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Best 5 restaurants in Jackson Heights?

Moving soon from UWS to Jackson Heights and would like some information on the top five restaurants in JH.

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  1. Five that I would toss out off the top of my head based on awesome experiences are Spicy Mina's (inconsistent), Deshi Biryani, Taqueria Coatzingo, Rincon Criollo and uh... the pork cart near Junction...

    You're moving to the best area for food in New York, hands down. Easy access to the best Hispanic in NY, some of the best South Asian, the best Thai, very solid Cuban, etc.

    Taqueria Coatzingo
    76-05 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11372

    Rincon Criollo
    40-09 Junction Blvd, Queens, NY 11368

    Taqueria Coatzingo
    40-18 82nd St, Queens, NY 11373

    7 Replies
    1. re: JFores

      Not to mentioned Jan's, where you can grab a very reliably good breakfast. This place is an institution.

      81-04 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

      1. re: GoddessofFood

        I'll add to the mix by giving the thumbs up to Espresso 77 for their absolutely awesome coffee and to Cannelle Patisserie for their out of this world croissants and and French pastries.

        Espresso 77
        3557 77th St, Queens, NY 11372

        1. re: GoddessofFood

          Where is Jan's & what kind of place?

          1. re: brzinnyc

            Jahn's is on 81st and 37th Ave, and they're an old-school dinner/ice-cream parlour kind of place. I used to go to the ones in both Marine Park and Bensonhurst Brooklyn when I was a kid, and was stoked now 25 years later to come to Jackson Heights and find the original. It's nothing to rave about (sorry Goddess), but it's cool in that "you don't see 'em like this anymore" sort of way.

            1. re: NYEpicuriosity

              your right NYEpicuriosity there is nothing to brag about jahns except that it is a old style icream parlor. i lived near it for almost 30 years. its last 15years has been old people and people who don't know they are truely being ripped off with high price and lousy food.

              1. re: sean f

                We tried Jahn's recently and were unimpressed with all the flies buzzing about. I ordered a salad and the iceberg was yellowish.

                Moving from the UWS to JH is a great dining decision. We moved from JH to UWS and back to JH. On UWS when we wanted to go out to eat, we had to plan it out, be prepared to wait, pay through the nose and be rushed out. Now we can make last minute plans and still have an enjoyable inexpensive meal.

                JH also has great affordable takeout. I used to be a Chirpin Chicken fanatic when on the UWS but now I order Pio Pio chicken and avocado salad -- both are wonderful. We also order chinese from JJ Garden regularly (in Waldbaum's shopping plaza).

                My fav restaurant is La Cabana 8607 Northern -- argentinian steak house but also serves pasta, pizza, has liquor as well as wine/beer, fantastic bread, crunch fresh broccoli still on stalk. I usually get grilled chicken and side of broccoli. Can you tell I like chicken? My husband gets the skirt steak. If we bring my mom who's a vegetarian, she can always find something too.

                1. re: amandaj

                  I like JJ Garden's calamari, but it's definitely overpriced. What other dishes do you recommend?

      2. I totally agree with JFores - you're moving to one of the best nabes for eating. Here's my top 5 (in no particular order).
        Texas Ranger BBQ
        La Portena (argentinian steak house)
        Rahjbog (vegetarian indian and sweets)
        Sripraphai (technically Woodside, but close enough to count)
        Rosa's pizza.

        72-27 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

        64-13 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

        The Ranger Texas Barbecue
        71-04 35th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

        La Portena
        74-25 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

        Rosa's Pizzeria
        75-63 31st Ave, Queens, NY 11370

        8 Replies
        1. re: NYEpicuriosity

          NYE, which Rosa's pizza are you referring to? The one in the mini mall north of Northern Blvd?

          1. re: sandrina

            Hey sandrina - yeah I should've mentioned that one. BTW - has anyone noticed the addition of the "hot dog guy" in there now, and just how bizarre that is.

            1. re: NYEpicuriosity

              are you seriously saying that the rosa's pizza next to canelle's is one of the 5 best places to eat in JH? as far as i can tell, their pizza is absolutely horrible.

              1. re: joekarten

                Joe, they can be inconsistent at times, but their squares remind me of L&B Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn which I've been eating since I could have solid food, and which I've always enjoyed. All I'm saying in my list is that it's a personal top 5. There's no way I could give a definitive top 5 of the entire neighborhood and it's too subjective anyways.

                If you've got a pizza place you think is better - please share.

                1. re: NYEpicuriosity

                  for the neighborhood, my fav is the grandma slice at pepino's in woodside, on 61st or thereabouts.

                  Peppino's Pizza
                  39-63 61st St, Queens, NY 11377

                  1. re: joekarten

                    i've always been a big fan but found it inconsistent, especially when getting delivery, so a few nights ago we ordered the grandma pie and asked for it "well done". Problem (mostly) solved. It wasn't the best I'd ever had from them, but it didn't have the undercooked/soggy consistency it sometimes has.

                  2. re: NYEpicuriosity

                    hey NYE,
                    I too grew up in Bensonhurst and spent a lot of time at Jahns on 86 Street. Was just there Saturday at my sister's house and ordered the half tray from L&B. Still great! I would have to say that the Grandma pie at Peppino's is equally good.

