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Looking for Really Good "Old Timey New York" Foods in Queens

Hello All,

I'm looking to set up a spread for some non-New York friends and want to have a number of really good foods (the best in Queens) that are typically associated with New York from days gone by.

Would strongly prefer to stay in Queens if possible.

Specifically I'm looking for:

black & white cookies (freshly baked - really high quality chocolate and vanilla icing that isn't cloying)

plain old top-notch cheesecake (again fresh)

egg creams (will actually do this as a outing since they must be drunk immediately—would still prefer Queens if possible)

onion bialys (fresh)

half sour pickles

big chewy pretzels

knishes (not pre-packaged, freshly made on premises if possible)

A lot of this sounds like Jewish delicatessen fare but it doesn't have to be Kosher or Jewish—just delicious.

Also, if there are some items not mentioned that other Chowhounders associate with "Old Timey New York," please chow in with suggestions. Please note, however, this is going to be an informal buffet/finger foods-type thing (so there warn't be none 'a that them thar there Oysters Rockefeller!).

Any and all help will be most appreciated!

Many many thanks!

Glendale is hungry...

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  1. Eddies sweet shop on metropolitan has egg creams.

    1. I keep thinking of some of those bakeries in Maspeth on Grand.

      1. The Knish Nosh have fresh made Knishes. They have 2 locatins in Queens.

        Knish Nosh
        100-30 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11375

        1. black & white cookies
          V & V Bakery
          61-19 Roosevelt Avenue, Woodside, NY
          cascons cheesecake
          7-04 149th street
          whitestone, ny
          Hot Bialys
          116-63 Queens Boulevard
          Forest Hills, NY 11375, 718-544-0900
          knish knosh
          100-30 Queens Blvd
          Forest Hills, NY 11375
          718) 897-5554
          russian market on 63rd drive in rego park near LIRR trestle

          have fun!

          1 Reply
          1. re: phunkykim

            I wouldn't buy pickles from the Russian markets on 63rd Drive...too many times I have seen people (and always the grubbiest looking people) stick their hands in to grab pickles.

          2. oh wow, can I come, sounds fun! :)

            CHEESECAKE: agree on Cascon for the cheesecake, but if you want to trek to the Bronx, my favorite is the vanilla cheescake from missgrimble, they have limited retail hours --call very early to find out...http://www.missgrimble.com/5601/5622....

            BIG CHEWY PRETZELS: In Manhattan--For artisanal, yummy ones, not stale tasting yucky ones---http://www.sigmundnyc.com/
            If you've got to stay in queens, guess Auntie Anne's? in Queens center mall..they make them all day fresh there, too..but not in the same league as above--but if kitsch is the goal they will work fine, I guess..

            KNISHES: No question, Knish Nosh on Queens Blvd in Forest Hills--they sell to lots of places--get kasha, potato, cabbage, spinach--also, to me totally NY as well as BAR MITZVAH heaven, is the little cocktail franks, theirs are great! http://knishnosh.com/index.php

            RUGELACH: While you're at KNISH NOSH, pop next door for the best rugelach in town at Andre's--it's pricey but it's the best...good strudel's too.....

            UBET CHOCOLATE SYRUP: You can get it at stop and shop, make sure you have this on hand as well as seltzer (old fashioned would be best--you can get this delivered from The Seltzer Man--see his info here--http://nymag.com/urban/guides/bestofn... and here: http://www.villagevoice.com/bestof/20... ) chocolate milk or egg creams http://www.foxs-syrups.com/
            Make the egg creams yourself, see recipe on their site--and check this out:
            The Fox's are like 5th cousins of mine,,met them years ago, at some party, --nice people.

            Onion Bialy's, agree with the Hot Bialys suggestion below...and Pickles, any of the Russian deli places in Rego Park, on 63rd drive near LIRR , or on other side 63rd Road past Bagellettee--which used to be really great before they sold it..haven't been there in ages so can't speak of what they have anymore--but this might be a possible bialy stop for you--or in the city: http://www.kossarsbialys.com/

            BLACK/WHITE COOKIES: Make sure you call ahead and order, and he will bake them fresh for you--they are very good--La Dolce Italia Bakery 100405 Metropolitan Ave Forest Hills 718 268-5297

            Knish Nosh
            100-30 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11375

            2 Replies
            1. re: janie

              I've got to second the black and whites at La Dolce Italia. Definitely some of the best around. The icing is soft, isn't too sweet and the cake is incredibly moist - stick to the wax paper moist. Good stuff.

              La Dolce Italia
              104-05 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

              1. re: janie

                If you are trekking up to the BX I would say get your cheesecake from S&S. The best in the city. 238th off of Broadway in Kingsbridge

              2. Ben's Best in Rego Park is a classic NY kosher deli, and they even have rolled beef.


                1 Reply
                1. re: Peter Cherches

                  yeah, but it's slipped in quality big time--I head out to Deli King in New Hyde Park, there's nothing too good at Ben's.

                2. There's a great kosher bakery called Aron's at Yellowstone and Dartmouth. They have incredible walnut rugalach and chocolate bobka. I can't remember whether or not they do black and white cookies, but it might be worth checking out.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jaingmaster

                    Aarons has consistently had poor inspection ratings, and I draw the line at dirty bakeries...

                  2. Jahn's at 37 Ave/81 St in Jackson Heights is old New York. The food menu is typical diner. The ice cream menu is old school. The quality is below Ben/Jerry's, etc, premium brands. The experience was a treat for a kid 50 years ago.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: MahatmaKanejeeves

                      While we're at it, anyone know where I can get good old fashioned chow mein, the kind that was more like glop than food, that I used to have almost 70, yes 70, years ago when my parents took us to our weekly Sunday "chinks" meal.

                      1. re: Stuartmc910


                        Now that I have images in my head of grubby Russians bobbing for pickles and Ozzie & Harriet cheerily chirping, “Hey kids, come get your chink glop!” I think I’ll just say thank you to everyone for all of your wonderful ideas! You’ve given me a lot to work with and I’m eternally grateful.

                        Thanks again!


                        Glendale is hungry…

                        1. re: Stuartmc910

                          King Yum is the most old timey Chinese restaurant left in the city. The food sucks, but that's beside the point.


                          King Yum
                          181-08 Union Tpke, Queens, NY 11366

                      2. oh, found a great old timey diner today in bay ridge.... Hinsch's. I never heard of it before, but it's right out of the 50s

                        I wanna go here!

                        8518 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Jeffsayyes

                          Hinsch's has been discussed on chowhound before, but it's been a while. If you're in the neighborhood it's a nice place to go--not sure I would think of it as a destination place, but if you want a trip down memory lane I guess it might be.
                          It's all about the ice cream--very old timey look and feel. The ice cream is good.
                          I am eternally grateful to hinsch's because they introduced me to the rootbeer float with coffee ice cream, one of the world's best combos--right up there with chocolate and peanut butter!

                          8518 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209