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Mari Vanna
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Marie E.

The best Russian restaurants in NYC

Whether you're craving stroganoff or caviar, here are the best Russian restaurants in NYC. PSA: Pair with vodka.

By Alyson Penn
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The best Russian restaurants in NYC prove that the massive Eastern European country is filled with so much more than just vodka and caviar. The hearty plates from the cool-weathered nation include blinis, stroganoff and dumplings that can be found in fine dining establishments or casual food truck haunts across the city. Here are the best Russian restaurants in NYC...with love. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC

Russian restaurants in NYC

Masha and the Bear
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Yi-Ching L.

Masha and the Bear

Restaurants Russian Williamsburg

Soviet Union expat Vitaly Sherman (Beer Boutique) delivers traditional Russian dishes like pirozhok pie stuffed with salmon or onion and egg, and Siberian-style pelmeni dumplings filled with beef and pork at his restaurant-bar, equipped with a half-dozen kegs pouring house-infused Catskill Distilling Company vodka.

Beef borscht at Mari Vanna
Photograph: Roxana Marroquin

Mari Vanna

Restaurants Russian Flatiron

The stateside debut of this Russian chain, named for a mythical babushka known for her hospitality toward strangers, may be the first Manhattan restaurant specifically targeting the Russian community’s new well-heeled middle class. The Flatiron spot trades in both pre- and post-Soviet kitsch—references that might go over your head if you didn’t happen to grow up with a dacha overlooking the Caspian Sea.

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Tatiana Restaurant and Nightclub
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Rachele S.

Tatiana Restaurant and Nightclub

Restaurants Russian Brighton Beach

Start the party early at the boardwalk restaurant and bar with glitzy shows (think Vegas, or cruise ship) and a prix fixe Russian meal that the website dubs “expensive but worth it.” After you’ve filled your belly with chicken liver pâté, beef tongue and plenty of vodka, get up and start grooving with all the other diners on the dance floor.

Anton's Dumplings
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Anton's Dumplings

Anton's Dumplings

Restaurants Trucks Williamsburg

Anton Yelyashkevich, the young chef-owner of this popular West Village truck moves to Brooklyn, crafting the same small Russian dumplings known as pelmeni. His version boasts sturdy but tender skins that may come stuffed with a juicy mix of ground pork, beef and onions (Siberian), chicken or smooth mashed potatoes. All get a brief griddle post-boiling, plus liberal squirts of sour cream and a shower of dill and chives.

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Russian Tea Room
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp / Shannon M.

The Russian Tea Room

Restaurants Brunch Midtown West

This reborn socialite center has never looked—or tasted—better. Nostalgia buffs will be happy to hear that nothing’s happened to the gilded-bird friezes or the famously tacky crystal-bear aquarium. Thankfully the menu has been modernized, looking to former Soviet republics for inspiration, including one of the best borscht in the city and more exotic entrées.

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Photograph: Phyllis B. Dooney

Russian Samovar

Restaurants Russian Midtown West

Go to Russian Samovar on a night when there’s a performance going on—upstairs, there’s a fine reading series. The samovar-shaped lamps have gold mesh shades that grow more gorgeous as you down shots of the house-infused vodkas. But if the upstairs seems like czarist Russia (circa 1860), then the lower level must be Soviet Russia (circa 1960). Stick with sweets—like the Kiev cake and Natasha’s apple pie, accompanied by beautifully served tea and cherry preserves.

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Skovorodka
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Serge B.

Skovorodka

Restaurants Russian Brighton Beach

Located steps from Brighton Beach, this restaurant serves Russian cuisine and a variety of internationally-influenced dishes like beef or chicken stroganoff, herring with potatoes and Ukrainian borscht. Live music on weekends will occassionally inspire diners to get up from their chairs to bust a move.

Russian Vodka Room
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Amaury D.

Russian Vodka Room

Restaurants Russian Midtown West

Glossy black marble, wall-to-wall carpet and sturdy green banquettes decorate the room. The vast horseshoe-shaped bar is always packed with a mix of young Russian and American rowdies. In the bright dining room, inebriated patrons feast on gravlax with potato pancakes and cabbage pie. Entrées like chicken tabaka are unabashed greasy goodness. And while there’s much debate about the authenticity of certain flavors of “Russian infused vodka,” the horseradish shot packs a punch that goes well with the food and the flirting.

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Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

Onegin

Restaurants Russian West Village

An ode to Russian lit luminary Alexander Pushkin, this luxe West Village restaurant—sporting cream tufted walls and brass chandeliers—takes its name from his verse novel Eugene Onegin. Sink into one of the plush gold-tan chairs and order from a menu of Eastern European classics like chicken Kiev, braised beef short ribs and Sturgeon Moscow, which is topped with cheese and stewed in a clay pot. 

Daa! Dumplings
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Daa! Dumplings

Daa! Dumplings

Restaurants Russian Upper West Side

Take your pick of Russian dumplings (yes, it's a thing) peddled in Columbus Circle’s underground market. Fillings include pork, beef, chicken and cabbage with sauce options like sour cream, Georgian adjika and sweet pepper. 

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