140 2nd Ave, New York, NY | Directions 1000340.728896 -73.987304
Neighborhoods: Downtown, East Village
While the no star East Village restaurant is definitely not on the same level as the next door Veselka, it is well worth the trip. Homey and cheap. Its prices are half those at Veselka. Pretty damn good food, actually. Critics who find fault with every dish AND the waitress should be on a suspect list.
really good food in old world atmosphere – I have been here many times with my father in the 1960s and 1970s and with a lady friend as recently as 2010. The service was good and the food and prices were excellent. Blintzes were my lady friend's meal and she was in heaven. I love stuffed cabbage and veal dishes.
A hair in my food and no apologies – I'm Ukrainian and I decided to have a Ukrainian dinner yesterday. I was not impressed at all because 1) as soon as I got my Kiev Chicken and cut it, I discovered a long black hair baked inside. Of course I called the manager and he took the dish away, but I don't think that either manager or the waiter understood what was wrong with the meal because when the waited brought me a new dish, he said to taste THIS ONE and say if THIS ONE tastes better :) Well, and I did not want to say it out loud that it was a HAIR in my previous dish! ugh... The food did not taste very well at all, I'd say kind of all right but very far from what would real Ukrainian home cooking would taste like.
Very disappointing – I am Ukrainian and am visiting New York for the winter break from school. I decided to check out this place since most Ukrainian places in Brooklyn were excellent. I don't know if it's because it is in the city, or because it caters mainly to non-Ukrainian customers, this place simply fails. The styden, jellied chicken, was bitter and too greasy, not how my mom makes it. The jelly itself is supposed to be very clear, it was not, it also did not taste very fresh. Borscht was alright but, it was too sweet, it should not be so sweet. Varenyky, also known as pirogi were the only thing I actually liked and reminded me of proper Ukrainian cooking. However, it was too much dough and not enough filling, I chose the potato. The campote was really good and pretty much the only redeming thing about this meal. The waitress was also very cross and not pleasant at all. If you want excellent and affordable Ukrainian cooking, you will find it in Brooklyn but sadly not in Manhattan.
Great Ukrainian Food and Atmosphere – Great Restaurant!
I am from Ukraine, came to USA not so long ago, so I can tell what the real Ukrainian food looks/tastes like :).
You can taste it in this restaurant for sure!
I bring all my American friends to this restaurant to taste Ukrainian food. It is great restaurant, located in convenient for us area. Plus, on our way to the restaurant, I do a little tour for my friends, showing them some other Ukrainian attractions/centers in the area (church, bank, school, clubs, store, youth organizations- Plast & SUM).
Yes, not all the waiters speak Ukrainian or Russian. Yes, sometimes they are busy because the place is popular, so you have to wait a bit. But IT IS REALLY worth it! The real Ukrainian food and the nice old fashion Ukrainian interior compensate everything if you really want to try UKRAINIAN food in UKRAINIAN restaurant in Manhattan. If you do not care about it - you can find many other nice places in the area. Two last remarks - this restaurant is one of the places where you can actually hear your friends :), not too noisy (big plus for me!). Also - in current Ukraine, there are A LOT of very modern and nice restaurants, but ones in the old-fashion folk style are among of the coolest and most popular places.
Good food and Good prices – I've been here a number of times with friends and my parents - my father liked that he could talk Russian to the waiter to order. I usually get borscht with blini or stroganoff. They have an assortment of yummy dishes. The prices are very reasonable, and the decor is simply and nice. I look forward to coming back.
Remember loving it...even as a kid – Rarely do I write reviews...so bear with me:
I remember coming here as a child and loving the food. Even now, the food is the truest in the area to that my grandmother and aunts prepare. I live out of the area, but try to come at least once a year. I especially love the borscht (which is the best I have been served in a restaurant) and the combination plates are nice when I take my friends want to try Ukrainian food. My personal favorite are the verniki. True, no salo...but I don't know how much of that they would sell (I can't imagine having it...my parents yes...me no). It is sad that there are not more places that serve Ukrainian food, especially in an area that was so Ukrainian in the 60s.
Service has been friendly and no, they do not rush you out.
I would not speak Russian/expect the staff to speak Russian in a place that advertises as a Ukrainian restaurant. True, many people from Ukraine speak Russian...but Ukrainian, similar as it is, is a different language.
This is definitely a place that you have to try if you are curious about Ukrainian food.
Just aweful – I'm from Ukraine, went out with my friends to this place last night.
It was a huge disappointment. Unfriendly service: The first thing a Czech(?) waitress told me was "Why do i think i can speak in Russian to her", when i started ordering in Russian.
First came bread, which was not fresh, as someone else has mentioned in their review.
Then the food came. They brought desert (blini) at the same time, for some reason.
Everything looked terrible and tasted bad. Maybe blini were ok, but the rest really like from the worst Ukrainian cook ever. Dry mashed potatoes, weird tasting sauce..
They do not bring away the plates after you've eaten, unless you ask them.
When we ordered vodka, it came on the rocks! Nobody ever drinks vodka like this in the Ukraine. What is this all about??
Best pierogies around and a great selection of beers – I love the pierogies here. The prices are great and it's a nice cozy spot to come and hang out with friends or parents. They even bake their own Challah and regular bread! We shared blintzes for dessert and those were great. I highly recommend the strawberry ones. My friend had the scallops and those could have been better but the mashed potatoes (which I'm a huge fan of) were quite tasty.
BTW one of my friend's is a vegetarian and she walked away very happy. It's tough being a vegetarian and eating affordable food in NYC and this place had a bunch of dishes and entrees to chose from, aside from the standard "cooked veggies" options so popular at other spots.
They also have a great selection of beers (Ukrainian and other) and other drinks. I noticed that they had a huge party room downstairs so I'm thinking of having my HS reunion here. I asked and the party room is free if we order food, and having an actual open bar would be great.
Oh, btw there's no counter at this restaurant and I don't think they serve french fries so the review below by Mister Lessons must have been of Veselka. This is NOT veselka.
Recap: Great food, awesome prices and nice cozy atmosphere.
Consistently crappy fries and sketchy service, but hmmm...home-cooked – Are we all a bit too star struck (nearly 5 stars?) over this East Village institution? I believe we may be, and yet for some reason we continue to return time and again. Perhaps it is the comfort we get from the vegetarian combo platter or a cup of mushroom barley, but let's step back from our nostalgia for a moment and list some big problems with this restaurant: 1. The french fries are always horrific - they arrive to the table cold, some overcooked from double dunking while others undercooked. The grease is also used to deep fry kielbasa and other foods, imparting undesirable flavors to the all-accepting fries. The potato product used as french fries is substandard - at or below diner quality. What would Anthony Bourdain have to say?!? Its the simple things that count and getting them right makes all the difference. 2. The service, which regulars have come to live with, is often slow, disinterested and error-prone. 3. The line cooks should eat off-line and keep colorful topics to themselves, this includes the manager who scowls and dresses down tardy workers. 4. Zapping my stuffed cabbage in the microwave results in cold spots inside and no one wants that on a chilly January afternoon.5. Pricy? - NYC diners are quite pricey, so Veselka seems in step with that, but the price of many basic items can be add up to a home-cooked twenty bucks. Will I return? I cannot help myself. It is still Veselka and it does taste home-cooked (except the fries of course). My advise - sit at the counter - that way you can always hand back a mistake or crappy fries to the cook directly. They will love you for it!
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