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Arepa Lady
Photograph: Time Out/Ali GarberArepa Lady in Jackson Heights

The best restaurants in Queens

New York’s best restaurants in Queens are home to the city's most diverse options: from Chinese to Indian and Greek food

Written by
Bao Ong
&
Time Out New York contributors
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You’ve checked the Queens Museum, Flushing Meadows Corona Park and Rockaway Beach off of your bucket list of the best things to do in Queens—now it’s time to explore the best restaurants in Queens. The options are as varied as the borough they’re in—from Greek restaurants in Astoria to Long Island City spots offering some of the best ramen NYC has to offer, and, of course Chinese food in Flushing. Queens is also home to what is said to be America's most diverse neigborhood: our beloved Jackson Heights. Get ready to chow down at Queens’ finest. Many of these spots are not only our favorites from Queens but have landed top spots on our city-wide Eat List

RECOMMENDED: The best restaurants in NYC

Best restaurants in Queens

  • Restaurants
  • Indian
  • Queens

A vegetarian Indian food haven in Floral Park, Queens specializing in fast casual bites, savory snacks and colorful desserts. Usha is one of the best vegetarian destinations for generous portions, combo platters that allow you to try a little bit of everything and a menu that strongly demonstrates you don't need meat to have one of the city's most satisfying meals. It's just down the road from Patel Brothers, one of our favorite supermarkets for hard-to-find Indian pantry staples.

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Astoria

If you’re in the mood for a comforting meal that'll light up your Instagram with likes, you’ve come to the right place. Comfortland is the latest iteration of Queens Comfort in Astoria and serves up a menu full of ooey, gooey brunch offerings, from incredible, filled doughnuts to the Mary F'n Poppins breakfast sandwich. Its desserts and milkshakes are worthy of a try, too. Try the Peanut Butter Piff milkshake or their latest concoction, which you can find on @comfortland. Just make sure to go with an empty stomach. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Jackson Heights
  • price 1 of 4

Don’t let the bleak strip-mall locale of this sweets sanctuary fool you. Locals flock to this bright bakery, stocked with surprisingly elegant bites such as fragrant pistachio macarons and rotating varieties of airy quiches, such as spinach, leek and red pepper.

Kung Fu Xiao Long Bao at 59-16 Main St. in Flushing is a modest Chinese eatery but it serves top-notch Shanghai-style dishes from dim sum to soup dumplings, which are a favorite among customers. Start with scallion pancakes and don't skip the chicken dumplings and, of course, the Kung Fu Xiao Long Bao, which have the perfect amount of soup inside. And don’t skip the Nutella banana dumplings at the end.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Jackson Heights
  • price 1 of 4

Fresh, meaty tacos—think al pastor, slow-roasted goat and tongue—give Coatzingo an edge over the other tempting holes-in-the-wall under the 7 train track. Though the meat varieties excel, the veg version ($2)—packed with pinto beans, rice, queso blanco and creamy guacamole—is plenty satisfying.

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Long Island City
  • price 3 of 4

Maiella, a casually elegant restaurant located in the picturesque waterfront section of Long Island City, serves authentic Italian dishes with a modern flare and the freshest ingredients. Maiella sits at the base of the iconic Pepsi sign in Gantry State Park, and features spectacular city views. Designed by a leading New York City Architecture firm, Bluarch, the rustic space features seating for up to 180 guests inside and almost 100 guests in the outdoor terrace. The terrace faces Manhattan and Gantry State Park with views of the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the 80 foot tall Pepsi Sign. Inquire about our private dining rooms as well as larger parties.

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Indian
  • Long Island City
  • price 2 of 4

The kitchen at Adda stays true to its roots without imparting gimmicky modern touches on our favorite Indian dishes and lesser known ones. Whether you order butter chicken or a kale pakoda, there’s no holding back on flavors—the heat of peppers and warmth of cumin are just examples—that make you crave even more. Go for a convivial dining experience where the food is as exciting as the vibe.

