Respected New York City food critic Robert Sietsema took a visit to Brighton Beach to sample the local cuisine. In an article for NY Eater, Sietsema heaps praise on some of the best food joints in the area, highlighting Cafe Kashkar (1141 Brighton Beach Avenue) in particular.
Sietsema opens his report declaring that of all the neighborhoods surrounding New York City beaches, Brighton Beach has the best food options. Right off the bat, Sietsema describes the wonders of the drool worthy Cafe Kashkar:
While you may tend to think of Brighton Beach as a Russian and formerly-Soviet enclave, it is much more than that. Café Kashkar (1141 Brighton Beach Avenue, 718-743-3832) is the jewel in the crown, a rare Uyghur establishment that peddles the Silk Road food of Xinjiang, China, which means big meaty lamb dumplings called manti, homemade noodles known as lagman in soups and stir fries, cumin-dusted kebabs (pick lamb rib), and cold composed salads that are just the thing for the hot summer months. And at prices so cheap your jaw will drop.
Stops along Sietsema’s route include the supermarket Brighton Bazaar (1007 Brighton Beach Avenue), which features extensive carryout options, Kebeer (1003 Brighton Beach Avenue), a “German-themed Russian beer garden” pan fried Russian meats and burgers and sausages and Café Glechik (3159 Coney Island Avenue), a place that sports “a very nice rabbit stew.”
Other places Sietsama recommends include the street food parked in front of the Russian supermarket Tokyo Bay (309 Brighton Beach Avenue) where you can get fried piroshki with a large selection of stuffings. The critic also notes the fine selection of Turkish food available in the area:
The Turks seem to be moving into Brighton Beach in force, and there’s a new branch of the Union City, New Jersey old-timer Beyti Kebab (414 Brighton Beach Avenue, 718-332-7900). Cooked over charcoal, the ground-lamb adana kebabs are particularly fine, and so are the feta-stuffed pastries called bureks and the cold-yogurt soup, cacik. Speaking of pastries, there’s a new branch of the Istanbul coffee-and-dessert chain Gulluoglu (231 Brighton Beach Avenue, 347-577-6150) just across the street, offering more types of baklava than you can well imagine. If you’re in a kinky mood, try one of the oddly dressed Turkish hot dogs.
If you are not yet starving, you can check out the entirety of Sietsema’s report as well as his complete rankings by clicking here.