Brighton Beach
Brighton Beach
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Located in New York, Brighton Beach is one of the largest Russian communities in the United States.
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  • Grumo
    New York City, New York841 contributions
    A special flavor of New York
    Both the beach and the neighborhood are a treat. What is special about Brighton and Coney Island beaches is that the water is calm for swimming. Not as stunning waves as further out on Long Island. Good beach to walk along. Great boardwalk any time of day. On Saturday nights we have been entertained by musicians playing on the boardwalk. Great access to this beach from different parts of Brooklyn as well as Manhattan with the Q and B trains. Walk along Brighton Beach Avenue to get a sense of the Russian/Uikranian/Uzbek community. A great supermarket on the corner of Brighton Beach Avenue and Coney Island Avenue is Tashkent. Lots of fresh salads and amazing sweets.
    Written June 25, 2022
  • Howard B
    Oceanside, California96 contributions
    A nice visit for an hour or two
    Beyond Coney Island is an old neighborhood called Brighton Beach. My wife and I each had elderly grandparents and/or aunts and uncles there. You can drive there and find a parking space, or take a subway line which ends in Coney Island and the stop before that is Brighton Beach. It used to be mostly older Jewish families and started changing as the younger adults moved to the burbs or the older ones passed away, but the last time I was there it was still a decent neighborhood, with a mix of Russian Jews, Russian non-Jews, Latinos, and a few Italians and Greeks. The best is to walk to the boardwalk only three blocks from the main street (which also has the el) and you will be right in front of the ocean! It is calming and beautiful and never too crowded, except maybe in peak of summer. The air is fresh and clean and the sound of the waves is wonderful. Directly behind and facing the boardwalk are older apartment builkings (a few new ones are poppig up but with less character). The main street, under the el, is an interesting mix of ethniciities, with stores and restaurants and stands of all kinds. If you only want the big famous sights, skip it. But it is a nice getaway in a different sort of neighborhood where you can see real New Yorkers in their daily lives, with a beautiful boardwalk right there.
    Written March 1, 2020
  • Avalon_06
    5 contributions
    Russian comunity place
    For over 20 years I used to live on Brighton Beach. Good and not long commute from Manhattan can serve you with clean and lovely beach. But most of the people going to Brighton for Russian food stores and restaurants. If you love Russian style food you can find it in some expensive Restaurant like Tatiana, National or in a chip cafe .They practically at each corner on Brighton beach. Very good food market store is "Gurmanov", It located on Brighton Beach between 11 and 12 Brighton.Very nice place for walk and relax is Boardwalk, I love this place.
    Written January 6, 2020
These reviews are the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews for fraud.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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Nsaad
5 contributions
Aug 2022
Brighton beach is a huge disappointment just as much as other beaches in New York & it’s boroughs . There are no basic amenities such as lounges or umbrellas for rental ( I never understood this policy as opposed to the beautifully serviced beaches in Europe and the Mediterranean to mention a few). No where to eat or buy a snack unless you go to the one or two restaurants on the boardwalk. This means you have to bring your food and beverage, your umbrella , lounge chairs, towels ..etc. it’s a lot to carry especially if you are coming from Manhattan and don’t have a car .
And apart from the dirty bathrooms and showers, you cannot really swim because of the seaweeds .
Last word , a lot of homeless people all over the boardwalk
Coney Island, Brighton beach, rockaway beach , Jersey shores ..not worth it.
Written August 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Eric
Singapore, Singapore73 contributions
Apr 2022 • Couples
Nice beach front and a visit to the bath houses is a must. However, the nearest car park is at the Brighton Baths and that’s a good 800m walk to the bath houses. Today was a rather hot autumn day at 24C. Thus, wasn’t really an enjoyable walk along the beach.
Written April 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TangoNY
Queens, NY328 contributions
Sep 2022 • Friends
A center of Russian speaking diaspora and emigrants in Nee York. A pretty diverse crowd. Lots of drinking and restaurants with a pretty loud night life. However, outside the main boardwalk, things are pretty dim with garbage riddled Brighton Beach Ave and a NYC subway loudly running above it.
Written September 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

on_the_Bummel
New Jersey43 contributions
Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, just to the east of Coney Island, is a fascinating and fun place in which to explore another of the many ethnic communities of NYC. The extra bonus is that it's seaside so you can go for the beach as well and stroll the boardwalk for the sea breezes. Brighton Beach (BB) is a great place for a day trip.