  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • Astoria

This warm, moodily lit bar-restaurant is a popular local hangout and a great date spot, featuring a seafood-centric menu that melds Mediterranean influences with New England traditions. There are also adventurous cocktails, which highlight exotic ingredients like applejack-soaked Mission figs.

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  • Restaurants
  • Brazilian
  • Astoria
  • price 1 of 4

This Brazilian, mostly takeout spot offers breakfast all day and its authentic meats make appearances throughout all menu sections, heavy on inventive sandwiches and burgers. Fresh fruit juices and smoothies, and the popular Brazilian soda, Guarana round out refreshing memories of Rio at this hidden spot.

  • Restaurants
  • Nepalese
  • Jackson Heights

Jackson Heights has no shortage of excellent restaurants, as the city’s most ethnically-diverse neighborhood. Lhasa Fast Food specializes in Tibetan momos, such as the chive version available with a side of chutney. The digs are casual but its doesn’t make it any less of a destination. Fans of speakeasies will enjoy the mysterious journey to find Lhasa Fast Food. Hidden inside You and Me mobile-phone shop, you’d never know there treats over yonder behind the electrical devices.

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • Elmhurst

It doesn’t matter if you can’t read the Thai menu here. Pick any bowl of noodles (we’d recommend the boat noodles) and you’re sure to be satisfied at this bar, which only serves food on weekends. You’ll taste bowls of noodle soups that make you feel like you’re in Bangkok.

  • Restaurants
  • Flushing
  • price 1 of 4
Dumpling aficionados trek to this closet-size eatery to order the No. 6: A dozen pork wontons ($7), doused in roasted chili oil and topped with a smattering of diced pickled vegetables, arrives on a Styrofoam plate. Despite more than 30 items on the menu, it’s the only dish everyone seems to order—and for good reason.
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Vesta Trattoria and Winebar
  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Astoria
  • price 2 of 4

Some Astorians deem Vesta the best thing to have happened to the ’hood since Elias Corner. (Only it’s Italian.) This perpetually packed trattoria attracts diners nightly with its modern rustic cuisine—and pasta in particular. We can’t say no to the cavatappi with spicy cauliflower and bread crumbs and hearty three-meat lasagna.

 

  • Restaurants
  • Street food
  • Jackson Heights
  • price 1 of 4

What began as a modest cart is now upgraded to a sit-down restaurant specializing in arepas and other Colombian bites in a Jackson Heights. The kitchen is run by Maria Piedad Cano and her family. Expect some of the best South American corn cakes to found in New York.

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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Long Island City

For over a decade Astoria residents headed here for their fish filets. But three years ago, the spot expanded with its own restaurant. For those of us who like an interactive dining experience, guests bag their own fish upfront and have it prepared your preferred stylein butter, steamed, friedto order by the staff. Oh, and It’s BYOB.

Casa Enrique
  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Long Island City
  • price 2 of 4
The owners of Bar Henry branch out to Queens with this 40-seat Mexican eatery, specializing in the regional cuisine of Cintalapa, Chiapas. Brothers Cosme and Luis Aguilar, the chef and GM respectively, pay homage to their late mother with traditional plates, including some based on her recipes, such as chicken mole and cochinito chiapaneco (guajillo-marinated baby pork ribs). The white-painted spot features a garden and works from Queens artists.
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  • Restaurants
  • Indian
  • Jackson Heights
  • price 2 of 4

This meet-and-eat headquarters for New York’s Indian expat community offers more culinary draws than your standard diner. Watch Hindi soaps on Zee TV while enjoying samosa chat topped with chickpeas, yogurt, onion, tomato, and a sweet-spicy mix of tamarind and mint chutneys. Specials like murgh tikka makhanwala, tender pieces of marinated chicken simmered in curry and cream, are fiery and flavorful—be sure to ask for mild if you’re not immune to potent chilies.

Looking for more of the best in Queens?

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