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Dar Al-yemen
Dar Al-yemen in South Ozone Park
Caroline Shin

13 Essential Restaurants in Ozone Park and South Ozone Park

Where to find Trinidadian-Indian mango curries, halal peri peri chicken, and garlic knot crust pizzas in this culturally diverse section of Queens

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Dar Al-yemen in South Ozone Park
| Caroline Shin

Trinidadian-Indian roti shops, tandoor-cooked Yemeni fish, and an old-school kulfi machine dot this large swath of Southeast Queens, made up by South Ozone Park and Ozone Park. The two adjacent neighborhoods meet at the Aqueduct Racetrack, and busy corridors of commerce and public buses pulsate along Lefferts Boulevard, Rockaway Boulevard, and the eight-lane Cross Bay Boulevard, which provides a straight shot to nearby Rockaway Beach.

The restaurants here reflect the mix of older Italian immigrants who came in the early 20th century and the newer entrepreneurs from the Caribbean, Muslim South Asia, and Latin America. South Ozone Park stands out for being home to one of the highest Caribbean immigrant populations of Asian descent, and the Trinidadian restaurants in this area dole out West Indian classics with Indian and Chinese influences that reflect the formerly British-occupied country’s history of indentured servitude that followed the 1833 abolition of slavery. Local residents and homesick Caribbeans now line up for ground yellow pea-stuffed rotis that get dipped into mango curry, oxtail stew paired with chow mein, and doubles, fluffy flatbread sandwiches filled with channa, stewed chickpeas, and a variety of sweet to spicy chutneys. Here are 13 restaurants to check out in one of NYC’s most diverse neighborhoods.

The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Local Press

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92-15 Rockaway Blvd
Ozone Park, NY 11417
(718) 323-8800
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Gastropub-like fare had been missing in Ozone Park, so Culinary Institute of America graduate Andrew Basdeo, and his business partner, Kimberly Mohan — both with lifelong connections to the neighborhood — sought to change that with the 2017 opening of The Local Press. Here, all the meats are sourced from Pat La Frieda, chicken and waffles are paired with honey butter, and six kinds of fries — including truffle parmesan, cajun, and sweet potato — come with a choice of nine sauces like truffle aioli and chipotle mayo.

The Local Press
The Local Press
Caroline Shin

2. Gyro Qila

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105-03 Cross Bay Blvd
Queens, NY 11417
(347) 960-7133

This Pakistani-owned fast food halal joint on the busy intersection of Liberty Avenue and Cross Bay Boulevard, located under the tracks of the A train, serves typical food cart fare like chicken over rice, falafel platter, and beef gyro, but its Peshwari chicken chapli patties, cooked to order at $5 for two pieces or $8 for a platter stand out. 

Gyro Qila storefront
Gyro Qila is located under the tracks of the A train
Caroline Shin

3. Arepalicious Restaurant & Bakery

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137-20 Cross Bay Blvd
Queens, NY 11417
(718) 480-6049
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This brick-and-mortar outpost of Arepalicious, whose arepacones shot them to fame at the Queens Night Market in 2013, has found a spacious home along the busy thoroughfare of Cross Bay Boulevard in Ozone Park. A steady stream of pick-up, takeout, and dine-in guests come for their signature arepacones, pastries like tres leches from the bakery section, juices made from frozen guava and soursop pulp at the juice bar, and hot foods like traditional Colombian sancocho and mondongo, along with eight types of loaded fries and four versions of hot dogs like the choriperro with pineapple sauce.

4. Kandela

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150-03 Cross Bay Blvd
Ozone Park, NY 11417
(718) 659-0262

This rare gem of an NYC agaveria specializes in agave-based spirits including the sweet, smoky, and hard-to-find sotol produced from wild agave plants; and pulque, the milky, foamy, fermented maguey sap. The mezcal and tequila also make their way into the overflowing cocktail list that goes well with the modern Mexican food that includes beer-braised brisket tacos with habanero sauce, grilled elote with chipotle mayo, and grilled octopus with mushrooms. T

5. Flames

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104-05 101st Ave
Queens, NY 11416
(718) 210-1148
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Peri peri chicken and Pakistani tandoor cooking join forces on the menu of the recently opened Flames restaurant in the quiet residential area down 101st Avenue in Ozone Park. The fusion is conspicuous in the boneless peri peri chicken roll wrapped in naan. Owner Umar Aslam serves up the peri peri chicken in other ways, too — as wings, full, half. or quarter chicken with a choice of spice levels and flavors like mango-lime and lemon-herb, over rice, and in a salad. Its Pakistani fare shines with both traditional and playful touches: chicken kabab twisted and baked into sesame seed-sprinkled naan dough; seven kinds of naan with stuffings that include minced chicken and mozzarella; tikka and kebabs finished off in a tandoori flame; and pink Kashmiri tea loaded with pistachio. Umar Aslam says all the meat is halal to serve the Muslim Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian and Middle Eastern community in the neighborhood.

