Today I would like to share my NYC hobby, which is exploring restaurants. I always go to new places and discover flavors and smells from different parts of the world.

One of my favorite restaurants is Veselka in Ukrainian Village. It’s a place on the corner of 9th Street and 2nd Avenue. It has a glass exterior with blue and yellow flag in the window. On the entrance door, it says ‘Budmo’ which in English means ‘Cheers!’.

Photo 1: Entrance to Veselka

Veselka is a popular spot and when it’s busy I go to a restaurant next door – Ukrainian East Village Restaurant. The signature dish in Ukrainian cuisine is borscht. It is a beet soup traditionally served with a slice of bread and sour cream on the side.

Photo 2: Borscht at Ukrainian East Village Restaurant

After borscht, I had potato pancakes with goulash and a side of fresh salads. I also tried halusky, which are traditional soft noodles that can be served with different toppings, such as cabbage, cheese, and more. For the dessert I had bliny – the Ukrainian crapes – with sweet cottage cheese.

Photo 3: Bliny at Ukrainian East Village Restaurant

As half-Ukrainian, and a foodie, I have to admit that the food in Veselka and Ukrainian East Village Restaurant is delicious and authentic. Stop by if you are around!

Overall, I have had a fantastic food experience in NYC so far. Once in a while, there is Restaurant Week and during that time, you can try the best restaurants in the city for a reasonable price. With the different cuisine comes various interior design, which is interesting, especially for us architects. New York is the world’s food capital, inspiring with its flavors and vibe!

Olga Kosterska


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