The Fiddler | 6676 Orchard Lake Rd., West Bloomfield; 248-851-8782; fiddlerrestaurant.com: The Fiddler serves a good variety of Russian and Jewish dishes, including a “Ukrainian borscht” — a steaming cup or bowl of beet, carrot, and onion, with a slight sweet-and-sour taste. It comes with sour cream, not mayonnaise (sorry, Ari).
Krakus | 12900 Joseph Campau, Detroit; 313-368-4848; krakusrestaurant.com: Lovers of hearty Eastern European fare are well aware of Hamtramck’s Polish Village Cafe and Polonia Café, but fewer diners are familiar with Krakus, though it’s been open for almost 35 years in its current location five blocks north of the Hamtramck city line in Detroit. It’s the real deal, and much less mobbed at lunch and dinner. They serve a Ukrainian borscht, called simply “Ukrainian soup” to them, but with your usual beet base and plenty of vegetables. No sour cream, and never cold, but worth a closer look if only to switch things up a bit.
The Royal Eagle | 18745 Old Homestead Ave., Harper Woods; 313-521-1894; theroyaleagle.org: The restaurant is housed on the grounds of a Russian monastery (St. Sabbas), complete with miniature onion domes. Tucked into a quiet east-side neighborhood, the location, however, is a venue for religious practice first and foremost. Many of the employees are parishioners working on a volunteer basis. They dress in traditional garb, adding an extra touch of charm to this already magical locale. That magic extends to the borscht, here a brothy, tangy, satisfying soup with tender beets and other vegetables.