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  • Richie Doherty

Veselka - Traditional Ukrainian Food - The heart of NYC's East Village

Updated: Jul 23, 2019

Looking for a late-night snack, an early morning breakfast, or just a damn good plate of food? Veselka serves traditional Ukrainian food for a great price! The delicious flavors are included and the food coma is free.

Veselka first opened in 1954 and has been serving traditional Ukrainian food in the heart of the East Village since. Located at 144 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10013, right on the south-east corner of 12th street and 2nd Avenue in New York City. They are open 24 hours, 7 days a week; they serve their entire menu 24 hours a day including alcohol. They have a special menu for Brunch that is served from 9 am to 4 pm on weekends and holidays. They also cater to the New York City night life by offering a special menu title “THE YOU-SHOULD-BE-SLEEPING-BUT-SINCE-YOU'RE-NOT MENU” that is served from Midnight till daylight on Fridays and Saturdays.


I personally enjoy the Stuffed Cabbage; Veselka describes it as your ”Choice of meatless (mushroom and rice) or meat-stuffed (beef, pork and rice) smothered in our rich mushroom gravy or savory tomato sauce” all for $17.

Blintzes, Stuffed Cabbage, and Pierogies on Veselka Plates
Blintzes, Stuffed Cabbage, and Pierogies

The Bigos plate is the best version of kielbasa and sauerkraut I have ever had. For both of these dishes I make sure to ask for a large side of the Ukrainian Beet and Horseradish Salad. This side dish is responsible for adding beets to my daily diet, I love them now.

If you are going with your family, or a just a really hungry group you should get plates of Pierogis, Blintzes, and Potato Pancakes to share. That’s a great way for everyone to get a taste of these traditional Ukrainian dishes.

Pierogies can come with Meat, Potato, Cheese, Truffle, Mushroom, Arugula and Goat Cheese, Sauerkraut and Mushroom, or Sweet Potato filling. I have even seen on their special menu listed buffalo chicken filled pierogies; so tempting. I had never heard of Blintzes or Potato Pancakes before, but after having them, I think about them all the time. Blintzes are Ukrainian-Style Crepes filled with sweetened farmers cheese. Potato Pancakes are crispy shredded potatoes served with sour cream and applesauce. Yes, they are served with applesauce and they are enhanced by the apple sauce. Try it.

I like to wash my drink down with a nice Eastern European Beer, they have many different bottled or drafts beers I enjoy that add to the food coma. My mom and her friend were able to order a bottle of wine with their dinner, and although it is not traditional was a great addition.

Every time guests come to visit me in the city, I try to take them to Veselka. They have incredible Traditional Ukrainian food, they are open 24 hours (a great sell to a friend at 3 am after leaving the bars), and they also serve tasty beers. The only issue is finding a seat; the secret is out Veselka have delicious Traditional Ukrainian food. You aren’t the only one that knows about it.

When you go to Veselka with your friends and family remember… the phone eats first! Send me your Veselka meal pictures and stories!


If you enjoyed the restaurant suggestion like the article and subscribe to the blog. Share the article with friends and family traveling to New York City so they know about the great food they can enjoy.

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