Donut Day: What, Where When! | Warsaw Insider
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We’ve got that Thursday feeling! Falling this year on February 16th, there can be few days in Poland more deeply cherished than Tłusty Czwartek…... Donut Day: What, Where When!
Donut Day: What, Where When! Donut Day: What, Where When!

We’ve got that Thursday feeling! Falling this year on February 16th, there can be few days in Poland more deeply cherished than Tłusty Czwartek…

Photo: NAC

Rooted in Poland’s devoutly religious psyche, historically-speaking the last Thursday before the Lent holiday was traditionally a day on which worshippers would feast on goodies that would otherwise be shunned during this solemn period of fasting. As the years went by, that came to mean one thing alone: the donut.

Now bordering on mania, Fat Thursday sees the consumption of over 100 million donuts nationwide, with immense, unwieldy queues forming before daybreak at the best-known bakeries and sweet stores.

Photo: NAC

In Warsaw’s case, that means Zagoździński, a family-run establishment that’s been doing business since 1925. Wrapped in waxy paper and tied together with a string, it’s the donuts from legendary venues such as this that go the quickest, with demand so high that limits are often enforced strictly rationing how many individuals can buy.

Bridging the past with the present, these old school refuges provide a glorious glimpse into the past (right down to their surly and occasionally hostile service), yet they’ve faced increasing competition from a fresh crop of newbies that have more in-line with the Western-style donuts so beloved by Chief Wiggum. Whichever you prefer, Warsaw won’t let you down.

The New Wave

Mokotowska 52

Kukułka’s desserts have lifted Warsaw in a heavenly direction – literally in the case of their Angel Wings. The donuts include both traditional and I-didn’t-expect-that fillings (passion fruit!), and don’t dare leave without their signature cream puffs.

Lisowska 23, Chmielna 23, Rozbrat 22/24, Walecznych 29, Mokotowska 52A

Though their origins date to 1946, the individualized, uber-cool interiors and modern desserts make Lukullus a shoe-in for our New Wave shortlist. Using rose jam as their filling, the donuts are a nod to the roots of this well-respected operation.

Oleandrów 8 & Paryska 27

Award-winning NYC-style donuts that transpire to be things of craft, adventure and irresistible taste. All the better for ignoring chemical nasties and mass-market shortcuts, the playful nature of MOD’s non-standard offerings is expressed via all-natural, boldly-colored toppings such as matcha, mango, black forest gateau, salted caramel or hibiscus. We LOVE it!

The Old Guard

Cukiernia Pawłowicz
Chmielna 13

Revered by traditionalists, the queue on Tłusty Czwartek snakes as far as the eye can see. Be patient to see why.

Zakopiańska 20

Existing since 1937, this cult venue chooses to decorate its donuts with orange peel and pipe them full of plum jam. The results transcend description. Visit!

Stara Pączkarnia
Nowy Świat 28

Born in Szczecin in 1989, Stara Pączkarnia has since blossomed into a nationwide chain. Served through a hatch, find their Warsaw sales point dealing an array of tastes that include rebel fillings such as pineapple, Advocaat or Bounty.

Stary Dom
Puławska 104/106

Though less than ten years old, the aesthetic conjures images of Warsaw’s upmarket, inter-war confectionaries. The traditionally angled desserts – donuts included – are unimpeachable.

Górczewska 15

Suppliers to none other than Marshal Józef Piłsudski! Founded in 1925, and side-stepping modern innovation and artificial nasties, it’s by far the most famous pączek in Poland – no kidding, queues stretch around the block!

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