Brighton Beach is an area of Brooklyn situated on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. It is also known as “Little Odessa” since it is home to a high population of Russian-speaking immigrants.
In the 1970s the first wave of Russians and Ukrainians populated this area, years after came Caucasians, and eventually people from Central Asia. All this combined makes Brighton Beach a vibrant community that offers a lot to experience.
Since it is located by the beach, this area can be crowded during the summer. To entertain the tourist, Brighton Beach has a lot of nightclubs, restaurants, and markets to keep them engaged and offer a full experience.
Most of the restaurants in Brighton Beach are owned by East Europeans so there is a higher chance for you to end up eating vareniki instead of cheeseburgers.
You will have a feeling that your subway accidentally drove you to the other side of the world. So why spend money on traveling when you can have authentic food adventure in your town?
List of the best restaurants in Brighton Beach
If you never had an opportunity to try Eastern European and Central Asian cuisine, set aside one day to relax on the beach and enjoy eastern flavors after.
Here you can find Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish, Georgian, Azerbaijani, Uzbek, and Uyghur specialties, and also a mix of their dishes which makes a perfect harmony in your mouth.
Here is the list of restaurants you must try when you come to Brighton Beach next time.
- Toné Café
- Ocean View Café
- Euroasia Café
- Güllüoglu Baklava
- Cafe At Your Mother-in-Law
- Kashkar Café
- WOW Bistro
- Umi Sushi
1. Toné Café
265 Neptune Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11235
The interior is small and designed in a modern rustic manner. The walls are covered with dark stone, the tables are made of wood and every detail contributes to the cozy atmosphere of the restaurant.
Through the kitchen glass, you can see the most important element of this restaurant – tone. The tone is a traditional Georgian circular clay oven that is credited for the region’s greatest specialties.
There is no better pleasure for Georgians than eating imeruli khachapuri straight after it is taken out of the tone. This dish is one of the basics in their cuisine, it is similar to baked bread filled with cheese.
There are a few variants, so if you want to enrich your khachapuri then choose megruli or adjuri type. In megruli you will get plenty of cheese and adjuri has the addition of eggs and butter.
The next item on the menu you should try is khinkali. Khinkali is dumplings made of twisted dough stuffed with meat and spices. If you want to eat them traditionally, like Georgians, eat them with your hands.
If you prefer light meals, choose khashi (offal soup) or kharacho (beef soup). For a drink, you can try some of the Georgian wines or chacha brandy if you are brave enough.
2. Ocean View Café
290 Brighton Beach Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11235
Although this restaurant does not have a view of the Ocean, you will need only a few minutes to reach it. The ambiance is very simple so there are no details to drag your attention from the food.
The cuisine is primarily Russian, but on their menu, you can also find other Eastern European specialties.
If you have never tried traditional Russian borscht soup before, this is the right place to do it. There are a few available flavors of it so choose your favorite.
Other essentials are also pelmeni which contains meat filling wrapped in thin dough and vareniki similar to the pelmeni but filled with vegetables.
Blintzes are also unavoidable – baked pancakes originally filled with sweet cheese but there you can find it also filled with meat or red caviar.
For drinks, I recommend tarkhun – natural soda from Georgia made from tarragon leaves.
615 Brighton Beach Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11235
If you have ever passed by Skovorodka, I am sure you noticed this restaurant. The big brown bear is standing at the entrance and welcoming all the guests of this restaurant.
Not only the entrance but the environment inside is sumptuous as well. There is a stage and a dance floor, so if you want to have an active evening, reserve your table when they have a live gig so you can enjoy the meal and dance.
The menu includes not only Russian specialties but also delicacies from other former Soviet Republics. The portions are quite large, so sometimes you can replace the main course with an appetizer.
This restaurant is known for its pickle plate appetizer. These include pickled mushrooms, grated cabbage, olives, ripe tomatoes, and even watermelon.
Also, if you have never tried compot before, I recommend it for dessert. Compot is a sweet non-alcoholic beverage made from fruits, mandatory on every table in Eastern Europe houses.
3086 Brighton 2nd St, Brooklyn, NY 11235
By looking at the name of this Russian restaurant you can immediately conclude which dish is their specialty. That’s right, vareniki!
Vareniki are traditional Russian dumplings that are mostly crescent-shaped and stuffed with vegetables. The basic version is stuffed with potatoes, but on their menu, you can also find fill made of fried cabbage or mushrooms.
Vereniki is sprinkled with caramelized onions and the obligatory addition is sour cream. You can also try sweet vareniki with sour cherries with which you also get cherry juice for dipping.
If you can’t get enough of vareniki, you can buy a pack of 50 for takeaway. Of course, at Varenichnaya you can also find other delicacies of Russian and even Uzbek cuisine.
The atmosphere is very pleasant, the whole restaurant looks like an old Russian house so you can see many decorative details that contribute to the spirit of Russian tradition.
5. Euroasia Cafe
602 Brighton Beach Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11235
Although you can see from the name of this restaurant that they serve Euroasian food, here you can also find Central Asian dishes.
The interior design itself is nothing special, the space is small and simple and all the emphasis is on food. The staff is always friendly and pleasant so they will make you feel welcome.
The prices are more than acceptable and the food is extremely tasty, so take the opportunity to try as many specialties of this house as possible, since you will rarely find this price and quality ratio.
As in every Russian restaurant, the unwritten rule is to start your meal with borscht soup, which is served and eaten with sour cream.
