[Last updated 2/22/22. More updates for 2022 coming soon!]
That final Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, the traditional start of Lent, goes by many names: Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Pancake Day, Shrove Tuesday, and… Paczki Day. For 2022, this falls on Tuesday, March 1.
Paczki (which is pronounced “PUNCH-key”) originated in eastern Europe, when observers of Lent needed to use up all the fun ingredients they would abstain from during the season, like butter, sugar, and lard. What better way to do that than mixing up balls of sugary dough and frying them?
Paczki are essentially giant, yeast-raised donuts, typically dusted with powdered sugar and filled with custard or jelly.
Although Columbus doesn’t have large eastern European roots (especially compared to, say, northeast Ohio), a few bakeries around town fry up paczki. Here’s where to find them from local bakeries and restaurants in 2022! (NOTE, a
strike-through means they’re unconfirmed.)
Buckeye Donuts (Campus)
The campus location will have paczki starting around noon on the Monday before and through the day of Mardi Gras! They fry up apple, raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, lemon, and custard donuts.
This new bakery, operating out of 1400 Food Lab, will be offering up paczki on Feb. 26 and March 1. Flavors will include chocolate whipped cream with strawberry powdered sugar, lemon cream with lemon sugar, peanut butter cream with cinnamon sugar, and raspberry jam with powdered sugar.
The Goodie Shop in Upper Arlington is making paczki for Fat Tuesday and filling them with lemon, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, and apricot. Here’s the key: you can pre-order them any day of the year; they’re only available for walk-up purchases on Mardi Gras itself.
Wolf’s Ridge is again doing a special collaboration this year with Rudy’s Strudel in Parma, Ohio. Orders opened this week and will be open through March 1 while supplies last. They’ll be whipping up blueberry and sweet moses hot chocolate; each box is served with an extra ramekin of powdered sugar. Each box is $5 and features two paczki; you can get a free box with a flight at the taproom or with an online order over $50.
This Hilltop bakery confirmed they’ll be doing paczki as well. Typically they have raspberry, lemon, strawberry, creme, sometimes prune. To order, they suggest giving them a call: 614-278-8046.
Sweet CLE-bus! is a newer storefront on Lazelle Road in Westerville, mainly operating as a purveyor of pierogi. But for Mardi Gras she’ll be serving paczki as well. They’ll be available soon for pre-order only, pick up on March 1. Keep an eye on her site and social media.
Resch’s just announced that they’ll be offering paczki from now through Easter! They suggest calling or stopping in to order from flavors like has been serving the good stuff on East Livingston Avenue since 1912. They stuff their paczki with lemon, blueberry, strawberry, and chocolate.
Buckeye Donuts (South Side)
The Buckeye Donuts on the South Side will have paczki this year on Fat Tuesday. Give them a call to check availability: (614) 443-7470.
Destination Donuts does vegan paczki every year, but it’s in the process of moving to Clintonville. We’ll see if it opens in time! This Polish outpost downtown just announced they’ll be serving up vegan paczki to go with pierogis, goulash, and other delights today.
Whether you’re abstaining from sweets during Lent or you just need an excuse to get a donut, skip the grocery stores this Mardi Gras and visit a local bakery!
And if donuts aren’t your thing, order a king cake from a Columbus bakery!