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In search of your favorite red borscht

I've lived in Russia and spend time in Poland and Odessa, so I've had my share of great soups. I've got my go-to stops for a nice bowl of borscht here in NY, but I'm interested in really digging into bowls of beet that I have yet to try. Polish borscht, Ukranian borscht, Russian borscht... I want it all!

So where do you hounds go to get that crimson red borscht fix? Why is that particular bowl your favorite? What else should I order where I'm at it? I'm willing to travel anywhere to try em all out.

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  1. Vselka has a great borscht with pine needles!

    2 Replies
    1. re: passionate_sense

      Wow; are you referring to the Christmas borsch? Or by "pine needles," do you mean dill? :)

      In any case, I'll have to try that winter special. I do like Veselka's regular borsch, but when it comes to Ukranian, I'm a bigger fan of the bosrch at the Polish National Home Restaurant (comes with a great spread of bread, too).

      1. I second the vote for Veselka...really great borscht...be on the lookout for when they have the cold borscht (it's even better!)

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        Veselka
        144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

        1 Reply
        1. re: BoozeClues

          I'm happy to say, I've already tried Veselka's borsch, and it's great, if a bit pricey for its size. Still, thanks for the tip!

        2. I was going to recommend the borscht at B&H Dairy Lunch (a couple of blocks south of Vselka) but I might be thinking of their delicious cabbage soup. Anyway, IF it's still there, and IF they have borscht, try it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: efdee

            I had the borsch at B&H a few months ago, actually - a little too much on the sweet side for my tastes, but still a fine cafeteria-style bowl :) I'd imagine that a place like B&H would do better with cabbage soup, anyway - the cabbage soup at Stage Restaurant across the street is outstanding!

          2. I love the cold borscht at Little Poland - not far from Vselka.

            1. There's a place on Brighton 4th St at Brighton Beach Ave called U Teshi (At The Mother-in-Law's) that does a good job with cold and hot soups, borscht included. You could do worse on a hot summer day than a bowl of their cold solyanka.

              I have tried the borscht at Veselka and wasn't overly impressed to be honest. I thought it was fine but not memorably good.

              I have to say, my favorite NYC borscht product is a glass jar of Gold's, tangy, crisp, not too sweet, good by itself or with some sour cream or more stuff (I like some chickpeas and kirby in there to balance the tang with something mellow and give it a little crunch).

              However do not under any circumstances get the Manischewitz glass jar borscht instead as it is a truly foul abomination.

              2 Replies
              1. re: MMMMHoneybuns

                Thanks for the tip, Honeybuns -- I've been meaning to check out U Teshi for a while. I was actually down in Brighton today, but for bread; the "crusty" dark loaf at Brighton Bazaar's bakery counter is probably the best I've head since I was in Petersburg.

                I fell off this trail a while ago, but now that the weather is cooling off, I'll be back on shortly. My favorite borsch in the city so far is still the plain red at Lomzynianka in Greenpoint. Tart, well-spiced and clean, and served in a teacup for under $3. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't had good Polish borsch or wants a pick-me-up without a bowl of vegetable chunks.