle Rd
Schaumburg, IL 60193

3. SMAK-TAK! Polish Restaurant

5961 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60646

SMAK-TAK!’s cozy atmosphere is what makes the Jefferson Park spot special. There’s stuffed cabbage rolls and hunter’s stew, plus sweet cheese blintzes to finish off a traditional meal. Online ordering is available here.

5961 N Elston Ave
Chicago, IL 60646

4. Andy's Deli

5442 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60630

The finest Polish deli in the city is stocked with an assortment of meats and inexpensive delights. Customers can pick up breads, soups, pastries, cold cuts, and other prepared foods. The must-get items, though, are the house-made smoked sausages that line the wall behind the counter.

5442 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60630

5. Smakosz Restaurant

5619 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60630

Smakosz, with red wooden shingles, has a humble look from the outside. But don’t be deterred from heading inside and grabbing a seat in a booth. The full bar pours cold ones to help diners eat plate after plate of dumplings.

5619 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60630

6. U Gazdy

270 W Irving Park Rd, Wood Dale, IL 60191
A platter of crispy pork shank.
Diners take a culinary trip to Poland’s southernmost region at U Gazdy.
U Gazdy [Official Photo]

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.

270 W Irving Park Rd
Wood Dale, IL 60191

7. Staropolska Restaurant

3030 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

From a Vienna schnitzel to zucchini pancakes, Staropolska has plenty of Polish options, plus some non-Polish choices like chicken fingers and Caesar salad. There’s also a selection of soups and sweets, such as kolacky, to end the meal with. Order here for delivery.

3030 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

8. Kolatek's Bakery & Deli

2445 N Harlem Ave, Chicago, IL 60707

This Montclare shop specializes in all things bakery related and becomes a popular destination around Paczki Day, but the kitchen also serves up a variety of sausages and other Polish specialties that aren’t just baked goods. There’s hunter’s stew and red borscht, plus European groceries.

2445 N Harlem Ave
Chicago, IL 60707

9. Podhalanka

1549 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60642

Podhalanka is an old-school restaurant that whips up traditional Polish recipes. In addition to the long list of soups, pierogis, salads, and favorites like stuffed cabbage, this is also the place to find some of the rarer dishes.

1549 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60642

10. Kasia’s Deli

2101 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Veal meatballs, pierogis, and borscht are staples on the menu here. Kasia’s Deli also has a wholesale line that brings blintzes and dumplings in various flavors to tables all across the country. 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.

2101 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

11. Polombia

Time Out Market, 916 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607
Multiple Polish-Colombian dishes spread out on a counter.
This Time Out Market Chicago vendor blends Polish and Columbian flavors.
Polombia [Official Photo]

Polish-Colombian food stall Polombia has found a new home inside Time Out Market Chicago. 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 muester, 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.

Time Out Market, 916 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607

12. Kimski

954-960 W 31st St, Chicago, IL 60608

Untraditional yet wholly unique, Kimski is a Korean-Polish mashup that delivers fascinating bites. Chef Won Kim’s street food lineup includes a Polish sausage on a bun topped with soju mustard, kraut-chi, scallions, and sesame seeds; pierogis filled with potato and cheese; and a sausage plate with Ko-Po-inspired banchan. Folks can enjoy their food on the restaurant’s lovely backyard patio or take it next door to essential beer temple Maria’s, which is run by the Marszewski family who are Polish and Korean.

954-960 W 31st St
Chicago, IL 60608

13. Karolinka Club

6102 S Central Ave, Chicago, IL 60638

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.

6102 S Central Ave
Chicago, IL 60638

14. Mabenka

7844 S Cicero Ave, Burbank, IL 60459
A cup of borscht.
Mabenka offers both Polish and Lithuanian specialties.
Mabenka [Official Photo]

A hearty taste of Poland and Lithuania attracts folks to this diner in the southwest suburbs. Feast on stuffed cabbage, potato pancakes topped with pork goulash, blintzes, borscht, and more. Parking can be challenging as the lot is often full but the delicious rewards are worth the effort.

7844 S Cicero Ave
Burbank, IL 60459

15. Tradycja Polish Fusion Cuisine

14478 South La Grange Road, Orland Park, IL 60462
A variety of Polish dishes and drinks spread out on a table.
Polish food goes in a new direction at Tradycja.
Tradycja [Official Photo]

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.

14478 South La Grange Road
Orland Park, IL 60462

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