Explore International Flavors At One Of These 13 Queens, NY Eateries
By Rachel George
I was fortunate to grow up in Queens, NY, one of the most ethnically diverse boroughs in New York. There, over 800 languages and cultures are represented through a variety of Greek pubs, around the way Chinese food spots, brick and mortar restaurants, and a mouthful of cooking experiences from India, Japan, and all over the world.
If you’re looking for a taste of different cultures, stop by one of these Queens eateries on your next visit to NYC.
Although they’re praised for their crispy deep-fried fish, Hug Esan’s menu also features medium-size plates of traditional papaya salads, jerked meats, freshwater fish fried to perfection, and many flavors from the Thailand region Isan. For a small fee, customers can bring their own beer or wine. The Moo Dad Diew looks rather tasty.
Adda might be the most exciting Indian restaurant I’ve ever been to. It has a very homey feel, with newspaper clippings about India on the wall. There are ground chickpeas, potato wedges, garam masala, and slow-cooked lamb curry on the menu. The kale pakoras are sweet and savory, fried in a batter of ground chickpeas, and topped with chaat masala and chutneys. I can promise, that taste is nothing like you’ve had before.
Established in 2016, Chef Lam combines modern concepts and traditional Vietnamese flavors passed down from generation to generation. He partnered with his son, Michael, and family friend/pho aficionado, Louis Leung, to open District Saigon. They also serve craft cocktails & beer.
Finding Thai food in New York isn’t hard, but finding good Thai food is. Queens locals don’t have that problem at SriPraPhai, which has been open since the 1990s. Founder Sripraphai Tipmanee started out with a small bakery in Elmhurst, before opening this Woodside restaurant, which serves over 120 Thai food and desserts including Crispy Pork Basil, BBQ Pork Tender with Jaew Sauce, Soft Shell Crab with Chili Garlic Sauce, and other signature chef picks.
You’ll definitely need your chopsticks for this Flushing restaurant where they serve varieties of dumpling soup, congee, hot pot rice, fresh vegetables, and other succulent delicacies. The walls are black with chalk-like characters of food and they’re available for dine-in or take-out, in case you’re on the go.
This upscale corner restaurant is one of the hottest new restaurants in town, boasting high-end Mexican cuisine that people can’t stop talking about. They serve traditional Mexican drinks, variations of ceviches, filet mignon, and avocado ice cream dressed in Pineapple sauce. The restaurant’s name in Spanish means “sacred leaf”, which comes from an aromatic heart-shaped Mexican pepper leaf traditionally used to make tamales.
Over the top service, shoe-shining services, and a traditional Sichuan opera show are complimentary for customers at HaiDiLao. This is the first New York restaurant of the Chinese chain, offering manicures, massages and board games with your Hot Pot.
This is one of the most popular breakfast spots in Astoria, offering American comfort food and uniquely paired combinations. Enjoy Stuffed French Toast, Chocolate Marshmallow Bread Pudding, Barbeque Pulled Pork Mac’n’Cheese, and other mouthwatering desserts oozing with ice cream. If you’re planning on stopping by, get comfy and prepare to feast on these extravagant meals.
Another local hotspot for classic Mexican dishes is Casa Enrique, boasting flavors of Chiapas, Mexico. Inspired by his mother’s passion for cooking, Chef Cosme wanted to reconnect with the flavors of his childhood and bring them to NYC in the form of homemade spiced crumbled chorizo and fall off the bone braised lamb.
Jhol momo–chicken filled dumplings in a spicy tomato broth with green chili and garlic seasoning–is one of the most popular dishes at this Nepali restaurant in Jackson Heights. Especially in the winter.
Enjoy rich flavored ramen at the first Japanese restaurant in Astoria. This location offers dozens of ramen dishes, sakés, spices, and Tamashii soup, simmered daily with chicken, vegetables, seafood. and medicinal herbs to better nourish the body.
Walking into M. Wells Steakhouse you’d never think this place used to be an auto-body shop. The painted red brick walls, soft lighting, and beautifully wallpapered ceilings look phenomenal. Check out the raw bar which serves clams, oysters, and snow crab legs. People mostly come for the Porterhouse steak, which is dry-aged for 40 days.
Eddie’s is the place to satisfy your sweet tooth. Locals appreciate the nostalgic touches like neon soda signs, bar stools, candy-filled glass cases, and homemade ice cream. Their gigantic sundaes are served in metal dishes, dressed in hot fudge, rainbow sprinkles, and other assorted toppings.