Come to Baba! How to find comfort at Baba's Homestyle Perogies in Saskatoon.
By Debra Smith | March 09, 2021
Saskatoon’s frigid winters make drive-throughs wildly popular. When Rob Engel bought Baba’s Homestyle Perogies 16 years ago, the first thing he did was install a takeout window. Little did he know that this would make him the proud owner of the only perogy drive-through in North America.
A Saskatoon institution, this cozy restaurant was opened 35 years ago by Baba Alice, the original Ukrainian perogy-making owner. Flash forward to 2019 and 2020, when Baba’s won a local award for the best perogies in Saskatoon. “The runner-up was selling our perogies, so I guess you could say there wasn’t much competition,” Engel says.
Each perogy is lovingly handmade by one of a dozen Ukrainian ladies who fill, pinch and pat more than 10,000 perogies a day. That’s more than 2.5 million perogies a year. Not to mention a million cabbage rolls. And forget chicken soup; even before the pandemic began, Baba’s Homestyle Perogies was stirring up 150 litres of ruby-red borscht, a traditional Ukrainian beet soup, every week—people can’t get enough of it. A serving of beets has low calories and lots of vitamins, and it lowers your blood pressure. Who doesn’t need that right now?
The atmosphere is more flour-covered family get-together than factory.
The menu may be limited, but Baba’s fame is spreading far and wide. They ship to all three Prairie provinces, and they’ve sent special orders as far away as Buffalo and Denver, pre-pandemic. “As long as we can keep it simple, we’ll do our best to deliver anywhere in Canada,” Engel says. In the back room where the magic happens, the atmosphere is more flour-covered family get-together than factory. And the staff is devoted. Sisters Tanya and Oksana have been here for more than 12 years. Roll in to Baba’s Homestyle Perogies drive-through at 720B 51st St. E. in Saskatoon and feel the love.