This Polish restaurant in Hamtramck dates back to the Depression

The homemade recipes have stayed the same over the years

With pierogies, stuffed cabbages, and plenty of kielbasas, you’re sure to have a filling meal at Polonia in Hamtramck.

“Many people that come in here say, ‘You know what, you make us feel so much at home,’” explains owner John Ulaj.

According to owner Ulaj, making sure people are well-fed is something this place has been doing for a long time. The building started off as a Detroit Workingman’s Co-Op during the Great Depression. The idea was people would gather, bringing whatever ingredients and supplies they had, to make a big meal and socialize.

It was later turned into the Polish restaurant it is today by Stanley Grot and his mother. Polonia passed hands once more before John Ulaj took it over in 2021. His goal when taking it over was to keep the same charm as the original place but update things the nearly 100-year-old building needed. Longtime patrons can still see the many Polish plates that line the walls, as well as the big mural in the back of the building. Ulaj even put up a painting of FDR, a nod to the iconic one that was there in the past.

While he did update a few things, including adding a bar, he kept the menu largely the same. The portions are very generous, and nearly everything is made in-house. Besides Polish classics like pierogis, potato pancakes. and kielbasa, you can also find a Hungarian pancake on the menu and a Polish twist on bagels and lox with their smoked salmon potato pancakes.

For a longer look at the menu, watch the piece above.

Polonia is located at 2934 Yemans Street in Hamtramck.

About the Author:

Michelle Oliver is a multimedia Journalist for the 10 a.m. lifestyle show, "Live in the D." She is known as "the food girl" because of her two popular food franchises, Dine in the D and Find Your Fix. Michelle also covers stories on homegrown businesses, style, and other fun things happening in the D.