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Top 5 Restaurants to try in Queens?

j
jeeg May 30, 2011 03:19 PM

Im a long time Brooklynite who has hardly ever ventured into Queens. Tell me what Im missing!

Thanks

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  1. MOREKASHA RE: jeeg May 30, 2011 04:01 PM

    Flushing,Simply put, the largest China Town on the eastcoast. Try the Golden Mall (basement), just decide which place suits your fancy or has seats....

    -----
    Golden Shopping Mall
    41-28 Main St, Queens, NY 11355

    12 Replies
    1. re: MOREKASHA
      EatontheRun RE: MOREKASHA May 31, 2011 10:38 AM

      I second Golden Mall for Chinese varieties.

      I would add in no particular order:
      Ayada or Sripraphai (for Thai).
      danny browns wine bar and kitchen (the only Michelin star restaurant in Queens).
      Taverna Kyklades (for Greek).
      M.Wells (for Montreal inspired eats)
      Vesta (for Italian inspired locally sourced eats)

      Although I haven't been yet, I am reading good things about Eco-Table (in Astoria) and LIC Market.

      -----
      Danny Brown
      104-02 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

      SriPraPhai
      64-13 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

      Taverna Kyclades
      3307 Ditmars Blvd, Queens, NY 11105

      Vesta
      21-02 30th Ave, Queens, NY 11102

      Ayada
      77-08 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11373

      M. Wells Diner
      21-17 49th Ave, Queens, NY 11101

      1. re: EatontheRun
        CitySpoonful RE: EatontheRun May 31, 2011 12:20 PM

        Is Eco Table open already? I passed by only a week or so ago, and it still looked dark in there.

        -----
        Eco Table
        33-20 31st Ave, Queens, NY 11106

        1. re: CitySpoonful
          squid kun RE: CitySpoonful May 31, 2011 12:50 PM

          Apparently opened Wednesday; there are a handful of Yelp reviews.

        2. re: EatontheRun
          s
          Stuartmc910 RE: EatontheRun Jun 1, 2011 01:22 PM

          We ate at Danny Browns after the Michelin Review was published and enjoyed it.

          We returned recently and was very disappointed. The service and food have gone downhill. We were aware (and not too happy) about their wine markup (300%!!), but tolerated the first time because we enjoyed the food, but this time it really upset us; $33.00 for a Proseco that we get for $9.99 in most "discount" wine stores.

          We won't return. No one mentioned Tournasel in Long Island City.

          -----
          Danny Brown
          104-02 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

          1. re: Stuartmc910
            EatontheRun RE: Stuartmc910 Jun 2, 2011 07:29 AM

            Agree about the wine prices. We've been sticking to the food lately which we still find to be good. What dishes did you find disappointing? I find their Tuesday and Wednesday prix fix menu is also a good way to go.

            1. re: EatontheRun
              s
              Stuartmc910 RE: EatontheRun Jun 2, 2011 07:45 AM

              The steak (2), lobster roll special and chicken under a brick. All so-so. The opening salads were OK as were my ham croquettes. I am usually an uncomplaining diner (unless it's truly bad), but we were entertaining a couple and we were high on the place. They didn't complain, but we could see they did not enjoy their meal.

          2. re: EatontheRun
            p
            phylrose RE: EatontheRun Jun 13, 2011 03:19 PM

            How we wanted to like this new restaurant....really, we did. We tried it for lunch today and were sorely disappointed. The food is ordinary at best. We were totally unimpressed and for this money you can eat a lot better nearby. It irks us to be asked if we want sparkling water when we first sit down, too, and after we ordered two main courses we were asked if we wouldn't like to split a side of fries. If we wanted fries, we'd have asked. We don't quibble about paying more for a great meal. But for an ordinary meal, no thank you.

            -----
            Eco Table
            33-20 31st Ave, Queens, NY 11106

            1. re: phylrose
              Jeffsayyes RE: phylrose Jun 13, 2011 04:17 PM

              which restaurant are you talking about?

              1. re: Jeffsayyes
                p
                phylrose RE: Jeffsayyes Jun 16, 2011 02:56 PM

                sorry--I put in the lead that I was talking about Eco Table.

                -----
                Eco Table
                33-20 31st Ave, Queens, NY 11106

                1. re: phylrose
                  BTaylor RE: phylrose Jun 17, 2011 01:28 PM

                  Yeah, Eco-Table would not even begin to qualify as a Top 5 in Queens. Ick!

                  1. re: BTaylor
                    m
                    megc RE: BTaylor Jun 17, 2011 01:31 PM

                    I've heard so many conflicting thing about Eco-Table. I'm going to wait for a while before I have a meal there.

              2. re: phylrose
                m
                Mr Porkchop RE: phylrose Jun 20, 2011 08:55 AM

                I live at that corner, and there's nothing about the concept of Eco-table I really find that interesting. That said, I don't think the sparkling water thing is a fair criticism. It's a pretty common question at many restaurants, even if it is a little "un-Queens."

          3. CitySpoonful RE: jeeg May 31, 2011 12:28 PM

            jeeg, a few of my favorites%3

            *Arepas Cafe, Astoria (Venzuelan)

            *Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan, Flushing (among many other excellent Flushing Chinese/Korean restaurants -- Fu Run, M&T, Golden Palace, Golden Mall, New World Mall, etc.)