The main dish that guests often choose is beef shish kebabs, Lagman, or always favorite manti. If you are not sure what to order, you can always ask the staff to help you and recommend a perfect dish for you.
6. Güllüoglu Baklava
239 Brighton Beach Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11235
Turkey is widely known in the world as a true gourmet country with outstanding desserts. Baklava is the favorite dessert of all nations affected by Turkish influence.
To give Americans the opportunity to enjoy the taste of this specialty, Gulluoglu Baklava came from far Istanbul to provide that at four locations in the USA.
This place is perfect for breakfast or to sweeten up after a long day. Although the original baklava is made with walnuts, you can choose several flavors of this delicacy. There is available baklava with pistachios, chestnuts, and sour cherries.
If you are not a fan of sweets, you can have a quality breakfast with salty pita – boregi.
Traditional Turkish coffee has a strong and bitter taste, so in order to make a balance of flavors, with coffee Turks serve lokum- a gelatinous sweet that melts in your mouth.
7. Cafe At Your Mother-in-Law
3071 Brighton 4th St, Brooklyn, NY 11235
This restaurant located just 5 minutes from the Ocean is also known as Elza’s Fancy Food.
From the moment you enter this restaurant, you will feel the mix of cultures which is not strange since they serve Uzbek-Korean-Russian food.
One hundred years ago, Koreans started to inhabit Uzbekistan which lead to the creation of new culture, whose spirit you can experience here.
Besides traditional dishes from all three nations, there are also house specialties that represent a mix of all three cuisines.
There are a few things on the menu that you should not miss. The first one is noodle soup called kuksu in Korean.
The next one should be chicken tobacco, an original Georgian dish that was taken over by all Soviet countries. In Uzbekistan, it is eaten without broth and is topped with sweet chili sauce.
Also, you have to try Samsa, an Uzbek pastry filled with lamb or pumpkin. For dessert, I recommend Chak Chak, a Tatar sweet made by soaking crunchy dough in honey syrup.
8. Kashkar Café
1141 Brighton Beach Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11235
This Uyghur restaurant is named after the historic city of Kashgar located in western China.
The cuisine is a mix of Uyghur-Uzbek food, so you can feel the authentic flavors created under the influence of the Middle East, China, and India.
The menu is quite extensive and it will take you a while to decide what to try first, especially if you’ve never eaten in a place like this before.
If you want to play safe your choice should be kohnoom – Uzbek lasagna with chopped potatoes soaked in tomato sauce and dopani – chicken roasted with potatoes and sweet pepper.
For lamb lovers, I recommend polov where you get roasted rice with lamb or lagman – lamb with noodles. If you want something heavier, then kebab shashyk, which is the name for Uzbek kebab, is the right choice for you.
3152 Brighton 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11235
Even though the food in Tatiana is delicious, this Russian restaurant is far better known for the spectacle they organize for their guests every weekend.
Every Friday and Saturday you can attend a live stage performance with dancers, acrobats, and singers.
The idea is to create a special concept where you can eat and enjoy the show at the same time. There are many places where you can watch the show and many more where you can have dinner, but this experience is unique.
The show is fully in the Vegas spirit, extravagant, kitsch, and glamourous that you will never be able to forget this experience.
At the same time, the restaurant is located on the Atlantic coast, next to the promenade. So it provides a beautiful view of the ocean while enjoying traditional Russian food.
This is the most popular restaurant in this area and the prices are a bit higher compared to others, but it is justified with a beautiful view of the ocean.
10. WOW Bistro
12 Brighton 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11235
Wow Bistro is located at the end of Brighton Beach, near the Holocaust Memorial Park. I would define their cuisine as international because on their menu you can find specialties from all over the world.
The ambiance is modernly decorated and the atmosphere is pleasant. Portions are large and they put a lot of effort into the decoration of your plate so you will be delighted when your food arrives.
This place is great for every meal and every occasion. If you arrive in the morning, you can choose from several types of eggs benedict, omelets, and sandwiches for breakfast.
The breakfast menu is available throughout the whole day so you don’t have to rush if you are a long sleeper.
Rib Eye Steak is something you must try if you want to eat something specific and savory. If you prefer fast food, your choice should be a WOW burger, believe me, you won’t regret it!
11. Umi Sushi
215 Brighton Beach Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11235
In the sea of Eastern European restaurants from this list, Umi Sushi is the jewel of Brighton Beach if you prefer Japanese cuisine and flavors of the Far East.
On their menu, you can find various types of sushi, rolls, soba, udon, sashimi, tempura, and hibachi. So even though you are not a fan of sushi, on their extensive menu you can find something for yourself.
Umi Sushi offers the bento box option of an all-in-one Japanese lunch box containing a single portion of a balanced meal. For only $ 20, you get the main course with soup, salad, rice, and California roll, shumai, and tempura.
On their chef’s special menu you can find beef and pork prepared in the Japanese way in case you do not want to eat fish.
If you are not in the mood for having a meal at the restaurant, you can always order since their delivery is fast and accurate.
If you want to make a specialty, the best way to do that is to carefully observe several cultures, take their best ingredients and tricks and then blend them into the perfect mix.
That is the reason why the food at these restaurants is so delicious. Their menu contains only the best dishes whose recipes were perfecting for centuries.
So don’t miss the opportunity to try the best of what your city is offering you.
What do you think about my list? Is your favorite restaurant listed above? If not, let me know about it in the comment section so I can try it next time!