The Very Best Restaurants in Queens, New York
Queens is quickly establishing itself as a dining destination. Featuring an exciting, almost dizzying myriad of diverse cuisines, all to be found in one place!
Queens is quickly establishing itself as a dining destination. In 2015 alone, four Queens restaurants have earned a Michelin star, and it’s not hard to see why! Over the years, immigrants have brought along their respective cuisines, and have fanned across the borough, resulting in an exciting, almost dizzying myriad of diverse cuisines, all to be found in one place!
Everybody loves Chinese food, especially in New York. Biang! is situated in Flushing's Main Street and is considered as one of the best restaurants in Queens.
Jason Wang started Biang! as a take-out counter in the East Village. Since then, he has expanded and to accommodate his food’s huge number of followers, both Chinese food lovers and newly converted ones.
With its glass storefront, you can see how the dumplings and noodles are made fresh, and watch the meat slowly being grilled. Order the Mount Qi Pork Biang-Biang Noodles, wide handmade al dente noodles topped with hot and sour diced pork belly, and seasoned with star anise for that unique kick. Also available as soup noodles.
Biang!'s other best sellers include the pork buns—these tasty little buns are simply to die for!— their grilled meat skewers, and if you are a fan of spicy food, don’t miss their flavorful and tender lamb skewers which are very, very good. A word of warning: you might pay for it in the morning, but it’s totally worth it.
41-10 Main St,
Flushing, NY 11355
Sundays, 11:30am – 10:30pm
Mondays to Fridays, 11:30am – 3pm, 5:30pm – 10:30pm
Saturdays, 11:30am – 11pm
Artopolis Bakery is a Greek bakery that is well-loved by locals and tourists alike. Once you pass by this Greek bakery, you will get a whiff of the most delectable aromas escaping from its doors, inviting you inside to taste its sweet offerings of baked goods.
Try the simple, yet out-of-this-world Melomakarona cookies, which are made from honey and walnuts. The coconut baklava is awesome, and the Galaktoboureko, which is a lemon and orange custard pie, is simply sublime with the right notes of sweet and sour.
Whatever you may order, Artopolis Bakery will not disappoint.
23-18 31st Street,
New York, NY 11105
Mondays to Fridays, 7am – 9pm
Saturdays and Sundays, 8am – 8pm
The Arepa Lady
The Arepa Lady is the brick and mortar restaurant of a food cart that is popular for those buttery South American cornmeal cakes. There are a lot of food trucks and food carts lining Roosevelt Avenue, several selling arepas, and one of them—a little Colombian woman— became phenomenal.
Order the doughy arepa made with white cornmeal if you want something savory to nibble on: crunchy on top and literally oozing with cheese. A sweeter, more dessert-like option would be the flat golden corn arepa, with queso, then folded over like an omelette.
The Arepa Lady
77-02 Roosevelt Avenue
Queens, NY 11373
Mondays to Thursdays, 12pm – 11pm
Fridays, 12pm – 1am
Saturdays, 11am – 1am
Sundays, 11am – 10pm
Xiao Dong Bei
Xiao Dong Bei serves Manchurian cuisine, which is one of the most interesting cuisines in China. If Szechuan food is characterized by its spiciness, Manchu cooking is hearty and relies on preserved ingredients, given the harsh winters in that region. It’s also heavily influenced by countries that it shares a border with: Russia, Mongolia and Korea. Manchurian cuisine is, in my opinion, one of the more interesting cuisines in China, albeit severely overlooked.
If you like fish, then you’ll be glad to know that Xiao Dong Bei has quite a few delicious fish dishes, such as the braised whole fish with spicy minced pork or the fried flounder with chili peppers. For heavier meats, there’s the great tasting Five Flavor Pork Bone soup, Braised Sea Cucumber with Pork Tendon, the Double-Cooked Sliced Pork Belly, and the yummy but really spicy Chicken in Red Chili Sauce. Manchuria is based in the northernmost part of China, and it can get really, really cold there, so it’s no wonder Manchu cooking uses a lot of spices and chilies.
Be sure to get some of the dessert which is the Red Bean with Snow Cotton—deep fried, fluffy egg whites with a red bean filling.
Xiao Dong Bei
133-51 37th Ave,
Flushing, NY 11354
Mondays to Sundays, 11:30am – midnight
Bear is an Eastern European restaurant run by Chef Pogrebinsky and his brother, Sasha, and they have been serving traditional and authentic Ukrainian and Russian staples, but with their own added flair.
If this is your first time, then you should try the Zakuska platter, which consists of smoked fish, pickles, cured meats, and dark bread served on a wooden platter. It’s a good way to taste a little bit of everything. Or you can opt for the nine course meal, which is totally delicious.
For an authentic experience, make sure to pair your food with Bear’s wide range of imported vodkas.