            *Aliada, Astoria (Greek-Cypriot)

            *Ornella Trattoria, Astoria (Regional Italian, esp. from Cilento)

            *Cheburechnaya, Rego Park (Bukharian -- Jewish/Central Asian)

            lthough I don't have specific recs, here are a few great food 'hoods to check out if you're exploring Queens%3

            -Elmhurst Chinatown

            -Jackson Heights/Corona: Colombian, Ecuadorian, and other S. American cuisines

            -Richmond Hill: Indian/Guyanese

            -Northern Blvd. east of Flushing Main St.: Korean

            -Woodside: Filipino, Malaysian, Indonesian

            -----
            Golden Shopping Mall
            41-28 Main St, Queens, NY 11355

            Fu Run
            40-09 Prince St, Queens, NY 11354

            Arepas Cafe
            33-07 36th Ave, Queens, NY 11106

            Cheburechnaya
            92-09 63rd Dr, Queens, NY 11374

            Aliada
            29-19 Broadway, Queens, NY 11106

            Golden Palace
            14009 Cherry Ave, Queens, NY 11355

            SN New Restaurant
            44-09 Kissena Blvd, Queens, NY 11355

            Ornella
            29-17 23rd Ave, Queens, NY 11105

            Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan
            42-47 Main St, Queens, NY 11355

            New World Mall
            40-21 Main St, Queens, NY 11354

            1 Reply
            1. re: CitySpoonful
              missmasala RE: CitySpoonful Jun 3, 2011 02:39 PM

              What do you get as a vegetarian at Cheburechnaya? I really liked it when we tried it (fell in love with the sweetbread kabob) but always hesitate to go back bc we had a hard time finding good things for our vegetarian daughter on the menu. Any recs?

            2. k
              knarfwhite RE: jeeg May 31, 2011 07:13 PM

              These are my faves:
              Nicks Pizza, Forest Hills
              Piccolo Venezia, traditional Italian, Astoria
              Shripraphai, Thai, Jackson Heights
              Kyoto Sushi, Japanese/Thai, Union Tpke and Parsons, Flushing
              Tortilleria Nixtamal, Mexican, 10405 47th Ave, Corona

              -----
              Nick's Pizza
              108-26 Ascan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

              Piccola Venezia
              42-01 28th Ave, Queens, NY 11103

              Kyoto Sushi
              153-11 Union Tpke, Queens, NY 11367

              Tortilleria Nixtamal
              104-05 47th Ave, Queens, NY 11368

              1. EricMM RE: jeeg Jun 1, 2011 08:14 AM

                I'll agree with the others that it is probably best to just group ethnic restaurants together by neighborhood, as there is so much- Flushing and Elmhurst for all things Chinese, etc. To that I might add Rego Park/Forest Hills for Uzbek food (kosher Bukharian...I have only tried Cheburechnaya, but its very good). To all of the other places mentioned I would add London Lennies on Woodhaven Blvd, Rego Park for excellent seafood.

                -----
                Cheburechnaya
                92-09 63rd Dr, Queens, NY 11374

                London Lennie's
                63-88 Woodhaven Blvd, Queens, NY 11374

                1. daffyduck RE: jeeg Jun 1, 2011 03:13 PM

                  a lot of good recs. here are some of my favorites that i dont see
                  http://www.yelp.com/biz/manuelito-res...
                  my favorite Ecuadorian restaurant, right by Timmy O's
                  Quisqueya (domincan) also in Corona.
                  M and T and Hunan House both in Flushing
                  Kebab Cafe in Astoria
                  Delhi Heights in Jackson Heights

                  -----
                  Kabab Cafe
                  25-12 Steinway St, Queens, NY 11103

                  Delhi Heights
                  37-66 74th St, Queens, NY 11372

                  Hunan House
                  137-40 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11354

                  Quisqueya
                  97-03 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11368

                  SN New Restaurant
                  44-09 Kissena Blvd, Queens, NY 11355

                  Manuelito
                  103-28 Corona Ave, Queens, NY 11368

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: daffyduck
                    daffyduck RE: daffyduck Jun 1, 2011 09:27 PM

                    i forgot to mention Imperial Palace

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                    Imperial Palace
                    136-13 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11354

                  2. q
                    queenseats RE: jeeg Jun 1, 2011 07:24 PM

                    A few of my Queens favorites:

                    TOP TiER:
                    Wafa's - Lebanese -- Forest Hills
                    Vesta - New Italian -- Astoria
                    Taverna Kyclades - Classic Greek -- Astoria (amazing seafood)
                    Queens Kickshaw - BEST coffee I've ever had -- Astoria
                    Arepas Cafe - Venezuelan arepas -- Astoria

                    MIDDLE TIER:
                    BareBurger - organic burgers -- Astoria
                    Parkside - old school Italian -- Corona
                    Lenny's Clam Bar - red sauce Italian -- Howard Beach
                    Linn - Japanese -- Astoria
                    Seva - Indian -- Astoria

                    ALWAYS AWESOME:
                    Flushing!!! From the stalls in the malls to the big dim sum palaces (I really like Jade Asian), there is a terrific variety of Asian foods.

