Editor's note: Zamykal Gourmet Kolaches, which was previously included in this list, closed in December 2018. The story has been updated to reflect that.
When Czech immigrants began settling in Central Texas in the mid-19th century, they brought along lasting cultural traditions, like polka music. They also brought us kolaches and klobasniky.
Some North Texans were first introduced to the joys of these yeast pastries while traveling south on I-35 through the town of West. This Czech community is renown for its kolaches, which are filled with sweet fruit jams or creams, and klobasniky, savory pastries filled with meat.
But today, North Texans don't have to drive too far to sample these tasty treats. Here are five shops in Dallas-Fort Worth worth a nibble.
Pearl Snap Kolaches
Fort Worth's Pearl Snap Kolaches has two locations serving a variety of kolaches and klobásníks. It has prestige to match: The shop won two first-place ribbons at the 2018 State of Texas Kolache Bake Show for a pastry featuring pulled pork from the local Billy's Oak Acres BBQ and another for its pecan pie kolache, one of its biggest sellers. Wade Chappell describes the pecan pie kolache as "gooey in the center with a crusty top and icing glaze," and notes it was also honored as the competition's Grand Champion — which means they say it's the best kolache in Texas. "We tried it out as a seasonal to begin with, but so many people kept asking for it, that we put it on our permanent menu," he says.
- 2743 Hulen St., Fort Worth and 4006 White Settlement Rd., Fort Worth. pskolaches.com.
Kenner's Kolache Bakery
Kenner’s Kolache Bakery in Arlington is known for its soft, pillowy dough. "Texans tend to like softer breads," says David Kenner, who has been making for more than 30 years. Some of his more interesting flavors include the poppy seed and the chocolate-cream cheese kolaches. Kenner makes them all from scratch with no preservatives for a more-buttery result. "If someone orders a dozen kolaches, at least half of them will be cream cheese," he says. "Our cream cheese filling is like a light cheesecake, it’s just perfect."
- 2812 S. Cooper St., Arlington. kennerkolachebakery.com.
Kolache Factory is a statewide chain of stores, with five local shops in Murphy, Frisco, Plano (two locations) and its newest in Richardson. With 35 years of experience and 57 locations, Kolache Factory has perfected its process and churns out more kolaches than likely any other spot in Texas. The kolaches here are an unusual round shape and more bread-like in texture. The shops serve traditional fruit jelly-filled kolaches as well as savory klobásníks filled with pepperoni and cheese, chopped brisket, creamed spinach, and even chicken enchilada filling.
- Various 5995 Preston Rd., Frisco; 601 Eat FM 544, Suite 100, Murphy; 2129 W. Parker Rd., Plano; 2051 N. Central Expwy., Richardson; and 1217 Coit Rd., Plano. kolachefactory.com.
Kasa Kolache Bakery and Cafe
Owners Enrique and Gloria Barrera serve both savory klobasniky and sweet kolaches. Savories include ham and cheese and chicken sausage rolls, while sweet ones feature fun flavors like pineapple-, raspberry-, and apricot-cream cheese in generous portions. The owners say their most popular items are those mixed with cream cheese and fruit. Kasa Kolache has a neighborhood feel with an inviting Czech village scene painted wall mural, making it a relaxing escape.
- 761 S. MacArthur Blvd., Coppell. facebook.com/KasaKolacheBakery.