12-14 31st Avenue
Astoria, NY 11106
Mondays – Sundays, 12pm – 4pm, 6pm – 9pm
Helen You is responsible for this great restaurant located in Flushing, Queens. This upscale, stylish space features a lovely red and white Chinese lacquer décor.
Dumpling Galaxy focuses on Northern Chinese cuisines, but more particularly, as the name implies, dumplings which everybody loves. Shrimp dumplings, pork soup dumplings, steamed shumai with rice, pork and mushrooms, pan-fried dumplings with pork, shrimp, egg and chives are only some of the wide variety of dumplings available here. All the dumplings are handmade, and Dumpling Galaxy is widely considered as one of the best places to get dumplings in Queens.
TIP: One must try the lobster sautéed in ginger and garlic.
42-35 Main Street
Flushing, NY 11355
Phone : 212-518-3265
Mondays to Sundays, 8:30 am – 10:30 pm
Opened in August 2011, Kulu Desserts is an innovative dessert joint in Queens. Kulu Desserts serves mostly Asian inspired desserts, such as bubble tea, crepes, Hong Kong style sweet soups, ice cream, pudding and fresh fruits.
Kulu Desserts uses only the freshest ingredients, which is why their desserts are of top-quality, and taste really good. Order the bestselling milk pudding with black sesame—the green tea variety is also delicious. Other crowd pleasers include the Red Bean Soup with Coconut Juice, the hot Black Sesame Paste, and Strawberry Crepe. If you like the fruit, order the Snowy Durian. It’s a sweet soup with grass jelly with chunks of durian, served with two scoops of vanilla ice cream.
I also suggest you try the Coconut Puddings served in a coconut shell. For an experience, and also because it is good for your health, try it to Xueha Paste, a medicinal product made from frogs. Hey, it doesn’t taste bad at all!
37-06 Prince St,
Flushing, NY 11354
Sundays to Thursdays, 12pm – midnight
Fridays and Saturdays, 12pm – 2am
Bun-Ker is located in a thatch-trimmed bamboo bungalow, serving banh mi and other Vietnamese street fare with a constant soundtrack of hip-hop music in the background.
Owned by brothers Jimmy and Jacky Tu, Bun-Ker makes its own meats and other ingredients, such as the ones found in their Saigon Special. It features smoky Vietnamese ham called Cha Lua, crispy bacon strips, a five-spice pork pate with a delicious spicy kick from sriracha, and a sweet sausage made from pork shoulder, seasoned with fish sauce and cinnamon. Everything is house made and fresh.
Other favorites include the cha ca la Vong (which is a simple yet flavorful dish made of salmon that is marinated in a mixture of ginger, fish sauce, turmeric and fermented shrimp paste, then fried with scallions and dill), the bo luc lac beef cubes with fried garlic and toasted peanuts, and don’t miss the crunchy crab spring rolls!
46-63 Metropolitan Ave,
Maspeth, NY 11378
Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 5pm – 10pm
Thursdays and Fridays, 5pm – 11pm
Saturdays, 12pm – 11pm
Sundays, 12pm – 10pm
Closed on Mondays
In the opposite corner of Astoria Park sits a Greek restaurant named Agnanti, which serves authentic and traditional Greek cuisine, the kind that you won’t find anywhere but in Greece. It is for this very reason, this authenticity that has gotten New Yorkers flocking to this restaurant, and hailing it as one of the best Greek restaurants in Queens.
Dine al fresco in warmer weather—Agnanti has quite a lovely outdoor patio where you can enjoy their delicious dishes. Feast on grilled seafood, such as octopus or branzino (seabass), and dishes like soutzoukakia (meatballs cooked in tomato sauce), the Shrimp Kataifi (shrimp wrapped in pastry and then fried) served with a yummy lemon mustard sauce, and Dolmades Yialantzi, which are grape leaves stuffed with herbed rice and goat cream cheese in the middle.
19-06 Ditmars Blvd,
New York, NY 11105
Daily, 12pm – 11pm
Kabab Cafe is a tiny gem of restaurant in Queens serving Egyptian dishes, I say tiny because there’s probably only seating for 12 to 15 people here, and you will be served by the chef/owner/sole employee, Ali. Using only the best ingredients and the highest-quality halal meats, you should try the goat with a pomegranate balsamic reduction served with grilled vegetables, the tender, fall-off-the-bone lamb with vegetables and za’atar (mixture of spices). If you’re feeling adventurous, then this is the place to try specialties like lamb cheeks, sweet breads, beef hearts and sheep brains served with lemon sauce.
Be sure to go here hungry, or get people to share your happiness with, because the servings are huge.
2512 Steinway St,
Astoria, NY 11103
Daily, 1pm – 5pm, 6pm – 10pm
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