Top Polish Food In Philadelphia

July 9, 2013 5:33 PM

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Nicknamed “Little Poland,” it’s no surprise that the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia is home to many of the best spots for Polish food in the city. These restaurants, delis and markets offer favorite Polish specialties such as kielbasa, pierogies, golabki and bigos. You don’t need to be Polish to appreciate the time and care that has gone into perfecting these authentic recipes — just hungry!
Czerw’s Kielbasy
3370 Tilton St.
Philadelphia, PA 19134
(215) 423-1707
www.kielbasyboys.com

The Czerw family has been making homemade smoked kielbasa and other authentic Polish foods in the same Port Richmond location since 1938. In fact, the majority of the recipes used are the same recipes that were handed down from the man who started it all, Jan Czerw, the current owners’ grandfather. As the name suggests, kielbasa is the star of the menu here. Choose from fresh or smoked, which is made using real fruit wood in the same brick-oven smokehouse Jan Czerw built himself 75 years ago. Only tender pork butt is used, and there are no by-products, artificial colors, fillers or added water. In addition to the classic fresh or smoked, you can also pick extra garlic, spicy Cajun or turkey (for something a little healthier!). Other menu highlights include bigos (Polish stew), krakowska (Polish lunchroll) and golabki (stuffed cabbage). Pierogies are made daily with choices such as potato, cheese, meat with mushrooms and onions, bacon and cheddar and even Philly cheesesteak. If the lines that form outside around Easter and Christmas are any indication, this is the prime spot for quality, old-fashioned Polish food in the city.

Related: Top Spots For Irish Pub Food In Philadelphia

Syrenka Restaurant
3173 Richmond St.
Philadelphia, PA 19134
(215) 634-3954
www.facebook.com/Syrenka-Luncheonette

Stepping into Syrenka is a bit like going back in time. This no-frills restaurant offers homemade Polish comfort food in an ultra-casual, cafeteria-style environment that doesn’t look like it’s changed since the 70s. For many, that’s part of the charm. You come to Syrenka for the low prices and simple dishes just like your babcia would have made. Grab a tray and choose from classic favorites such as stuffed cabbage, kielbasa, beets, mashed potatoes, potato pancakes, sauerkraut and more.

Krakus Market
3150 Richmond St.
Philadelphia, PA 19134
(215) 426-4336
www.krakusmarket.com

After starting out as a small corner deli in 1987, Krakus has expanded into the largest Polish supermarket in the Northeast, offering imported products, home-style cold cuts and a deli section with more than 10 different varieties of homemade smoked kielbasa, smoked ham and other Polish specialties. All deli products are 100 percent natural, no preservatives. If you prefer having your food prepared for you, visit Staropolska, the restaurant located right inside the market. Homemade dishes include pierogies, potato pancakes, cheese blintzes, bigos (Polish stew) and golabki (stuffed cabbage) in addition to 16 soups and other Polish specialties. Wash it all down with authentic Polish beer such as Zywiec, Okocim and Warka, and then finish your meal with a paczek (Polish doughnut), makowiec (poppy seed strudel) or a piece of Polish cake.

The Pierogie Kitchen
647 Roxborough Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19128
(215) 483-5301
www.pierogiekitchen.com

With over 28 varieties of pierogies all handmade in-house, every visitor is sure to find a favorite at The Pierogie Kitchen. Choose from savory flavors like spinach and jack cheese, buffalo blue chicken and broccoli cheddar, all sautéed with butter and onions and served with sour cream. Dessert pierogies like chocolate ganache, sweet potato and apple are sautéed in butter and served with sweet cream. Order them hot to eat or pick them up to cook later. Pierories are pre-boiled before being frozen and packaged by the dozen — simply pan-fry them at home before serving. In addition to authentic stuffed cabbage, slow-cooked sauerkraut and smoked kielbasa, The Pierogie Kitchen is famous for its “stacker” sandwiches. These large and tasty sandwiches combine meat and pierogies for amazing flavor combinations such as the spicy chicken stacker (spicy fried chicken with bacon and melted cheddar, jalapeno potato cheddar pierogies, caramelized onions and garlic mayo) or wild salmon wrap (pan-seared salmon with herb garlic potato pierogies, tomato, spinach, cucumber, Swiss cheese and garlic pepper mayo). Call-ahead ordering of hot food is available, and a catering menu with everything from pierogies to a three-foot stacker sandwich is sure to please any crowd.

Related: Top Spots For Italian Food In Philadelphia

Swiacki Meats
3623 Salmon St.
Philadelphia, PA 19134
(215) 643-0820
www.swiackimeats.com

The Swiacki family has been serving homemade fresh and smoked kielbasa, kabanosy (Polish Slim Jims), pierogies and babkas (Polish cakes) since 1950. It’s not unusual to see lines extending outside the door of this Port Richmond favorite, but don’t worry, the line moves quickly. Plus, there’s plenty to look at and add to your order as you make your way to the meat counter in the back. Soft rolls, homemade pierogies (flavors ranging from potato to cheesesteak and even blueberry), stuffed cabbage, chrusciki (Polish crullers) and old-fashioned Zayda’s horseradish and pickles all add to the experience. While Swiacki Meats offers all sorts of deli meats and sausage, just about everyone leaves with at least a few pounds of the famous kielbasa. Made and smoked right on the premises, it has a mild smoky flavor with lots of garlic and a crispy casing. Cook it with a bit of Polish beer and pile it on a roll with your favorite horseradish for an authentic treat.

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Michelle Hein is a copy editor for a women’s fashion company in Bucks County by day and a self-proclaimed food and drink fanatic by night and weekend. She enjoys attending wine classes, trying new recipes in the kitchen and going to old favorites and new restaurants alike in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area. If the writing gig doesn’t pan out, she constantly dreams of owning her own bakery…perhaps connected to the restaurant/bar that her lawyer boyfriend would love to open. Examiner.com.

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