                    -----
                    Arepas Cafe
                    33-07 36th Ave, Queens, NY 11106

                    Jade Asian
                    136-28 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11354

                    Park Side
                    107-01 Corona Ave, Queens, NY 11368

                    Taverna Kyclades
                    3307 Ditmars Blvd, Queens, NY 11105

                    Seva
                    30-07 34th St, Queens, NY 11103

                    Linn
                    29-13 Broadway, Queens, NY 11106

                    Lenny's Clam Bar
                    161-03 Cross Bay Blvd, Queens, NY 11414

                    Vesta
                    21-02 30th Ave, Queens, NY 11102

                    Wafa's
                    100-05 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                    BareBurger
                    33-21 31st Ave, Queens, NY 11106

                    Queens Kickshaw
                    40-17 Broadway, Queens, NY 11103

                    13 Replies
                    1. re: queenseats
                      EatontheRun RE: queenseats Jun 2, 2011 07:33 AM

                      I've been meaning to get to Wafa's for some time. Can you recommend any standout dishes?

                      Arepas Cafe is also another of my favorites that I neglected to list. I don't know that I would drive from Bklyn for it, but I am thrilled that it's in my neck of the woods.

                      1. re: EatontheRun
                        q
                        queenseats RE: EatontheRun Jun 2, 2011 10:48 AM

                        I've never had anything I didn't like at Wafa's. I particularly enjoy the chicken shawerma, mousakaha, babaganoush, and spinach pie. Everything is made fresh daily by Wafa. I don't think you can go wrong!

                        -----
                        Wafa's
                        100-05 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                        1. re: queenseats
                          s
                          SpiceJunkies RE: queenseats Jun 3, 2011 01:01 PM

                          Wafa's is closed!

                          My top 5

                          -Golden Shopping mall (lamb soup in upstairs)

                          -Trattoria L'incontro

                          -Good Taste Malysian

                          -BZ Grill Pork Gyro

                          -Sriphathai

                          -----
                          Golden Shopping Mall
                          41-28 Main St, Queens, NY 11355

                          Taste Good
                          82-18 45th Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                          Trattoria L'Incontro
                          21-76 31st St, Queens, NY 11105

                          SriPraPhai
                          64-13 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                          BZ Grill
                          2702 Astoria Blvd, Queens, NY 11102

                          Wafa's
                          100-05 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                          1. re: SpiceJunkies
                            EricMM RE: SpiceJunkies Jun 3, 2011 01:17 PM

                            Its open, just in a new location. The old Wafa's place is now Zanobia. Similar, and good, but not as good as Wafa's.

                            -----
                            Wafa's
                            100-05 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                            Zanobia
                            96-08 72nd Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                            1. re: EricMM
                              GlendaleGal RE: EricMM Jun 3, 2011 06:54 PM

                              Wafa REOPENED some months ago She is now located at:
                              100-05 Metropolitan Avenue
                              Forest Hills, NY 11375

                              Had a falafel tonight :)

                              -----
                              Wafa's
                              100-05 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                              1. re: GlendaleGal
                                s
                                SpiceJunkies RE: GlendaleGal Jun 16, 2011 05:25 PM

                                Sorry for the bad info. I am happy to hear that she's reopened. While it is worth a visit and I will go for lunch (it's near my work), I still wouldn't put it in my top 5. Even in the Middle Eastern genre I think there are other better options just in Queens...thinking Duzan in Astoria as one

                                -----
                                Duzan
                                24-11 Steinway St, Queens, NY 11103

                                1. re: SpiceJunkies
                                  CitySpoonful RE: SpiceJunkies Jun 17, 2011 05:34 AM

                                  Really? Duzan is better than Wafa? What about a head-to-head with Cedar Meat House (also Astoria)?

                                  And a related query: Any intel on the new Lebanese place that just opened on Bway in Astoria: Homemade Falafel?

                                  -----
                                  Cedars Meat House
                                  41-08 30th Ave, Queens, NY 11103

                                  Wafa's
                                  100-05 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                                  Duzan
                                  24-11 Steinway St, Queens, NY 11103

                                  1. re: CitySpoonful
                                    s
                                    SpiceJunkies RE: CitySpoonful Jul 6, 2011 08:51 AM

                                    Very really. Duzan's pita bread alone puts them on the top of my list. But Duzan's Hummus, chicken schwarma and salads alll make me happy to live in Astoria.

                                    -----
                                    Duzan
                                    24-11 Steinway St, Queens, NY 11103

                            2. re: SpiceJunkies
                              d
                              diprey11 RE: SpiceJunkies Jun 17, 2011 04:31 PM

                              No,no, it's open in a new location, 100-05 Metropolitan Ave (at 70th Ave), and their food is better than ever. Enjoy!

                          2. re: EatontheRun
                            g
                            Glendale is hungry RE: EatontheRun Jun 30, 2011 08:26 AM

                            Hi EatontheRun,

                            I don't know exactly where you are in Brooklyn but in Bushwick (just a block or so away from Ridgewood, Queens) there are some awfully good arepas to be had at:

                            Arepera Guacuco

                            44 Irving Avenue (at the corner of Troutman)

                            The fish arepa (Cazon) is wonderful and insanely juicy. Bite through the crunchy exterior over a bowl to capture the delicious effluent to be imbibed later. Also fabulous is the Pernil arepa—this one is actually my favorite (go pork!).

