Spending a day at Brighton Beach New York—is not just about surfing, sunbathing, or simply dipping your feet into the water. It is more than that, surprised, right?
Brighton beach is a community where you will find residents from Ukraine and Russia, bordered by Coney island, sheepshead bay, and Manhattan beach.
But what’s so special about this beach? Brighton beach, originally farmland, is a famous tourist spot that attracts people by offering resorts, restaurants, stores, amusement parks, floor shows, and other amenities. This place has become a hidden gem for holocaust survivors and soviet and Jewish immigrants since the 1920s.
Today this beach, aka ‘Little Odessa’—named after a city in Ukraine on the Black Sea comes with lots of fun activities. From strolling in the supermarkets to enjoying the evening at nightclubs, you will have plenty of options that are hard to find on any other beach.
So, what are you waiting for? Just scroll down this article to get a complete guide and the top 7 fun things to do at Brighton Beach.
1. Visit Brighton Beach Avenue
Situated at the east of the Coney island on the Atlantic ocean, Brighton Beach New York, offers you clean sandy land where you can spend your lazy morning or sunny summer afternoon. And a wonderful escape from the heatwaves of New York city to feel some refreshing ocean breeze.
Just carry an umbrella and sunscreen, and you are all set to spend a whole day at the sandy beaches. You don’t need to bring food or any other stuff as you will find many stores near Brighton beach avenue.
Make a stop at Gourmanoff—a market located in the old theatre that is nothing but a dreamland for all the food lovers. This place will surprise you with its architectural vibes and its offering of a large selection of hot foods.
2. Go for Some Fun Shopping
One of the best things that you can do at Brighton Beach New York is to save some time to immerse yourself in the fun shopping.
Shopping at Brighton bazaar
Do you know the Russian language? Well, you need it. Yes, Brighton bazaar is a Russian-owned supermarket with plenty of Russian stores and shops where you need to speak Russian.
As you get into the market, you will find a wide selection of buffets that offer baked apples, Lyulya kebab, eggplant salad, pickled garlic, and blintzes. And other stores feature packaged Russian products, a bakery, meat, a produce section, and a fishmonger.
Gold Label International Food
Located at the heart of Brighton Beach Avenue, Brooklyn—is one of the biggest Russian grocery stores with a massive selection of Russian food. It is a fantastic spot to treat your tastebuds with dumplings, cheese, mushrooms, and layered potatoes.
And some authentic Russian cuisine like piroshki stuffed with cabbage and meat, smoked fish, Russian sweets, and kvass (a fermented non-alcoholic beverage made with cereal).
If you want to buy some gifts for your friends or family, stop at Kalinka gifts—a cozy store housed at the corner of Brighton Beach New York.
With varieties of toys, cards, and knick-knacks, it is a fun place to visit with your kids. Besides it, you can also stroll around the beach to explore some locally-owned shops.
Vintage Gourmet Specialty Food
You will find a little Istanbul at Brighton Beach. Yes, Vintage Gourmet is a Turkish food shop that offers teas, nuts, spices, preserves, dry fruits, and some top brands like Merve yogurt drinks, Camlica sodas, and many more.
You can also get the taste of some Turkish delights like sour and sweet cherry juice and pistachio halvah.
St. Peterburg Bookstore
The world’s biggest Russian bookstore and seller outside of Russia has been serving Brighton Beach’s customers since 1994.
This bookstore is filled with Russian books and imports like toys, souvenirs, handicrafts, costumes, kid’s comics, paperback novels, and many more.
This store has multiple locations, and an online shop comes with homemade products like paintings, jewelry, nesting dolls, lacquer boxes, and decorative eggs—that you can come closer to Russian culture and traditions.
3. Food & Drinks at Brighton Beach New York
Brighton Beach New York, is like a hotspot for all the foodies. From pop-up Russian and Ukrainian eateries and cafes to sweet shops with imported desserts—you will find a plethora of options to spend your whole long day just eating and drinking.
Güllüoğlu Baklava & Cafe
You can start your lazy morning by stopping at Güllüoğlu cafe and having some Turkish breakfast. You can have their signature dish, a piece of baklava with Turkish coffee or tea—this famous dessert ingredient imported from the Istanbul factory, which they have been baking since 1871. Turkish sausages and omelets are also great options to start your day.
