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Polish in South Jersey, Philly?

I went to Catholic school in a Polish parish years ago, and learned to love kielbasa, pierogi, kluski, etc. I used to count on going back to the school every year for it's carnival, and the hugely popular Polish Kitchen - then the diocese closed the school. This past weekend, the parish held a Fall Festival and resurrected the Polish Kitchen, and after having stuffed myself with 2 years worth of Polish food desire, I'm good for a while. But since the future of this parish is in question (the diocese is plotting to eradicate many older parishes, and incorporate others) I don't know if this Fall Festival will ever be repeated. So - are there any good sources of Polish food in the area? I've tried buying pierogies and kielbasa at the Acme, and they're just not the same. I thought it was just nostalgia, but this weekend I knew there was a huge difference. Polish food isn't exactly spicy, but packaged versions are bland, where the fresh, homemade versions have a real flavor.

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  1. There are TONS of Polish places in the Port Richmond and Allegheny neighborhoods of Philly. Drive along Richmond Ave. and Allegheny Ave. and you will find bakeries, little restaurants, and other food purveyors that should more than satisfy your Polish cravings. My favorite is this one: http://www.kielbasyboys.com/ Hard to get to in a maze of one-way streets, but totally worth it. The kielbasa is stupendous, they have homemade pierogies for sale, plus big barrels of pickles and other Polish delicacies.

    1. If you are anywhere near Trenton there is a great Polish deli in the Trenton Farmer's Market on Spruce Street, which is best gotten to off of Rt. 1. They have an amazing selection of keilbasas and bacon and the best pierogies I've ever eaten. They carry a large selection of cured meats and coldcuts you'd be hard pressed to find any where else in the area, fabulous sourdough rye, and a nice selection of prepared foods and imported items from the Old Country, as well as some other good specialty vendors. Definitely worth a trip. The market also has a good range of local farmers as well. The best days to go are Friday-Saturday, which is when the most fresh goods and vendors will be there.

      1. I don't know if you are ever in the area of Philadelphia College of Textiles, but there is a place called the Pierogi Kitchen off of Henry Avenue. It is about a mile west of the campus. A student I met who is a Polish immigrant told me their pierogis are very similar to her mothers; and are great. You can find them on the web; I looked them up once.

        1. In Port Richmond, which is just off the Allegheny exit of I-95 you'll find Krakus Market and Syrenka's on Richmond St., just off of Allegheny. Krakus Market also has a luncheonette, and Syrenka's is a cafeteria style luncheonette.
          Around the corner there is Piast grocery store (www.piastonline.com) which is very small but very packed with Polish foods.
          Julia's Bakery and Cafe, also on Allegheny Ave, is a lovely little place with gourmet Polish pastries and things like crepes etc.
          Czerw's (Kielbasa Boys) on Tilton has wonderful kielbasa, but as someone posted, a bit tough to get to, but worth it. Just map it out. They are take out only.
          See pics of Syrenka's food and Piast.


            1. There is a Polish Grocery Store that opened several years ago on the Black Horse Pike in Runnemede. I am not sure of the exact name though. It has the word Polish in the name though. . They sell homemade perogies and have all kinds of polish meats, lunch meats, etc. I had the perogies and they were awesome and also had some of the lunch meat which was very good too. If you are travelling down the Black Horse Pike from Philly toward Runnemede, it's on the right hand side just before you get to Evesham Road.

              1 Reply
              1. re: coniglio

                I googled it and they have a website - www.polishamericandeli.com - which looks great.

              2. The Polish American Deli is great. Although someone told me they closed a few months ago...the website is still running. There is also a Polish butcher in the Berlin Farmers Market. Granted...it's the Berlin Mart...so...i don't know about the quality, however it was the only place in the area I was able to get anything Polish for Christmas, Easter, a craving =P. etc. It was mostly meats and sausages. Got a Makowiec (poppy seed cake) last year for Christmas Eve. it was good.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Bakedpotatoes

                  I just drove by the Polish American Deli last week and it appears to still be open. I did not go in, however, but saw coming out of the store.

                  1. re: mschow

                    The Polish American Deli is going strong. They never closed. They have really good pierogies, kielbasy, lunch meats, cakes, chesses and also such typical Polish things like tripe soup (flaczki) and golabki. They also serve take out lunch. Recently, they started to ship packages to Poland and Eastern Europe. They're open 7 days a week and are located across the street from a Pioneer gas station (which has one of the cheapest gas in NJ). The website has very detailed directions how to get there. They have a free, huge parking in the back.


                    1. re: artphl

                      I stop at the Polish American Deli whenever I get a craving for Polish Ham, and they have several excellent varieties. On my last visit, however, I was very disappointed. I was asked at least 7 times for what I wanted (two types of ham, sliced thin, some Swiss, sliced thin). I was very explicit about the thin sliced ham, and the two girls slicing the meat completely ignored my request. When I got home what I had were very thick slices. of both ham and Swiss. We absolutely hate big thick slices of deli meats in our house. It was very disappointing and expensive, and I ended up throwing out much of the ham since none of us wanted to eat it.
                      Also, what is up with the older woman who appears to be the owner? She is almost hostile when you go in the store. I have never seen her smile, and she is remarkably unfriendly to customers. Rude is probably a better word. It's a bit stunning to have a store owner behave as rudely as she does toward her customers. I assume people put up with this behavior (as I do), because nobody else in the area carries these products and they want them in spite of the lack of civility.
                      I'd stop going here if another Polish store opened and carried some of the items I like. Sadly, there are none in the area.

                2. South river is the epicenter of central Jersey Polska. Two restaurants, and at least 4 deli/kolbasa shops within a 2 mi area.

                  1. While this will only help one weekend a year :), in Cherry Hill the Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception http://www.geocities.com/lsic2006/ hold a carnival in the beginning of September every year. There is a ton of Polish food, Polish music and traditional Polish dancers. I grew up just a few blocks away and have been going to the carnival for as long as I can remember. Even now when I live in another county I make it a point to bring my kids to the carnival each year.