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Queens boy trying to re-experience childhood foods

For the first time in many years I will be in the area of my boyhood. I am trying to find out if I can find some food haven't eaten in years. Are there delis left in Queens where I can find a square knish. How about a place for great bagels and bialys? Is there a great neighborhood pizza place left. Anywhere in Queens, hopefully from Rego Park to Flushing and points in between or not. Thanks for the help!

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  1. Lanyboy, I too am a son of the great land known as Queens. For Pizza, try Nicks on Ascan Ave in Forest Hills. The best in all the boros, though not a slice place. Alas, I know of no great delis, Charneys, Pastrami King and the like are long gone. However, try Kaufmans on Cross Bay Blvd In Howard Beach. Bagels, try Oasis on Horace Harding Eastbound in Fresh Meadows.

    Good chowing, Ivan aka "BoroBoy"

    1. It's really hard to find a good bagel or bialy in Queens...I'm actually trying to find a good bagel bakery in general. Personally I like Peppino's Pizza and I believe it's called Ariella in Forest Hills (next to Johnny Rocket's) made pretty good pizza. I know there are some delis along Queens Blvd in Rego Park and Forest Hills so they might have a good bagel.

      5 Replies
      1. re: artisticpixie

        I actually really like the bagels at Bagel Delight in woodside and nobody ever mentions them. They are crisp on the outside, doughy and chewy on the inside. Just a few blocks from Peppinos.

          1. re: Widmark

            There's a Bagels Plus in Woodside? Where exactly? I haven't heard of this place...is that the one right across from a Nancy's Boutique?

            1. re: artisticpixie

              I don't know Nancys, The Bagel place I'm talking about is the one attached to the Mcdonalds accross the street from Donovans.

            2. re: Widmark

              I agree. When I moved to Woodside, I didn't have high hopes for the bagels, but Bagels Plus is really good. And most weekend mornings I get them warm!

        1. I am also originally from Queens (Middle Village), now living in the Midwest. My parents still live in my childhood home, though, and I get back to visit 1-2 times per year. First, some interesting news about your beloved (my favorite, too!) square knish: Gabila knishes are now available in supermarkets! Really. Three to a package, you'll find them in the refigerated section. Surprisingly good.
          For pizza, go to Rosa's on 69th Street in Maspeth (NOT any of the other Rosa's!!!). There is a lot of discussion on this board about the "best" pizza in Queens, but Rosa's is most like what I remember pizza tasting like when I was a kid.
          Finally, only one place to get REAL bagels---Bagelette on 63rd Road in Rego Park, roughly across from the Sears mall parking lot.

          1. for pizza by the slice go to A&J on Austin , or down to Alba on Queens Blvd and Main street. for deli ben's is in rego park and still pretty good, there's the kosher deli on horace harding - can't remember the name and for knishes go to knish nosh on QB and 67th Avenue (or Road?) it's next to andre's bakery. but their rounds are better than the squares.

            1. Ben's Best on Queens Blvd just south of the LIE, unchanged since your youth, will give you the old time deli experience. Amore pizza in the Linden Shopping Center is the progeny of Gloria's pizza that was on Main street in flushing, an excellent slice joint. How about King Yum on Hillside for a taste of 1950's cantonese, and it is still really good food.

              8 Replies
              1. re: stuartlafonda

                Would you mind please the streets that "Amore pizza in the Linden Shopping Center" are near? If I could have a slice similar to Gloria's on this trip, I'd be one happy man.

                1. re: Lanyboy

                  It's the pathmark shopping center, on farrington street and the whitestone expressway.

                  1. re: Val55

                    Another adjacent block is Linden PLACE (ergo the name Linden Shopping Ctr). Amore is right near it. Their pizza looked unappealingly pale to me ... so I went to Gyro Plus (?) instead and had a
                    Greek burger. (Great burger the first time, 2nd time was bleh -- inconsistent).

                  2. re: Lanyboy

                    As on old Queens kid this should help, Amore is on the opposite side of the highway form Adventurers Inn, remember that place?

                    1. re: stuartlafonda

                      Adventurer's Inn? Of course, what a place and just the genereal geographical reference point I needed. Thanks.