                            The one arepa I'm not a huge fan of here is the Salchicha sausage in pink sauce. The pink sauce is scrumptious (like all of the other home-made condiments here) but the "sausage" is just grilled slices of an "eh" hotdog.

                            All arepas are from the owner's mother's recipes and are made to order.

                            They also have juice drinks and the cocada (coconut) is amazing but also very filling. I recommend getting it to go at the end of a meal or making a special trip just for that.

                            I know that some people on that review site that shall not be named—you know—the one that rhymes with "trelp" have complained about the prices. But I think that's unfair as this is a sit-down restaurant—not a "joint." It's not fancy but it's nice and I have nothing against joints, greasy spoons, or dives—just chains (burn in Hell, Olive Garden!!!!!).

                            Also, I have to admit that I'm not an arepa expert . I've never even had the chance to partake of the most sacred arepas of Chowhound - those of the Arepa Lady whose cart frequents Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights under the 7 train......

                            Anyway, I hope you'll check out Arepera Guacuco some time.

                            Ciao,

                            Glendale is hungry...

                            -----
                            The Arepa Lady
                            Roosevelt Ave and 79th St, Queens, NY 11372

                            Guacuco
                            44 Irving Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237

                            1. re: Glendale is hungry
                              EatontheRun RE: Glendale is hungry Jun 30, 2011 02:41 PM

                              Actually, I live in Queens. My comment about not trecking from Brooklyn was in response to the OP who I believe lives in Brooklyn. However, I have friends in the Bushwick area so I will make sure to try Arepera Guacuco. Thanks for the tip!

                          3. re: queenseats
                            CitySpoonful RE: queenseats Jun 2, 2011 07:33 AM

                            Queenseats, you're right -- Linn is a terrific place. Amazing quality, beautiful presentation, and great prices. Yet it stays way under the radar...

                            -----
                            Linn
                            29-13 Broadway, Queens, NY 11106

                            1. re: queenseats
                              janie RE: queenseats Jun 8, 2011 03:30 PM

                              few comments about above post...
                              would not have bare burger on a must try list at all, I went yesterday and would not return, see my review under a search for bare burger astoria..

                              wafa, I love...and yes, she's open and relocated on Metropolitan, few steps from La Vigna across street from Sunoco station--food good as ever.--and yes, her babaganoush and falafel and meat pies, cheese pies etc..worth the visit---

                              Used to go to Seva, but they have serious inspection issues...don't like this. ---

                              still like spicy and tasty, not crazy about their b rating either, but i still go. --

                              I like the little empanada joint when in Corona, and agree that Nixtamal slipped awhile ago...
                              miss Timmy's custard......

                              Of course many other choices in Flushing---some mentioned...

                              I don't particularly care for the Bukharian places, so they wouldn't be on my top 5 anything.

                              Top 5 doesn't really mention price end? Top 5 cheap eats? Top 5 higher end places? With the economy the way it is, my top 5 is cheap eats in all places......so, I can't really comment on the best higher end spots in queens these days..although for the adventurous and meat centric, it would appear that m. wells would top that list at the moment.........

                              I still eat at Demole alot and enjoy it and find it reasonably priced--and I eat thai food, or chinese food out ...for Italian, I'm a pretty adept cook so, I tend to eat out things I don't make at home....so, many Italian places don't really do it for me....but I really do like King Umberto's they make whatever I feel like eating, and it's always yummy.

                              Parkside is ok for old school, but so much better out there, especially King Umberto in LI

                              -----
                              Park Side
                              107-01 Corona Ave, Queens, NY 11368

                              Empanadas Cafe
                              56-27 Van Doren St, Queens, NY 11368

                              De Mole
                              45-02 48th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                              Seva
                              30-07 34th St, Queens, NY 11103

                              Tortilleria Nixtamal
                              104-05 47th Ave, Queens, NY 11368

                              Wafa's
                              100-05 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                              BareBurger
                              33-21 31st Ave, Queens, NY 11106

                            2. j
                              jeeg RE: jeeg Jun 2, 2011 11:09 AM

                              great lists -can't wait to try

                              jeeg

                              1. buttertart RE: jeeg Jun 7, 2011 10:33 AM

                                Interesting that no one is mentioning Trattoria L'Incontro, an old favorite. Not so good any more?

                                -----
                                Trattoria L'Incontro
                                21-76 31st St, Queens, NY 11105

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: buttertart
                                  biondanonima RE: buttertart Jul 4, 2011 06:23 AM

                                  I was wondering the same thing about Sapori d'Ischia in Woodside, but I just checked the recent reviews on Yelp and it seems to have gone downhill a bit. Oddly, though I've lived in Sunnyside for almost 10 years, I've never been - and maybe now I don't need to bother?

                                  -----
                                  Sapori d'Ischia
                                  55-15 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                  1. re: biondanonima
                                    buttertart RE: biondanonima Jul 4, 2011 07:33 AM

                                    We never went there, but we did go to L'Incontro quite a lot when we lived in Brooklyn. There's a post listing it among the best below.

                                    -----
                                    Trattoria L'Incontro
                                    21-76 31st St, Queens, NY 11105

                                    1. re: biondanonima
                                      d
                                      donovt RE: biondanonima Jul 6, 2011 11:39 AM

                                      Always enjoyed the food at sapori, but haven't been in awhile as a couple of the waiters are borderline rude.

