13. 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 Little Odessa in Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach. Little Odessa holds one of the highest concentrations of Russian immigrants outside of Russia, as well as large populations of Ukrainians and Central Asians predominantly from Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. There are also many shops owned and operated by Georgian, Turkish, and Uyghur migrants. This vibrant, beachside enclave was the site of the Russian immigration wave to New York City, which dates back to the 1800s. The area became a haven for many Jewish immigrants around the 1920s, and many Holocaust survivors and Soviet immigrants arrived in the following decades.
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 Ocean View Cafe, Skovorodka, and Oleandr to get a real taste of Russian-style cuisine and lounging. Shops like Little Georgia and Berikoni Georgian Bakery serve fresh khachapuri, khinkhali dumplings, cold salads, meats, and desserts for cheap. Güllüoglu Baklava and Beyti Turkish Kebab offer a taste of Turkish cooking, while Kashkar Cafe serves up traditional Uyghur food from northwest China. Tashkent Supermarket, named after Uzbekistan’s capital, is one of the most popular stores in the whole area, with tables of hot food options serving dozens of Central Asian dishes. To stock up on Russian and Eastern European products, head to NetCost Market, which is located in an old theater.