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Metal sheet pans with Korean fried chicken, fries, classic fried chicken, and fried chicken sandwiches.
Korean fried chicken, fries, and more at Rokstar Chicken.
Rokstar Chicken

The Hottest New Restaurants in Queens, January 2022

A quick-service Korean fried chicken restaurant located inside a Douglaston supermarket and a Creole-French soul food to-go spot in Sunnyside join the list this month

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Korean fried chicken, fries, and more at Rokstar Chicken.
| Rokstar Chicken

Eater editors get 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 January: Mother Hen’s Kitchen (creative Creole-French-soul food in Sunnyside), Rokstar Chicken (crisp Korean fried chicken sold in a supermarket in Douglaston), and Mister Seoul (Bayside’s lively Korean barbecue spot).

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.

1. Cha Menya

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251-20 Northern Blvd
Queens, NY 11362
(347) 235-4775
Visit Website

It’s not unusual for noodle shops to dole out food and drink pairings, but at the sleek Cha Menya, the ingredients come together in the bowl itself. There’s a rare matcha ramen, possibly the only one of its kind in New York City, that incorporates the tea into a rich chicken paitan broth. Fresh greens, organic ajitama, and chunks of chicken chasu float in a vibrant green broth. This new Little Neck spot also offers an appetizer of enoki mushrooms that are fried to golden, unrecognizable crispy stalks and a wagyu mazeman with black truffle shaved tableside. Both are delightful dishes worth ordering.

2. Mister Seoul

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39-35 Bell Blvd
Queens, NY 11361
(347) 502-7103
Visit Website

The crowded restaurant row of Bell Boulevard finally claims its own Korean grill joint. In December, Mister Seoul opened its doors, offering set menus and a la carte options for traditional cuts like boneless short rib (wet-aged for two weeks), ribeye bulgogi, spicy pork, as well as the harder-to-find beef tongue. Take a break from the grilled meats with seafood pancakes, bibimbap, and dumpling soup, and throw back a can of Makku makgeolli in this sleek, neon-lit setting.

3. Zou's

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38-14 Prince St
Queens, NY 11354
(917) 563-1844

Zou’s brings the ancient Chinese philosophy of shi liao — food as a means to heal and nourish the body — into a sleek, modern setting. Each of the dishes here claims to have a nutritional purpose: the steamed milk with fish maws ($25) replenishes the kidney and boosts stamina; the fresh stewed bird’s nest ($45) is offered as lubrication for the lungs during the cold, dry months; and the collagen-laden Buddha Jumps Over the Wall ($65) is a meticulously prepared soup bobbing with abalone and sea cucumber, recognized by many as having anti-inflammatory properties.

4. CheLi

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133-42 39th Ave STE 102
Queens, NY 11354
(917) 285-2555
Visit Website

The highly lauded East Village restaurant now has an offshoot in Flushing, Queens, where according to an employee the menu is “95 percent the same.” Run by the DaShan restaurant group that owns the equally beloved Szechuan Mountain House (which also has locations in both boroughs), CheLi specializes in the cuisine of Shanghai and the surrounding Jiangnan region. Hits include the pu’erh tea-soaked rice with sea urchin, braised-and-caramelized pork belly, Shaoxing wine-infused chicken, and a smoked fish that’s fried and glazed with sweet-and-sour soy. Friday nights attract hour-long waits at this walk-in-only spot.

A brown and sea green ceramic bowl filled with a mound of rice that’s been soaked in pu’erh tea and toped with sea urchin and fish roe.
Tea-infused rice with sea urchin and fish roe at CheLi.
Bao Ong/Eater NY

5. Pig Beach BBQ

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35-37 36th St
Queens, NY 11106

Pitmasters Matt Abdoo and Shane McBride have opened the doors at this Queens follow-up to their Pig Beach smokehouse in Brooklyn. The 28,000-square-foot Long Island City outpost is outfitted with one of the city’s largest indoor smokers for firing up their signature classics: peach- and honey-glazed ribs, smoked pork shoulder with hatch vinegar sauce, and their famed Pig Beach burger. New specials like Greek-style smoked lamb shoulder nods to the neighborhood’s immigrant history. Large groups can kick back at picnic tables in a dog-friendly backyard beer garden equipped with a stage for music and a 28-foot jumbotron.