                    1. re: pynchoff

                      hi pynchoff,

                      Did you also go see movies at the Benson Twin a few doors down? And if you're saying Pepino's is just as good as L&B's I'm going to have to foresake Rosa's for good (ordered a 1/2 tray grandma pizza for the super bowl and it was almost indedible).

          2. Don't forget about the canteen at the Hindu Temple. Hands down the best South Indian food anywhere in the city - except for my mom's :)

            Ganesh Temple Canteen
            45-57 Bowne St, Queens, NY 11355

            4 Replies
            1. re: scarlet starlet

              The canteen's in flushing (unless a temple opened up in JH that i don't know about)

              I found the canteen okay, but not that great, and if you live in JH and have rajbhog's, not sure it's worth traveling for. If only their coconut chutney was better. I think rajbhog's chutney is better than the canteen's. It actually tastes like it might have been made with something approximating fresh coconut, unlike the canteen, which has runny, flavorless chutney made from flavorless dried coconut. But perhaps I caught the canteen on a bad night.

              1. re: missmasala

                I too am beholden to the romance of discovering and the thrill of narrating my choicest meals in the most unlikely places - places that can hardly be called restaurants. Like the fried chicken at a strip club or the banana pudding out of the kitchen attached to a funeral home. So I am disappointed because I have to agree with Missmasala. The Flushing Hindu Temple's food isn't a gustatory revelation. Now the South Indian food at the Hindu Temple in Bridgewater, NJ is another thing. It's good! In my opinion the topmost South Indian food is consistently found at Saravaanas in Murray Hill. The food there is even better than that at the two cheek by jowl cafes on Newark Avenue in Jersey City.

                OK never been to a funeral home and hardly been to strip clubs but you get the point;) Right?

                1. re: MostSalmonForYourRupee

                  yeah, the t emple's a cool spot but the food's not really worth writing about. Dhosa hut next door is ok.

                  Dosa Hutt
                  45-63 Bowne St, Queens, NY 11355

                  1. re: MostSalmonForYourRupee

                    I'm 2 years late to this thread, but you can't mention strip club fried chicken without telling us who's the best! Please don't say that steak house on top of penthouse club, that's for suckers.

              2. Chao Thai hands down for that category. I prefer Cafe 89 over City Coffee or Jahns for diner food, Rahjbog for Indian, and Cannelle and Letys for Coffee/bakery. The Himalayian (being overhauled), and Pio Pio.

                1 Reply
                1. After living in the nabe for a couple years, we've recently begun eating at Thai Son -- for Vietnamese. We've been enjoying it. It's cheap, and convenient for take-out (right by 74th street station).

                  La Portena is about the best value I'm aware of for a "steakhouse" -- their skirt steak is gigantic (big enough for two), delicious, and somewhere in the range of $15 with salad.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: danoots

                    Uruguayan and Argentinian places pride themselves on giving you steaks the size of the plate they're served on.

                    1. re: danoots

                      I'm a big fan of La Portena, but don't forget that other very good standby - La Fusta. Hey, has anyone been to the Boca Junior Steakhouse?

                      1. re: BillyBob

                        its a little corny, just stick w/ la portena

                    2. I have lived in the nabe for over 5 years and I have to say, the food here beats any other hood, but you have got to love ethnic. My top 5 are, in no particular order:
                      * Deshi Biryani (Bengali/South Asian)
                      * Armandos (Italian - We love the linguini with red clam sauce)
                      * Pio Pio (the rotisserie chicken is transcendental)
                      * Zabb (Thai)
                      * Sammy's Halal (food stand, so not technically a resto but amazing chicken and lamb over rice)
                      Some of the very best meals here are from carts or food trucks and not in sit down restos.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jheightsgirl

                        i second Zabb for Thai.
                        and Alo sweets for bengali sweets
                        also Mina's
                        unfortunately, Burmese Cafe is no longer....that would have been on the list.
                        i'd live in jackson heights over any neighborhood.....the best food and an exciting place.

                      2. Well, this list changes for me depending on my food mood but, at the moment, I'd say Rahjbog, Pio Pio, Taqueria Coatzingo, the takeout chaat shop on 74th (it's part of the Indian restaurant that's yellow inside -- name is escaping me right now -- but I like their chaats better than Rahjbog's), and Thai Son.

                        12 Replies
                        1. re: jennsch

                          Thanks to everyone...Will be moving to JH in early April and will miss the UWS...but looks like I won't starve here.

                          1. re: jennsch

                            had a meal at thai son yesterday; it might have been a potential misorder but I really didn't enjoy the meal. the first 4 I can pretty much agree with but Thai Son really doesn't belong in a Top 5 category anywhere.

                            the place was totally packed, which is good and for some reason, we skipped the pho, the summer rolls, the com tam and ordered instead some weird stuff: beef salad and banh xeo. now, I know it was risky to order these because a good banh xeo is friggin' hard to find; the last time I had a good one was in Binghamton, NY, at a really rundown vietnamese place; Thai Son's rendition was just kinda sad, weak filling, small for what it should be and, just not good. the beef salad was really bad; thin pieces of overcooked beef over shredded cabbage, dressed with some mint and nuoc cham. we were going to order more good because what we got wasn't filling or good but they had run out of bread for banh mi (or beef or chicken curry) and when we asked for the menu, the server took so long to bring it to us that by the time he actually did, he then told us to hurry up and choose something quick because the kitchen was closing; could have got us the menu 10 minutes earlier and it wouldn't have been an issue.

