Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Outer Boroughs >
Jun 3, 2008 07:22 PM

Food at Queens Botanical Garden

I'm coming in from out of the area and am considering a visit to the Queen Botanical Garden with my 95 year old Grandpa. I really want to check out the new visitors center.

I can't find any information about the food there - the map lists a cafe but there is nothing else. Has anyone been? I'm not expecting anything amazing, but would love to know if it is to be avoided or if there is anything in particular worth trying. I will give the place a call tomorrow, but would love to have some first hand scoop.

If no one knows anything about the food there, can you recommend a place that might suit us - it should be on the quiet side and probably not too out there food-wise.

Thanks in advance.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I have no idea about the food at the QBG, but it's in Flushing, which is the largest Chinese community on the east coast with literally hundreds of restaurants.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Woodside Al

      It might be a long walk from the Botanical Gardens to where all the Chinese restaurants are in Flushing, especially for a 95 year old. But it's only a 5-10 minute bus ride along Main Street to 41st Ave, where many of the restaurants can be found.

    2. 5 minute walk to Golden Mall and the new upstairs food mall on the same block. Those two could feed me for months and I wouldn't want anything else.

      1. There is no food at the QBG! (Except for a couple of vending machines. Ick.)

        Maybe you are looking at a map of the New York Botancial Gardens or the Brooklyn Botanic Garden both of which have a cafe.

        I just double checked the map at
        and cannot find the word 'cafe' anywhere.

        Luckily as the other posters mention you would be near one of NYC's best neighbourhoods for food. Though not in walking distance for the average 95 year old.

        1. If I recall correctly there are also 2 or 3 Indo-Pak/Afghani places directly across the road from the entrance on Main st. The food is pretty good, and there are seats, but they're mostly grab and go type of places. You'll be able to eat there if you want, but not the place to go if you want to linger over lunch....

          2 Replies
          1. re: pagal

            There is no justification to not go two or so blocks down to the heart of food in Flushing...

          2. The problem with these most of these answers is that a 95-year old is probably not going to be up for Szechuan or food malls or a lot of the spicy stuff - and OP is seeking a quiet place. I have a 92-year-old father and would have trouble getting him to any of those places. When I go to Flushing restos I usually go for the more out-there stuff, but he might prefer a buffet like East Lake, though I've not eaten there. Perhaps those of you who know more could suggest a place that is not too full of bustle and spice.

            11 Replies
            1. re: JH Jill

              There's a place on Main Street by Blossom called Happy Dumpling that might fit the bill. It is a lot closer to the Garden and pretty bustle-free. I like Little Pepper better, but there's good food to be had there as well- particularly the tea smoked pork belly with garlic shoots.

              1. re: JH Jill

                How about a cup of soup & a chicken or lamb shwarma at Grillpoint on Jewel Ave & Main Street ? They have excellent falafel & fresh salads. Went there for the first time this week.
                Its about a mile south on Main Street from the QBG.

                1. re: johnk

                  Grill Point is definitely excellent (I love the salad bar)- I'd bet it's more than a mile away, but it will involve a ride in the car either way...which may not be such a bad thing in this case.

                  1. re: TongoRad

                    Went to the Queens Botanical Gardens last summer, it looked like a wasteland, I'm not kidding, railroad ties, weeds and rocks. In spite of this, lunch was good, I don't rememmber the name, however the place had a gigantic bowl and chopsticks on top of the entrance. I would stongly recommend Brooklyn or the Bronx Gardens, Brooklyn has the better food of the two.

                      1. re: chowdom

                        They renovated the place. It looks real nice now. They added a nice water feature all around the Visitors Center.

                        The advantage of the QBG is its location relative to Flushing and that there is no charge for admission.

                        1. re: Fooch

                          Thanks for the update, I'll have to give it another try.

                        2. re: chowdom

                          I don't see how you were in the right place!

                          1. re: orzabelle

                            It said " Queens Botanical Gardens" in several places around the fence, I know where I was.

                        3. re: TongoRad

                          And, there are parking spots on the street by Grill Point.

                        4. re: johnk

                          In the same vein, I think a really mellow atmosphere and not far from there, a ride down Main street, further on from Grillpoint, until you get to Union Turnpike would be Hapisgah,

                          very good Israeli cuisine and excellent green falafel and chicken kebab or steak or salads, extremely mellow and quiet at lunch with nice lunch specials, comfortable seating and bright. Here's a link to their site and menu. There is also, Colbeh in Kew Garden Hills
                          which would be closer also, and their food is good too.

                          Both are Glatt Kosher, and you can get spicy or non spicy at both. Whilte Flushing Chinese is great, I really don't think it's suited for someone that age due to the spice factor, unless they are really into that thing. My father in law gets very upset with me if I bring him to a very spicy place, he almost choked to death from spicy Thai, and was miserable the whole meal, even with everything asked for mild.

                          If you've got a car, I think these places would be more appropriate, in the area, and easy to get back on the highway from if that's what you need to do.