Jan 30, 2023 - Things to Do

Pierogi Week returns for a second year

Illustration of a pierogi with arms and legs walking in front of buildings.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

One of Cleveland's most iconic foods takes center stage this week.

Driving the news: Cleveland's second annual Pierogi Week kicks off today and runs through Feb. 5.

  • This year's event features 29 restaurants and bars, up from 26 in 2022.

Why it matters: Participating venues in last year's inaugural Pierogi Week saw business double, and in some cases triple, organizers say.

  • "Last year was just proof of concept," Ohio City restaurateur and Pierogi Week founder Sam McNulty tells Axios. "This year, we expect Pierogi Week to be one of the biggest weeks of business some of these venues will have all year."

Context: The pierogi has been a Cleveland staple since Central and Eastern European immigrants moved to the area in the 1920s.

  • Many pierogi experts agree the first documented sale of pierogies in the United States took place at Cleveland's Marton House Tavern in 1928.

The big picture: Today, Google lists more than 100 "pierogi restaurants" in the Cleveland area. More than half of them list pierogies as a signature dish.

What they're saying: Igor Djurin, owner of Das Schnitzel Haus and Schnitz Ale Brewery in Parma, tells Axios the pierogi is the perfect representation of Cleveland.

  • "Cleveland is an ethnic melting pot and the history of the pierogi helps tell the city's story," Djurin says. "Almost every bar and restaurant in Parma offers pierogies. To see it spread across the entire city this week is special."

Details: During Pierogi Week, each participating venue creates special pierogi dishes. Das Schnitzel Haus, for instance, is planning a "made from scratch" potato and cheese pierogi.

  • Patrons get a minimum of three pierogies for $8. At select venues, you can pair pierogies with a beer from McNulty's Market Garden Brewery for an extra $5.

If you go: Map out your week. Pierogi Week's website lists the addresses and details — takeout and dietary options — for each participating bar or restaurant.

ğŸŽ„ Sam's pick: Great Lakes Brewing Company has a "Pulled Pork Poutine" pierogi topped with Christmas Ale Gravy. I'm in trouble.

🐔 Troy's pick: Jukebox in Ohio City has a "Spicy Chicken" pierogi with chipotle-braised chicken, black beans and cheddar. I'm in love.

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