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Lush hanging greenery, wicker lamps, illustrations of a giraffe and zebra decorate a restaurant.
Inside the tropical-themed Siam in Flushing. Siam
Siam

The Hottest New Restaurants in Queens, September 2022

A sprawling Spanish tapas spot and a striking scene for Thai date nights join the list this month

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Inside the tropical-themed Siam in Flushing. Siam
| Siam

Eater editors are asked one question more than any other: Where should I eat right now? While many people still consider Manhattan the locus of New York’s dining scene, some neighborhoods in Queens have become dining destinations in their own right. Here, see a map of the latest Queens debuts drawing NYC’s dining obsessives.

New to the list in September: Marathon Cafe, a Hong Kong-style cafe in Little Neck; Sala, an Astoria reboot of a tapas hit in Flatiron; and Siam, a strikingly designed Thai spot in Flushing.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

For more New York dining recommendations, check out the new hotspots in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Hamptons and our guides to brunch, food halls and Michelin-starred restaurants, many offering outdoor dining.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Chez Olivia NYC

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Chez Olivia is the Astoria follow-up to the popular French bistro Bistro Eloise in East Elmhurst. Owner Vincent Caro from Brittany in northwest France took over the lease in December and renovated the old Yard Pizzeria space with cream-colored walls, wooden floors, and teal chairs in a similar fashion to its sister restaurant. Classics like duck leg confit, veal stew, boeuf bourguignon, and escargot also follow suit.

Dar Yemma

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Dar Yemma translates to “Mom’s House,” and this Astoria newcomer’s vast Moroccan menu of homestyle halal dishes has already garnered a following. The restaurant specializes in tagines — there are six kinds, including lamb and kofta — and stuffed pies called pastillas. The chicken pastilla is a sweet, savory, and textured parcel of saffron-seasoned chicken and spicy eggs, wrapped in a crispy warqa pastry shell and topped with fried almonds sweetened with orange flower water. There’s also complimentary bread and an assortment of lentils and pickled vegetables.

Marathon Cafe

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When the oldest restaurant in Little Neck — Aunt Bella’s established in 1977 — shuttered in late 2021, locals mourned. Marathon Cafe has stepped into the quiet corner storefront with Hong Kong cafe classics — milk tea, lava toast, fried chicken wings, and pork chops — that can’t be easily found elsewhere in the neighborhood. Owner and chef Kim Lee is also behind bento box shop, Simple, in Manhattan’s Chinatown. 

Siam is the hot new ticket for date night in Flushing. Leave it to the 360 degrees of stunning jungle artistry to create a mood. Then settle in for money bag dumplings filled with minced chicken and shrimp, oysters in a tangy sauce with crispy shallots and cilantro, and whole striped bass steamed with spicy chiles, limes, and coriander leaves. Make room for coconut ice cream. 

A seafood heavy spread features lobster, whole fish, and satay in dim moody lighting.
A spread from Siam.
Siam

Seoul Ttukbaegi

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Named after the ancient earthenware pots that are still used for their superb heat retention, Seoul Ttukbaegi specializes in traditional soups that come to the table still bubbling. Popular soups include the galbi and oxtail soup, a rare find in the city; pork trotter and soondae (blood sausage), and seolleongtang (an ox bone soup). All come with a large bowl of radish kimchi prepared on site. This spot is a new addition to the busy enclave of Korean restaurants in Flushing’s Murray Hill.

Shoo Loong Kan

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The first U.S. outpost of a massive Chengdu-based hot-pot chain with around 800 locations internationally has finally landed in the new Tangram shopping mall in Flushing. The elegant 5,000-square-foot restaurant checks off all the elements of a Sichuan hot pot experience: a three-flavor pot (the spiciness of the signature chile broth can be leveled up or down), a sauce bar, varied toppings including a wide and translucent sweet potato noodle, and snacks like brown sugar-crusted rice cakes.

A three-flavor hot pot is surrounded by assorted fixings including tofu and beef slices for dipping.
A three-flavor hot pot with assorted fixings for dipping.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Cafe Turkiye

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The fresh baked Turkish pastries are the go-to move at this new, cozy Turkish spot in Astoria filled with comfy pillows and intricate mosaic tiles. Order canoe-shaped pide flatbreads (with a choice of six fillings like ground meat), sesame simit, bagel-like acma, spinach-and-cheese borek, and pogaca cheese buns. Enjoy them as part of the Turkish breakfast platter or on the side of a lamb adana kebab dinner. Sunny days call for outdoor dining in the backyard.

