Food & Drink

The Ditka Awards: Chicago's 10 best Polish spots

Published On 12/16/2013 Published On 12/16/2013
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1. Kasia's Deli 2101 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Ukrainian Village)

A great stop for Polish food aficionados and first-timers alike: stuffed cabbage, kielbasa, and, of course, their own signature pierogis -- they have 16 kinds, everything from a standard potato & cheese to blueberry or plum. Although Kasia's pierogis can be found in grocery stores nationwide, nothing compares to the freshness and quality one has with these fresh from the deli. In addition to pierogis, Kasia's has a great variety of sandwiches and soups.

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2. Ditka's Restaurant 100 E Chestnut St, Chicago, IL 60611 (Near North Side)

Come to Ditka's Restaurant, and you might just see Da Coach himself. Walk right in, savor the legendary surroundings, and get down to business: it's time for Ditka's signature -- a jumbo Spicy Chili Cheese Polish.

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3. Podhalanka 1549 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60642 (West Town)

The overlooked middle child of a busy West Town stretch of Division St., this cozy, Polish mainstay offers authentic home-cooking and plenty of comfort food. Inside a decades-stewed aroma of cabbage, beef, and potatoes gives you a proper "hello." The defiantly traditional fare: borscht with kielbasa, garlic-and-beef stuffed cabbage, and crispy potato pancakes with liberal dollops of sour cream and applesauce.

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4. Staropolska Restaurant 3030 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60618 (Logan Square)

At this Logan Square establishment you can get all the pierogies you could ever want and anything else Polish.

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5. Pierogi Heaven 329 S Franklin St, Chicago, IL 60606 (Loop)

Pierogi Heaven in the Loop is where to go to get some of the most authentic Polish food in Chicago. Whether you are looking for traditional meat-filled ones or vegetarian-friendly ones filled with potatoes, these pierogies, offered at six an order, are perfectly cooked to deliver a savory dining experience. If you're wanting something else than pierogies, you can order either stuffed cabbage or sausage. This no-frills counter-service location won't put you out very many bucks either, which will leave your tummy and wallet happy.

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6. Andrzej Grill 1022 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Humboldt Park)

Visit Andrzej Grill for some potato pancakes and pierogies that will keep you nice and warm throughout the cold winter.

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7. Smak-Tak 5961 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60646 (Jefferson Park)

At Smak Tak, a Polish kitchen in Jefferson Park, you get the feeling you’re in a cabin basement in the Polski hinterlands. In a good way. With only five tables and all wood plank everything, this restaurant excels in specialties like potato pancakes, pierogis, and breaded and broiled meats. Let’s be real, you’ll take full advantage of Smak Tak’s BYOB policy because, well, it’s pretty dark in there, and what else is there to do in your middle-of-nowhere village anyway?

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8. Kurowski's Butcher Shop 2976 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60618 (Avondale)

Authentic Polish cuisine and specialties like rye bread and sausages, Kurowski's Butcher Shop is the place to go for delicious treats.

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9. Old Warsaw Buffet 4750 N Harlem Ave, Harwood Heights, IL 60706

Potato dumplings, stuffed cabbage, cheese blintzes, the list could go on and on, but why wait, get down there yourself. In the meantime you could prepare by loosening up some belt notches...

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10. Jolly Inn 6501 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60634 (Dunning)

The Jolly Inn, in Dunning, is holding down the old country by serving up all of your favorite Polish food...buffet style.