                                  2. a
                                    Anniexlol RE: jeeg Jun 14, 2011 07:41 AM

                                    I can't think of 5 but I can think of one specific one that you have to go to! and that is
                                    TASTE GOOD at Elmhurst, the food there is unforgettable especially the Laksa, i haven't found a similar laksa anywhere else in New York

                                    -----
                                    Taste Good
                                    82-18 45th Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                    1. Mister Meatball RE: jeeg Jun 17, 2011 02:28 AM

                                      Don Peppe (Ozone Park) belongs on any Top list in Queens: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/728729

                                      -----
                                      Don Peppe
                                      135-58 Lefferts Blvd, Queens, NY 11420

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Mister Meatball
                                        johnk RE: Mister Meatball Jun 17, 2011 05:03 AM

                                        why?

                                        1. re: johnk
                                          Mister Meatball RE: johnk Jun 17, 2011 09:37 AM

                                          Best old-school Italian in the borough.

                                      2. m
                                        MacTAC RE: jeeg Jun 17, 2011 04:25 AM

                                        Zum Stammtisch

                                        http://www.zumstammtisch.com/

                                        -----
                                        Zum Stammtisch
                                        69-46 Myrtle Ave, Queens, NY 11385

                                        21 Replies
                                        1. re: MacTAC
                                          m
                                          MarcInSunnysideGardens RE: MacTAC Jun 17, 2011 10:14 AM

                                          Hate to be less than constructive, but my mind is boggled by the repeated positive mentions of Vesta in this thread and others. I think this is a case of locals lowering their standards for a neighborhood joint that would never be mentioned in many parts of the city. It's not remotely near one of the better Italian restaurants (or greenmarket-inspired restaurants) in NYC. Jeeg, if you're coming from Brooklyn, no, please, not a place as modest as Vesta.

                                          It's interesting think about places that are uniquely great (either in total, or in specific features) in the borough. Manducati's doesn't have amazing food, but the wine list is special. The Thai joints being mentioned should generally wow a Brooklynite. Etc. But Vesta? Bare Burger? Don't rush here for those just fine places.

                                          -----
                                          Manducatis
                                          13-27 Jackson Ave, Queens, NY 11101

                                          Vesta
                                          21-02 30th Ave, Queens, NY 11102

                                          1. re: MarcInSunnysideGardens
                                            m
                                            megc RE: MarcInSunnysideGardens Jun 17, 2011 11:21 AM

                                            I agree that your comments are less than constructive, MarcInSunnysideGardens. But this whole thread is about opinions as to the best, so you are entitled to your opinion, as are we all. I do take issue with your comment about "locals lowering their standards." There's no need to make such a condescending generalization.

                                            I've had some excellent dining experiences at Vesta. I like a lot of the things about it - food, service, atmosphere. Did you have a bad experience there?

                                            1. re: MarcInSunnysideGardens
                                              q
                                              queenseats RE: MarcInSunnysideGardens Jul 3, 2011 07:08 PM

                                              Just returned from Vesta, where we had a lovely dinner. Excellent wine (they now have their own blends from a North Fork vineyard), attentive service, and delicious, locally-sourced food. I feel strongly that they offer something very unique in Queens. Perhaps there are "better" restaurants in NYC, but at this price-point, they really stand out. We always enjoy a special meal when we go there. The Baby Jesus cake is truly one of a kind. I particularly enjoy their small plates/appetizers. Tonight we had a delicious chilled yogurt soup, with well balanced ingredients (I often find that chilled soups can be overwhelmed by one ingredient). The mussels with chickpeas were also excellent -- great savory sauce. We tend to be a little less enthusiastic about the entrees, but enjoyed what we got (a pizza and a pork dish). I always recommend Vesta to those looking for a moderately-priced meal in Astoria, and I plan to continue to recommend it.

                                              -----
                                              Vesta
                                              21-02 30th Ave, Queens, NY 11102

                                              1. re: queenseats
                                                buttertart RE: queenseats Jul 4, 2011 07:34 AM

                                                What is a Baby Jesus cake, pray tell?

                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                  daffyduck RE: buttertart Jul 4, 2011 11:52 AM

                                                  It’s a date cake with butterscotch sauce, and they serve it with whipped cream. I've only had brunch at Vesta once I wasn't too crazy about it. I had the hangover pizza and the warm bankie. I didn't like the polenta with the bankie and the hangover pizza (crust was too crackery) but eveything else was solid. My favorite item was the Baby Jesus Cake, I wish they served it with ice cream though I think it would be much better since the cake has a spicy kick to it.

                                                  1. re: daffyduck
                                                    buttertart RE: daffyduck Jul 4, 2011 03:48 PM

                                                    That sounds like sticky toffee pudding, no?

                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                      daffyduck RE: buttertart Jul 5, 2011 10:22 PM

                                                      i'm not sure, I've never had sticky toffee pudding =/

                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                        q
                                                        queenseats RE: buttertart Jul 6, 2011 05:46 AM

                                                        That's how I've seen it described in blogs, but my association to toffee is that it can be cloyingly sweet, which the Baby Jesus cake is not. I can't really compare it to anything -- try it and see what you think!

                                                        1. re: queenseats
                                                          buttertart RE: queenseats Jul 6, 2011 07:07 AM

                                                          Is it named that because it makes you say "sweet baby Jesus" when you eat it because of its deliciousness?

