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Boiled potato-and-cheese pierogi at Cafe Polonia
Boiled potato-and-cheese pierogi at Cafe Polonia
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

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A Guide to Dorchester’s Polish Triangle, From Pierogi to Pączki

Where to find kielbasa, kabanos, and more

Ask a Bostonian where to get the best European food in the city, and there are a few answers you’re sure to get, starting with the North End for old-school, cash-only Italian and perhaps Back Bay for classic French food.

One answer that rarely comes up: Dorchester.

But the neighborhood I know best? It’s in Dorchester. Specifically, it’s the Polish Triangle, a small stretch of blocks by the Andrew T station, wedged between Boston Street and Dorchester Avenue. I’m a daughter of Polish immigrants, born and raised in Boston, and the Polish community here has always been a huge part of my life. From holiday Masses at the Polish church to parties at the Citizens Club to weekends spent Polish deli-hopping, the Triangle has felt like my second home.

To the untrained eye, the Polish Triangle seems to be a shell of what it once was. Rising rent has driven out many of the families of the Polish immigrants who settled there, replaced by recent college grads or young families, most of whom can’t tell their kielbasa from their kabanos.

But don’t be fooled — the neighborhood is still filled with the best Polish food in the city. From overflowing deli sandwiches to perfectly baked pączki, the Polish food found right at Andrew Square is everything you could want it to be: cheap, filling, and delicious. Read on to learn about the must-visit spots that make this neighborhood so special.


Cafe Polonia

611 Dorchester Ave., Boston

Gołąbki at Cafe Polonia
Gołąbki at Cafe Polonia
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Start your trip about a block down from Andrew Square at the famed (and Guy Fieri- approved) Cafe Polonia. The restaurant, founded in 2002 and recently under new management, has gained recognition for serving some of the best comfort food in the city.

From the small and cozy interior (with furniture handmade by the cafe’s founder) to the Polish rye and lard bread basket that’s served as soon as you sit down, Cafe Polonia is about as close to traditional Polish dining as you can get in the States.

New to Polish cuisine? Start with the dill pickle soup, a staple in Polish households, if available (it’s one of several rotating soups of the day.) For your meal, order the Polish plate. For $18, you get to try four classic Polish dishes — bigos (or hunter’s stew, a meat and cabbage stew), pierogi, gołąbki (cabbage stuffed with beef or pork and rice), and, of course, grilled kielbasa. For the daring, order the kiszka (blood sausage) appetizer, a Polish classic.

Baltic European Deli

632 Dorchester Ave., Boston

The deli counter at Baltic European Deli
The deli counter at Baltic European Deli
Baltic European Deli/Official Site

Don’t have time for a sit-down meal? Head across the street from Cafe Polonia to its sister location, the Baltic Deli.

Order a sandwich from the counter for a quick, cheap, and filling meal (the Polish combo is great), and grab some kabanosy (long, thin, dried Polish sausage) for later. Browse the aisles of the dozens and dozens of canned Polish goods, difficult to find locally outside of this immediate area. If you have a sweet tooth, make sure to grab a bag of krówki, Polish milk fudge.

Then, head to the freezers in the back to pick up a few bags of house-made Polish pierogi. For beer fans, grab a pack of Żywiec, a Polish pale ale. And if you forget it, don’t worry — it’s for sale at almost every store in the area.

Euromart

808 Dorchester Ave., Boston

Euromart
Euromart
Katie Chudy/Eater

Continue down Dorchester Avenue, and you’ll find Euromart, another Eastern European deli known for its wide selection of Polish meats and other goods.

The front of the store is stocked with some of the best Polish sweets. Try Delicje, chocolate-covered cookies filled with a fruit jam, or a Prince Polo, a chocolate-and-wafer bar similar to a Kit Kat.

Then, head to the back of the store for fresh Polish bread and meats. Try to stop in for lunch on a Thursday; the shop gets its deli inventory fresh that morning.

DJ’s Market

120 Boston St., Boston

Pączki at DJ’s Market
Pączki at DJ’s Market
DJ’s Market/Facebook

The final deli stop, located a block off Dorchester Avenue, is arguably the one most people may want to try first. Open for over 40 years, DJ’s deli has become a popular lunch spot among local workers and is always full of non-Polish speakers, so it’s a great place to start for someone new to Polish food.

The deli’s owner, Alina Morris, has lived in the Polish Triangle since she was a child, took ownership of the deli from her parents, and now runs the store with members of her own family. Though the deli has plans to expand to help cater to the new non-Polish clients moving into the area, it promises to stay true to its roots and continue offering its Polish delicacies.

The sandwich options at DJ’s are far, wide, and absolutely delicious — a personal favorite is the Rycki Indyk, a sandwich on Polish rye filled with smoked turkey, cheese, tomato, banana pepper, and mustard. Or you could go for the kielbasa — DJ’s makes it fresh in-house each week, and a large sub will only set you back about $7.

Whichever sandwich you get, it’s absolutely crucial that you leave DJ’s with at least one pączek (Polish doughnut). Dawn, DJ’s baker, bakes the pączki fresh every morning, and every flavor — including raspberry, Nutella, and plum, as well as rotating specials — blows its American counterpart out of the water.

DJ's Market

120 Boston St., Boston, MA 02125 (617) 436-9766 Visit Website

Baltic European Deli

632 Dorchester Ave., Boston, MA 02127 (617) 268-2435 Visit Website

Euromart

808 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, MA 02125 (617) 825-1969

Cafe Polonia

611 Dorchester Avenue, , MA 02127 (617) 269-0110 Visit Website