Fish With You 鱼你在一起

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Fish with You is a huge, fast-casual chain with over 1,000 locations in China, and this summer, it landed in downtown Flushing with a focus on tingly Sichuan stews of fish and pickled cabbage. There are five soups on the menu, each with a different broth flavor like red chile peppers and green Sichuan peppercorns that are still on their vine and bring on a tingle so intense your lips and tongue feel like they’re vibrating. The fish comes with a choice of basa or snakehead (a thinner, flaky white-fleshed fish) fillets. Additional toppings include big clumps of enoki mushrooms and vermicelli. Rice comes on the side, adding to an already hefty meal.

Fish fillets and sliced red chile peppers and scallions bob in a yellow broth.
Sichuan fish and pickled cabbage soup at Fish with You.
Fish with You

Sala Astoria

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In June, Sala opened in the World Artisan Market in Astoria after its predecessor Sala One Nine in Flatiron closed at the start of the pandemic. The team behind the Manhattan tapas spot has brought its hits — gambas al ajillo, bacon-wrapped dates, seafood paella — to an airy and expansive space that accommodates live flamenco shows. 

Two pieces of bread are topped with shrimp, sliced greens, and almonds.
Shrimp with garlic cream and sliced almonds pintxo.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Evelia's Tamales

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Colorful tamales, some with raisins and others with pineapple, are only part of the draw at this East Elmhurst Mexican restaurant. The new spot comes from Evelia Coyotzi, a street vendor who has operated a tamales cart on the corner of Junction Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue since 2001. She opened this brick-and-mortar restaurant in March, selling a full menu of Mexican breakfast dishes — chilaquiles, eggs with red and green salsas — as well as barbacoa and carnitas by the pound on weekends.

Yellow and red tamales, made with pineapple and raisin, respectively, bask on a stainless steel tray.
Pineapple (top) and raisin tamales from Evelia’s.
Clay Williams/Eater NY

Arcobaleno Gelateria NYC

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The team behind Sunnyside’s Sotto Le Stelle Pizzeria opened a gelato shop right next door in late July just in time for the summer burn. The stracciatella, pistachio and tiramisu flavors are hits — as is the air-conditioned indoor seating in the front and back of the shop. But the seating in the tented backyard where ivy creeps through a wooden pole fence has serene appeal, too. The Italian owners are also behind nearby SoleLuna and Astoria’s Sotto La Luna.

An ice cream freezer holds 12 trays of different colored gelatos like red strawberry and brown chocolate.
Assorted flavors at Arcobaleno Gelateria.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Zaab Zaab

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Zaab Zaab opened in Elmhurst with northeast Thai Isaan dishes from chef Aniwat Khotsopha. Eater critic Robert Sietsema paid an early visit and recommends the duck larb and mieng pla plow (a whole stuffed and grilled tilapia). Isan food is typically served with lettuce leaves and herbs like cilantro and dill, but Zaab Zaab is offering rarely seen ingredients like sadao, or Siamese neem, and phe kaa, or blue tongue. Both are bitter and act as a foil to the spicy and sour fish sauce-forward flavors of Isan cooking.

A plate of ground dark meat surmounted by lettuce and fresh herbs.
Larb from Zaab Zaab.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Queens Lanka

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Two Staten Island restaurant vets have transported Sri Lankan food to this corner spot in Jamaica. At Queens Lanka, chef Rasika Wijayarathne cooks up comfort foods like lamprais, grated coconut roti, and short eats, or fried snacks, while partner Suchira Wettasinghe stocks pantry staples including whole pandan leaves in a grocery section of the shop.

Three lamprais, a Sri Lankan rice dish with meat and vegetables, are arranged on plates on a colorful table.
Lamprais, a Sri Lankan rice dish with meat and vegetables.
Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet/Eater NY

The Zafran Grille

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The Zafran Grille serves Buffalo chicken wings, melty cheeseburgers and juicy T-bone steaks — and they’re all halal. After their father passed from COVID-19, owners Sheik Farhad and Chowdhury Haque fulfilled his dying wish for them to work together to serve the Muslim community. That’s why they launched the Zafran Grille, and continue to open up their restaurant to inspections from the Halal Food Standards Alliance of America twice a week to keep up their zabiha halal certification, which attests to a more humane slaughter by hand. Of the extensive non-alcoholic cocktail menu — there are a whopping 17 drinks — the mango mojito and the Miami Vice with crushed pineapple are a couple of favorites.  

RyRy’s Kitchen

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In January, a former chef of Caribbean restaurants Suede and Caribbean Social in Brooklyn, started his own catering company, called Ryry’s Kitchen, racking up fans with his modern twists on traditional Jamaican fare in Queens. The team recently expanded here at the food court inside Jamaica Market, where fans can now get their hands on the catering company’s biggest hits such as mango chile salmon, rasta pasta, and jerk shrimp skewers.