6. S&A West Indian Restaurant

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10306 Liberty Ave
Queens, NY 11417
(718) 925-2224
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S&A West Indian Restaurant has been doling out beloved Trinidadian dishes for so long that generations of local families claim it their favorite. Since co-owner Savi Samsair opened the local institution in 1996 (originally on Hillside Avenue before opening its current spot under the A train tracks in 2005), locals have been lining up for her aloo pies (brought out hot and steaming throughout the day by her husband, co-owner and chef Shane) and filled with a choice of around 30 curries, stews and sauteed vegetables, meats, and chunks of soybean protein. Mango curry, boneless chicken curry, channa (stewed chickpeas), and stewed pumpkin talkari are big hits here, and they can also be served with rice, chow mein, and roti (a rolled-up pizza pie-sized flatbread). Add any of Samsair’s housemade chutneys — mango, tamarind, pepper, and a spicy “mother-in-law” made from about 20 different ingredients — for an extra kick of flavor. Samsair has put the business up for sale — though she may stay on in an agreed-upon capacity — so come quick.

7. Sofia's Pizza

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112-15 Linden Blvd
South Ozone Park, NY 11420
(718) 845-6250
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Owner Nick Agola and chef Suad Cecunjanin of Sofia’s Pizza have up to 52 types of pizza slices out at a time. That prodigiousness reflects inventiveness and agility that have led to the creation of their garlic knot crust pizza pies, where whole garlic knots adorn the edge of the pie to be pulled apart and dipped in a side of tomato sauce between bites of each slice. Vodka sauce with basil, caesar chicken pesto, eggplant caprese, and mushroom balsamic pizzas also delight as do the mini pepperoni pastry sticks. Its biggest hits among entrees are penne vodka with grilled chicken and fettuccine alfredo with grilled shrimp — those are just two of 28 dishes on offer.

8. Don Peppe

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135-58 Lefferts Blvd
South Ozone Park, NY 11420
(718) 845-7587

Don Peppe’s calling card — with praises sung to it in Hollywood — is its baked clams. The linguine with white clam sauce is a close second. This Italian restaurant dates back to 1942 — originally in Brooklyn with a move to Queens in 1968 — and it serves huge, family-style portions of old-school classics like chicken with butter and lemon, shrimp Luciano, zuppa di mussels, beef braciola, and veal parmigiana. There is only one menu, and it’s on a blackboard at the back wall of the large one-room restaurant. Go hungry — or with friends — and bring cash.

9. El Campeon De Los Pollos

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111-06A Lefferts Blvd
South Ozone Park, NY 11420
(718) 738-5361
Visit Website

Locals favoring Latin American dishes line up in front of El Campeon de los Pollos, where an expansive L-shaped steam table holds no-frills Dominican classics: chicken stew, beef stew, oxtail stew, sancocho, steak and onions, pernil roast pork, arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas), and of course, rotisserie chicken. Dessert flan and bread pudding are also on deck.

10. Trinciti Roti Shop and Restaurant

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111-03 Lefferts Blvd
Queens, NY 11420
(718) 641-3636
Visit Website

Even during the pandemic, lines in front of this Trinidadian-Indian-owned institution haven’t wavered, curving around the corner of Lefferts Boulevard and 111th Avenue in an otherwise quiet section of South Ozone Park. Hungry fans of Trinidadian and Caribbean food enjoy their rotis — both the plain, shredded buss up shut (paratha), and the dhal puri filled with crumbly ground split pea — dipped into their favorite chicken curry and goat curry. Triniciti’s doubles, fluffy, palm-sized fried dough sandwiches filled with channa and chutneys are also favorites. Order ahead to avoid the lines.

Trinciti Roti Shop and Restaurant
Trinciti Roti Shop and Restaurant
Caroline Shin

11. Tics Bar and Restaurant

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125-17 Rockaway Blvd
Queens, NY 11420
(929) 354-0118
Visit Website

Since owner Samantha Rivera opened Tics on the busy thoroughfare of Rockaway Boulevard in December 2020, it’s quickly become a new local favorite for West Indian food that incorporates Trinidadian, Guyanese, Indian, and Chinese flavors. The menu boasts classics like fried banga mary (a light white-fleshed Caribbean fish found in coastal marine waters), spicy garlic boneless lamb strips, chicken-fried rice, lamb lo mein, lamb fried rice, spicy garlic lamb, and roast duck. The spacious blue-hued restaurant has booths in the back for a music-filled lounge setting once it opens to dine-in guests.

Tics Bar and Restaurant storefron
Tics Bar and Restaurant
Caroline Shin

12. Dar Al-yemen

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131-05 Rockaway Blvd
South Ozone Park, NY 11420
(347) 809-4276
Visit Website

Dar Al-yemen’s calling card is its succulent and spiced lamb, which appears in the haneed (marinated and slow-cooked lamb served over rice with vegetable curry), mandi (clay-oven steamed lamb over rice), fahsha (lamb chunks stewed in tomato sauce with fresh coriander), soughar (stir-fried cubes of lamb fillet), and saltah (minced lamb stew with tomato sauce, fenugreek and egg) preparations, among others. The whole kingfish, fried and splayed open, makes for a foot-long stunner inside the four-table dining room whose beautiful tiling runs up and wraps around the ceiling. The fasolia, a kidney bean stew with eggs, typically eaten for breakfast, is also a local favorite. Desserts like fattah tammar (dates and chapatti flatbread pieces with olive oil and sesame oil) and masoub with banana, honey, and cream round out the Yemeni menu.

