Brooklyn’s Little Russia by the Sea

September 21, 2009

Cabbage dumpling with crispy onion

Potato-Mushroom Vareniki with Crispy Onion

Cabbage Dumplings

Cabbage Vareniki

Although the crispy fall air has already settled on Brooklyn, I’m honoring the final day of summer with photos from the last great beach weekend of ’09. Our small group met up in Brighton Beach, a seaside neighborhood in Brooklyn with a vibrant Russian community and boardwalk culture.

The first stop was Cafe Glechik (3159 Coney Island Avenue), a Ukranian restaurant we hit up for vareniki (dumplings), smoked and pickled noshes, borscht and a flaky Napoleon layered with a caramel custard.

Onward to the boardwalk and Cafe Volna (3145 Brighton 4th St) for beer–the Russian import Baltika. Surrounded by salty air, the native Russian tongue and men in track suits shooting vodkas, it was a poor-man’s vacation to the Black Sea.

Our final stroll was down Brighton Beach Ave to locate a little piece of history. My grandma Florence lived in Brighton Beach as a child where her parents ran the grocery store, George’s Dairy, on Brighton 3 Street. At that time the neighborhood was predominantly Jewish. My Great-Grandmother Efrosina, “Nanny,” ran the store and spoke fluent Yiddish along with her native Romanian and about three other Eastern European languages. So we journeyed to Brighton 3 Street for some photos, and left with some Russian vodka.

Sweet Farmer's Cheese Vareniki with sour cream

Sweet Farmer's Cheese Vareniki with sour cream

Pickled Herring

Pickled Herring

Pickled Watermelon


Brighton 3rd

Brighton 3 Street

Ukranian Borscht

Ukrainian Borscht

Brighton Beach Boardwalk

Brighton Beach Boardwalk



Bird waiting for take-out

Bird-toting customer at Cafe Glechik

Boardwalk Love

Boardwalk Love


2 Responses to “Brooklyn’s Little Russia by the Sea”

  1. Elaine Says:

    These are fabulous pictures and a real place of history. The food looks wonderful.

  2. chris Says:

    amazing. love it.

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