Brighton Beach, Brooklyn
if you're on brighton beach in the summer, don't bother eating at any of those overpriced restaurants on the boardwalk; instead, buy some food at any of the russian stores like Odessa, National and my personal favorite, Brighton Bazaar on Brighton 11th street (be sure to get the "shashlick" and "salat olivye") and make yourself a nice picnic on the beach; it's way cheaper than any of those restaurants and you actually get to see the food before you buy it.
Avoid Cafe Kashkar (brighton 14th street) at all costs: it was the worst meal of my life, dogs wouldn't have eaten that food. Don't know why the NY Times gave it a good review.
Brighton Beach-one of the country's largest, or possible the largest, Russian communities. Great to visit for the food and atmosphere. Amazing place. I took my mother here for mother's day many years ago and she had a blast. Take the D or Q train from Manhattan to Brighton Beach. Right next door is Coney Island-see must see activities. Make sure to hit Brighton Beach hungry, there is good food galore.