Bowery Burger Battle: Veselka Looks to Open Up Next Door to Daniel

Veselka battles béarnaise with borscht in the Battle of the Bowery.Photo: Youngna Park


Watch out, Daniel Boulud! Your downtown burger barn is about to get some stiff competition. Veselka, home to our all-time favorite hamburger in the East Village, is in negotiations to lease a 5,100-square-foot space in the very same building as Daniel, but on 1st Street. Owner Tom Birchard tells us, after the obligatory caution that nothing has been signed yet, “Veselka has been working pretty well for 53 years, so it’s going to be pretty much the same, Ukrainian and American comfort food— although maybe with a little tinkering on the menu. We’re thinking of calling it Veselka Bowery, and it will take about a year to build and open.” But what about going head to head with the inventor of the DB burger? Can the lush and lavish Veselka bacon cheeseburger, with its double layer of American cheese and thick, salty-sweet bacon, compete with foie gras and short-rib stuffing? “Bring it on,” Birchard says. We’re already geared up: Happily, in any burger battle, the true victors are always the customers.

Earlier: Veselka 2: Electric Boogaloo