                            we then tried to make up for it with two dessert drinks; two different che which were similar, but different. both were watery, unsweet, unrich and unsatisfying.

                            willing to give it another go if someone can give me some guaranteed solid gold picks but otherwise, there are plenty of other spots in JH to take the Top 5 title.

                            1. re: bigjeff

                              was that the vietnamese behind the bowling alley?? haha, that place did stand out pretty well.

                              I've never been much of a fan of thai son. lots of people love it though.

                              1. re: Jeffsayyes

                                there was the fancy place in Johnson City, Saigon but a block or two away was a rundown place that was maybe behind a laundromat, or next to a Laundromat? Dark depressing room but their banh xeo was awesome!

                              2. re: bigjeff

                                I find them consistently pretty good. I tend to stick with the typical dishes: Pho, Summer rolls, Spring Rolls, Rice noodle salads, grilled Chicken/Pork/Beef over rice.

                                Sometimes I'll order Steak Cubes salad (#86 or 89?), an order of sauteed water spinach and a bowl of rice. The steak cubes are really tasty.

                                The sauce that comes with the Summer rolls is also very good. Stir in a squirt of hot sauce if you like it spicy.

                                1. re: ferdia

                                  ya I think I tried to be too cute with the ordering; the sauce for the summer rolls was indeed thick and delicious looking and . . . we were actually gonna just go with a bun or a rice plate. next time!

                                  is the banh mi good at all or just a big bread with scan ingredients?

                                2. re: bigjeff

                                  Have had similarly disappointing experiences every time I have been to Thai Son, often with basic staple dishes. The only thing halfway decent were summer rolls. In my view this place is not even serviceable and certainly does not belong on any top 5, 10, 20 etc list. Stick with the places in Elmhurst or Chinatown Manhattan for Vietnamese fare.

                                  Thai Son
                                  40-10 74th St, Queens, NY 11373

                                  1. re: elbev

                                    What Vietnamese places do you recommend in Elmhurst?

                                    1. re: diprey1

                                      I fall back to Pho Bac in the back of New York Supermarket plaza but I haven't been there in a while. Can't think of any other good vietnamese in elmhurst. There used to be a place on Broadway, closer to Justice/Queens Blvd but I think it closed or turned into a chinese place? Or maybe it's the other way around; not sure.

                                      I think there is also a place up on Grand Ave, on the other side of Queens Boulevard, I remember seeing something but never ate there.

                                      Pho Bac
                                      82-78 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

                                      1. re: bigjeff

                                        IIRC, there were 2 Vietnamese places across the parking lot at the back of NY Supermarket: a bigger one directly on Broadway and the other in the back. The former is still open: I passed it last night on my way to the new Lao Bei Fang. :) Which Vietnamese place is better or are they pretty much same?

                                        BTW, 老北方 moved to a new, more spacious location on Broadway, just one block down from Whithney (will look up their new address shortly). But their cooking is still good and the service is cheerful as ever.

                                        Lao Bei Fang
                                        83-05 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

                                        1. re: diprey1

                                          oops, I was thinking it was NY, it might have been the HK supermarket that is inside the actual plaza itself, with NY supermarket behind it (across from the park). I like the one in the rear, Pho Bac (sandwiched among all the other restaurants); I think the one close to Broadway (the bigger, standalone one) is called Pho Bang but . . . I don't like that one.

                                          good tip on the lao bei fang . . . . interesting. And, still haven't made it to Sweet Yummy House yet, the mostly sichuan place:

                                          Pho Bang
                                          82-90 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

                                          Pho Bac
                                          82-78 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

                                          Sweet Yummy House
                                          83-12 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

                                          1. re: bigjeff

                                            Pho Bang is the one out front on the corner. I used to love the grilled pork chops at Pho Bang. Wish I could have some now. Never ordered anything else there. But haven't been there in ages.
                                            And I wish they would clean the place up a little.

                                            Never visited Pho Bac. (And for some reason you can't find pictures of it with google maps -- enter the address or the name and you just get pics of a brick wall!)

                                            Pho Bac
                                            82-78 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

