• baba perogy saskatoon

    At Baba's Homestyle Perogies, a largely Ukrainian staff prepares as many as 10,000 perogies a day for their loyal and hungry fanbase. (Photo: Aaron Kylie/Canadian Geographic)

“Perogies and Riders football are Saskatchewan,” says Rob Engel, who, along with his wife Chelsey and their family, owns Baba’s Homestyle Perogies in Saskatoon. The diner-style restaurant in the city’s north end industrial area is world famous, not only for its sumptuous homemade Ukranian fare, but as what may be the only drive-thru perogy restaurant on the planet. As such, it’s a must-stop eatery for visitors to the city. 

(Photo: Aaron Kylie)

“It’s part of Saskatchewan culture,” says Engel, who’s been at the helm of the nearly 40-year-old Baba’s since 2006. Locals, particularly those of Ukrainian descent (at 16.5 per cent Saskatoon is home to Canada's largest percentage of Ukrainian Canadians per capita within a major city) see the restaurant produce as many as 10,000 perogies, 120 litres of borscht and 3,000 cabbage rolls a day. And they’re all handmade daily by a largely Ukrainian staff who bustle in the kitchen that takes up about three quarters of the restaurant (which also sells pre-packaged frozen items). Where better to get a taste of Saskatoon’s Ukrainian flavour?

The most popular menu item is the Super Combo (five perogies, two cabbage rolls and one smokie — a steamed sausage), with “BOS” (ground bacon, onions and sour cream). Many of Baba’s customers are regulars, drawn by the authentic home-style cuisine.

“They feel like they connect with the food almost on an emotional level,” says Engel. “People tell us stories of how they ate perogies when they were young.” 

(Photo: Aaron Kylie)