BB is a living breathing community that echoes many aspects of Russian culture and lifestyle. That culture is very social and centered around family and friends. You will see groups of older Russian women sitting on chairs outside their apartment houses and, on pleasant evenings, multi-generational groups of families will promenade the wide boardwalk making it a bustling place. You will hear more Russian spoken than English.

Getting to BB is easy by Subway (consult a subway map) and you may also drive. If going by car consider that parking is available but is not always a snap.

Brighton Beach Avenue is the main shopping drag and the elevated subway runs noisily overhead. It is one block north, and parallel to, the Boardwalk and beach. There are lots of shop signs only in Russian and many things in the food shops that are unfamiliar. By all means browse and buy what catches your eye. (See the note about service below.)

During summer the wide white sand beach is lifeguard protected but watch out for flags marking sections without lifeguards before entering the water. It is an ocean beach with large waves and tides and sometimes rip tides so exercise caution, particularly if ocean swimming is unfamiliar to you.

The BB Boardwalk is more of a neighborhood boulevard and not a seaside resort so there are no typical boardwalk attractions and amusements. BB is really a neighborhood whose backyard is the Atlantic Ocean.

1. Parking in Brighton Beach

There is a Municipal Lot at Brighton 2nd St at the Boardwalk, just south of Brighton Beach Avenue at $1.50/hr in 10 minute increments with a five hour limit. The fees run till midnight daily but with Sundays free. Caution: a big part of the Municipal lot is restricted to permit holders so be sure to park in sections where signs clearly show hourly rates. Therefore what may seem like a bunch of open parking spots may actually be off limits.

Buy a parking ticket from one of the many machines and place it on the driver's side of the dashboard. The ticket machines take quarters, dollar coins, and major credit cards.

As you might expect, there may be a some times when spaces are hard to come by. Sundays are free at the meters all over the neighborhood, too, which may ease the strain.

2. Eating at Brighton Beach

One of the reasons to visit Brighton Beach is to experience the Russian ex-pat culture and food is one aspect of it. Alas, the quality varies especially if one is not a Russian speaker and able to navigate the menus. You may or may not get much help from the servers.

There are a group of restaurants on the Boardwalk between Brighton 4th and Brighton 6th streets with outside dining that gives a wonderful view to people watch and enjoy the sea breezes. That's the main reason to patronize them. I wouldn't recommend the Cafe Volna (Brighton 4th St) primarily because of the awful service. The food may hit the mark at the Volna (as in cold dishes and salads) and vary on the prepared dishes. The adjacent competition may be better. (See the comments on Service below.)

Expect to pay at least $25-40/pp before tax & tip and watch out for the hidden service charge tucked in on the check. Ask if it's there and reduce your tip accordingly.

As a less expensive dining option, try the large deli/market/cafe M&I International at 249 Brighton Beach Ave. Upstairs is a cafeteria to dine in as well as a fancy pastry bakery. Plenty of cooked foods, salads, baked goods, and a huge variety of sausages at the ground floor stalls to take out and eat on a bench at the Boardwalk a block away. In the back of M&I's ground floor are lots of prepared foods of all kinds. M&I is very big so look it over before you make your selections.

There may be some language issues if you don't speak Russian but keep trying till you get what you want.

3. Service for the Tourist in Brighton Beach: Welcome Back to the Soviet Era

Service all over BB sometimes seems like a holdover from the Soviet era--rude, indifferent, unhelpful, and sometime hostile. This is not universal but it is hit or miss and hits too many times. If it doesn't get too much in your way, you may later laugh it off as part of the ambiance. Remember, in general what you want may be available at a competitor so vote with your wallet and your feet.

