As Mardi Gras approaches, Columbus foodies and cultural enthusiasts alike gear up for a delicious tradition that’s as rich in flavor as it is in history: the hunt for the best paczki in town.
But what exactly is this delectable treat that has everyone from doughnut aficionados to casual sweet tooths lining up? Let’s dive into the sugary world of paczki (pronounced “POONCH-key”, “punch-key” and even “pooch-key”, it’s up for debate) and discover why this Polish pastry has become a pre-Lenten must-have, not just in Columbus, but around the globe.
Originating from Poland, paczki are essentially doughnuts’ more delicious, more indulgent cousins.
Imagine a doughnut, but richer, filled with a variety of sweet, sumptuous fillings ranging from jams to custards, and you’ve got a paczki.
Traditionally eaten on Fat Thursday in Poland and Fat Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday) in the United States, these pastries were born out of the need to use up all the lard, sugar, eggs, and fruit in the house—ingredients that were forbidden during the austerity of Lent.
Buckeye Donuts (Campus)
About: Ording in the store will be available starting at noon on the Monday before Mardi Gras, offering a variety of flavors including apple, raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, lemon, custard, and plain. You can pre-order your paczki now.
Location: 1998 N High St, Columbus, OH 43201
Website: Buckeye Donuts
Buckeye Donuts (South End)
About: Down on the south end of Columbus, this location of Buckeye Donuts will also be serving up a variety of flavored paczki. They’re open 24-hours, so if you work a weird shift or you always seem to be running out of time, this is the place for you.
Location: 1363 S High St, Columbus, OH 43207
Website: Buckeye Donuts
About: Known for their gourmet vegan options, the shop will be serving up paczki this year. Although they are closed on Monday and Tuesday, they typically offer the Polish treat leading up to and a little while after Mardi Gras. Past flavors include lemon, vanilla creme, strawberry, rose, and more.
Location: 3519 N. High St, Columbus, OH 43214
Website: Destination Donuts
Original Goodie Shop
About: You can always pre-order these treats at The Original Goodie Shop, but they’re only available for walk-up patrons on Mardi Gras. The paczki come in a variety of flavors including Bavarian cream, blueberry, apricot, and so many more.
Location: 2116 Tremont Ctr, Upper Arlington, OH 43221
Website: The Original Goodie Shop
About: Resch’s Bakery is the go-to for many Columbusites seeking out paczki, so if you plan on ordering them for Mardi Gras, you might want to call in advance or stop by in person to place an order early. These over-filled pastries will be offered in flavors like lemon, blueberry, and strawberry.
Location: 4061 E Livingston Ave, Columbus, OH 43227
Website: Resch’s Bakery