Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Sep 17, 2013 06:12 PM

Veselka, and others (split from pierogi thread, San Francisco)

Vaselka is on my top ten list of places where I need to eat once I make it to NYC, ever...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. It's not unusual for me to go straight from the airport to Odessa. (I know Vaselka supposed to be better, but Vaselka is a little bit more expensive and Odessa is a nostalgic place.)

    Pierogis should be on your top ten places to eat in NYC.

    11 Replies
    1. re: aDelphinium

      Pierogi. Dumplings from that one tiny place in Chinatown, I think. Katz's pastrami. Rice pudding from that one shop that just does rice pudding. Clinton Street Baking Co. That pizza in Brooklyn from that shop run by the little old Italian guy who does it all by himself. French onion soup dumplings. A real egg & cheese on a roll. Coffee in a Greek diner cup.

      Oh, I'm going to be such a tourist, you'll see me coming with a fanny pack and sun visor!

      Luger's. Balthazar. Shake Shack.

      1. re: Violatp

        Katz's has really gone down. If you go ot NY you *must* go to Zabar's! For desserts, Venieros is also a must!

        1. re: aDelphinium

          Done. Added to the list. Zabar's, of course. I haven't heard of Veniero's but a pound of cookies to tide me over between lunch and second lunch sounds good.

          But I've been following that Katz's vs Carnegie thread!! I made a note to increase my "get good meat" tip!

          1. re: Violatp

            You won't be able to choose between cookies. Hmmm. Haven't seen that thread, but back in the seventies my mom and grandmother said that Katz' had gone downhill. Maybe it's gotten better . . . Another one for your list is the Second Avenue Deli (though I haven 't been there since it moved).

            1. re: aDelphinium

              I'll add it.

              And about two weeks, give or take, before I make that trip (whenever it will be as I will also try to coincide it with music shows I'll want to see) I'll start a thread and have my giant list vetted.

              I'm thinking one airline seat THERE and two airline seats BACK. Just to be on the safe side.

          2. re: aDelphinium

            I keep hearing how Katz's has "gone down hill!" Not I.M.H.O.!! Just go by on a Friday even as late as midnight and the place will be packed.
            A close second is Pastrami Queen
            Sarge's (When they reopen)
            2nd Ave deli is a close third.

          3. re: Violatp

            i havent been to STUFFED but i thought everything i've tried at was pretty good. although the borscht [and maybe some other soup?] was better.

            > Dumplings from that one tiny place in Chinatown
            you mean PROSPERITY DUMPLING with the 25cent dumplings? that is a great deal.

            >pizza in Brooklyn from that shop run by the little old
            >Italian guy who does it all by himself.
            DiFara's. Jimmy Smits was in line behind me there and looked kinda irritated ... probably because he was told it would be an hour for his pizza.

            We went to an UZBEK place also in South BK I'd also recommend. CAFE NARGIS. (for kebabs. skip dessert tho).

            >Shake Shack.
            i think SHAKE SHACK is about as good a fast food burger gets but it was also like $8.50, so not really fair to compare to a $4 burger. in that price range, i think the CORNER BISTRO BURGER is excellent:

            There is a TACO TRUCK near CB which has an incredible TACO ARABE for $3.

            HALAL GUYS $6 lamb/chicken plate also an incredible deal in Manhattan. Although I'd probably get all lamb next time.

            Coffee in a greek diner ... is that just for nostalgia factor? How about a West Indian Peanut Punch? BTW, my associates and I all thought the egg cremes from GEM SPA were just avg.

            1. re: psb

              Yes to Prosperity and yes to nostalgic coffee!

              Thanks for the additional tips!

          1. You can do much better than Veselka if you're looking for authentic, delicious Eastern European/Ukrainian food. My favorite is Ukrainian East Village Restaurant.

            9 Replies
              1. re: City Kid

                I actually go to Odessa's, the diner by Thompkins Square park. I don't doubt that the pierogis are great at the Ukrainian restaurant; but I'm on a budget and that restaurant is a bit pricey plus they charge extra for sour cream!

                  1. re: iluvcookies

                    Odessa Cafe (117 Avenue A) closed. Odessa (119 Avenue A) is still open. The article you linked to makes that very clear:

                    "Looking ahead, Skulikidis plans to continue working at Odessa seven days a week and said he has no interest in closing it or making major changes..."

                    1. re: small h

                      Wow! You gave me a scare! From the article:

                      "the cafe and bar half of the Ukrainian eatery Odessa will close its doors Saturday night."

                      The restaurant will remain open.

                      1. re: aDelphinium

                        I wasn't sure which one you referred to in your post.

                1. re: City Kid

                  is that the same place as Ukrainian Home? the owners were husband and wife. Wife was Polish , husband Ukrainian .The atmosphere very Ukrainian, the food good, but nowhere even close to my grandma's Ukrainian cooking. I suggest go to once EV great pierogi place Teresa's , now located in Brooklyn Heights.

                  1. re: foodwhisperer

                    Ukrainian East Village Restaurant is the actual name, yes, it's in the Ukrainian National Home building. Not as good as grandma's but I do like the varenyky stuffed with spinach and onion and the boiled beef with horseradish sauce.

                    1. re: City Kid

                      thanks. definitely a better choice over veselka

                2. For the real thing you need to go to south Brooklyn...

                  Cafe Kashkar for Uzbek/Uyghur..
                  Cafe Nargis
                  Gletchik for Pilmeni, Borscht

                  You can spend a lovely foodie time in good ol' Brighton Beach and go to some of the places above plus Perogi while checking the latest in babushka fashion.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: Ziggy41

                    Brighton Beach is a great tip, and I love it there, but it's a trek. Ukrainian East Village Restaurant is the real deal (comparing it to my grandmother's Ukrainian cooking), though admittedly less scenic than Brighton!

                    1. re: Ziggy41

                      I'm okay with not having the best of the best in NYC pierogi. I'm a Polish woman from Chicago; I've already had the best of the best!

                      My NYC trip will have to have some compromises as I won't be able to stay for more than a week or so. I'll make my way down to Brooklyn, but the rest of the time will be Manhattan proper.

                        1. re: aDelphinium

                          DiFara's pizza, plus I just want to see Brooklyn.

                          1. re: Violatp

                            DiFara's pizza? I've never gone to Brooklyn for food, but it's nice to know of a recommendation.

                            1. re: aDelphinium

                              Are you suggesting that Brooklyn is not a food worthy destination? Or you just not sure

                              1. re: Ziggy41

                                Not at all. Just that for someone who is going to NY for the first time there is so much just in Manhattan.