                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                            q
                                                            queenseats RE: buttertart Jul 6, 2011 07:30 AM

                                                            Supposedly, yes :)

                                                            1. re: queenseats
                                                              buttertart RE: queenseats Jul 6, 2011 07:52 AM

                                                              That's cute. Sticky toffee pudding isn't as sweet as you'd think from the ingredients, somehow.

                                                  2. re: queenseats
                                                    s
                                                    SpiceJunkies RE: queenseats Jul 6, 2011 08:49 AM

                                                    As I've mentioned in other threads I'm with MarcinSunnysideGardens on this one. My experience at Vesta was less than impressive. I will say that the room was a nice place for dinner and the staff was fantastic, but the food just didn't cut it for me. I just think there are better places for good Italian in Astoria, even if they don't have all the buzzwords attached. (L'Incontro, Hellgate on the Park, Il Forno) And ditto for Bareburger and to a lesser degree Watawa too.

                                                    I think MarcinSunnyside's commetns was constructive in that he is correctly warning people about a possible overhyping of these places by locals blinded by their passion for the locavore movement. While I too am a strong, strong believer in the locavore movement, the food still has to taste good. And for me none of the aformentioned restaurants can match other options in the area and would not be worth a trip to Astoria.

                                                    I guess if you want pizza cooked on a cracker, or fish that had all its moisture cooked out of it, than maybe Vesta is truely great.

                                                    -----
                                                    Watawa
                                                    3310 Ditmars Blvd, Queens, NY 11105

                                                    Forno Italia
                                                    43-19 Ditmars Blvd, Queens, NY 11105

                                                    Hellgate on the Park
                                                    19-19 Ditmars Blvd, Queens, NY 11105

                                                    1. re: SpiceJunkies
                                                      m
                                                      megc RE: SpiceJunkies Jul 6, 2011 09:07 AM

                                                      Interesting - I had a terrible experience at Hellgate on the Park, and doubt I'll go back. We didn't even get a chance to taste the food (though I've had it before, and to my tastes it's fine, not phenomenal), as the atmosphere and staff were uncomfortable and unpleasant, it was essential that we got out of there as fast as possible. It was one of the worst times at a restaurant in Astoria that I've experienced.

                                                      I've had nothing but delicious food at Vesta. I've had some off-nights food-wise at Bareburger, but recently have enjoyed my times and food there. Watawa is fine, but I recently had sushi at JJ's and that blew away anything I'd ever had at Watawa. If Il Forno is what I'm thinking of (the place across from the mini mall on Ditmars), I had a nice meal there. The pizza dough was a bit dry and needed some salt, but I had a good time there.

                                                      I'll speak blasphemy, too - L'Incontro did not impress me like I wanted it to, or expected it to. It certainly was not worth the $$$ we paid. But I fully acknowledge that I'm in the minority here and am ok with that.

                                                      Anyway, I'm content to agree to disagree with SpiceJunkies and MarcISSG on the Vesta front. :)

                                                      -----
                                                      Watawa
                                                      3310 Ditmars Blvd, Queens, NY 11105

                                                      Hellgate on the Park
                                                      19-19 Ditmars Blvd, Queens, NY 11105

                                                      1. re: megc
                                                        q
                                                        queenseats RE: megc Jul 6, 2011 09:33 AM

                                                        MegC, thanks for chiming in. I'm with you on dislike for L'Incontro. Granted I had one meal there, almost three years ago, but it was so unspecial and overpriced, I have no desire to try it again. I think to some degree the "debate" over Vesta can be attributed to different tastes, but I also wonder if it was tried on an off-night. I just tried the pizza for the first time and really enjoyed it -- I opted for the whole wheat crust and it was great - thin but not crackery at all. I think that Vesta does some dishes more strongly than others (and I can say this too about almost any place I've dined at -- including high end restos like EMP). I don't think I'm over-hyping Vesta. When we were there this weekend, the place was full, so I don't think they're having any trouble with business. The great thing about Chowhound is that we're all entitled to our opinions and this is the place to share varying experiences.

                                                        1. re: queenseats
                                                          el jefe RE: queenseats Jul 6, 2011 10:22 AM

                                                          I think that what Vesta, Hellgate, Watawa, and L'Incontro all have in common is that while they might be very good, none of them belong on a list of the "Best 5 Restaurants in Queens", worthy of a special trip from Brooklyn.

                                                          With 70 restaurants mentioned already, although some are way off on a tangent, I can't figure out how one other restaurant made it onto the 5-Best part of this thread. I'm not sure what the Malaysian options are in Brooklyn but, imho, Taste Good may not even be one of the 5 best Malaysian restaurants in Queens. They've changed ownership recently so I went back and tried again, but the food has not improved. There are several other Malaysian restaurants that are better, but I don't think even they belong on a Top 5 list.

                                                          1. re: el jefe
                                                            q
                                                            queenseats RE: el jefe Jul 6, 2011 10:39 AM

                                                            What would you say are the Top 5 in Queens?

                                                            1. re: el jefe
                                                              s
                                                              SpiceJunkies RE: el jefe Jul 6, 2011 05:56 PM

                                                              el jefe: Since you know what shouldn't be on the list, please tell us what would be on your list. I would love to know the other 5 Malaysian that are better than Taste Good. I've loved my meals there, but I don't no sh*t about Malaysian food. I would love to try others.

