144 2nd Ave, New York, NY | Directions 1000340.729040 -73.987224
Daily, Open 24 Hours, 7 Days a Week
Neighborhoods: East Village, Downtown
Veselka is a 24/7 Ukrainian diner in the heart of the East Village. It's a place to score steaming piegories, succulent stuffed cabbages, and a cup of warm borscht. For those not into the meat and potatoes of Eastern Europe, Veselka has a fair number of typical diner and hearty brunch options.
basic. Nothing special – The food here is basically only good if you are on a budget. Its plain simple and anyone could make a simple meal like theirs.
A Favorite! – As far as Eastern European diners go, Veselka is great for a casual breakfast with friends or family. With a broad range of delicious breakfast options, Veselka has everything from Challah French Toast, Mediterranean Feta & Tomato Omelettes and Cheese Blintzes With Raspberry Sauce! Can you say yum?
24/7 cheap goodness – best 24/7 place in the hood. little bit of everything. great dill dressing. yummy sweet potato fries. perogies are very good. highly recommended.
bad bortsch – Me and my husband got severely sick after eating bortsch at Veselka. Stay away from this place at all costs.
Horrible Customer Service – I live two blocks away from Veselka and love the buckwheat pancakes. It's simple food and the place has great history in NYC but the service is terrible.
I realize this place is busy but there's a way to be treated as a person not just number. I feel rushed every time I order to go food and the guy at the cash register could care less whether or not you come back or not. Three out of four times they messed up my order specifically leaving the bananas out of my pancakes or forgetting my eggs, etc. Last Saturday really was the final straw for me as when I went to pay I asked for a description of the stuffed cabbage and he looked at me like I had three heads saying, 'Well it's cabbage stuffed.' Not wanting to make a big deal I just smiled and nodded and watched after he rang me up with his dirty hands finger every muffin for a customer to eat/ buy. I most likely will not be returning until I get over this and I start craving the meatballs again.
Awesome Russian Food – I have been wanting to eat Russian food for a long time and was finally able to work it into a NYC vacation. I chose this restaurant based on the the number of people that had reviewed it so highly. However, the ratings still do not give it justice. The food was incredibly good and the service was excellent.
We got there around 6:30pm and it was jam packed with people. However, we were told that it would only be a 10-15min wait and it ended up being about 5 minutes. Our server explained anything that we didn't understand and made suggestions that complimented our order.
Definitely make sure you get a bowl of borscht if you go!
Pretty good Ukrainian restaurant – I am confused by the few negative reviews. Perhaps they had one bad experience and gave up on the place, which is too bad. Having been born in Ukraine I judge Ukrainian food by the way I know it should taste--as if I'm eating it at home, and Veselka delivers on that. The borsh isn't the best, but I chalk that up to being made differently than the way I like it--there are over 100 varieties of borsch and maybe theirs isn't my favorite. The bigos is by far my favorite meal but everything else that I've had I've enjoyed quite a bit. Maybe if there were 500 other Ukrainian restaurants in the city, I would judge Veselka more critically, but there aren't, and from what I have available to me Veselka is my favorite.
This toursits trap has nothing to do with Ukranian food – Just because place survives long enough to boast itself as a "landmark"-does not make its food good. Living in NYC long enough to learn that those "famous" ones should be avoided by all means, because places like Veselka no longer care ( do they eat that stuff themselves?) for what and how they serve- tourists will come anyway.
I knew Veselka is going to be bad, because i grew up in Ukraine and know how good it should taste, and in America , you get authentic food only in ghettos- those places run by first generations, speaking exotic languages to each other, fairly cheap and unpretentious, with basic interior design .
Indeed, it was spectacularly bad. Service was brisk and un charming- fine with me.Borsch was very sweet( and no, not because of beets- because of sugar), with prominent taste of vinegar in it. Then came the "meat deluxe" plate with "mushroom" gravy on a side. I don't know where were the mushrooms, but it was a mere tasteless lump of boiled potato starch with water.Another shapeless something on the plate happened to be some mix of cabbage,rice and minced meat- trust me on this one , it had nothing to do with stuffed cabbages.To add to my confusion what looked like "vareniki" to me (stuffed dough dumplings- always boiled) was called here "pierogi'- but that is just Polish name for them , I guess.Potatoes did not have fried onions in them( not even taking of smaltz!)- think how boiled dough would taste with mashed potatoes from the box- yes, that bland.The worst of all were pirogi, or whatever, with "meat". I think that meat was already eaten by somebody before it was stuffed in that dough- it was super dry,processed looking,tasteless. As condiment there were caramelized( and i wish they really were!) onions- pale and sad they swam in plenty of oil.
And to finish up the experience- i woke up in the middle of the night with an acute stomach pain!
We left,my friend apologized for 2 days bringing us there. Never again.
Up with pirogis! Down with flies! – Have you ever noticed all the sticky fly traps lining the restaurant? That makes me want to eat about as much as seeing the ones that haven't been caught yet landing on my fork .
Don't let the bad service discourage you. – The raspberry blintzes and pierogies (especially the sweet potato ones!) are very good. The service is not. You shouldn't have to keep asking for water, and the waitresses are on the ditzy side. But the food is really good, and the location can't be beat. It's also pretty inexpensive, which is nice. Don't let the bad service discourage you from the good meal you will have here. If you can put up with the flaky waitstaff, you will enjoy it a lot and come back for more pierogies, blintzes, and more!
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