Where can I find pierogies in East Bay?
April 24, 2013 5:19 PM   Subscribe

Help me find some decent pierogies in East Bay! I'm starving for pierogies.

I moved to East Bay from Toronto nearly two years ago and have been questing after decent pierogies this whole time. I have found none. Please help.

As an aside, I've realized pierogies might be one of those subtle reminders I am living in a foreign country. Is it just California or are pierogies just not that common down here generally?
posted by eagle-bear to Food & Drink (20 answers total)
Trader Joes sells frozen potato and cheese ones, and they're okay. In general, they're a food that doesn't seem to really fit with Southern California (even though we have quite a few Russian/Ukrainian immigrants here)--maybe the same is true in Northern California?
posted by Ideefixe at 5:25 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

If there's a Costco nearby, they may be stocking Kasia's brand pierogis right now (they are in my area). They're pretty decent.
posted by asperity at 5:44 PM on April 24, 2013

Not trying to be snarky, just helpful, because as I understand it some people are pretty persnickety about this... "The Polish word pierogi is plural;[1] the singular form pieróg is rarely used, as a typical serving consists of several pierogi." [source]
posted by terrapin at 5:45 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'm not saying I know they have them, but if anywhere is going to have good ones, it would be Berkeley Bowl. Plus, you're going to Berkeley Bowl, so even if they don't have them, you'll leave with some nummy bits of something to hold you over.
posted by john the fourth at 5:51 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

My goto is to search for pierogies on Yelp. The Pachamama Cookery looks like an option.

Just to answer an aside, many places in this country (especially in The South), nobody has heard of pierogies.
posted by sandmanwv at 6:03 PM on April 24, 2013

Everyone in Cleveland knows what a pierogi is. Ethnic restaurants serve them. Upscale restaurants can play with them. Churches sell them at fundraisers. I'm sure they're equally common in Detroit, Pittsburgh, much of Chicago... Cities of the Midwest with histories of heavy industry all had immigrants who ate pierogis.
posted by stuart_s at 6:15 PM on April 24, 2013

I've travelled throughout the U.S. and finding pierogies in the states can be very tough. We found them in the Dakotas and MN, and also in Oregon around the north end of I-5. That's about it. That said, I would think in the Bay area there would be someone carrying them ... also, I got them at Costco in Eugene, Oregon but that's been a decade ago.
posted by batikrose at 6:22 PM on April 24, 2013

Euromix Deli in Oakland.
posted by three_red_balloons at 6:26 PM on April 24, 2013

If the East Bay fails you, there's apparently a pierogi place opening in the Mission, on Mission near 24th (i.e. near BART). Can't tell if they're actually open yet or not. The owners are from Cleveland.
posted by rtha at 6:40 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

I used to be able to get vareniky (the Russian pierog) on Geary in SF at a Russian grocery, but this was 11 years ago. I was satisfied.

In Buffalo, you can get them made fresh, and in restaurants! So I know your longing.
posted by Riverine at 6:48 PM on April 24, 2013

Pierogi are very regional in the US--basically everyone in the midwest knows and loves them, but outside of that...

My experience is that frozen ones in a box from supermarkets or warehouse clubs are consistently not good, in my experience; refrigerated ones are consistently better than frozen ones, but not great. Your best bet for really good ones will be someone who's selling them out of their house, or a church that sells them as fundraisers. (I've got some qualms about supporting churches, but it's worth it for pirogi!)

This page has what looks like several ads for pierogi cottage industries, and would probably be a good place to start. Calling around to Polish churches is a good bet, as well, though I suspect that many of them only do pierogi sales during Lent--they'll still likely be able to point you in the right direction.

I'll also toss out, though, that push come to shove, pierogi are time-consuming but not difficult to make. I'll spend a weekend making dozens upon dozens of them, and then freeze them for later consumption. Bit of a pain, but well worth it, in my experience.
posted by MeghanC at 6:51 PM on April 24, 2013

Safeway has Mrs. T's pierogi in the frozen section. The pasta part, especially, barely resembles the real, handmade thing, but the filling is adequate and overall they are a reasonable substitute.
posted by wnissen at 7:41 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

NEVER buy from a store. I'm not from the area, but I am a pierogi snob. There is only one way to get good pierogies anywhere in the world:

1. Find yourself a Roman Catholic Church (preferably one with Polish language services).

2. Wait for a bake sale.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:22 PM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

It's SF, not East Bay, but Giordano Bros. has several kinds of pierogies. Bonus: Pittsburgh style sandwiches. I miss Pittsburgh, where there was an entire section in the freezer aisle at grocery stores dedicated to pierogies, and they served them at baseball games.
posted by soleiluna at 8:23 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Polish or Ukrainian churches are a good place to start. There's someone at the Mountain View farmer's market who I bought some from a few years back and they were really good (sorry, I know that's far). I've also bought frozen ones from this brand at a local market (on the Peninsula) and they're decent. They're not MY Grandma's Pierogies, but as she's no longer with us they're an okay substitute that doesn't have her rolling in her grave (well, any more than her granddaughter not being able to make actual pierogies already does). They're originally made in Toronto, so that's half the battle. If you contacted them I'm sure they'd tell you where else they sell to down here.
posted by marylynn at 9:19 PM on April 24, 2013

I just found this: Polska Foods, Organic California Pierogi. Obviously cannot vouch for quality but um, organic and locally grown?
posted by marylynn at 9:24 PM on April 24, 2013

I've had the Polska Foods ones, and they're pretty good. The Russian groceries on Geary have a pretty good selection as well. There are also decent piroshki (different! but still delicious starch-filled-starch!) available for delivery through Good Eggs.
posted by judith at 10:02 PM on April 24, 2013

It surprised me how few grocers even knew what pierogi are when I asked around earlier today. I'd taken them for granted so long I had trouble describing them.

I'm intrigued by the prospect of procuring them homemade...Somehow, ending up at an Eastern European church feels like an appropriate escalation of my pierogi-pursuit.

Thanks everyone!
posted by eagle-bear at 11:08 PM on April 24, 2013

I came here to echo MeghanC, they are really not difficult to make. I had never eaten them until meeting my husband, who ate them growing up. We mostly eat the refrigerated ones from supermarkets, but I've made them from scratch a few times and found them straightforward to make. I was freaked out about handling the dough, envisioning the same issues I get dealing with pie crusts, but it's easy to work with!
posted by lyra4 at 5:37 AM on April 25, 2013

My boyfriend was born in Poland, and we both like the pierogi from Euromix Deli, as three_red_balloons linked. The ladies that work there are very nice, and they also sell Okocim and Żywiec beer, among other goodness.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:20 PM on April 25, 2013

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