                                                              Megc: I too agree to disagree. I've had the same argument with friends, and that is the best way to settle it. I'm sorry you didn't like the Hellgate, but I could see how the atmosphere can be off putting. I take it as part of the very unpretentious charm. But I love that chicken parm. I'm happy to hear the displeasure actually, because their kitchen can't many tables as it is. :)

                                                              -----
                                                              Taste Good
                                                              82-18 45th Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                                              1. re: SpiceJunkies
                                                                m
                                                                megc RE: SpiceJunkies Jul 6, 2011 09:20 PM

                                                                Looks like we have a compatible deal - you take my seat at Hellgate On the Park and I'll take yours at Vesta. :)

                                                                1. re: megc
                                                                  s
                                                                  SpiceJunkies RE: megc Jul 7, 2011 05:18 AM

                                                                  sold :)

                                                                2. re: SpiceJunkies
                                                                  el jefe RE: SpiceJunkies Jul 9, 2011 02:40 PM

                                                                  queenseats and Spicejunkies -
                                                                  I'm not a fan of broad based "top 5" lists that tend to spiral out of control so instead of adding to it, I was hoping to reduce it from 70+ to 60-something.

                                                                  To answer the OP's question, as to the top 5 restaurants someone from Brooklyn should make the trip to Queens for, no matter how good my favorite place for burgers, pizza, doubles, tacos, or veal milanese/parm/etc is, I'm sure he can do 99% as well in Brooklyn, if not better.

                                                                  If he's making a rare trip to queens, I'd suggest:
                                                                  1. Sripraphai
                                                                  2. Golden Mall - dumplings and buns from Nan Bei, the Xian stand, and maybe some bing from the next stand, and whatever else looks good.
                                                                  3. If I could expand the culinary boundaries of queens by about a half mile, I'd add Five Star.
                                                                  4. I've got a 10 way tie for 4th and 5th that I can't separate without knowing what cuisines to eliminate. Or, maybe he does want to know what the best pizza in Queens is.

                                                                  As for Malaysian restaurants, I think Penang on Bwy is the best. 9 out of 10 meals there are very good, but there is the occasional clunker. Full disclosure -- my last meal there was disappointing so I've tried others. Satay on Kissena Blvd is good, as is Sentosa on Prince. I've only been to Curry Leaves on 40th Road in Flushing once. everything I had was fine but it wasn't a big enough sample to compare to the others. But none of them are "top 5" in queens.

                                                                  We can agree to disagree, I hope.

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Golden Shopping Mall
                                                                  41-28 Main St, Queens, NY 11355

                                                                  Sentosa
                                                                  39-07 Prince St, Queens, NY 11354

                                                                  SriPraPhai
                                                                  64-13 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                                                  Satay
                                                                  46-01 Kissena Blvd, Queens, NY 11355

                                                                  New Curry Leaves
                                                                  135-31 40th Rd, Queens, NY 11354

                                                                  Penang
                                                                  82-84 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373

                                                                  1. re: el jefe
                                                                    s
                                                                    SpiceJunkies RE: el jefe Jul 10, 2011 04:02 PM

                                                                    2 out of 5 ain't bad. Our lists are similar, so I am interested in trying Sentosa in particular. I work eat lunch in the area, so I'm always looking for new spots. The Prince St. Noodle shop that just opened across from the soup dumpling place on prince delivered me an insanely tasty bowl of beef noodle soup (taiwan style). Though their soup dumplings were not as good as across the street. They suffered from premature breakage. Anyhow, it is quite a two blocks for eating.

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Sentosa
                                                                    39-07 Prince St, Queens, NY 11354

                                                  3. BTaylor RE: jeeg Jun 17, 2011 01:44 PM

                                                    1. Northern Chinese in Flushing. I would choose Fu Run, although Golden Palace has its fans. M & T is a different style, from the Tsing Tao region.

                                                    2. Hunan in Flushing, at Hunan Kitchen.

                                                    2. Korean in Flushing. Jong Ga is especially good, but there are also different kinds of Korean, like the Tofu stew places, and the place serving wriggling octupus.

                                                    3. Greek in Astoria, at Taverna Kyclades.

                                                    4. Ayada Thai.

                                                    5. M. Wells. It's just the new hot place. Runners up would be LIC Market, Sweet Afton, Pachanga Patterson, Queens Comfort, and Queens Kickshaw, however, all of these runners up might seem redundant to a Brooklynite.

