By Jeannette, New York Guest’s Director of International Sales
When I moved to Queens 7 years ago ( yes, there is something about 7), I was familiar with Astoria and Flushing and the land in between was just somewhere I sat in traffic in as child traveling to and from the city. In the last few years, Queens has experienced a culinary re-birth making it a Foodie destination. From Gastronomic tasting menus to Street food tacos, an afternoon spent eating in Queens is a definitive just for any Food lover.
New York Guest works with several new hotels that have opened up along the waterfront area in Long Island city, so when I was tasked with sourcing out some of the best places for our guests to dine, I put on a loose dress and took my willing boyfriend on food adventure of lifetime.
The Jackson Diner
Stop: 74th Roosevelt
The mecca of Indian, this large Indian restaurant that easily can serve over 300 people has been a staple in the Jackson Heights community since their opening in the 1980’s. Long before the gentrification on Jackson Heights, city folk would ride the 7 Train here for somosas and dosas and curries that will have your grasping for water or a Mango Llasi. We had the chance to dine here with 200 students and had a great sampling of Tandoori, Palak Paneer ( Cheese and spinach) and special Lamb. A real New York experience for this group of college bound students. Afterwards, we took some of the more adventurous kids for a walk along 73rd Street where they haggled with the street vendors selling the uber sweet traditional Indian candies and Kulfi ( Indian frozen custard )
Stop: 74th Roosevelt
At first glance, I wanted to runaway. From the outside, there is nothing inviting about this non descript storefront on residential block off the BQE. But then the door opens, you close your eyes, and the soft smell of tangy BBQ resonates the NYC air and in a second I am brought back to my college days in North Carolina and the BBQ joints that lined the country roads of the foothills. Feeling a bit more enthusiastic about this stop, we opened the door and quickly found ourselves a place at the crowded bar. Mike, our bartender, gave us a some quick facts on the place , like they often cater Clubhouse events at Citifield and got us started with a couple of pints. We settled on one of their sampler platters that rang in under $25 for both of us, plus plenty of left over bones for the dog! We fought each other for last bites of some of our favorite cuts, including the smoked pork and Texas Sausage and the tasty Freedom fries completed the meal and secured their spot on our definitely return list!
Stop: 69th Roosevelt
Along Roosevelt Avenue from 61st to 73rd Street are a series of small trucks where you can buy some of the best tacos in the city. For the more adventurous, try a tongue taco or Intestines or stick to regular chicken or pork with a side of avocado sauce and limes and radish, these are the real deal. No cheese, no sour cream and definitely no chiwawas here, just real Mexican street food for around $2.00!
Stop: 61st Woodside
What do you get when you cross a top Zagat rated restaurant and Italian wholesale market, well a whole bunch of amazing We recently took a friend whom is chef in Chicago to this small restaurant hidden in the industrial area between Woodside, Sunnyside and Jackson Height and we had a feast! Asparagus roasted in fresh pecorino cheese, followed by short ribs and prosciutto de parma pizza this is place is the real deal. Throw in a opera singer, a few women in fur coats and lots of Mercedes, and you can almost see a Gotti in the corner! Reservations definitely recommended on weekends or be prepared to hover in their wine bar
Saints And Sinners
Stop: 61St Woodside
A traditional Irish pub, Saints, as its called by the locals, has quietly become known for having one of the best burgers in Queens and definitely the friendliest staff. My boyfriend is from Limerick, so a trip to Saints for him means a douse of home cookings like his gram used to make with their Shepards pie and Fish and Chips. Featuring a large bar with separate dining room and cozy living room area with a fireplace, it’s like you have followed the rainbow and ended up at a small pub in Ireland.
Stop : 46th Street
A neighborhood gem, this small Queens restaurant with a hidden garden serves up simple American comfort food with out of this world flavors. My most recent trip found my new obsession in one their daily specials, Fried Chicken! Piping hot, extra crunchy, surprisingly greaseless with healthy side of mashed potatoes and some field greens for the heart, a meal worth a subway fare!
Stop Queensboro Plaza ( 10 minute walk)
My family loves Spain and we love food. It is totally normal for a conversation between any of us to start out with talking about a museum or historical monument that inspired us but by the end of the conversation its more like, yes, I love Toledo, it is beautiful and totally amazing but remember that restaurant, you know, where we had that pork, At by end, we spend an hour on the best places to eat Pork in Spain. And it’s a fact, Pork is bit of a Spanish obsession, somewhere after Wine and Soccer. So when we went to Café Ole for my birthday, I was utterly charmed by the owner and his love of Tapas. We let him do the ordering and we were not disappointed. From the succulent mussels to the spicy Bravas, he had me singing Ole Ole all the way home
So where ever your adventure may take you, here are a few geographical hints for other culinary delights.
- 61St Woodside: Thai Restaurants
- 69th Street – Phililipino and Central American
- 74th Street- Korean and Indian
- 82nd Street Colombian and Chinese
- Flushing Main Street- Chinese and Korean
Interested in staying close to the Gastronomic Wonderland that is the 7 line? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and tell your travel planner you want to stay in Long Island City!