CLEVELAND — Clevelanders and local bakeries take Fat Tuesday very seriously. The food-centric holiday is a day when locals indulge on every sweet, fatty, decadent dessert they can get their hands on, and in Cleveland, there's no shortage of bakeries offering the highly sought-after, traditional Polish pastry known as paczki (pronounced POONCH-KEY), which are essentially deep-fried pieces of dough with a sweet filling, generously sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Mark your calendar, Fat Tuesday is on Feb. 16. Get in line early at your favorite bakery.
There are dozens of bakeries across Cleveland serving them up.
Rudy's Strudel and Bakery: 5580 Ridge Road in Parma
Serving the Parma community for 65-plus years, Rudy's Strudel brings the Old world European taste to the Polish community. This bakery serves traditional paczki flavors while also pushing the envelope for new, innovative flavors. The bakery so far has cranked out around 70,000 paczki for the day. Every year, the bakery releases a savory pack. This year it’s called the Parma Cristo made up of ham, turkey, Swiss cheese and light raspberry jam, not forgetting the powder sugar of course.
EDWINS Bakery: 13106 Buckeye Road in Cleveland
Based on a centuries-old family recipe from founder Brandon Chrostowski’s grandfather, EDWINS Bakery is offering the paczki for a limited time only. The hand-rolled and hand-shaped paczki are available for $3 each with cherry, prune, raspberry and lemon filling options.
Colozza's Bakery: 5880 Ridge Road in Parma
Despite being known for its Italian baked goods, this local bakery has perfected the packzi, offering 12 flavors to customers.
Kiedrowski's Bakery: 2267 Cooper Foster Park Road in Amherst
Serving up paczki for over 35 years, the bakery making the deep-fried Polish treat seriously, so seriously in fact that they have to park a storage unit behind the store to hold the raw ingredients. Kiedrowski’s Bakery will serve six flavors: sugared paczki, apricot, lekvar (prune), rose, poppyseed, and edelweiss, which is a sweet German recipe made of Bavarian creme and yellow cake.
Jack Frost Donuts: 4960 Pearl Road, Cleveland
Considered a pillar in Cleveland's doughnut scene, Jack Frost Donuts has been making homemade donuts since 1937. Churning out dozens of donuts from scratch on a daily basis, Fat Tuesday will be a busy day for the bakery. The newest flavors include cherry cheesecake, s’mores, strawberry cheesecake, strawberry cream, pineapple cheesecake, pina colada, banana split, and blueberry cheesecake. Don't worry, the doughnut mecca will have its original flavors too like poppyseed, blueberry, raspberry, apricot, prune, lemon, Boston cream, caramel apple cinnamon, buckeye, white cream, chocolate cream, and cream cheese cream.
Goldie's Donuts: 5211 Mayfield Road in Lyndhurst
As a family-owned business with several generations of baking experience and original recipes, Goldie’s is well versed in making the Polish paczki. For Fat Tuesday, customers can expect to indulge in custard, raspberry, apple, and apricot.
Michael Angelo's Bakery—8035 Broadview Road in Broadview Heights
Create your own paczki box or send it to someone else. The local bakery is offering a variety of flavors including apricot, maple, custard, lemon, poppyseed, raspberry, prune and peanut butter.
Stan's Northfield Bakery: 9395 Olde 8 Road in Northfield
Since 1961, this family bakery specializing in Polish and Eastern European pastries will have a variety for those looking to fulfill their paczki cravings. All year round the bakery serves the delicious Polish treats, but the week leading up to and the day of Fat Tuesday, there will be special flavors like apricot, prune, coconut custard, chocolate custard, creme cheese, and blueberry.
The Vegan Doughnut Company: 14811 Detroit Avenue in Lakewood.
What started out as a pop-up location turned into a brick and mortar store that attracts lines as soon as they open. The Vegan Doughnut Company will serve up their version of the vegan paczki. The sister duo is bringing back the popular King Cake Doughnuts. The bakery said it will post the full Fat Tuesday menu on Sunday, Feb. 14.
Lavender Jones Macarons: 412 Bacon Road, Painesville
This gluten-free bakery in Painesville is making sure there are Fat Tuesday-themed options for those who are gluten-free. Pre-orders are welcome.
Don't see your favorite paczki spot? Email Kaylyn.Hlavaty@wews.com to have it added.