Chez Olivia NYC

Chez Olivia is the Astoria follow-up to the popular French bistro Bistro Eloise in East Elmhurst. Owner Vincent Caro from Brittany in northwest France took over the lease in December and renovated the old Yard Pizzeria space with cream-colored walls, wooden floors, and teal chairs in a similar fashion to its sister restaurant. Classics like duck leg confit, veal stew, boeuf bourguignon, and escargot also follow suit.

Dar Yemma

Dar Yemma translates to “Mom’s House,” and this Astoria newcomer’s vast Moroccan menu of homestyle halal dishes has already garnered a following. The restaurant specializes in tagines — there are six kinds, including lamb and kofta — and stuffed pies called pastillas. The chicken pastilla is a sweet, savory, and textured parcel of saffron-seasoned chicken and spicy eggs, wrapped in a crispy warqa pastry shell and topped with fried almonds sweetened with orange flower water. There’s also complimentary bread and an assortment of lentils and pickled vegetables.

Marathon Cafe

When the oldest restaurant in Little Neck — Aunt Bella’s established in 1977 — shuttered in late 2021, locals mourned. Marathon Cafe has stepped into the quiet corner storefront with Hong Kong cafe classics — milk tea, lava toast, fried chicken wings, and pork chops — that can’t be easily found elsewhere in the neighborhood. Owner and chef Kim Lee is also behind bento box shop, Simple, in Manhattan’s Chinatown. 

Siam

A seafood heavy spread features lobster, whole fish, and satay in dim moody lighting.
A spread from Siam.
Siam

Siam is the hot new ticket for date night in Flushing. Leave it to the 360 degrees of stunning jungle artistry to create a mood. Then settle in for money bag dumplings filled with minced chicken and shrimp, oysters in a tangy sauce with crispy shallots and cilantro, and whole striped bass steamed with spicy chiles, limes, and coriander leaves. Make room for coconut ice cream. 

A seafood heavy spread features lobster, whole fish, and satay in dim moody lighting.
A spread from Siam.
Siam

Seoul Ttukbaegi

Named after the ancient earthenware pots that are still used for their superb heat retention, Seoul Ttukbaegi specializes in traditional soups that come to the table still bubbling. Popular soups include the galbi and oxtail soup, a rare find in the city; pork trotter and soondae (blood sausage), and seolleongtang (an ox bone soup). All come with a large bowl of radish kimchi prepared on site. This spot is a new addition to the busy enclave of Korean restaurants in Flushing’s Murray Hill.

Shoo Loong Kan

A three-flavor hot pot is surrounded by assorted fixings including tofu and beef slices for dipping.
A three-flavor hot pot with assorted fixings for dipping.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

The first U.S. outpost of a massive Chengdu-based hot-pot chain with around 800 locations internationally has finally landed in the new Tangram shopping mall in Flushing. The elegant 5,000-square-foot restaurant checks off all the elements of a Sichuan hot pot experience: a three-flavor pot (the spiciness of the signature chile broth can be leveled up or down), a sauce bar, varied toppings including a wide and translucent sweet potato noodle, and snacks like brown sugar-crusted rice cakes.

A three-flavor hot pot is surrounded by assorted fixings including tofu and beef slices for dipping.
A three-flavor hot pot with assorted fixings for dipping.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Cafe Turkiye

The fresh baked Turkish pastries are the go-to move at this new, cozy Turkish spot in Astoria filled with comfy pillows and intricate mosaic tiles. Order canoe-shaped pide flatbreads (with a choice of six fillings like ground meat), sesame simit, bagel-like acma, spinach-and-cheese borek, and pogaca cheese buns. Enjoy them as part of the Turkish breakfast platter or on the side of a lamb adana kebab dinner. Sunny days call for outdoor dining in the backyard.

Fish With You 鱼你在一起

Fish fillets and sliced red chile peppers and scallions bob in a yellow broth.
Sichuan fish and pickled cabbage soup at Fish with You.
Fish with You

Fish with You is a huge, fast-casual chain with over 1,000 locations in China, and this summer, it landed in downtown Flushing with a focus on tingly Sichuan stews of fish and pickled cabbage. There are five soups on the menu, each with a different broth flavor like red chile peppers and green Sichuan peppercorns that are still on their vine and bring on a tingle so intense your lips and tongue feel like they’re vibrating. The fish comes with a choice of basa or snakehead (a thinner, flaky white-fleshed fish) fillets. Additional toppings include big clumps of enoki mushrooms and vermicelli. Rice comes on the side, adding to an already hefty meal.