                      1. re: stuartlafonda

                        And no mention of Whitestone Lanes? Come on.

                        1. re: Cheese Boy

                          Sorry,I forgot about that place because I was a Bay Terrace Bowling Alley guy, followed up with a danish from the Cake Box.

                    2. re: stuartlafonda

                      King Yum is on Union Tpke. in Fresh Meadows:

                      King Yum
                      181-08 Union Tpke.
                      Fresh Meadows, NY 718-380-1918

                    3. Utopia Bagels on Utopia just south of the Cross Island makes bagels like you remember them. Excellent lox, cream cheese and salads. They have French Toast Bagels there.
                      Take one of those, a smear of c.c., a couple of slices of bacon and then, on to the panini press. You'll move back to Queens.
                      Lets Go Mets.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: johnk

                        I'll vet for Utopia Bagels as well. I'm not a fan of bagels, in general. However, a co-worker recently brought a bag of bagels to work for the office. They were still warm. I had the cinnamon-raisin and it was soft and warm. It was quite delicious and sweet, especially after I lathered it with plenty of Philadelphia-brand salted, whipped butter. It was quite good, and that's saying something as I'm not crazy about bagels like other NYCers. But given that I'm no connoiseur, I wonder if a bagel, any bagel, warm and soft and freshly-made in the morning, might be good just about anywhere you go, hmmm...

                      2. I second Ben's Best on Queens Blvd. Classic delicatessen.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: FastEddie

                          For dessert, Lemon Ice King in Corona. Then you can play some bocce ball afterward across the street.

                          1. re: queenseats

                            or eddie's sweetshop on metro in forest hills. been there forever. same ole delicious ice cream, sauces and whipped cream!

                        2. singas pizza, ginos pizza, and johns pizza all in elmhurst check em out. all on broadway except johns on the other side of qns blvd where it turns into grand ave. even elmhurst famous which was spawned from singas! great bagels on 90 th and northern blvd everything bagels must eat!

                          1. For knishes, go to Knish Nosh, just as it was, minus the cool art deco sign--they also have great matzoh ball soup, and excellent potato pierogi's--in Rego Park/Forest Hills area on Queens Blvd..For Deli, go to Deli King in the Lake Sucess Shopping Center on the line between Nassau and Queens county...good pastrami, corned beef sandwiches, great french fries--thick style--classic surly waitresses, you'll pay extra for that!--For pizza, I love Rosa's, however I go to the one on Fresh Pond Road,,,,ALOT..and it's great...the one in Maspeth is good too...from what I hear..but most posters tend to uniformily agree to stay away from the one on Metropolitan ave in Glendale area...Also, for pies, Nick's in Forest Hills is great,,and good house salad as well...there's also Ozone Pizzaria on Liberty Ave, which such a throwback, situated under the train that you will definitely have a deja vu childhood experience....and some good stuff there especially their stuffed mushrooms, and eggplant pizza...for bagels..well, I used to recommend Bagelette all the time for years here on chowhound, and in fact they catered my son's bris, HOWEVER, it was sold last year, and the quality has plummeted in my opinion...I moved out of the Rego Park, forest Hills area several months ago to another part of Queens, so I don't know if it's improved or not...but, the new owner was putting everything into packages so you couldn't see the quality or dating of anything, instead of just seeing everything in the dishes being put out freshly..they had the best poached salmon salad there, and tuna with veggies..and the previous owner was immaculate, and ALWAYS made sure everything was super fresh...the baked goods with the new owner were inedible, and I couldn't believe he was selling muffins, and other stuff that was just simply vile tasting...a real shame...because it was always reliable before..no more choc choc chip muffins, or any other good stuff---perhaps you'd be better off at the bagel place on 108th st near 63rd road...on the corner....but haven't been in awhile...avoiding carbs..........there's also, the bagels for you place that used to be St. Petersburg bagels on QB in Rego Park, that moved farther down the blvd nearer to Kew Gardens..they're always busy...and they're okay...russian style stuff..if you're into that..........

