Mind the wait times and prices for dining in Manhattan? Bored with all your favorite eateries in Brooklyn? Try Queens, the borough for foodies who want real-people cuisine from just about every country on the planet, and is rapidly growing its retail scene, too.
It’s easy to find delicacies from various areas of China, bread from Brazil and food from Russia, Mexico and more, while also checking out new retail.
Astoria has expanded beyond its history as a Greek neighborhood to offer cuisines from around the world. After years of operating food carts, The King of Falafel and Shwarma is opening its first brick and mortar location this month at 30-15 Broadway. Tea & Milk is serving its various types of teas (bubble, chai and more), as well as light food at 32-02 34th Avenue. Korean fried chicken chain Bonchon will open at 25-30 Broadway. Find affordable and delicious Brazilian cheese balls and burgers at Pao de Queijo at 31-90 30th Street. The Shady Lady Tapas Bar & Restaurant 34-19 30th Avenue serves up global comfort food and is the best for brunch.
You know an area is becoming trendy when a gastropub is opening – and that’s exactly what’s happening in Long Island City. The owner of LIC Bar is planning The Gantry LIC at 47-02 Vernon Boulevard, in response to bar patrons’ request for food. And with ever more residential towers being built in the neighborhood, expect even more dining to open. Coming soon to 46-10 Center Boulevard will be Maiella, with pizzas and cured meats. Russian café Stolle will come to 31-00 47th Avenue later this year with both a café and a production facility. Mu Ramen at 1209 Jackson Avenue remains one of the busiest restaurants in the area.
Flushing remains the headquarters for Asian cuisine. Happy Food, at 40-28 Main Street gives you a tour of China, with dishes from many different regions – as well as some from Malaysia. Biang! is a fine dining experience at 41-10 Main Street. Stop in at the Golden Shopping Mall at 41-28 Main Street for various options, including Tianjin Dumpling House and the original Xi’an Famous Foods. Newcomers to the area include Spicy Tibet, at 75-04 Roosevelt Avenue, and the New York Food Court at 133-35 Roosevelt Avenue. End of the Century Bar features interesting cocktails at 104-08 Metropolitan Avenue. For shopping, check the offerings at the ever-growing Shops at Sky View Center, which shortly will get the first Uniqlo in the borough, joining Target, Nordstrom Rack and a Nike clearance store. Continue your cultural education at the New World Mall (136-20 Roosevelt Avenue), the largest indoor Asian shopping center in the city. Or get fine Danish furnishings at a great price at the BoConcept Outlet at 136-20 38th Avenue.
With restaurants spilling over from nearby Williamsburg, Ridgewood is becoming a new scene for dining and socializing. Julia’s, a beer garden and eatery, has recently opened at 818 Woodward Avenue. Or try Bierleichen, at 582 Seneca Avenue. Guadalajara de Dia II combines a grocery store with a table for a full menu at 566 Seneca Avenue. Another sure sign the area is attracting the young and the hip – craft cocktail (made from beer and wine) bar Onderdonk & Sons has opened at 566 Onderdonk Avenue.
And beachgoers are finding a burgeoning dining scene in the Rockaways, particularly during the summer season. The Playland Motel’s restaurant at 97-20 Rockaway Beach Boulevard is being reoriented to family cuisine. Get great tacos this summer at Tacoway Beach at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club on Beach 87th Street, from a former owner of Rockaway Taco.