                              3. Since it seems that most of these lists assume Jackson Heights is the 70's, I'll have to chime in with some additional good places in the 80's. I think that a lot of the places people have talked about are very good, but I'd like to add some others as "places of interest."
                                El Chivito d'Oro for the meat (especially skirt and hangar steaks) and the ravioli and canneloni can be as good as La Porteña. On winter Tuesdays, they also serve puchero, a meal of boiled meats and veggies that is a kind of Uruguayan/Argentine comfort food.
                                La Nueva bakery and Café la Nueva both have very good empanadas and interesting desserts. You can have milanesa sandwiches and good breakfast breads (both Colombian and Uru-Argentine) at the bakery. They have interesting meaty breakfasts, Colombian platters, good daily soup deals and a great variety of freshly made juices at the Café.
                                No single Colombian restaurant would make it onto the top 10 list because Colombian food isn't a standout by world standards, but most have satisfying hearty food, if you know what to order where, and they have those soup bargains each day. (I like the grilled ribs and the sobrebarriga at La Pequeña Colombia, and a nice take-out meal from Pollos a la Brasa Mario is rotisserie chicken with their salty red potatoes, avocado salad, and the absolutely heavenly giblet soup.)
                                The Peruvian restaurants Inti-Raymi and Urubamba on 37th between 86-87th have a different variety of interesting food you won't find many other places, and Urubamba (rather new) has atmosphere.
                                Also, Arunee and Rice Ave have some very tasty Thai dishes too.
                                And, not that these places are standouts on their own, but I think the best pizza slice is the pizza mexicana (if you like spicy) at the Broadway Bakery on Roosevelt & 86th. The best chicken tikka is at the Kebab King on 39th Road, the best burger is at Jackson House, and the best ice cream at Jahn's. The cholados at the video shop on Northern (83-84th) are also outstanding in the summer.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: JH Jill

                                  Hi JH Jill - is Urubamba still open? I had strolled by a few nights ago - and granted it was like a Tuesday in Jan, but the place was absolutely dead - it looked like they had the specials board blocking the door too.

                                  For what it's worth - I ate there shortly after it opened and it was KILLER, and I was hoping they'd stay open.

                                  1. re: NYEpicuriosity

                                    Urubamba lost a step from its progenitor, inti raymi

                                  2. re: JH Jill

                                    Thanks Jill for the recommendations. I have the Pollos A La Brasa Mario (83rd St) menu and I don't see the rotisserie chicken with salty red potatoes, avocado salad and giblet soup. It's shows chicken, consome, rice, french fries & salad. No mention of the red potatoes, avocado salad and giblet soup. I went to Inti Raymi recently and had an outstanding meal - the Pescado a lo Macho which is assorted seafood mixed in a spicy wine sauce served over a sea trout fillet. I plan to return soon for this dish. I never heard of Urubamba but will look for it. Occasionally, I have a burger at Jahn's (not so great) so appeciate the recommendation of Jackson House. Jahn's is good for the breakfast specials. Have you had any of the Chicken Specialties posted in the window at Jackson House? I'm told that El Sol on Northern Blvd is even better than Inti Raymi so I'll plan on visiting. I took home recently two outstanding chicken dishes from Ricky's on 75th - the chicken francese & chicken marsala with portobello mushrooms. Large portions with a side order for $10. Both times I had the vegetables which are sauteed in garlic & oil.

                                    1. re: Mike V

                                      I'm glad you've enjoyed some of the recommendations. I haven't checked Urubamba lately so I'm not sure about its current state of openess. I don't go by there every day, and El Sol is a bit far from here too, so I haven't been. Another place mentioned below I haven't been but have heard good reports about is La Cabaña on Roosevelt near Junction.

                                      As for Jahn's and Jackson House, I like Jackson House for the burgers, the Rueben sandwich, and the omelets. For Jahn's I sometimes go for the fish dinner specials, which they do well. It's a great deal, and they have a couple of kinds of fish every day. With oven browned potatoes, tomatoey string beans, a cup of good soup, and the nice variety and quality of ice cream for $10 or so, I can't complain. Oh, and their chocolate chip pancakes are also addictive.

                                      The meal I like from Pollos Mario is all a la carte. You can get different amounts of Pollo a la brasa (which is rotisserie). The potatoes (papas cocinadas), Ensalada de aguacate, and consomé de menudencias I get as side orders. When I eat there, I get the Bandeja con pollo al carbón, but it's a different combo. The take-out is good for a few people.

                                  3. The thali at Dosa Diner is always good. Beef or Chicken Momo from the Shangrila Express cart across the street from 74th and Roosevelt station is great, fresh and the guys are SOOOO nice.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: meldrom

                                      Unfortunately Dosa Diner's got a big old "For Rent" sign taking up the entire window (Think they put it up over the weekend). Though the food was good - that place has been kinda weird the past year or so with a bouncer guarding the door at night on weekends, and the place being a ghost town 4 nights a week.

                                      1. re: NYEpicuriosity

                                        it wouldn't necessarily make my top 5 list in JH, but Punto Fijo (89-12 Northern Blvd) is a nice peruvian in the area (at least they have platos criollos, last time i went to Inti-Raymi and Urubamba they did not have any, maybe now they do...)

                                    2. In no particular order ...
                                      - Rincon Criollo for Cuban
                                      - Uncle Peter's Continental Cuisine
                                      - La Cabana (another argentinian steakhouse ... who knew steak on pizza could be so awesome!)
                                      - the taco cart on 83rd street and Roosevelt
                                      - Pio Pio

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: mepm231

                                        83rd and Roosevelt is a good cart. Has Isabella's cart been out since winter hit? I haven't seen her since it was warm.

                                        1. re: JFores

                                          Walked by the cart on Sunday night (it's actually of Gleane St in front of the Soverign Bank) after getting some chicken wings from UFC (which were pretty darn good) and got some mmm mmm good carnitas tacos.

                                      2. For diner food, I prefer Mark Twain on Northern Blvd to Jahn's and the others listed here. Something about it...maybe because I've been going there for like 20 years. I just love their burgers for some reason.

