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Top 5 neighborhoods for ethnic foods...

  • a

For a Manhattanite wanting to branch out, what are the top five neighborhoods to visit in Brooklyn and Queens for interesting and AUTHENTIC ethnic foods? Could be any type of food, I'm very adventurous and I need to venture outside of Manhattan!

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  1. In Brooklyn

    Sunset Park for Mexican food
    Flatbush for Carribean food (highly recommend Nio's on Church Avenue for roti's and doubles)

    4 Replies
    1. re: DeeDee

      Sunset Park is a huge neighborhood. To be more specific, 5th Ave between roughly 45th and 55th for Latin and Mexican food, although Roosevelt Avenue in Queens might be somewhat better for this.
      However, Sunset Park has the largest concentration of Vietnamese in NYC, so if you hit 8th Ave between roughly 45th and 60th, with some outposts on 7th Ave between 55th and 60th, and Ba Xuyen at 43rd & 8th, you'll cover that pretty well. Brooklyn Chinatown, clustered on these same streets, doesn't have much in the way of noteworthy food, but there are an awful lot of bakeries, some of them offering interesting takes on the standard Chinese bakery items.

      1. re: Peter Cuce
        a
        Amin (London Foodie ''OrientRice@aol.com'')

        Hi Peter,

        QQ: ''Sunset Park has the largest concentration of Vietnamese in NYC, so if you hit 8th Ave between roughly 45th and 60th, with some outposts on 7th Ave between 55th and 60th'' UQ

        I posted on the General board on Apr 30th, a topic
        titled ''Melange of Cultures: US/Canada/UK/Europe''
        It's slightly longish (my posts tend to be so), but
        would appreciate if you could please provide some
        valuable input, and maybe others will soon follow as
        well.

        This OP's request is slightly different from my post,
        so am sure that both would be of benefit to other
        hounds as well.

        Many thanks/Amin

        1. re: Amin (London Foodie ''OrientRice@aol.com'')

          Amin-

          Why don't you take a trip to Sunset Park and see it for yourself? Let us know what you discover.

      2. re: DeeDee

        Thanks, everyone- I can't wait to go to some of these places. I especially love Indian- what;s the best in Jackson Heights??

      3. j
        John N. Knoesel

        Main Street Flushing.
        Joe's Shanghai ( Soup Buns )
        Spicy and Tasty ( Smoked Tea Duck )
        Bubble Teas at Sago Cafe
        Korean BBQ's all over the place
        East Buffet
        JK

        1. Astoria for Greek food
          Flushing for Chinese
          Jackson Height for Indian

          1 Reply
          1. re: meb903
            a
            Astoria Lurker

            Astoria for Greek AND Italian (Ponticello, Trattoria L'Incontro, Piccola Venezia etc)

          2. Atlantic Ave--Middle Eastern food. There are several restaurants to choose from--Personally I like Waterfalls which is between Clinton and Henry, but there are several others all around there.

            1. My top three in Queens below.

              Jackson Heights is number one on my list, not jsut because you can get Indian. You can also get other cuisines like Ecuadorian and other Latin American cuisines. Plus is has a smattering of non-Indian Asian restaurants, Malaysian, Korean, etc.

              Flushing and Astoria are next.

              Astoria has a number of good restaurants with different European cuisines, Italian, Istrian, Greek, Bosnian, etc. It also has a great number of Latin American restaurants, Brazilian, Mexican, Ecuadorian, Colombian, etc., and a few Asian (mostly Thai and Middle Eastern) places that are pretty good. It misses Indian and anything from Eastern Asian, but oh well.

              Flushing is heaven for someone looking for Eastern Asian food. Enough Korean and Chinese to make anyone happy, if you can find your way around.

              8 Replies
              1. re: Captain

                I certainly agree about Jackson Heights...

                Regarding Astoria, you said:

                Astoria has a number of good restaurants with different European cuisines, Italian, Istrian, Greek, Bosnian, etc. It also has a great number of Latin American restaurants, Brazilian, Mexican, Ecuadorian, Colombian, etc., and a few Asian (mostly Thai and Middle Eastern) places that are pretty good. It misses Indian and anything from Eastern Asian, but oh well.

                What is "Istrian"?

                There are decent neighborhood-grade Indian and E. Asian places (Ghandi, on 30th, and JJ's, on I think 31st?), but neither are worth a trip from Manhattan. (There are also any number of inedible take-out Chinese and bargain-basement sushi places, too, of course.)

                Regarding the original question, Astoria has a number of good restaurants, but the good ones are fairly widely scattered. The good places in places like Jackson Heights and Elmhurst are much closer to each other...

                1. re: Harlan

                  Well most of the Istrian places could also be considered Italian. But Istria is the area that was once part of Italy, then most of it became part of Yugoslavia after WWII. Find Trieste on a map, and you're there.

                  I cannot call Astoria's take-out Chinese food inedible, because I have lived on it from time to time. It was late, they were open, right there, and I was hungry. But these are not places worth walking a few blocks out of the way for. Does that disqualify me from ever being considered a true chowhound?

                  Never really explored Elmhurst. My reading of this board have made me aware that it far surpasses Astoria with regard to the quality of certain cuisines, most Asian for example.

                  1. re: Captain

                    As far as Istrian is concerned, Istria Sports club was awful on my recent first & last visit. Piccola Venezia was great when I went some years ago, but it's pretty pricey. What other Istrian places are there?

                    http://petercherches.blogspot.com

                    1. re: Peter Cherches

                      There's another social club: Rudar, on 34th Ave. around 45th. I just moved back to the nabe after years away and haven't been yet, so I can't speak for how good it is.

                      1. re: hatless

                        Thanks. If nothing else, Rudar has a much more interesting menu than Istrian Sports club. I'll have to try it.

                2. re: Captain

                  For the sheer variety of ethnicities, Astoria can't be beat. Sure, there may be more variety of Latin American food in Jackson Heights, but in Astoria you can get world class Italian (L'Incontro, Piccola Venezia), great Greek (Agnanti, Cyclades, S'Agapo), the best Brazilian in NYC (Malagueta, Sabor Tropical), very good Mexican (Tacos Mexico, Viva El Mariachi, Luna), Egyptian (Kebab Cafe, Mombar, Sabrys), Moroccan (Jouir Et Nuit), Peruvian (Raices), Chilean (San Antonio Bakery), good neighborhood Thai (Thai Pavilion, Wave), and the best Bosian available anywhere (Ukus, Djerdan, Old Bridge etc) and more. I can't think of any neighborhood in NYC that even comes close.

                    1. re: Peter Cherches

                      Read this thread for some more info:

                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/399575

                      The Bosnian food available in Astoria focus on grilled meats (like cevapi) and burek, which is kind of like pizza, but with a kind of buttery, flaky dough. Cevabdzinica Sarajevo, which is near the Museum of Moving Image and Kaufman Astoria Studios has been well known on this board for years.