If you learn to say please and thank you in Russian it may be a bonus.

If you have a car and some extra time for exploring, head east along Brighton Beach Avenue and onto Oriental Boulevard into Manhattan Beach, a lovely residential area of fine homes.
Written August 12, 2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

AJ345
New York, NY6 contributions
First, read on_the_Bummel's review because it was great, and that's what I read before I went.

Then, I'd just add a few things:
- If you're coming from Manhattan or Brooklyn, take the B. It's elevated a lot of the time, and the view is kind of fun. From Manhattan, make sure you change for the B before you get to Brooklyn because it goes over the Manhattan bridge which I found to be kind of a minor thrill too. Then in Brooklyn, it goes thru a lot of different neighborhoods, lots of clotheslines but also lots of green, including long stretches with purple lilac hanging down. Not your everyday Manhattanite's view on the subway.
- Also, the M&I market, recommended by on_the_Bummel, has an outdoor place to eat and drink which is self-serve. - I got coffee at Tatiana's on the beach which was way overpriced, and wished I'd stayed at the market. Also wanted to say that the service there was nice - I only bought a pastry - and spoke English.

I have been a New Yorker for many years and I'm embarrassed to say I've never been to BB before today. I will definitely go back.
Written May 12, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

gordonsmc
Brooklyn, NY314 contributions
May 2014 • Friends
and come to Brighton Beach instead. Your next greatest ethnographic adventure awaits. None of that packing for the Apocalypse or jumping on and off the suspect regional airlines - although you still might want to get fully immunized. Just take the Q or B line to the titular station and you'd transported to the world Ray Bradbury and Clifford Simak only began to imagine. Brighton Beach answers the question what would Soviet Union would look like if the Soviets somehow managed to get on American welfare. Bootleg and not (sometimes hard to tell apart) CDs of the ancient music idols (Dschinghis Khan, Raffaella Carra, young Adriano Celentano), pastries cooked with used Castrol oil, imports from all over Odessa, people who know comings and goings of Novo-Zadripinsk better than those of Williamsburg... You can see two drunken Irish helping a more drunk Irish coming out of the bar here and there in the City, but to see two drunk Russians helping an even more drunk Russian _getting into_ a bar you have to come to Brighton Beach.
Written June 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Fellow_Traveler
Germantown, MD23 contributions
Sep 2012 • Couples
A fascinating neighborhood. The store signs are all in both English and Russian. There is such a foreigh flavor to the area you feel like you've gone to Russia.
Written September 26, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

LBklyn
Brooklyn, NY2 contributions
I love it. For a beach in Brooklyn, this area is one of the cleaner spots I've visited. I'm not one for beach activity in NYC, but its a great alternative when you're craving sun and relaxation and when you're not able to make it down to the Caribbean. :)

Tips:

Being one of the better beaches, Brighton tends to get crowded on weekends and holidays. Parking is a major headache, even in the pay lots. Leave your car and hop on the Q or B train - get off at the Brighton Beach stop. The entrance is a short walk, about 3 blocks away.

If you get hungry, there are a few vendor trucks in the vicinity selling hotdogs, burgers, knishes, and ice cream. You'll also see locals who spend their day walking up and down the beach selling cold water, soda, and beer.

Also be advised that you'll get more than your fill of hairy, beer-bellied Russian men in too-small speedos and extremely overweight and overly tanned middle-aged womenin bikinis. It's part of the atmosphere and just how Brighton Beach is.
Written October 6, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

junkfood2017
White Plains, NY5 contributions
May 2017
why would anyone want to go to Brighton Beach in Brooklyn is beyond me?

do you like dirty streets filled with garbage? do you like rude and nasty people speaking russian?
well,if you do,this is the place for you. there are some good places to eat russian food,georgian food, turkish food,and some lousy places to eat the same things. which are which? good luck with that.
the Ocean cafe is the only restaurant I would recommend. Its not a ripoff,the food is really good,and all the locals eat there.
as for being in Brighton Beach,watch out! If you drive there,russian drivers are dangerous.they drive like they own the streets. don't get in their way.all parking on the avenue(which is underneath an elevated train) is metered.One hour and then you either put more money in the meter or risk a ticket.

