Over an hour from Manhattan by subway and a light year away in atmosphere, Brighton Beach is a jackpot for adventurous food field-trippers. Markets and restaurants offer a greatest-hits list of Russian cuisine—smoked fish and meats, soups, blintzes, caviar, dumplings, pickled vegetables, slaws, rye breads, pastries, and so much more—often at mind-bogglingly low prices.
'Varenichnaya' on Serious Eats
The Russians may be the most experienced drinkers-to-excess in all of Europe, so you'd imagine they have a hangover cure or two up their sleeves. My favorite is a hair of the dog drink, a variation on the Bloody Mary in which you swap out the tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and ice for more vodka. Visit any Russian cafe on a weekend (or, frankly, a weekday) and you'll see a table halfway through a fresh bottle of BYO vodka as they eat their lunch. So that's one reason to make the trek to Brighton Beach the morning after some overindulgence. The other is the sweet, starchy comfort of Russian dumplings.