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The Chicago Traveler

Polish Platters

by Matt B on May 8th, 2007

The Polish culture has played a significant role in Chicago’s history, and there are plenty of authentic places in the city to satisfy cravings for Polish food.

Polish flag

Andy’s Deli in Jefferson Park has about 150 different products (including bacons, hams, cheeses, pork loins, sausages, and more) and also has its own bakery, producing its own breads and pastries. While the family-based company does rely on a few vendors, nearly all the goods are the deli’s own. In fact, Andy’s is the largest producer of a variety of Polish sausages, sold throughout the United States.

In the Lakeview neighborhood, Pierogi Factory is much more than its name implies. Pierogi are semi-circular dumplings of unleavened dough, usually stuffed with mashed potatoes but can also contain fruit, cheese, meat, sauerkraut, onion, or cabbage. They are usually boiled and/or fried and served with sour cream. The Factory’s menu offers about 15 different kinds of pierogi, along with stuffed cabbage, borsch, blintzes, polish sausage, and potato pancakes.

You’ll feel like you stepped back in time at Szala’s Restaurant on the south side of the city. But stepping in isn’t as easy as walking in the front door. Instead, you must pull the rope and ring the bell to be let in. The unique d'cor (which includes a water wheel!) helps customers feel like they’re actually in Polish highlands. Of course, the food is what keeps folks ringing that bell, including creamed herring, thick potato pancakes, wild rabbit, roasted pheasant, and hunter stew (braised sauerkraut, grilled sausage, bacon, roast park, onion, and tomato sauce).

Photo credit: (c/o SXC) wojciech wolak

Andy’s Deli ($): 5442 N Milwaukee Ave; 773-632-7304
Mon - Wed: 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Thurs - Sat: 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Sun: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Street parking available
Public Trans: Bus #56A, 68, 85

Pierogi Factory ($): 1034 W Belmont Ave; 773-325-1015
Mon - Sat: 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Sun: 12 noon - 9:00 p.m.
Street parking available
Public Trans: Bus #22, 77 or Red Line train (Belmont)

Szalas Restaurant ($$): 5214 S Archer Ave; 773-582-0300
Sun - Sat: 11:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Public Trans: Bus #62 or Orange Line train (Pulaski)

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POSTED IN: Restaurants, Shopping

2 opinions for Polish Platters

  • Gay Nightlife
    Aug 28, 2007 at 11:59 am

    [...] mixed drinks with a mixed crowd, head over to Berlin. Just a couple blocks east of the Pierogi Factory, the club attracts primarily a gay clientele during the week. However, a melting pot of homos, [...]

  • American Science & Surplus
    Feb 15, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    [...] Got an idea for a creative costume? Not military-related? Maybe you should stop at American Science & Surplus in Jefferson Park, just down the street from Andy’s Deli. [...]

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