Cafe At Your Mother-in-Law
How about eating some Korean-Uzbek food in a homely atmosphere? Cafe at Your Mother in Law is a classy and traditional restaurant on Brighton Beach New York, famous for serving hearty, healthy, home-style foods. Rice soups, meaty pastries, pickled salad, and beef soup with noodles—all the recipes are finger-licking delicious in this cafe.
This boardwalk-side Russian restaurant in NY is a must-go spot while visiting Brighton beach New York. They have two locations, the formal one, the Tatiana restaurant featuring Russian cuisine, and the casual one, Tatiana Grill will give you the vibes of the oceanic theme with the menu focusing on western food.
Volna restaurant is a great place to stop for dinner—famous for delivering some most delicious dinner dishes and desserts. It features Greek salad, dumplings filled with cheese, chicken Tabaka, and pancakes with caviar, which taste heavenly when you wash down with Russian vodka and beer.
The most famous Asian restaurant in Brighton beach New York—cooking offers you Turkish, Chinese, Russian, and Uzbek food. Cafe kashkar serves lamb kebab, Lagman noodles, dumplings, chicken kebabs, and other authentic dishes.
4. Take A Walk on the Boardwalk
After having a good meal in a restaurant, what can be better than taking a walk on the boardwalk at the Brighton beach section, right? Yes, you can walk, bike, or feel the ambiance by watching the locals playing chess or having some chitchat with others.
If you have kids, you can take them to the large playgrounds. This historical landmark near Coney Island is a must-visit place that would feel even nicer and more beautiful during fall or spring.
5. Watching A Concert at Master Theatre
If you want to feel the real taste of Russian culture, drama, and music, include visiting this Master theatre on your bucket list while exploring Brighton Beach New York.
Originally known as Oceana Theatre, this grand theatre is a hotspot for ballet and drama troupes, entertaining us since 1934. Nearly fourteen hundred person capacity, this space also has a nightclub and dinner theatre.
Master theatre also shares a space with the Gourmanoff supermarket—a great place to satisfy your tummy. In the past, Ray Charles and Jakie Mason also performed here. If you have a plan for watching a concert, don’t forget to check out the schedules.
6. Spending Some Time in a Russian Bathhouse
How about escaping the heatwaves of NYC and relaxing in a shvitz, aka sauna, near Brighton Beach New York. You will find plenty of options to get some steamy experience in the Russian bathhouses or Banya near this beach.
Just pack your flip-flops and a bathing suit, and you are all set for swimming, relaxing, drinking, or taking the spa treatments in these Russian or Turkish bathhouses.
You can book a day at Russian Baths on Neck Road—not just a spa but also a restaurant, where you can have the best-quality Russian delicacies along with your spa treatment.
Another one, located at the heart of Brighton Beach, is the Mermaid Spa near Brooklyn. This spot is locals’ favorite, with a sauna, steam room, and a meditation cave. This place is a bit crowdy, so visit early.
Bathhouse—a hidden gem to relax your body, mind, and soul. With $45, you will get the whole facility in its Turkish baths, including couple massage, deep tissue massage, and myofascial release massage. Not to mention their offering of delicious food that you can have after taking a relaxing bath.
7. Parties & Floor Shows at Brighton Beach
Brighton Beach New York is not just about relaxing at the beach, eating and drinking in the eateries, or watching concerts at the theatres.
Joining parties and enjoying floor shows accompanied by a Russian banquet can easily beat the atmosphere that you experience on a cruise ship or in Vegas.
Tatiana Restaurant and Nightclub
This restaurant features a Russian-style banquet that includes chicken liver, beef stew, salad, appetizers, vodka, and desserts. On weekends, along with the food, they will entertain you with floor shows and programs. So, have your dinner, get up, and hit the dance floor with others.
With live music, this place attracts locals as well as tourists on the weekends. You can satisfy your tummy with their internationally influenced recipes like herring with mashed potatoes, beef, and chicken stroganoff.
National Restaurant and Night Club
If you have plans for hosting parties or celebrating a birthday or anniversary—no place can be better than the National Restaurant. With top-class authentic Russian foods and a glamorous banquet hall, this place will amaze you with non-stop entertainment.
I hope you got a complete guide on spending a day in Brighton Beach New york. From exploring the local food markets and gift stores to enjoying parties and watching concerts at Master theatre—this beach is nothing but a hotspot for all fun lovers out there. So, pack your bag, plan a trip to this beach, and thank me later.
Also, read—Top 12 Boston Beaches You Must Visit This Spring.