Photo by James and Karla Murray Photography
An East Village mainstay, Veselka on 144 2nd Avenue has been serving traditional Ukrainian food since 1954, when it was established by post-World War II Ukrainian refugees, Wolodymyr and Olha Darmochawal. The cozy coffee shop, whose name translates to “rainbow” in Ukrainian, began as a simple candy store and newsstand that offered sandwiches and soup. Today, it’s evolved into an institution, slinging out “unpretentious” favorites like pierogi, potato pancakes, borscht and goulash. The cabbage soup is said to be a hangover cure, but there’s no shortage of classic diner staples like omelettes, pancakes and waffles.
Since its inception over 60 years ago, Veselka has expanded in size several times. Despite the quick turnover rate of eateries and retail shops, it still remains on the same site it was founded upon, where it stands as one of the last Slavic restaurants in the neighborhood. We also recently learned that it will be a newcomer vendor to The Market Line, New York City’s biggest marketplace coming to the Lower East Side’s Essex Crossing mega development.