                                        My restaurants of choice around here are:

                                        Taqueria Coatzingo
                                        La Cabana Argentina on 86th and Northern. (I prefer it to La Portena...sue me :P...)
                                        Ranger Texas BBQ (haven't been in a LONG time though...I really should go)
                                        Pio Pio
                                        Thai Son

                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: jza1218

                                          I like your choices and have been to all except Ranger Texas BBQ. I've been to Mark Twain just once because of the distance. Jahn's is so much closer but only good for breakfast and a few dinner specials. I'm a huge fan of Thai Son and visit at least 3 times a month (great prices & service). Have you been to Trieste on Northern Blvd? I haven't but plan to visit soon. I hear it's quite good.

                                          1. re: Mike V

                                            No I havent been to Trieste yet but have been planning to for some time. Thanks for reminding me! Usually when I go out to eat Italian, I end up in Kew Gardens at Pasta Lovers. I love their Fausto's Special Pasta (penne with brown sauce, prosciutto, mushrooms and peas)

                                            If you like Thai Son and are ever in the Flushing area around 156th and Northern (near Bon Chon Chicken), you should give Mekong a try. It's in the shopping center where the McDonalds is and I really think that it tastes better than Thai Son. I think it's the broth that makes a difference for me. Their Thai Iced Tea is one of the best I've ever had as well

                                            1. re: Mike V

                                              Trieste is a phenomenal Italian restaurant. I normally hate to pay for Italian food since it mostly seems overpriced for what it is and I can always have my mom cook me some of my grandparents' recipes but I think Trieste is well worth it in terms of value, service and excellent veal dishes. I went with 2 other people a few months ago and we shared two appetizers, shared a salad each had entrees, 2 glasses of wine, coffee and dessert for about $120 with a generous tip. We all brought leftovers home as well. It's now my go to place for special occasion dinners.

                                              Other favorites in the neighborhood

                                              Canelle Patisserie for baked goods

                                              Tacqeria Coatzingo: cemitas and nachos

                                              Zabb Thai: I particularly love all the soups and that they deliver to our house (only Thai place in the area that I know of that delivers)

                                              Cassidys Bar (corner of 75th & 31st): IMO one of the best burgers in the city and 12 beers on tap, including Franziskaner. I know that lots of people complain about there being relatively few or no bars in JH but this one is really great in terms of food and a pretty good selection of tap beer. The waitstaff & bartenders are also great.

                                              Pio Pio is always a good option and they deliver

                                              Thai Son (Vietnamese) is also great and quick for take out.

                                              1. re: TaraDLS

                                                TaraDLS, I just made reservations for an annual holiday lunch w/work friends at Trieste. We usually go to the wine room at Ponticello but grew to 16 people this year so was looking for something new. Have to admit I was a little hesitant about Trieste when I saw where it was located (a few, including me, will be taking train), but as soon as I stepped inside I got a warm feeling and didn't even notice Northern Blvd outside. After reading your review I think I made the right choice. My only fear is that they have another large party at 2 (we're a 12:30 resy) but they insisted they could accomodate. Any thoughts? Also besides the veal dishes, what else would you recommend? Anyone have fish?

                                                1. re: jinglejangle

                                                  The fettucine alfredo was one of the best I've had. I am pretty sure there were fish/seafood dishes on the menu but we didn't have anything with fish.
                                                  And I am sure they can accommodate you and the other party, the waitstaff was excellent when I was there.

                                            2. re: jza1218

                                              just came back from Taqueria Coatzingo and I like it more and more everytime that i go. My Dh always orders the Carnitas and I try something different- this time it was the Pollo Enchipotlado. First bite was spicy and then it settled into almost a sweet and spicy mode. Tried the flan this time- nothing special- the caramel came from a can and did not have the burnt taste that homemade would have. My DD had a burrito which she pronounced better than any of our Texas and Los Angeles haunts and better than anything that she has had in Sunset Park. Would be nice if they had better chips- though maybe not since I would want to eat them!

                                              1. re: jza1218

                                                I didn't see anyone mention the Georgia Diner. It is not technically in J.H., but it is still nearby...next to the Queens Mall. Hands down, one of the best diners in Queens. I think it has won awards....they are always crowded but it is spacious enough that you usually never have to wait long...they have a ridiculously HUGE menu and a dessert cart to die for. A definite MUST for before or after shopping eats.


                                              2. One of the best restaurants inthe area is actually in Woodside on Roosevelt avenue and 53rd or 54th street- La Flor. Excellent varied food with a few Latin ethnic touches. One of the best Sea Bass dishes I have ever tasted ( crusted with porcini mushrooms) and incredible lamb shank....the baked goood are amazing...place is small and under the el but worth the trip # 7 line 52nd street stop.

                                                1. I trekked out to Taqueria Coatzingo on Monday (based on a desire to get to know Queens better and the recommendations on this board. I ordered the tacos Pastor and a tamale rojo.The tacos are prepared with pork that's cooked like a gyro, sliced off of a spit. There was tasty guacamole on top. I was hoping for freshly made tortillas, but alas, these were standard, industrial tortillas. The tamale was spicy and hit the spot. On the whole, the taqueria was a place where quasi-authentic food seemed attainable. After I left, I walked up through the 80s on Roosevelt Ave. I noticed the food carts some of the other posters have mentioned in this thread. The most appealing was the taco cart on 85th. The aroma of freshly made tortillas was like a siren's call. Since I had just eaten, I did not partake, but I will be back.

