Located on Franklin Street, Pierogi Heaven is an eight-and-a-half mile Uber ride from the UChicago campus. The restaurant itself is a small counter-serve eatery with casual décor. Upon opening the door, you immediately smell warm potatoes and sautéed onions. My roommate could even detect the mouth-watering scent on my coat (shoulda brought some home for her, my b).
Being cafeteria style, the service is super quick. You may order 6, 9 or 12 pieces. The restaurant allows you to sample the different flavors in multiples of three.
I ordered three pieces of the kraut and mushrooms, meat and spinach and potato and cheddar. While all of them were delicious, the kraut and mushrooms were on point; they were sautéed and seasoned to near perfection.
Fortunately for y’all, one of my teammates adventurously ordered the fruit mix for the rest of us to try. The blueberry pierogi’s dough perfectly balanced out the potentially overwhelming fruit filling.
While you can find solid pierogies elsewhere, at least one trip DT is worthwhile. Freakin Mike Ditka endorsed Pierogi Heaven as one of “Chicago’s 10 Best Polish Spots.” While there, I definitely got the sense that the ambiance was very much part of the experience. It wasn’t weird for me to whip out my large digital camera because three other diners were also photographing the food and signs.
Here’s where Pierogi Heaven gets dangerous. My teammates, being alarmingly obsessed with pierogies since our excursion, rediscovered the Pierogi Wagon. If you’re looking for a solid pierogi or twelve and wanna stay on campus, skip Bartlett and head to Pierogi Wagon. It’s one of the many food trucks that you can find on Ellis Avenue between 57th and 59th Street. Simply check UChicago Food Trucks on Twitter or the Chicago Food Truck Finder to find when the truck is visiting. Steve Dolinsky and Anthony Todd on Windy City LIVE voted for the Pierogi Wagon as the maker of the “Best Pierogi in Chicago,” and Eater Magazine named it one of the “Hottest Food Trucks in America,” so it’s not just me getting overexcited. If you’re still unconvinced, just ask one of my teammates. One recently texted her mother that she may only have $18 in her bank account. Her biweekly Pierogi Wagon visits after econ class may have contributed to her cash flow problem. Pierogi Wagon, you hiring?