this is a heavily patrolled neighborhood and many tickets are given. some russians throw away the tickets they get, showing their contempt for the state.
On the side streets,parking is tough.most streets are crowded with parked cars. there is alternate side parking,which means at certain hours, on certain days,there is NO parking allowed. at other times, parking is allowed but you must read the signs on the street and then drive around looking for a place to park.

there are trucks in this neighborhood,delivering food,mostly. trucks double park wherever they like.you have to drive around them since they don't move. If you think this is fun, it isn't.
If you try to buy something in Brighton Beach, speaking russian is a must. Owners do speak english,sometimes,but they don't like it.they like customers who speak russian and are russian/ukrainian. they don't like anyone else. so, don't expect too much.
On Brighton Beach avenue,near the corner of Coney Island ave,is a big russian supermarket called GOURMANOFF. It is a place to buy russian cooked food, breads,cakes, and all kinds of smoked meats.many russians shop there for their daily food.they can also sit down at a table,after they pay, and eat something or have a coffee. there is no service at these tables. this place is clean and can be crowded.mostly russian is spoken here.

all the cooked food is sold by the pound. Its decent but not "gourmet" by any stretch of the imagination. this is eastern european cuisine,greasy, fatty, and filling. But it is gourmet to many immigrants who have come to live here,in brighton beach, and have never had anything decent to eat in their lives.

these immigrants are the majority in this area of brooklyn. Not just eastern european,but also many muslims, turkish, Georgian and ukrainian. some americanization has taken place. Starbucks and Wendys,Subway, and many cell phone stores are here. there is one pizza store,Roccos, near Brighton First st. that's it. No italian or chinese restaurants on Brighton Beach avenue. But there are several chinese take-out places on Neptune avenue,with limited seating.
Brighton Beach is a mixture of rich and poor people. there are many banks and many produce stores and small meat markets, delicatessans(russian) with no seating. many places are clean and some are not. most people here are foreign born,recent immigrants who speak no english. they all speak to each other,and stand around in small groups talking in russian to each other.Why? because they have nothing else to do.

All the apartment houses near the beach are very old and there are some new hi-rise buildings,too. there are many medical services, russian doctors, physical therapy, drug stores (anteka) everywhere. many people here are sick and medical offices are crowded.
Still want to go to Brighton Beach? when the overhead train goes by,you cannot hear yourself think.Its loud and nervewracking,and happens every 15 minutes or so. If you still have to go here,take the overhead train(B,Q) to Brighton Beach ave. then you have to walk down two long flights of metal stairs to the street. It costs $2.75 each way from wherever you are.

Most people from manhattan never come here. after you come here,you will know why. driving a car here is NOT a good idea. But,walking on the boardwalk and seeing the atlantic ocean is a good idea. you can walk to coney island,too. Its a short walk. there is no russian food in coney island,and no russian stores. But there are russians.
you should know that tens of thousands of people who live in brighton beach never go to Brighton Beach avenue.Its not for tourists, and is a high crime area. On weekends,in the summer,thousands of people take the train and go to the beach.that's when it really gets filthy, crowded,noisy and generally disgusting. parking in the summer,on weekends, is almost impossible. A place like Wendys(very small) or Dunkin Donuts(small) ,will be mobbed and there are long lines.
watch your valuables carefully, as there are pickpockets here and thieves. Don't put anything down and leave it.
Written May 23, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

crawford g
Aberdeen, UK1,617 contributions
Sep 2014 • Couples
When the unique New York feel gets too much and you could do with a culture shock, take the subway to the end of the line and indulge yourself in something different.
Yes, it is not like the glitz Russia enjoyed by 5% of their population, but very like the Russia I experienced not long ago, with the apartment blocks and still unsmiling people.
The lnguage around you in the enclave is Russian, in beachfront cafes you have to ask for an English menu and yes, there is a beach and good swimming.
Surprising how few New Yorkers know this place exists!
Written March 3, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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