                                                    -----
                                                    Fu Run
                                                    40-09 Prince St, Queens, NY 11354

                                                    Taverna Kyclades
                                                    3307 Ditmars Blvd, Queens, NY 11105

                                                    Ayada
                                                    77-08 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                                    Sik Gaek
                                                    161-29 Crocheron Ave, Queens, NY 11358

                                                    Golden Palace
                                                    14009 Cherry Ave, Queens, NY 11355

                                                    Sweet Afton
                                                    30-09 34th St, Queens, NY 11103

                                                    SN New Restaurant
                                                    44-09 Kissena Blvd, Queens, NY 11355

                                                    Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan
                                                    42-47 Main St, Queens, NY 11355

                                                    Jong Ga
                                                    194-03 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11358

                                                    M. Wells Diner
                                                    21-17 49th Ave, Queens, NY 11101

                                                    LIC Market
                                                    21-52 44th Dr, Queens, NY 11101

                                                    Queens Comfort
                                                    40-09 30th Ave, Queens, NY 11103

                                                    Pachanga Patterson
                                                    33-17 31st Ave, Queens, NY 11103

                                                    Queens Kickshaw
                                                    40-17 Broadway, Queens, NY 11103

                                                    1. b
                                                      BigV RE: jeeg Jun 20, 2011 12:35 PM

                                                      My favorite places to eat in Queens in no particular order:

                                                      Taqueria Coatzingo (Mexican)
                                                      Bella Via (thin crust pizza)
                                                      Pio Pio (chicken)
                                                      Salut (kebabs/hummus)
                                                      Joe's Shanghai (pork/crab soup dumplings)
                                                      Sripraphai (Thai)
                                                      Avli (Greek)

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

                                                      Joe's Shanghai
                                                      136-21 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11354

                                                      Salute
                                                      63-42 108th St, Queens, NY 11375

                                                      Avli
                                                      38-31 Bell Blvd, Queens, NY 11361

                                                      Pio Pio
                                                      84-02 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11372

                                                      SriPraPhai
                                                      64-13 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                                      Bella Via
                                                      47-46 Vernon Blvd, Queens, NY 11101

                                                      1. d
                                                        Daniel76 RE: jeeg Jun 30, 2011 10:07 AM

                                                        These are some of my favorites in no particular order

                                                        1)Trattoria L'incontro- Italian
                                                        2)M. Wells- French Canadian
                                                        3)Imperial Palace- Cantonese
                                                        4)Hunan of Grand Sichuan- Hunan
                                                        5)sripraphai- Thai
                                                        6)Kum Gang San- Korean
                                                        7)Taste Good- Malaysian

                                                        -----
                                                        Imperial Palace
                                                        136-13 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11354

                                                        Taste Good
                                                        82-18 45th Ave, Queens, NY 11373

                                                        Kum Gang San
                                                        138-28 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11354

                                                        Trattoria L'Incontro
                                                        21-76 31st St, Queens, NY 11105

                                                        SriPraPhai
                                                        64-13 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                                        Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan
                                                        42-47 Main St, Queens, NY 11355

                                                        M. Wells Diner
                                                        21-17 49th Ave, Queens, NY 11101

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Daniel76
                                                          w
                                                          Wet Towel RE: Daniel76 Jun 30, 2011 06:47 PM

                                                          1. Golden Mall - the xian famous foods and sichuan stalls are my two favorites (Flushing)

                                                          2 (tie) Buhkarian Tandoori or Cheburechnaya - Uzbek in Rego Park. The lamb fat kebabs at the latter are a must get

                                                          4 Hunan House - Hunan in Flushing - Chairman Mao's pork.

                                                          5 Sripraphai - Thai - Woodside

                                                          -----
                                                          Cheburechnaya
                                                          92-09 63rd Dr, Queens, NY 11374

                                                          Hunan House
                                                          137-40 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11354

                                                        2. Perkalator RE: jeeg Jul 3, 2011 12:20 PM

                                                          Here's my top 5:

                                                          Katsuno (Japanese) - Forest Hills
                                                          Ihawan (Filipino) - Jackson Heights
                                                          Sriprapahi (Thai) - Woodside
                                                          M Wells Diner (French Canadian) - LIC
                                                          Tournesol (French) - LIC

                                                          -----
                                                          Ihawan
                                                          40-06 70th St, Queens, NY 11377

                                                          SriPraPhai
                                                          64-13 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

                                                          Tournesol
                                                          50-12 Vernon Blvd, Queens, NY 11101

                                                          Katsuno
                                                          103-01 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                                                          M. Wells Diner
                                                          21-17 49th Ave, Queens, NY 11101

                                                          1. s
                                                            shruti108 RE: jeeg Jul 14, 2011 06:42 AM

                                                            There is a fantastic restaurant in Queens!

                                                            -----
                                                            Govinda's Vegetarian Grill
                                                            111-14 101st Ave, Queens, NY 11419

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: shruti108
                                                              s
                                                              shruti108 RE: shruti108 Jul 14, 2011 06:45 AM

                                                              Govinda's Vegetarian Grill in Queens is fantastic!
                                                              http://krishnabalaramnyc.com/govindas...

                                                              They serve super-nice Indian- and also West Indian- inspired fare.

                                                              The food is all lacto-vegetarian (and vegan-friendly) - but hearty and satisfying even for the non-vegetarian. :) The staff is also super-friendly.

                                                              The restaurant is at the front of a Hare Krishna (ISKCON) center - on Sunday nights they host a Sunday Feast program, at the end of which they serve a free dinner from the Govinda's chefs :

                                                              )

                                                              -----
                                                              Govinda's Vegetarian Grill
                                                              111-14 101st Ave, Queens, NY 11419

                                                            2. s
                                                              Salsiccia Creature RE: jeeg Jul 14, 2011 12:39 PM

                                                              I would have to add Uvarara to this list. Excellent authentic Italian with a good wine list and a very relaxed atmosphere.

                                                              -----
                                                              Uvarara
                                                              79-28 Metropolitan Ave, Queens, NY 11379

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