                                                  1. Tacqueria Coatzingo on Roosevelt and 76th (best tacos in all JH; good tamales and burritos, too).
                                                    Delhi Palace on 74th (ten times better than Jackson Diner, very friendly staff, never busy).
                                                    Yogurberry on 37th Ave (because it's new and clean; the frozen yogurt has a certain taste, but I think it's delicious)
                                                    Espresso 77 on 77th (because it's new and clean and the coffee is actually flavorful)
                                                    Novo (menu is great; ask for the burger. the decor could use alot of work).

                                                    8 Replies
                                                    1. re: spanishfish

                                                      Second vote for Delhi Palace (I gave up on Jackson Diner a few years ago).

                                                      Funny. I walked by Jackson Diner on my way to Delhi Palace a couple of nights ago around 9:30. Every table in Jackson Diner (you can see the restaurant through those big front windows) was packed. Delhi Palace, as usual, was almost empty. The legend lives on.

                                                      1. re: racer x

                                                        Yeah, Jackson Diner really rots these days. I ate there the other day with a peson visitng from Brazil who wanted a cuisine he can't get at home and specifically asked for Indian...what a mistake. Dry, tired food, uninspired sauces, desultory service. Ouch. NEVER GO

                                                        1. re: zemilideias

                                                          Go in and take a look at Merit Farms on 74th St. Its Indian and in the rear Tibet. The Indian looks so incredibly good. A few days ago I ordered (take out) an awesome vegetarian dish that was a combination of broccoli rabe & spinich with lots of fresh garlic & chilli pepper. Absolutely awesome. Imagine broccoli rabe in an Indian Restaurant? I plan to return for some other dishes and another order of the broccoli rabe. It all looks so fresh looking. Place is always packed. This could very well become my favorite Indian. Lots of customer ordering large bowls of soups (they have two each day) at just $4. I can't believe I avoided this place. The guy behind the counter is so incredibly friendly and helpful. A spinach dish with shrimp looked like a winner. They even have Indian chicken wings that look so good that they sell by the pound and fried fish. This place is not help yourself Buffet and has no waitstaff. Pick up your food - pay for it - sit down and enjoy. Love this kind of place.

                                                          1. re: zemilideias

                                                            In blatant disregard for the title "Little India", the Indian on 74th street specifically isn't that great. I totally dig Kababish on broadway, but that is a takeout place. Delhi Heights I liked the one time I was there, although the jury is still out for me.
                                                            Al naimet is my fav buffet, but nothing to travel for.
                                                            Spicy Mina is supposed to be very good, but it is technically in woodside.

                                                            Merit isnt bad at all. and that London based place on 73rd is supposed to be good, but I still havent had a great experience there...

                                                            1. re: Jeffsayyes

                                                              Roti Boti, aka Kahari and Grill (the smaller one) kicks butt and, Alauddin's Sweet Meats is amazing too; they have a very nice haleem there.

                                                              1. re: bigjeff

                                                                Alauddin - that's the one. I need to go there more.

                                                                1. re: bigjeff

                                                                  yeah, but i think JH roti boti went out of business when someone hightailed it back to Bangladesh with $$; now you've got to go out of the 'hood, to 21st and Astoria Blvd for Roti Boti!

                                                                  1. re: zemilideias

                                                                    both roti boti's left JH, and I like the replacement, Karahi and Grill, very much!

                                                        2. Uncle Peter's is very good. They also have an Early bird special that is a three course meal, glass of wine, and coffee with your dessert for only 24.00. Armondo's, Trieste, Novo, and Jahn's is good for breakfast and lunch.

                                                          1. I really don't think that there are five really good restaurants in JH. I've lived here for almost three years, and I have yet to get really excited about going out to eat in JH. :(

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: orzabelle

                                                              1- CHIVITO D'ORO
                                                              2-PIO PIO
                                                              3-UNCLE PETERS

                                                              THESE ARE THE BEST PLACES I KNOW HERE...

                                                              1. re: orzabelle


                                                                i've lived in wide swaths of three boroughs -- no bx or si -- and never felt like i had as wide an array of choices as i do here. for starters, i'd say: Arunee, Pio Pio, Trieste/Armondo's (tie), Deshi Biryani, UFC....

                                                                1. re: orzabelle

                                                                  Wow, I am shocked that you think there aren't 5 good restaurants in JH, I had a hard time keeping my list to 5. This neighborhood has some of the best ethnic food in the city and some real gems in general.

                                                                2. also not technically jackson heights but IHAWAN in very nearby woodside kills it. most of my other favorites have already been listed.

                                                                  1. I also didn't see anyone mention Cafe La Nueva. Maybe not one of the overall best...but I definitely think they rank up there for one of the best Columbian breakfasts.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: PumpkinCheesecake

                                                                      depending on which one, yes for sure. NOT the one on the corner, but the one close to shea stadium, about a block or two.

                                                                      1. re: PumpkinCheesecake

                                                                        what, the ivy league's now serving breakfast? La Nueva has great atmosphere and nice people but fairly tasteless Colombian--note spelling, folks--pastries.