A spread of barbecue offerings and burgers.
A sampling of barbecue from Pig Beach.
Pig Beach

6. Rokstar Chicken

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242-02 61st Ave Located inside Food Bazaar Douglaston (Aisle 2B
Queens, NY 11362
(718) 819-8933
Visit Website

Owner Mark Lee — who is also behind whimsical sweets shop Spot Dessert Bar — tells Eater that he is frying up the crispiest chicken in New York at Rokstar Chicken, a new quick-service Korean fried chicken restaurant located inside a Douglaston supermarket. The juicy, fried wings are served with sauces including soy garlic and sweet chili; and the menu is rounded out with side items like rice, cole slaw, crunchy onion rings, sweet potato fries, and truffle oil fries.

A red and white takeout box and several serving trays filled with fried chicken, two fried chicken sandwiches, and fries.
Rokstar’s Korean fried chicken.
Rokstar Chicken

7. Lhasa Tibetan Restaurant & Bar

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76-03 37th Ave
Queens, NY 11372
(347) 527-2043

After the original Lhasa Fast Food was destroyed in fire earlier this year, owner Sang Jien Ben re-opened his momo counter just a few blocks away at 76th Street and 37th Avenue with the support of a $22,000 GoFundMe campaign. His cult-favorite momos and thentuk soups have stayed the same at this expanded space with an outdoor dining area and liquor license.

Beef chive momos at Lhasa Fresh Foods
Momos are of course on the menu at the newest location of Lhasa.
Bao Ong/Eater NY

8. Mariscos El Submarino

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8805 Roosevelt Ave
Queens, NY 11372
(718) 685-2780
Visit Website

Championed by a mustached submarine mascot, Mariscos El Submarino has been serving ceviches, tostadas, and other Mexican seafood dishes from this narrow Jackson Heights storefront since last year. The restaurant excels at its aguachiles, a cousin of ceviche that comes served in a dramatically large molcajete with tostadas and saltine crackers on the side ($18 to $21). Order the negro version, prepared with shrimp, octopus, tilapia, and a touch of soy sauce.

The exterior of a restaurant in New York City, emblazoned with the words “Mariscos El Submarino” and anthropomorphized submarine with a mustache.
Outside Mariscos El Submarino in Jackson Heights.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

9. Mother Hen's Soul Kitchen

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40-05 Skillman Ave
Queens, NY 11104
(934) 234-3535

For a Creole-French-soul food mashup, head to Mother Hen’s Soul Kitchen at the takeout-only Sunnyside Eats food hall. The menu draws from chef and owner Habiybah Washington’s family roots in New Orleans and Savannah, Georgia, and her training at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. The wide range of influences on Washington’s cooking can be found in her fried flounder and grits ($15), which are made with sun-dried tomatoes soaked overnight in Chardonnay, and her lightly braised collard greens ($5) that are full of vibrancy and bite. Washington has plans to expand her menu to include seafood and chicken gumbo, turkey chili, and a hot chicken burger pulled together from chicken marinated overnight in hot sauce.

A metal takeout container filled with jambalaya, golden rice with bits of meat and spices.
Jambalaya at Mother Hen’s Soul Kitchen.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

10. Belo

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48-06 Skillman Ave
Queens, NY 11104
(718) 255-7587

Jonathan Cordeiro, co-owner of beloved neighborhood spot the Alcove, has teamed up with his father Gilson Cordeiro, also an industry veteran, at this hit restaurant in Sunnyside. Locals have been packing Belo’s dining room for its friendly service and menu full of Brazilian classics with eyebrow-raising details. Highlights include torresmo de barriga (fried pork belly with pineapple chunks and a spicy pineapple dipping sauce); dadinhos de tapioca (deep-fried tapioca cubes with bacon and guava sauce); and feijoada, the national dish of Brazil. Order from an extensive list of craft beers that hail from São Paulo to Long Island City in a cool space outfitted with graffiti murals, hanging plants, and dark brown and blonde wooden slats.

11. Ziggle Tofu & Grill

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37-04 Queens Blvd
Queens, NY 11101
(718) 885-4429
Visit Website

Ziggle shimmied out of the Murray Hill section of Flushing and into Sunnyside, filling a void for steaming, hot soft tofu stew that came with the closing of the neighborhood’s long-standing Natural Tofu restaurant in 2019. Korean barbecue and bibimbap bowls are featured on Ziggle’s menu, but its specialty is soondubu, which comes with a choice of 20 flavors like kimchi pork and wild sesame mushroom and as a kalguksu noodle soup for $15 to $19.

12. Gula

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70-17 Austin St
Queens, NY 11375

Gula Southern Comfort Bistro spiced up Forest Hill’s restaurant row along Austin Street when it opened in June. The menu of seafood-forward Cajun dishes features charred octopus ceviche in aji amarillo citrus sauce, baked catfish with spicy corn gravy, and a pairing of lobster tail and shrimp atop a bed of mashed potato. Mango barbecue baby back ribs and chicken fried steak round out the menu.

