Brighton Beach was on my list of places I wanted to visit here in New York. For those unfamiliar, it’s a beach in Brooklyn – not far from Coney Island. Unlike the famous beach, which attracts tourists because of the amusement park and the most famous hot dog in the country, Brighton Beach is quieter. To give you an idea, we were there on 4th of July, and although the place was full, it was still possible to walk quietly – unlike Coney Island, which was completely crowded and full of queues. It is one of the largest concentrations of Russian immigrants outside the Eastern Hemisphere. It was there that they settled in the wave of Russian immigration to New York City, around the 1800s. Currently, it is estimated that there are 700,000 Russians living in New York.
Brighton Beach is on the way to Coney Island, more precisely, three stops before. That is, it is not a short subway ride, but it is easy, since you only need to take the Q line. After getting off the subway, in a few minutes you will be on the seafront boardwalk, that resembles the Coney Island boardwalk – the difference is that there is no amusement park. Also, I had the impression that the beach itself has more structure than Coney Island, as there are several bathroom cabins by the waterfront (same as those on Rockaway Beach). And the other significant difference is the presence of restaurants on the boardwalk in Brighton Beach. Of course, Coney Island has many options for eating, but they are all fast food. In Brighton Beach, there is room for you to sit and eat, enjoying the fact that you are seafront. And the highlight here is Tatianarestaurant.
The restaurant is an icon of Brighton Beach. If you do not want to sit, there is an area to drink and enjoy. Our idea was to have lunch. The menu is intimidating – there are several pages with lots of options. Obviously the good thing here are the fish and seafood dishes. There are choices of whole grilled fish, which was a recommendation from a friend. Each couple ordered a fish to share – and it comes with vegetables and mashed potatoes. These dishes cost, on average, from $25. Before that, we ordered a generous portion of fried calamari ($15) plus KHACHAPURI, a kind of traditional pizza from Georgia, which cost, if I remember correctly $15. For you to have an idea, we didn’t eat everything! The food was very tasty. The restaurant is huge and has tables outside. The service is not the best in the world, but, after all, we enjoyed the experience.
From Brighton Beach to Coney Island you will walk for about 20 minutes.
Who knows Brighton Beach, do you have any cool tips from the neighborhood?
Laura Peruchi is a Brazilian blogger, author, and entrepreneur. She has lived in Manhattan with her husband since 2014. Since then, she has shared on her blog varied content about the Big Apple. From travel tips, including unusual things to do, shopping tips, etiquette, restaurants, and a lot more, her blog has become a reference in Portuguese (also available in English) for anyone planning a trip to New York City.