11. Little Odessa in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn
In the southernmost parts of Brooklyn, nestled between Coney Island and Manhattan Beach, one can find New York City‘s very own Ukraine, far from Russia of course. Little Odessa, as it has been traditionally coined due to the great number of immigrants from Odessa, is located in Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach.
Little Odessa holds among the highest concentration of Russian immigrants outside the eastern hemisphere. This vibrant, beachside enclave was the site of the Russian immigration wave to New York City, which dates back to the 1800s. Yet, even today, Russian newcomers find themselves settling in this different and yet culturally familiar neighborhood of New York.
Whether it be from delighting in the many Russian delis or cafes, sampling the local clothing boutiques or visiting a Russian nightclub or bar, you can experience the every day lives of the Russian diaspora in Little Odessa. Brighton Beach Avenue is the main thoroughfare of Little Odessa, whereas the boardwalk can serve as a lively substitute in warmer weather.
If in Little Odessa, be sure to check out Winter Garden or Primorski Restaurant along with numerous other locals to get a real taste of Russian-style cuisine and lounging. If it’s a more theatrical form of culture you’re craving, Brighton Beach is home to the Millennium Theatre which features many Russian traveling theater groups. The grand theater holds performances exclusively in Russian ranging from musical performances, to comedy troupes.