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Pierogi Paradise Found in Greenpoint

Pierogi_frying-1.jpg
We’ve decided to expand our coverage on the site, so we’ve invited some talented writers to contribute along the way, including chefs, bartenders, servers, and sommeliers.  Feel free to email your ideas to email us with your ideas at restaurantgirl@restaurantgirl.com.
Enjoy…

By RG writer – Caitlin Decker

I don’t think I ever ate a pierogi before moving to Greenpoint, or at least not one worth remembering.  I came to Brooklyn from Tucson, Arizona — not exactly known for its pierogi — and was surprised to find that my new home is a mecca for the Polish pierogi.   Almost every culture has some type of dumpling: Japan has gyozas, India
has samosas, Argentina has empanadas, and Poland has pierogi.   (When
ordering, ask for pierogi not pierogis.  Pierogi is already plural.)

I’m officially obsessed with these precious little, piping hot dumplings filled with meat, sauerkraut, cheese, potato, or a combination.  I’ve eaten so many that I consider myself a bit of an expert on the subject matter and a bit of a snob.

The best way to eat a pierogi is with your hands with a dab of sour cream.  I’m not sure that’s the proper way, but it tastes better.  There are two schools of thought on cooking: Boiled or boiled then pan-fried to achieve crispy edges.   As you can see from the picture, I’m in the pan-fried school of thought.   That’s right, I’m not interested in the “healthy version.”  I need a distinction between dough and filling; the light brown crispy wrapper that gives way to a soft, sauerkraut & mushroom filling.  I often buy fresh ones and cook them at home to ensure they’re hot and crispy enough.

Fall is the perfect time to take a pierogi tour of Greenpoint.  These are a few of my favorites restaurants with pierogi and other great Polish dishes.  And on your way home, you can even pick up a stash to make at home.

Stanley’s Pierogi at Staropolski
Address:1053 Manhattan Ave, btwn. Eagle & Freeman
Phone: (718)349-1402
Rank: 5 out of 5 (buy in bulk here)
I’ve become loyal to a few favorites in the neighborhood and Stanley’s Pierogi are at the top of that list. They’re consistent and impeccably fresh.  The pierogis are prepared back at their flagship restaurant in Ridgewood, Brooklyn where they’ve been making them for years, but you’d think they were made on the premises.  My favorite are the cheese and potato pierogi, which are wonderfully flavorful, but never over-spiced.

Relax Restaurant
Address: 68 Newell St # A, corner of Newell & Nassau
Brooklyn, NY
Phone: (718)389-1665

Rank: 5/5
Despite its cutesy name, this spot makes a phenomenal pierogi, which is probably why the dining room’s usually filled with Polish diners speaking in their native language.  A regular directed me to the sauerkraut and mushroom dumpling.  Good call.  It was super crispy, yet surprisingly light, so I didn’t feel like rolling myself home after.

Kiska at Nassau Meat Market
Address: 915 Manhattan Ave, btwn. Greenpoint & Kent
Brooklyn, NY
Phone: (718)389-3147
Rank: 4/5

I’d go for the warm welcome customers guest, but the addictively doughy pierogi plumped with potato and cheese are compelling on their own.

Associated Market
Address: 802 Manhattan Ave (Corner of Calyer and Manhattan)
Phone: (718)486-7100
Rank: 4/5
When I need a pierogi fix NOW, I make a run to Associated, unlike any other Associated I’ve ever been to.  It’s essentially like going to a supermarket in Poland: All of the employees speak to you in Polish and I can’t read a third of the store’s signage.  But all you really need to know is they’ve got a extensive selection of fresh pierogi, so skip the freezer aisle.   My favorites are the farmer’s cheese dumplings, light and subtly sweet, as well as the cabbage variety, dipped in sour cream and apple sauce.

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