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78 Solid

A late-night institution with 24-hour service and a perfect location for feeding the East Village’s après-club crowds

144 Second Ave., New York, NY, 10003


Known For

The lowdown

Did you know veselka means rainbow in Ukrainian? It feels appropriate for a restaurant that’s brought so much joy to the East Village for so many years. There are lots of places to get food at 6 a.m. in New York. Your bodega likely makes a respectable sandwich. What’s much, much more elusive is great food in fantastic environs, and that’s what Veselka provides. Occasionally, you will hear complaints registered about its trendiness or attractiveness to tourists, but the people voicing these complaints can usually be quieted with a plate of pierogies. Of course, you should order those, too, and add a bowl of the borscht. But the true fun of Veselka is becoming a regular — learning your servers’ names (you’ll notice the staff stays relatively constant, a sign that a restaurant probably treats its employees well), and finding your menu favorites that aren’t the well-known classics. We’re partial to the chili and the Rice Krispies Treats at the counter up front. In sum: Whereas some 24-hour spots are good only at 5 a.m. under the spell of one too many drinks, we’d come to Veselka anytime.

Mary Jane Weedman

What you need to know

Recommended DishesBigos; borscht; chili; Rice Krispie Treats.

DrinksBeer and Wine

Noise LevelCivilized