Fish fillets and sliced red chile peppers and scallions bob in a yellow broth.
Sichuan fish and pickled cabbage soup at Fish with You.
Fish with You

Sala Astoria

Two pieces of bread are topped with shrimp, sliced greens, and almonds.
Shrimp with garlic cream and sliced almonds pintxo.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

In June, Sala opened in the World Artisan Market in Astoria after its predecessor Sala One Nine in Flatiron closed at the start of the pandemic. The team behind the Manhattan tapas spot has brought its hits — gambas al ajillo, bacon-wrapped dates, seafood paella — to an airy and expansive space that accommodates live flamenco shows. 

Two pieces of bread are topped with shrimp, sliced greens, and almonds.
Shrimp with garlic cream and sliced almonds pintxo.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Evelia's Tamales

Yellow and red tamales, made with pineapple and raisin, respectively, bask on a stainless steel tray.
Pineapple (top) and raisin tamales from Evelia’s.
Clay Williams/Eater NY

Colorful tamales, some with raisins and others with pineapple, are only part of the draw at this East Elmhurst Mexican restaurant. The new spot comes from Evelia Coyotzi, a street vendor who has operated a tamales cart on the corner of Junction Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue since 2001. She opened this brick-and-mortar restaurant in March, selling a full menu of Mexican breakfast dishes — chilaquiles, eggs with red and green salsas — as well as barbacoa and carnitas by the pound on weekends.

Yellow and red tamales, made with pineapple and raisin, respectively, bask on a stainless steel tray.
Pineapple (top) and raisin tamales from Evelia’s.
Clay Williams/Eater NY

Arcobaleno Gelateria NYC

An ice cream freezer holds 12 trays of different colored gelatos like red strawberry and brown chocolate.
Assorted flavors at Arcobaleno Gelateria.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

The team behind Sunnyside’s Sotto Le Stelle Pizzeria opened a gelato shop right next door in late July just in time for the summer burn. The stracciatella, pistachio and tiramisu flavors are hits — as is the air-conditioned indoor seating in the front and back of the shop. But the seating in the tented backyard where ivy creeps through a wooden pole fence has serene appeal, too. The Italian owners are also behind nearby SoleLuna and Astoria’s Sotto La Luna.

An ice cream freezer holds 12 trays of different colored gelatos like red strawberry and brown chocolate.
Assorted flavors at Arcobaleno Gelateria.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

Zaab Zaab

A plate of ground dark meat surmounted by lettuce and fresh herbs.
Larb from Zaab Zaab.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Zaab Zaab opened in Elmhurst with northeast Thai Isaan dishes from chef Aniwat Khotsopha. Eater critic Robert Sietsema paid an early visit and recommends the duck larb and mieng pla plow (a whole stuffed and grilled tilapia). Isan food is typically served with lettuce leaves and herbs like cilantro and dill, but Zaab Zaab is offering rarely seen ingredients like sadao, or Siamese neem, and phe kaa, or blue tongue. Both are bitter and act as a foil to the spicy and sour fish sauce-forward flavors of Isan cooking.

A plate of ground dark meat surmounted by lettuce and fresh herbs.
Larb from Zaab Zaab.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Queens Lanka

Three lamprais, a Sri Lankan rice dish with meat and vegetables, are arranged on plates on a colorful table.
Lamprais, a Sri Lankan rice dish with meat and vegetables.
Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet/Eater NY

Two Staten Island restaurant vets have transported Sri Lankan food to this corner spot in Jamaica. At Queens Lanka, chef Rasika Wijayarathne cooks up comfort foods like lamprais, grated coconut roti, and short eats, or fried snacks, while partner Suchira Wettasinghe stocks pantry staples including whole pandan leaves in a grocery section of the shop.

Three lamprais, a Sri Lankan rice dish with meat and vegetables, are arranged on plates on a colorful table.
Lamprais, a Sri Lankan rice dish with meat and vegetables.
Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet/Eater NY

The Zafran Grille

The Zafran Grille serves Buffalo chicken wings, melty cheeseburgers and juicy T-bone steaks — and they’re all halal. After their father passed from COVID-19, owners Sheik Farhad and Chowdhury Haque fulfilled his dying wish for them to work together to serve the Muslim community. That’s why they launched the Zafran Grille, and continue to open up their restaurant to inspections from the Halal Food Standards Alliance of America twice a week to keep up their zabiha halal certification, which attests to a more humane slaughter by hand. Of the extensive non-alcoholic cocktail menu — there are a whopping 17 drinks — the mango mojito and the Miami Vice with crushed pineapple are a couple of favorites.  

RyRy’s Kitchen

In January, a former chef of Caribbean restaurants Suede and Caribbean Social in Brooklyn, started his own catering company, called Ryry’s Kitchen, racking up fans with his modern twists on traditional Jamaican fare in Queens. The team recently expanded here at the food court inside Jamaica Market, where fans can now get their hands on the catering company’s biggest hits such as mango chile salmon, rasta pasta, and jerk shrimp skewers.

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