Spring Branch is uniquely situated as the heart of a robust Polish community, and October is Polish Heritage Month. As they say in Poland, “Zapraszamy!” or “you’re invited!” Join Houston’s Polish community for a unique and authentic Polish experience for the whole family:

The Polish Harvest Festival

This festival or Dożynki is celebrating its ninth year from October 27 – 29 at Our Lady of Częstochowa. Everyone is welcome at this rollicking festival featuring multiple performances. Dance Group Wawel will be displaying their Polish folklore music and dance, and the children from Szkola Polska (Polish School) will be entertaining festival goers with crowd favorites like Kaczuski (the Chicken Dance) and other traditional Polish songs.

Polonia Restaurant

This authentic Polish restaurant will have you exclaiming “Smaczengo!” as you dive into their traditional cuisine. If you’re feeling adventurous, you might want to try the Kaszanka (blood sausage). The more widely known Pierogi, however, will appeal to everyone. Polonia is open every day at 1780 Blalock Rd.

Polish Food Store and Deli

This center of Polish cuisine is nothing if not convenient. If you’d rather celebrate Polish cuisine in your own kitchen, the food store offers all of your traditional Polish staples. Owners Sharon and Andrzej Szpak welcome everyone to experiment with Polish ingredients, and learn a little bit about the cuisine.

Krysia’s Pastry

A local favorite at the Polish Harvest Festival, this booth is a great stop for trying tasty Polish treats. The festival is a great excuse to try Faworki, a funnel cake-style pastry. Or, for more “filling” experience, sink your teeth into a Paczki. These doughnut-like pastries are filled with plum butter or other preserves, and were a favorite of French President Charles De Gaulle.

Our Lady of Częstochowa

The heart of religious, cultural and social Polish community in Houston can be found in this Roman Catholic Church in Spring Branch. Everyone is welcome to worship and find community in this parish. You can also visit the Polonia Houston Memorial, a monument to St. Pope John Paul II.

Story by Ryan Leach