Queens is the most diverse borough in New York City and home to nearly every “Little Insert Country Here” imaginable.
Taste the World in Queens
Whether you’re looking for Chinese cuisine from a particular province, Egyptian fare, or Andean bites, Queens has nibbles from every corner of the globe. Enjoy three courses at three different restaurants with these progressive dining routes.
Astoria is the go-to neighborhood for Greek and Cypriot cuisine and Aliada’s menu features some of the best food staples from the Adriatic. Start off your night of progressive dining with shrimp saganaki in an aromatic tomato and feta sauce or with petite grilled quails over seasonal greens with a lemon herb vinaigrette. The shieftalia (traditional Cypriot sausage) is freshly grilled over an open fire. Sip something new and explore the world of Greek spirits with a glass of ouzo, idoniko tsipouro (grappa), or zivania (pomace brandy).
Via Trenta Osteria is 15-minutes deeper into Astoria and serves delicious homemade pasta and other Italian entrees. Enjoy fresh squid ink linguini in a spicy tomato sauce with littleneck clams, shrimp, mussels, and calamari or pappardelle in filet mignon ragu with mushrooms. Heartier portions include veal parmesan or a braised lamb shank over saffron risotto.
For dessert, Comfortland (five-minutes away) is serving up heaping portions of nostalgia alongside pastries, ice cream, and milkshakes. The playfully colorful exterior sends visitors back to the soda shops of the 1950s. The rainbow cookie milkshake or the Nutella malt are dangerous; sip these delicious treats too quickly and you’re sure to get brain freeze (but it’s probably worth it).
Begin your roving dining experience in Sunnyside with a taste of the Himalayan Mountains. Dawa's recently added a natural and sustainable wine list to their nomadic, Tibetan menu. Choose between beef, chicken, or the vegetarian filling for the house momos (Tibetan dumpling) in a tomato and fenugreek sauce. Or, warm up with pharsi, a vegetarian stew made with kabocha squash and wild chives served with buckwheat crepes for dipping.
Just three blocks away, The Alcove is a homey Sunnyside favorite with a rotating local beer list. The food menu features pub favorites such as a Cuban sandwich, burgers, tacos, and truffle fries all served in ample portions. The owner knows most of the neighborhood visitors by name which adds to the feeling of a family table and local camaraderie.
Another few blocks down Skillman Avenue, dessert awaits at Claret Wine Bar. This corner spot is perfect for picky dessert eaters and has both savory and sweet final course options. Enjoy a mix and match cheese plate with the usual fixings or satisfy your sweet tooth with either the Tahitian vanilla creme brulee or the molten chocolate lava cake. The outdoor dining area set up along the tree-lined street is a tranquil spot to end the night with a glass of wine.
Jackson Heights is one of the most diverse culinary areas in all of Queens. It is home to ‘Little India,’ but Columbian, Nepalese, and Filipino eateries line the main thoroughfares as well. Eating in this neighborhood is an opportunity to taste the globe. Cafe Salamanca is one of the few places left in the city to get old guard Castilian cuisine. While they do serve a full dinner menu, the tapas menu is the place to start for a night of progressive dining. Choose from fresh seafood favorites like clams in salsa verde, boquerones (marinated anchovies), or seasoned octopus. The Spanish tortilla and patatas bravas are also fan favorites.
Samudra (12 minutes away on foot) arguably makes the best dosas in the area. Dosas are thin, crispy Indian crepes and Samudra has more than 15 variations on their menu. All of the fillings are vegetarian (many vegan) and each dosa comes with coconut chutney and sambar (lentil-based vegetable stew). Typical fillings include spinach, cheese, potato masala, and mushrooms.
Dessert is only one block away at Al Naimat Sweets and Restaurant. While the bulk of their menu offerings are Pakastani halal items, visitors can’t ignore the case of Bengali sweets near the entrance. The sooji halwa are fried with cardamom and topped with pistachios and almonds, the kulfi (homemade ice cream) is flavored with saffron, and the lassi (homemade yogurt) comes in both sweet and salty varieties but the crowd-pleasing flavor is mango.