13. Mano's Pizzeria

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62-98 Forest Ave
Queens, NY 11385
(718) 418-1112
Visit Website

Owner and exacting pizzaiolo Nicholas Manopella ferments his pizza dough to exact standards for 48 hours to achieve an airy bite for every slice. Some of the most popular pies so far include the upside-down Siclian (the tomato sauce is spread on top of the cheese for a juicier slice); the Minucci with sweet fennel sausage with hot Calabrian chile peppers, pepperoni, and a drizzle of Mike’s hot honey; and the Manopella with vodka sauce, fried chicken cutlets, and mozzarella. Slices — both triangles and squares — go for $3.25 to $4.50, and Manopella is also making more of his dough to sell individually for customers that want to make their own pizzas at home.

14. Porcelain

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880 Woodward Ave
Queens, NY 11385
(347) 464-5267
Visit Website

Porcelain first opened in 2019 with an Austrian-leaning menu and a charming dining room outfitted with a grand piano, mid-century modern wallpaper, and vintage chandeliers. What’s it doing on this list of newly opened Queens restaurants, then? During the pandemic, chef Kate Telfeyan took over the kitchen with a revamped menu that largely looks to Korean, Taiwanese, and Sichuanese flavors for inspiration. Given the casual, order-at-the-counter set-up here, the cafe is just as ideal for pulling up with a book and a cup of coffee as it is for a low-key dinner of nori-dusted pork chops and wine.

The outside of Porcelain, whose blinds are drawn ahead of service, in a residential stretch of Ridgewood, Queens.
Outside of Porcelain in Ridgewood.
Molly Tavoletti/Porcelain

15. Real Veggie Cafe

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106-13 Guy R Brewer Blvd
Queens, NY 11433
(929) 255-0595
Visit Website

There are more and more vegan options these days but this restaurant from chef Hulando Shaw focuses on a rare mashup of southern Black American soul food and dishes from the Caribbean islands, including fried mushroom nuggets and jerk cauliflower wings. It fills a niche that Shaw discovered while helping feed the neighborhood’s predominantly Black American community. “So that’s how I mixed my Caribbean roots with a soul food concept,” the chef said shortly after opening. “Let’s actually open a restaurant and meet a community where they are.”

A green awning advertises vegan Caribbean soul food at the newly opened Real Veggie Cafe.
Outside Real Veggie Cafe in Jamaica.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

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1. Cha Menya

251-20 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11362

It’s not unusual for noodle shops to dole out food and drink pairings, but at the sleek Cha Menya, the ingredients come together in the bowl itself. There’s a rare matcha ramen, possibly the only one of its kind in New York City, that incorporates the tea into a rich chicken paitan broth. Fresh greens, organic ajitama, and chunks of chicken chasu float in a vibrant green broth. This new Little Neck spot also offers an appetizer of enoki mushrooms that are fried to golden, unrecognizable crispy stalks and a wagyu mazeman with black truffle shaved tableside. Both are delightful dishes worth ordering.

251-20 Northern Blvd
Queens, NY 11362

2. Mister Seoul

39-35 Bell Blvd, Queens, NY 11361

The crowded restaurant row of Bell Boulevard finally claims its own Korean grill joint. In December, Mister Seoul opened its doors, offering set menus and a la carte options for traditional cuts like boneless short rib (wet-aged for two weeks), ribeye bulgogi, spicy pork, as well as the harder-to-find beef tongue. Take a break from the grilled meats with seafood pancakes, bibimbap, and dumpling soup, and throw back a can of Makku makgeolli in this sleek, neon-lit setting.

39-35 Bell Blvd
Queens, NY 11361

3. Zou's

38-14 Prince St, Queens, NY 11354

Zou’s brings the ancient Chinese philosophy of shi liao — food as a means to heal and nourish the body — into a sleek, modern setting. Each of the dishes here claims to have a nutritional purpose: the steamed milk with fish maws ($25) replenishes the kidney and boosts stamina; the fresh stewed bird’s nest ($45) is offered as lubrication for the lungs during the cold, dry months; and the collagen-laden Buddha Jumps Over the Wall ($65) is a meticulously prepared soup bobbing with abalone and sea cucumber, recognized by many as having anti-inflammatory properties.