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: janie

                              Never thought I'd see Bagels for You recommended on Chowhound! My wife and I live right across Queens Boulevard and refer to it as "Bagels for Ew." Not much point to this place -- hilarious that it used to be "St. Petersburg Bagels" -- when just about three blocks down toward Kew Gardens is the awesome Thai-owned Hot Bialys.

                            2. angelos at jewel and main is still good for pizza, expressway service rd eastbound just past utopia has good bagels and there is deli masters right there also.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: steviet

                                Angelos was actually the "pizza of my youth" as we call it in my family having grown up on 141st Street & 70th Road.. Rumor has it out in LA that Angelo's isn't what is was in those days for pizza in partticular. My plan all along was to eventually stop there and have a slice/ I am curious, I see that the owners of Angelo's have opened a more upscale sit down restaurant, rather than the pizza place I rememeber. Have you tried the restaurant?

                                1. re: Lanyboy

                                  Hey Lanyboy - Angelos was also the pizza of my youth and even after moving away, the pizza that all others were compared to! Special occasions I would ask to go back to the old neighborhood so that I could have "real" pizza! Also from 141st & 70th Rd!

                                2. re: steviet

                                  Thanks for mentioning Deli Masters. It goes back a long way, and is truly a time capsule. The pastrami on rye is still tops, and relatively cheap, and the table service always comes with a smile. No Queens nostalgia tour would be complete without this gem of a place.

                                  1. re: Polecat

                                    For many reasons, I would rather eat pastrami on rye at Deli Masters than anywhere. Extra lean for me.

                                  2. re: steviet

                                    I'm also a fan of Deli Masters, on the LIE service road, aka Horace Harding Expressway, 2 blocks from Utopia Parkway. I go out of my way to have their "perfect" onion rings, beefy-tasting, somewhat snappy-skin hot dogs (ketchup, thank you, not "mustard and kraut"), tasty cole slaw and crunchy half-sours. I've moved away from pastrami on toasted rye. Just not a fan of rye. I see nothing wrong with white bread or toast (I can hear the moans now) and I always ask for "fatty pastrami", no lean cut for me, thank you. I would describe the matzoh-ball soup as good. The Dr. Brown's cream soda or rootbeer is a good companion to the meal. And yes, they have square knishes.

                                  3. I'd say hit New Park Pizzeria in Howard Beach for a couple slices ...
                                    Eddie's in Forest Hills for dessert ...
                                    and Bagel Oasis on the south LIE [Horace Harding] service road near Flushing for bagels and stuff to being home for breakfast.
                                    Maybe next day a few sliders at the White Castle in Queens Blvd near the old round Macy's can fill the hole any Wetson's left.

                                    1. A co-worker told me about Umberto's in New Hyde Park. While not in Queens, it's just over the border into Nassau, and I feel compelled to mention this to you. My co-worker is very picky about his sicilian pizza and ONLY gets his sicilian slices from Umberto's. He said it's "excellent". I have NOT tried it, so this is a 2nd-hand recommendation.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: nooyawka

                                        I have been going to Umberto's since I was 14. Try the grandma slice, my personal favorite.

                                        1. re: NYJewboy

                                          hilarious. I think that's where I had my first "gourmet" pizza that wasn't sold by the slice for a buck, probably back in elementary school. love that place.

                                      2. Bagels Plus in Woodside is awesome. I still like Pizza Boy and Donatoes in Woodside (thou Pizza boy has gone down in quality recently.) For sweets, V&V on 61th and Roosevelt is really good

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: pancun187

                                          For Pizza, Sac's in Astoria, Bway and 33rd St. Knishes, I second Knish Nosh. Also love Gablias, but they seem to vary in quality as to where you buy them, both in size and flavor.

                                          Deli? I wish I knew. I'll try some of the places mentioned as I too would love an old Jewish deli. Bagels and Bialys we buy in Manhattan as haven't found any in Queens we like for one reason or another.

                                          1. re: pancun187

                                            Hot Bialy and Bagels on the north side of Queens Boulevard just before Grand Central. Try their pumpernickel everything flat, a perfect bagel.

                                            1. re: bigjeff

                                              High praise indeed, Jeff. As hard as it is for me to turn away their bialys, I'll put this on my list for next time.