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Pierogi Roundup: A Guide to Greenpoint’s Best Polish Dumplings

While Greenpoint is still a bastion of Polish food, community, and culture, there was a time when pierogi purveyors were more ubiquitous than banks and drug stores, longtime neighborhood resident Richard Humann recalls. In the 1980s, the large population of single Polish men working for the American dollar made for a pierogi paradise, with bare-bones cafeterias selling the dumplings for cents at seemingly every street corner. The combination of gentrification and more opportunities to make money following the fall of communism led to the departure of many of the Polish men and the resultant closure of many pierogi vendors.

In 2018, there’s still cause for indecision when picking a pierogi spot in Greenpoint, even if the dumplings today are a bit pricier and a bit more infrequent. Below, a guide to the best local pierogis.

Christina’s (853 Manhattan Ave.)

Christina’s pierogis with mushroom gravy

Opened by Krakow native and restaurant namesake Krystyna Dura in 1993, Christina’s is known for its no-frills food in a charming, but tacky diner-like space. The table service is speedy and the plates will reliably fill you up faster than you think. Sour cream will cost you 50 cents extra.

Karczma(136 Greenpoint Ave.)

 

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Pierogi! #karczmapolishrestaurant

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While the pierogi options at Karczma are limited, what they do have delivers. The waitresses are all dressed in traditional outfits or school uniforms and the restaurant itself feels from another era. The borscht bread bowl isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s worth a second trip back to experience it.

Krajan Polskie Deli (160 Nassau Ave.)

The pierogi here qualify more for their price and location than quality, although they’re certainly tasty too. In the back of Krajan, a Polish bodega of sorts, fridges sit full of soup, milk, meat and boxes of pierogi, $8.99 for 12, meat or cheese. Nab some cow caramels on your way out: a medium-sized bag filled with them will run you just $2.99.

Krolewskie Jadlo(694 Manhattan Ave.)

 

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Holy pierogi! Our Chef’s Pierogi are stuffed with goat cheese, spinach and topped with chanterelle mushroom sauce.

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Commonly known as some variation of “The Knights” due to the armored figures guarding its entrance and the hard to pronounce name, Krolewskie Jadlo is a neighborhood landmark. It earned this status not only through its memorable front but also its authentic atmosphere, hearty food, and warm environment.

Polka Dot(726 Manhattan Ave.)

 

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Pierogi (Polish dumplings) at my favorite @polkadotgreenpoint – Roch, Greenpoint NYC

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The name and homey but chic decor make Polka Dot seem a bit out of place with the neighborhood’s food scene at first glance. A look at the prices and offerings will show you otherwise. If you’ve got room post pierogi, try the zucchini pancakes – like a lighter latka.

Pyza(118 Nassau Ave.)


This cafeteria-style eatery hasn’t been updated in decades, prices included. The atmosphere alone is worth a visit. Don’t get too comfortable while you wait for your order – it’ll be called out in Polish when its ready for pickup at the counter.

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GREENPOINTERS PIZZA TOUR 2011

The trauma of 19 espressos on the Greenpointers Espresso Tour didn’t stop us from touring the neighborhood for the best slice of pizza. As a pizzeria, your regular slice is your best and only business card. Get that right, then add your fancy toppings. We identified 12 pizzerias in the 11222 area code that served pizza by the slice. Two were closed on Sunday (Baldo’s & L.A. Convenience), which were automatic disqualifications.

The three judges were Brooks, AKA the Pizza Commander (left), Greenpointers’ writer Peter (right), and myself. We ordered one slice cut into three pieces and used a scoresheet adapted from American Pizza Championship, which accounted for appearance and taste. Each slice had the potential of scoring 225 points after we added our individual totals.

2011 GREENPOINTERS PIZZA TOUR RESULTS

 

*** 1st PLACE: VALDIANO ***

Top Score: 166.5

2nd Place: Franklin Pizza (161.5)

3rd Place: Triangolo: (157.5) 

Other Awards:

Best Music: Valdiano

Best Service: Vinnie’s

Best Bribe: Grandma Rose’s (giant plate of zeppoles)

Best Place to Watch Soccer: Italy Pizza

Best Pizza Cat and Pizza Window: Carmine’s Original

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