                                                                      2. Although not a restaurant, I would say Sammy's cart on the corner on 73rd and B'way ranks up there: http://streetvendor.org/public_html/s...

                                                                        1. I recently went to Pio Pio on Northern Blvd. My brother has eaten from their take-out location at the corner, but we decided for a sit-down lunch. We ordered the Matador Combo, which comes with a whole chicken, rice and beans, avocado salad, french fries and what my brother described as fried hot dog slices and tostones. He was in heaven.

                                                                          With the 3 of us eating, we still had leftovers. The chicken was moist and flavorful, and the fries were just right - not too greasy, and just the right crunchiness. We're looking forward to going there again.

                                                                          1. Best Grilled Sweetbreads anywhere - La Portena Argentinian Steakhouse 75th/37th Av
                                                                            Novo Nuevo Latino with a bit of style ful bar 79th/37th Ave opp post office
                                                                            Elmhurst Famous Pizza 75/76 37th Ave
                                                                            Due Fratelli Pizza Place 77th/37th Ave great Grandma's Pizza
                                                                            Sripaphai Thai 65th & 39th Ave Incredible Thai
                                                                            Pio Pio Norhtern Blvdand 85th Chicken and Salad with a bit of Style
                                                                            Meson Asturias - old world tapas on Baxter/Roosevelt
                                                                            Afghan Kebab 75th / 37th Ave no liquor

                                                                              1. cotazingos on 82, afghan kebab house on 37ave and 75th st, louie's pizza on baxter and judge, sammys halal cart at 73rd and broadway, tamale ladies on 82

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: icelandadam

                                                                                  Here's my thing, of those 5, 3 of your picks are actually in Elmhurst. the JH name usurps all surrounding areas for their food.

                                                                                  Here's my 5 favorite JH places of the moment: Chivito D'Oro, U Dzika, Kababish, and ummm Raja sweets I guess. this is a pretty good neighborhood to live by.

                                                                                2. I'm not sure where the borders of JH are technically, so I'll go by walking distance from Roosevelt/74 train station.

                                                                                  Within short walking distance:

                                                                                  Ayada (thai)
                                                                                  Coatzingo (mexican)
                                                                                  Lali Guras (nepalese/tibetan)
                                                                                  Urumbamba (peruvian)
                                                                                  Upi Jaya (indonesian)

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: ferdia

                                                                                    ferida; refresh me: what else is bangin' at upi jaya? I had another ordering mistake I think and didn't get the fried chicken (which one is the best?) see here:


                                                                                    1. re: bigjeff

                                                                                      I like the kale in curry sauce (don't know the Indonesian name), the gado gado, the lamb curry, and a curry nut dish. I think the nut is candlenut and called jengkol. I like the tempe goreng as well - sometimes it just hits the spot for me. The fried chicken is called asam goreng.

                                                                                      1. re: ferdia

                                                                                        The jackfruit curry is especially good at Upi Jaya.


                                                                                        Upi Jaya
                                                                                        76-04 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                                                                  2. In line with the demographic trend in which Jackson Heights has been phasing from Indian into Nepalese/Tibetan, Thakali Kitchen and the much older Himalayan Yak are worth visiting, in that order.

                                                                                    Mustang Thakali Kitchen
                                                                                    74-14 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

                                                                                    Himalayan Yak
                                                                                    72-20 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11372

                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: guanubian

                                                                                      Thakali Kitchen has great momos!

                                                                                      Mustang Thakali Kitchen
                                                                                      74-14 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

                                                                                      1. re: j0cy0223

                                                                                        My favorite thing there was the dish of spiced goat's innards.


                                                                                      2. re: guanubian

                                                                                        On that subject...went to Thakali again last night, great as always, and packed, and on the way back to the car noticed a new place, Family "authentic south asian cuisine" in what I think was the Deshi Biryani location? The menu is 2/3rds Indian and 1/3rd Nepali (or 1/4, fwiw). But on the indian menu, they mention their "famous biryanis" and I recognize other items, like the Fuska appetizer, from Deshi Biryani. So I wonder if this is a new restaurant or just a rebranding of sorts? Or new owners but same chefs? Or vice-versa?

                                                                                        Deshi Biryani
                                                                                        75-18 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

                                                                                        1. re: Widmark

                                                                                          HI, i would like to reopen this thread. As of Feb 2011, what are the five best restaurants in Jackson Heights?

                                                                                          1. re: Wet Towel

                                                                                            1. Louie's Pizza on Baxter--technically elmhurst but they deliver up past northern blvd--the guy who runs the place--Louie--is gorgeous so i must admit that is part of it--but the buffalo chicken pizza is great and he knows his dough, the crust is just how it should be. Elmhurst Famous Pizza on 37th ave is also good, but its very different--depends what i'm in the mood for.

                                                                                            2. Texas Ranger BBQ/Legends Bar--try the beef short ribs and pulled chicken quesadias. The owners/staff are all very nice people--get to know them.

                                                                                            3. La Portena--my skirt steak is better but theirs is a close second. nice selection of argentinian wines and its one of the few places in JH with white table clothes. Its a great place to take peeps from out of town or the hood to show them that there are some classy places to eat.

