Chew on This: 5 Queens Restaurants You Need to Visit

Queens houses a cluster of international eateries so vibrant and authentic that after a few days of sampling the menus, you’ll feel like you’ve circled the globe


The huge New York borough has one of the most ethnically diverse populations in the nation, so you can dive right into the culinary kaleidoscope of cuisines! Indulge in cultural specialties like momo, bao, kebabs, tacos, pad kee mao, dosas—the list goes on. Here are a few of the best restaurants in Queens to get you started.


If you’re hankering for hefty meal, head to Dawa's for Tibetan momos, pork belly, or tingmos steamed buns. This family-owned Tibetan/American cafe is the brainchild and passion of Dawa Bhiti, whose father works the kitchen with her, preparing authentic ethnic plates. One must-try for meat eaters is gyuma, a black sausage stuffed with beef blood, heart and tripe. It’s accented with emma, a Sichuan peppercorn and sepen, a Tibetan hot sauce. A menu is posted above every rustic table announcing the available dishes, some are light Californian fare (such as leek and radish soup), while others are Tibetan specialties.

Taste of Samarkand

Never heard of Samarkand? The ancient city, once a stop for spice traders along the Silk Road, is now part of Uzbekistan. Check out kosher Uzbek cuisine at Taste of Samarkand. You’ll be greeted by servers in traditional kuilak tunics and lozim pants, while the air hums with Uzbek music. Choose between the lepyoshka, a traditional Uzbek bread served with a spicy tomato sauce, or opt for the pizza size, cracker-thin noni toki. Soups pack a punch here, like the mustava, with rice and tomatoes, and dill-infused sherpa. You can also sample one-of-a-kind kebabs, like the smoky veal liver on a skewer. And be sure to order a triangle of baklava for dessert.

Woodside Cafe

The awning of the Woodside Cafe advertises “Italian, American, Nepali, and Indian Food.” But the eatery's true specialty is Newari cuisine, including chatamari, a dense, crispy crepe beloved by the Newars, the indigenous people who ruled the Kathmandu Valley for centuries. Settle into the maroon banquettes snuggling against deep saffron walls and take your pick of fascinating food options. Regulars recommend Newari snacks like musya palu, roasted soybeans, and woh—crumbling, delectable lentil cakes.

Vesta Trattoria and Winebar

You may have to wait at Vesta Trattoria and Winebar, especially if you arrive without reservations. The popular Queens restaurant has a full house night after night with its excellent rustic Italian cuisine that keeps the accent on pasta. Its “pizze” are thin-crusted and popular, but you might think about indulging in the fish-rich cioppino, hardy beef and veal lasagna, or roasted squash zucca with broccoli rabe.

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