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On the Road

A Blintz Blitz in New York City

Before we developed our own blintz recipe we could make at home, we had to taste the best. So we hopped a train to New York City.

By Bryan Roof | February 07, 2018

When it comes to food, New York City has it all. We recently visited in the name of recipe research, in search of the best blintzes we could get our hands on before returning to the test kitchen to develop our own blintz recipe.

THE BEST BLINTZES FEATURE tender crêpes wrapped around sweetened farmer’s cheese which can be breakfast or dessert. Now served in diners all over the country (and in homes all over the world), this traditional Eastern European dish even has a blintz district in New York City.

Never ones to try to perfect a recipe before doing our research, we knew we had to go taste the experts'. So staff photographer Steve Klise, America's Test Kitchen CEO David Nussbaum, and I met up in New York City and dined at three of the city's most reputable blintz joints. Here's some information about each one, including what to get when you go (and you should go!).

Eating blintzes in NYC
Roof and Nussbaum, hitting the streets of New York City in search of the perfect blintz.

B&H Dairy

B&H Dairy, just down the street from Veselka, is a kosher storefront that seems to be made for skinny people, because I can barely squeeze myself and my appetite through the room to a table that claims to seat four. A very tall man behind the counter shouts my order into the kitchen—four blintzes, please: cherry, blueberry, apple, and cheese. Here the fruit compote is rolled up with the cheese into the crêpe, which is then sautéed until lightly browned and crisped, a bit of filling oozing out of the ends in a beautiful mess. B&H opened more than 80 years ago; not even a gas explosion on the block in 2015 was able to shut it down.

Russ & Daughters Café

Sitting on Orchard Street in lower Manhattan, trendy Russ & Daughters Café is a polished 21st-century offshoot of the 100-year-old Russ & Daughters shop a few blocks away. I rub elbows with hip patrons perched on stationary stools at a marble-top counter to nosh on smoked fish served on wooden boards. Blintzes follow; at Russ & Daughters, they are about the size of an enchilada and are tightly wrapped, with their ends tucked in to contain the filling while they’re browned on the griddle.


Veselka in NYC
Veselka in NYC

At Veselka, a diner-style restaurant situated in New York City’s East Village, the fare reflects the neighborhood’s deeply rooted Ukrainian community—stuffed cabbage, goulash, and borscht are staples, along with blintzes. Here, the crêpes are folded into quarters, dusted with confectioners’ sugar, and eaten with a bright berry compote. When it was founded in 1954, Veselka (the name means “rainbow” in Ukrainian) was simply a newsstand serving takeaway lunches; today, early-lunching old timers and late-night club kids keep the tables crowded 24 hours a day.

Make Your Own

Cheese Blintzes with Raspberry Sauce

We took the best of our New York City eating tour back to the test kitchen and developed an impressive, approachable recipe we can make anytime.

Read about some of our other trips around the country, in the name of recipe research:

What's your favorite regional specialty? Let us know in the comments and we might add it to our list of research destinations.