                                                                                            4. Nanking (chinese-thai-mughlai) i'm hooked on the appetizers-- lollipop chicken, lambchops, chicken 65, singapore noodles.

                                                                                            5. Cannelle Patisserie-- a true gem! the cheese danish and lemon squares are worth
                                                                                            the trip-- i often walk from 34th ave so i can earn the calories.

                                                                                            The Ranger Texas Barbecue
                                                                                            71-04 35th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

                                                                                            Cannelle Patisserie
                                                                                            75-59 31st Ave, Queens, NY 11370

                                                                                            La Portena
                                                                                            74-25 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

                                                                                            72-23 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

                                                                                            Elmhurst Famous Pizza
                                                                                            75-12 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

                                                                                            Louie's Pizza
                                                                                            81-34 Baxter Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                                                                      3. -- El Chivito d'Oro -- best south american steakhouse, their home-cooking from the kitchen is great too. not much atmosphere, but quality and consistent, inexpensive, lovely staff, the steaks are more consistent than La Portena down the street (i've had v disappointing quality there on several occasions)

                                                                                        -- Ploy Thai -- yes Chao Thai is really good, Zabb used to be good, but Ploy Thai is freaking amazing. The real deal. papaya salad w/ salted crab is addictive. So many dishes to love. When you ask ped ped be forewarned.

                                                                                        -- Tacos Morelos -- lots of great tacos in the nabe, but for sit down style I like this place best. Even kind of a nice dining room. They bring shots of liquor when Mexico scores when fotbal is on the TV. LOVE the taco placeros stuffed with yellow rice and fried chile relleno.

                                                                                        -- Mustang Thakali -- Himilayan/Tibetan. AMAZING. serious. consistent, carefully prepared. The momos are so delicious, the pumpkin goat is something that once eaten I guarantee you will be back for more.

                                                                                        -- Canelle Patisserie, not really a restaurant -- a french pastry shop. You can sit down there and seriously i can't believe that there is a truly authentic French bakery in my nabe when all the American, Italian, western-civ cuisines in the area absolutely stink.

                                                                                        -- My opinion is to forget about getting pizza, or trying to find a decent Italian (well maybe I'm unfair -- Uncle Peters is OK -- Armondo's should be embarrassed by what comes out of the kitchen). You can't get a good burger. Really, I've given up trying to eat continental style food here -- we're definitely missing out on good more typical cuisines, BUT we have so many of the most authentic, amazing places in the whole of the NYC area. I love eating out here. If I want French, Italian, American... that's what Manhattan and Brooklyn are for.

                                                                                        El Chivito D'Oro
                                                                                        84-02 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

                                                                                        74-27 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

                                                                                        Cannelle Patisserie
                                                                                        75-59 31st Ave, Queens, NY 11370

                                                                                        La Portena
                                                                                        74-25 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

                                                                                        Ploy Thai
                                                                                        81-40 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

                                                                                        Uncle Peter's
                                                                                        83-15 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11372

                                                                                        Mustang Thakali Kitchen
                                                                                        74-14 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

                                                                                        Tacos Morelos
                                                                                        94-13 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

                                                                                        1. Maybe I'm ordering the wrong thing (tacos?) but the Coatzingo on Roosevelt is terribly overrated here, in my opinion. First of all, their salsa is absolutely awful. It tastes like it's been cut with Italian salad dressing from the bottle. Just that alone should tell you something. The al pastor meat is okay, but too... overseasoned? It gets cloying. Maybe this place make a great version and I don't like al pastor. But I don't think so. About five meals here, the first one was best (al pastor plate) with every subsequent visit, I'm asking myself "why do I come here?" Even the rice side order on the platillos is mediocre. It's somewhat authentic Mexican, but lousy for tacos, in my experience. And if you can't get the easy stuff right...

                                                                                          Anybody want to recommend some stellar dishes at Coatzingo, I'm all ears. But right now, I'm not seeing it.

                                                                                          1. I do like Taco Veloz on Roosevelt, just west of the corner of Junction Blvd. Hole in the wall kind of place, has literally amazing carnitas. Another Taco Veloz on Roosevelt I visited was a walk-up window (Taco Veloz seems to be a small chain) also had great carnitas. Authentic!

                                                                                            Zabb Elee on Roosevelt and 71st was fantastic. Better than Sripriphai? (Different menus... no curry at Zabb Elee from what I could see).

                                                                                            Pho Bac in nearby Elmhurst has great pho. Maybe the best I've had in NYC.

                                                                                            Zabb Elee
                                                                                            71-28 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11372

                                                                                            Pho Bac
                                                                                            82-78 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

                                                                                            1. Old post, but for anyone living in JH and wondering where to eat/who delivers where, my two favorite go-tos are Ayada (Thai) and Uncle Zhou (Henanese), which, despite being in Elmhurst, delivers to JH! At least to 76th St. I need those knife-shaved tomato & egg noodles at least once every two weeks...

                                                                                              77-08 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                                                                              Uncle Zhou
                                                                                              83-29 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: loumarie

                                                                                                I think Ayada is technically Elmhurst, though I agree it might as well be mentioned in this thread.

                                                                                                I don't have 5, since I think there's better stuff in Elmhurst, but I definitely encourage those in the area to give Mustang Thakali Kitchen a shot. Great food.