Hidden in the underbelly of a church on the Lower East Side lies a Ukranian gem, Streecha. Now, it might not look like much from pictures, but let me assure you, it looks worse in person. Sketchy is the word that I believe best describes it. Vintage paintings of Madonna and Child surrounded, plastic tablecloths, folding chairs and Christmas lights–sort of a homeless shelter chic meets Ukranian soup kitchen. But that’s the real beauty of this place–its unassuming and creep-tastic charm.
A visit here is a truly unique Lower East Side experience. Many tourists flock to Veselka for Ukranian delights but Streecha is an authentic and affordable alternative.
The kitchen is run by old women who work on a volunteer basis since all profits go to the Church. The food here is as warm and delicious as these women’s hearts. We sampled the varenykys, stuffed cabbages and the borscht. The best item in my opinion was the varenykys, which are essentially potato dumplings covered in a delicious carmelized onion mixture. Did i mention that they’re 12 for $6.00. And they’re huge. And delectable, moist and buttery. One serving would easily provide a meal for 2 people. Friends also raved about the stuffed cabbage. I didn’t care much for the borscht but I don’t like borscht so there you go.
Be warned that the hours here are completely unpredictable and there is no way of telling since their manning of the phones is equally unreliable. Your visit will have to be a fortuitous and unexpected, but again that’s part of the charm. Streecha is supposedly open Fridays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Manhattan’s most elite hours I have seen to date!
Address: 33 E 7th St, New York, NY 10003