Art & Culture | Restaurants

Surprisingly Tasty 24-hour Ukrainian Eatery & Popular Filming Location

Potato Pancakes at Veselka

About Veselka

 & why it made the Carpe City list

  • This Pierogi Powerhouse is One of the Last Remaining Vestiges of the Old East Village
  • Family-owned since opening in 1954, Veselka is a famous Ukrainian restaurant and landmark in the “pierogi belt” of the East Village.
  • Open 24/7, the place is consistently busy, no matter the time or day.
  • The food is authentic and the vibe is family-friendly but is also a late-night hotspot for college students.
  • Veselka began as a candy shop and newsstand but has slowly transformed into one of the most famous Slavic restaurants in the East Village; unfortunately, it’s also one of the last Slavic restaurants.
  • The restaurant was established after World War II when Ukranian refugees fled to America.
  • Ukranian ties are still strongly felt here; many of the servers, chefs, and foodies are Eastern European.
  • Our tasting team enjoyed the pierogis, borscht, potato pancakes, and blintzes.
  • “Veselka” means rainbow in Ukrainian.
  • This restaurant has been featured in many TV shows and movies, most recently, Ocean’s 8, Gossip Girl, Trainwreck, and Billions.
  • Veselka makes 5,000 gallons of borscht a year, 2,500 potato pancakes a week and 3,000 handmade pierogis a day

Carpe City Trivia

Pro Tips on Pierogis

Pierogis are Eastern/Central European dumplings filled with a wide variety of options, like ground meat, cheese, potato, and even fruit. Pierogis are said to have originated in China and brought to the West by Marco Polo, but it’s also claimed they’re from Russia. Pierogis are fairly easy to make — all you have to do is cut the dough in a circle, place the stuffing in the circle, and seal the dough into a crescent shape — Viola! Pierogis are seen all over the world now — even America has adopted this delicious delicacy into its culture. The Pittsburgh Pirates hold a “pierogi race” at their stadium. The runners are Sauerkraut Saul, Cheese Chester, Jalapeno Hannah, Oliver Onion, Potato Pete, Bacon Burt, and Pizza Penny!

By: Kelly McDermott
Photography by:

Kelly McDermott & Courtsey of Veselka

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