38-14 Prince St
Queens, NY 11354

4. CheLi

133-42 39th Ave STE 102, Queens, NY 11354
A brown and sea green ceramic bowl filled with a mound of rice that’s been soaked in pu’erh tea and toped with sea urchin and fish roe.
Tea-infused rice with sea urchin and fish roe at CheLi.
Bao Ong/Eater NY

The highly lauded East Village restaurant now has an offshoot in Flushing, Queens, where according to an employee the menu is “95 percent the same.” Run by the DaShan restaurant group that owns the equally beloved Szechuan Mountain House (which also has locations in both boroughs), CheLi specializes in the cuisine of Shanghai and the surrounding Jiangnan region. Hits include the pu’erh tea-soaked rice with sea urchin, braised-and-caramelized pork belly, Shaoxing wine-infused chicken, and a smoked fish that’s fried and glazed with sweet-and-sour soy. Friday nights attract hour-long waits at this walk-in-only spot.

133-42 39th Ave STE 102
Queens, NY 11354

5. Pig Beach BBQ

35-37 36th St, Queens, NY 11106
A spread of barbecue offerings and burgers.
A sampling of barbecue from Pig Beach.
Pig Beach

Pitmasters Matt Abdoo and Shane McBride have opened the doors at this Queens follow-up to their Pig Beach smokehouse in Brooklyn. The 28,000-square-foot Long Island City outpost is outfitted with one of the city’s largest indoor smokers for firing up their signature classics: peach- and honey-glazed ribs, smoked pork shoulder with hatch vinegar sauce, and their famed Pig Beach burger. New specials like Greek-style smoked lamb shoulder nods to the neighborhood’s immigrant history. Large groups can kick back at picnic tables in a dog-friendly backyard beer garden equipped with a stage for music and a 28-foot jumbotron.

35-37 36th St
Queens, NY 11106

6. Rokstar Chicken

242-02 61st Ave Located inside Food Bazaar Douglaston (Aisle 2B, Queens, NY 11362
A red and white takeout box and several serving trays filled with fried chicken, two fried chicken sandwiches, and fries.
Rokstar’s Korean fried chicken.
Rokstar Chicken

Owner Mark Lee — who is also behind whimsical sweets shop Spot Dessert Bar — tells Eater that he is frying up the crispiest chicken in New York at Rokstar Chicken, a new quick-service Korean fried chicken restaurant located inside a Douglaston supermarket. The juicy, fried wings are served with sauces including soy garlic and sweet chili; and the menu is rounded out with side items like rice, cole slaw, crunchy onion rings, sweet potato fries, and truffle oil fries.

242-02 61st Ave Located inside Food Bazaar Douglaston (Aisle 2B
Queens, NY 11362

7. Lhasa Tibetan Restaurant & Bar

76-03 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372
Beef chive momos at Lhasa Fresh Foods
Momos are of course on the menu at the newest location of Lhasa.
Bao Ong/Eater NY

After the original Lhasa Fast Food was destroyed in fire earlier this year, owner Sang Jien Ben re-opened his momo counter just a few blocks away at 76th Street and 37th Avenue with the support of a $22,000 GoFundMe campaign. His cult-favorite momos and thentuk soups have stayed the same at this expanded space with an outdoor dining area and liquor license.

76-03 37th Ave
Queens, NY 11372

8. Mariscos El Submarino

8805 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11372
The exterior of a restaurant in New York City, emblazoned with the words “Mariscos El Submarino” and anthropomorphized submarine with a mustache.
Outside Mariscos El Submarino in Jackson Heights.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Championed by a mustached submarine mascot, Mariscos El Submarino has been serving ceviches, tostadas, and other Mexican seafood dishes from this narrow Jackson Heights storefront since last year. The restaurant excels at its aguachiles, a cousin of ceviche that comes served in a dramatically large molcajete with tostadas and saltine crackers on the side ($18 to $21). Order the negro version, prepared with shrimp, octopus, tilapia, and a touch of soy sauce.

8805 Roosevelt Ave
Queens, NY 11372

9. Mother Hen's Soul Kitchen

40-05 Skillman Ave, Queens, NY 11104
A metal takeout container filled with jambalaya, golden rice with bits of meat and spices.
Jambalaya at Mother Hen’s Soul Kitchen.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

For a Creole-French-soul food mashup, head to Mother Hen’s Soul Kitchen at the takeout-only Sunnyside Eats food hall. The menu draws from chef and owner Habiybah Washington’s family roots in New Orleans and Savannah, Georgia, and her training at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. The wide range of influences on Washington’s cooking can be found in her fried flounder and grits ($15), which are made with sun-dried tomatoes soaked overnight in Chardonnay, and her lightly braised collard greens ($5) that are full of vibrancy and bite. Washington has plans to expand her menu to include seafood and chicken gumbo, turkey chili, and a hot chicken burger pulled together from chicken marinated overnight in hot sauce.

