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 are some of the latest Queens restaurant openings drawing NYC’s dining obsessives.Read More
The Hottest New Restaurants in Queens, February 2024
A new Dominican spot, Thai tea service, and Hunanese-Sichuan fare join this month’s list
This modern Thai spot — decorated with elegant turquoise, gold and thatched blonde wood flourishes — goes heavy on salads (there are 12 of them), soups (five), and six whole fish preparations. In the mango tango fish, the cashews, mango and fried snapper fuse together into a new flavor where the sum is much greater than its parts. The grilled squid gets charred, sliced up, and served with seafood sauce.
Golden Wonton King
The open-space dining room gets packed with Flushing locals, so be prepared to wait during peak times. The specialty here is fresh seafood — you’ll see many tables topped with lobsters lacquered with saucy seasoning — and as the name suggests, wontons. The wonton soup here features a variety of wontons, each as fat, slippery, and perfectly wrinkled as the next, with strands of bok choy and seaweed swimming in the rich broth. If you love whole fried small fish, the anchovies here are crispy with a fluffy coated batter. There’s no cart, but the dim sum mainstays like shrimp rice rolls are always on deck.
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Nai Brother puts the spotlight on suan cai yu — a tingly, spicy, rich Sichuan soup with pickled mustard greens and fish — and lets diners customize it a thousand ways. Choose from nine broths, including a red chile version; seven proteins, like catfish or beef; about 20 add-ons, and even the portion size. A robot server is especially helpful here as it glides down the aisles with huge bowls of brimming, steaming soups. The Long Island City location is part of the China-based chain’s plan to bring a Sichuan favorite through New York’s Chinatowns with offshoots already open in Flushing and Sunset Park
Hello! Bangladesh Restaurant
There’s a new addition to the corridor of Bengali restaurants on Astoria’s 36th Avenue. The steam tables at halal Hello Bangladesh are brimming with entrees like beef torkari, fried salmon steaks topped with frizzled onions, and assorted meat-filled biryanis. The $12 combo includes an entree, soup, salad, and a small side of aloo bhorta (spiced mashed potato) — perfect for a quick solo lunch or a casual catch-up with friends.
Long Island City has a newish all-day modern Chinese noodle bar with teas and snacks. Nine noodle dishes are prepared in rich broths, sautéed hot or mixed at room temp — with a choice of rice or egg noodles as well as spice levels that veer on the conservative side. The meat in the supreme beef noodle dish is soft and tendon-y, while the saucy sesame noodles are piled high with julienned cucumbers. Plates like the juicy slices of chicken and a cluster of slippery wontons swim in chile oil. Expect a wait during peak dinner hours.
The team behind Ye’s Apothecary and Blue Willow debut a lushly designed Hunanese-Sichuan restaurant and baijiu bar in Long Island City. Business partners, Mandy Zhang and Vincent Lin, are particularly proud of bringing in Hunanese techniques of pickling, firing up the wok at super high temperatures, and using lots of chile peppers. They’re well represented in dishes like the brine rice noodles with sliced beef, sour string beans, and pickled chiles; Miss Lou’s beef stew with slices of tender, fatty beef alongside pickled cabbage, and enoki mushrooms in a rich and sour broth; and the century egg claypot, where century eggs are mashed with eggplant and green chiles.
Thai high tea takes the stage at this charming cafe in Woodside with sweet and savory snacks from mother and daughter duo, Annie and Ginger Phinphatthakul. Under a floral canopy, enjoy a pretty tea presentation that includes pink and turquoise chicks molded from rice flour and stuffed with radish, chicken and peanut; butterfly pea flower sticky rice with saucy pork; and pandan rice cakes. Madame Tea is open for dinner everyday, but tea service is available on weekends only. And by reservation, Madame Tea offers Thaimakase, a selection of eight homestyle dishes that changes weekly. The left storefront wall was broken down so the large open space includes the restaurant, Thai Center Point, which Annie opened in 2008.
Chef and owner Bhawani Rai closed his Woodside restaurant Sumnima Kitchen last year, only to return this summer with Spicy Nepal. The casual spot in Sunnyside serves traditional Nepali and Indo-Chinese dishes. The chicken choila, a shredded chicken salad, is smoky, spicy and dotted with fenugreek seeds. The tofu chile is coated in a crispy batter slicked with dried, sliced red chiles and a hint of Sichuan peppers. The restaurant has additional seating in a spacious back patio covered with a roof.
A modern Dominican restaurant and lounge has opened in Astoria with creative flair. Its mofonguitos, mini versions of the mashed plantain dish, are layered with a slab of crispy fried pork belly and drizzled with a cream sauce; and mac and cheese is served with a choice of pernil or ropa vieja. Weekend evenings turn up with blue and green lights that rotate around the open dining area, and the large banquettes in the back are packed.
Boon Dee Moo Ka Ta Thai B.B.Q.
Grill and simmer the meal of your dreams at the city’s newest Thai mookata parlor, a paradise of all-you-can-eat Thai barbecue and hot pot. Cook from an endless spread of vegetables, noodles, and meats like cilantro-marinated squid and chile-seasoned pork belly. Don’t know how to cook them? No worries, says co-owner Raweewan Chen. Employees are on deck with tips, as well as constant refills of chicken bone broth for the hotpot and new pans to grill on. Make room for hot snacks like creamy tom yum soup and pad krapow gai, in addition to desserts like grass jelly and jackfruit over shaved ice and mango sticky rice.
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Salty Lunch Lady's Little Luncheonette
Dria Atencio’s Salty Lunch Lady is one of several luncheonettes to open this year. Here, find nostalgic sandwiches — like the “fancy bologna” — and treats — rotating layer cakes with flavors like black sesame and pies like banoffee. The pink and green order-at-the-counter spot is outfitted in vintage bric-a-brac and the causal set-up is perfect for a long lunch where you can hang out for a while.