There are plenty of ways to beat the blues, and eating at a Polish restaurant in NYC is one of the best. Whether your prescription requires a pampered day at one of the best spas in NYC or comparing hot toddies at the best bars with fireplaces in NYC, no warming method is truly complete without a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs plate of Polish comfort food. From soft and pillowy potato-and-cheese-stuffed pierogies to velvety white borscht adorned with savory bites of grilled kielbasa, New York’s plethora of Polish eateries offer just what the doctor ordered.
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Best Polish restaurants in NYC
The first and perhaps most regal of Nobu-trained chef Krzysztof Drezewiecki’s holy trinity of Brooklyn-based Polish restaurants, Krolewskie Jadlo stays true to its translation, offering hungry Greenpointers no less than a “king’s feast” atop every plate. Choose from traditional dishes like beef goulash or stuffed cabbage, or go full haute with venison and walnut meatballs drizzled with wild mushroom truffle oil. Whatever your pleasure, just don’t forget to pair it with one of Krolewskie’s offerings of eclectic international wines—like the hard-to-find Casal Thaulero Pinot Grigio from Abruzzo, Italy.
Conveniently located just a few steps from the Bedford Avenue L train, Dziupla is a rare combination of elevated quality and quantity in an area all too sadly known for its overpriced, mediocre-at-best eats. For the ultimate value, swing by during happy hour Monday through Friday from 4pm to 7pm, where you can indulge in $3 beers, $4 wines and half off all pierogies. At just $5 a plate, the chanterelle-topped spinach and goat cheese pierogies are one of the cheapest eats in all of NYC.
What this no-frills Greenpoint eatery lacks in ambience it makes up for in taste. Perfect for a solo nosh on a cold winter’s day, this counter-style canteen serves some of the best smoked kielbasa–laden white borscht that $5 can buy. Just be sure to hit the ATM before ordering—Pyza is cash only.
With its old country farmhouse décor complemented by a waitstaff dressed in traditional folk garb, Karczma is where you go to impress a group of out-of-towners with classic Polish cuisine. If its lengthy menu leaves you feeling paralyzed by choice, opt for the sampling plate of Polish specialties which includes three pierogies (boiled or fried), two potato pancakes, Polish kielbasa, hunter’s stew and stuffed cabbage for just $14.
This family-run, BYOB restaurant has been serving up its rotating selection of potato, cheese, mushroom, meat and sauerkraut-stuffed pierogies to south Brooklynites since the 1990s. Homestyle staples like stuffed cabbage and pyzy (stuffed potato dumplings) will satisfy a savory craving, while a sugar-and-lemon-kissed, ricotta-and-cream cheese–pocketed blintz will add just the right amount of sweetness to the end of your meal.
Located in the heart of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, aka Little Poland, Polka Dot houses a hot table of revolving Polish delights, offering everything from vegetarian stuffed cabbage and zucchini pancakes to pork stew and mushroom-stuffed chicken. Package it by the pound and take it to-go, or have a seat and take your time as you dig into house-made pychotka, a traditional Polish custard-and-fruit layered cake.
Established in 1985, Little Poland is one the last Eastern European holdouts in Manhattan’s East Village. This brick-and-tiled diner serves up hearty portions of Polish and American comfort cuisine. Although house specialties lean on the meaty side (kielbasa, stuffed cabbage, beef goulash), vegetarians won’t go hungry—the aptly named “very special pierogies” are generously stuffed with potato, sauerkraut and cheese. Very special indeed.
Nestled in the food labyrinth that is Dekalb Market Hall, the Pierogi Boys serve up a well-deserved post (or pre) Trader Joe’s snack. Meat, cheese, potato and mushroom pierogies are packed and boiled right on the spot, resulting in a steaming pillowy pierogi so fresh you’ll forget all about the Ikea-esque basement ambience.
Venue says: “Teresa's Restaurant offers delicious dining, takeout and delivery to Brooklyn, NY.”
For Polish cuisine and comfort food favorites, look no further than Teresa’s in Brooklyn Heights. This restaurant serves up traditional Eastern European fare alongside diner staples like omelets, burgers and pancakes. You can order a veritable buffet of Old World favorites like pierogies, cheese blintzes with blueberries, broiled kielbasa, stuffed cabbage in tomato sauce, goulash and borscht. Glasses of the house red or white wine are cheap, as are most domestic and imported beers. With a menu this extensive, you’re sure to find something that tickles your fancy.
Don’t order light and don’t look for low-carb options. Go to Christina’s for stick-to-your-ribs Polish fare served in a homey, brick-walled diner setting. Steamed pierogi are perfectly prepared, but a diet-be-damned fried version is a better way to go. Beef goulash arrives with tender bits of meat in a savory gravy, served with your choice of potatoes. Figure in the sides of beets and red cabbage as your daily dose of vegetables.
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Craving a big, juicy burger but don’t feel like going to a greasy drive-thru? Hit up Burger-Burger. Go for the standard cheeseburger ($11), or try one of the deluxe options like the Berta with cheddar, ham and a fried egg ($13.25) or the New Yorker with caramelized onions, mushrooms, swiss cheese and sour cream ($14.50). The health-conscious can opt for a veggie ($12.50), turkey ($12.50) or bison burger ($16) on a whole wheat bun. Of course, they offer fries galore—regular ($5), sweet potato ($6), curly ($7), cheese ($5), chili cheese ($7)—and all kinds of other snacks like mozzarella sticks and jalapeno poppers (both $6). Not into burgers? They also offer New York–style hot dogs ($4.50) and chili cheese dogs ($7). Like any good fast food joint, Burger-Burger also sells milkshakes in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry (each $5) or Reese’s peanut butter cup ($5.50) to round out the meal.
Venue says: “So good we named it twice! NY style hot dogs, shakes, malts, healthy burger options & low carb platters to your home or office.”