40-05 Skillman Ave
Queens, NY 11104

10. Belo

48-06 Skillman Ave, Queens, NY 11104

Jonathan Cordeiro, co-owner of beloved neighborhood spot the Alcove, has teamed up with his father Gilson Cordeiro, also an industry veteran, at this hit restaurant in Sunnyside. Locals have been packing Belo’s dining room for its friendly service and menu full of Brazilian classics with eyebrow-raising details. Highlights include torresmo de barriga (fried pork belly with pineapple chunks and a spicy pineapple dipping sauce); dadinhos de tapioca (deep-fried tapioca cubes with bacon and guava sauce); and feijoada, the national dish of Brazil. Order from an extensive list of craft beers that hail from São Paulo to Long Island City in a cool space outfitted with graffiti murals, hanging plants, and dark brown and blonde wooden slats.

48-06 Skillman Ave
Queens, NY 11104

11. Ziggle Tofu & Grill

37-04 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11101

Ziggle shimmied out of the Murray Hill section of Flushing and into Sunnyside, filling a void for steaming, hot soft tofu stew that came with the closing of the neighborhood’s long-standing Natural Tofu restaurant in 2019. Korean barbecue and bibimbap bowls are featured on Ziggle’s menu, but its specialty is soondubu, which comes with a choice of 20 flavors like kimchi pork and wild sesame mushroom and as a kalguksu noodle soup for $15 to $19.

37-04 Queens Blvd
Queens, NY 11101

12. Gula

70-17 Austin St, Queens, NY 11375

Gula Southern Comfort Bistro spiced up Forest Hill’s restaurant row along Austin Street when it opened in June. The menu of seafood-forward Cajun dishes features charred octopus ceviche in aji amarillo citrus sauce, baked catfish with spicy corn gravy, and a pairing of lobster tail and shrimp atop a bed of mashed potato. Mango barbecue baby back ribs and chicken fried steak round out the menu.

70-17 Austin St
Queens, NY 11375

13. Mano's Pizzeria

62-98 Forest Ave, Queens, NY 11385

Owner and exacting pizzaiolo Nicholas Manopella ferments his pizza dough to exact standards for 48 hours to achieve an airy bite for every slice. Some of the most popular pies so far include the upside-down Siclian (the tomato sauce is spread on top of the cheese for a juicier slice); the Minucci with sweet fennel sausage with hot Calabrian chile peppers, pepperoni, and a drizzle of Mike’s hot honey; and the Manopella with vodka sauce, fried chicken cutlets, and mozzarella. Slices — both triangles and squares — go for $3.25 to $4.50, and Manopella is also making more of his dough to sell individually for customers that want to make their own pizzas at home.

62-98 Forest Ave
Queens, NY 11385

14. Porcelain

880 Woodward Ave, Queens, NY 11385
The outside of Porcelain, whose blinds are drawn ahead of service, in a residential stretch of Ridgewood, Queens.
Outside of Porcelain in Ridgewood.
Molly Tavoletti/Porcelain

Porcelain first opened in 2019 with an Austrian-leaning menu and a charming dining room outfitted with a grand piano, mid-century modern wallpaper, and vintage chandeliers. What’s it doing on this list of newly opened Queens restaurants, then? During the pandemic, chef Kate Telfeyan took over the kitchen with a revamped menu that largely looks to Korean, Taiwanese, and Sichuanese flavors for inspiration. Given the casual, order-at-the-counter set-up here, the cafe is just as ideal for pulling up with a book and a cup of coffee as it is for a low-key dinner of nori-dusted pork chops and wine.

880 Woodward Ave
Queens, NY 11385

15. Real Veggie Cafe

106-13 Guy R Brewer Blvd, Queens, NY 11433
A green awning advertises vegan Caribbean soul food at the newly opened Real Veggie Cafe.
Outside Real Veggie Cafe in Jamaica.
Caroline Shin/Eater NY

There are more and more vegan options these days but this restaurant from chef Hulando Shaw focuses on a rare mashup of southern Black American soul food and dishes from the Caribbean islands, including fried mushroom nuggets and jerk cauliflower wings. It fills a niche that Shaw discovered while helping feed the neighborhood’s predominantly Black American community. “So that’s how I mixed my Caribbean roots with a soul food concept,” the chef said shortly after opening. “Let’s actually open a restaurant and meet a community where they are.”

106-13 Guy R Brewer Blvd
Queens, NY 11433

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