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Jan 24, 2008 05:27 PM

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