Dar Al-yemen
Dar Al-yemen
Caroline Shin

13. Satguru Sweets

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13408 Rockaway Blvd
South Ozone Park, NY 11420
(718) 659-5235

Three blocks down from Dar Al-yemen, locals make their way over to Satguru Sweets for its samosa chaat, filled with fresh cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, onions; chole bhature, a pairing of chana masala and fluffy, fried leavened puri bread; and palak paneer with corn roti; and other home-style northern Indian vegetarian food. As its name suggests, hundreds of colorful, housemade sweets like barfi milk cake; round, crumbly peda cookies; and flaxseed pinni balls line the glass counters. There’s also a crunchy snack bar where guests can mix up fried lentils, chickpeas, masala roasted cashews, salted matthi wafers, and garlic sev sticks from fried gram chickpea flour. Satguru Sweets is the rare NYC spot with a traditional kulfi machine that holds dozens of long, skinny, nut-studded rockets of the milky ice cream.

1. The Local Press

92-15 Rockaway Blvd, Ozone Park, NY 11417
The Local Press
The Local Press
Caroline Shin

Gastropub-like fare had been missing in Ozone Park, so Culinary Institute of America graduate Andrew Basdeo, and his business partner, Kimberly Mohan — both with lifelong connections to the neighborhood — sought to change that with the 2017 opening of The Local Press. Here, all the meats are sourced from Pat La Frieda, chicken and waffles are paired with honey butter, and six kinds of fries — including truffle parmesan, cajun, and sweet potato — come with a choice of nine sauces like truffle aioli and chipotle mayo.

92-15 Rockaway Blvd
Ozone Park, NY 11417

2. Gyro Qila

105-03 Cross Bay Blvd, Queens, NY 11417
Gyro Qila storefront
Gyro Qila is located under the tracks of the A train
Caroline Shin

This Pakistani-owned fast food halal joint on the busy intersection of Liberty Avenue and Cross Bay Boulevard, located under the tracks of the A train, serves typical food cart fare like chicken over rice, falafel platter, and beef gyro, but its Peshwari chicken chapli patties, cooked to order at $5 for two pieces or $8 for a platter stand out. 

105-03 Cross Bay Blvd
Queens, NY 11417

3. Arepalicious Restaurant & Bakery

137-20 Cross Bay Blvd, Queens, NY 11417

This brick-and-mortar outpost of Arepalicious, whose arepacones shot them to fame at the Queens Night Market in 2013, has found a spacious home along the busy thoroughfare of Cross Bay Boulevard in Ozone Park. A steady stream of pick-up, takeout, and dine-in guests come for their signature arepacones, pastries like tres leches from the bakery section, juices made from frozen guava and soursop pulp at the juice bar, and hot foods like traditional Colombian sancocho and mondongo, along with eight types of loaded fries and four versions of hot dogs like the choriperro with pineapple sauce.

137-20 Cross Bay Blvd
Queens, NY 11417

4. Kandela

150-03 Cross Bay Blvd, Ozone Park, NY 11417

This rare gem of an NYC agaveria specializes in agave-based spirits including the sweet, smoky, and hard-to-find sotol produced from wild agave plants; and pulque, the milky, foamy, fermented maguey sap. The mezcal and tequila also make their way into the overflowing cocktail list that goes well with the modern Mexican food that includes beer-braised brisket tacos with habanero sauce, grilled elote with chipotle mayo, and grilled octopus with mushrooms. T

150-03 Cross Bay Blvd
Ozone Park, NY 11417

5. Flames

104-05 101st Ave, Queens, NY 11416

Peri peri chicken and Pakistani tandoor cooking join forces on the menu of the recently opened Flames restaurant in the quiet residential area down 101st Avenue in Ozone Park. The fusion is conspicuous in the boneless peri peri chicken roll wrapped in naan. Owner Umar Aslam serves up the peri peri chicken in other ways, too — as wings, full, half. or quarter chicken with a choice of spice levels and flavors like mango-lime and lemon-herb, over rice, and in a salad. Its Pakistani fare shines with both traditional and playful touches: chicken kabab twisted and baked into sesame seed-sprinkled naan dough; seven kinds of naan with stuffings that include minced chicken and mozzarella; tikka and kebabs finished off in a tandoori flame; and pink Kashmiri tea loaded with pistachio. Umar Aslam says all the meat is halal to serve the Muslim Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian and Middle Eastern community in the neighborhood.

104-05 101st Ave
Queens, NY 11416

6. S&A West Indian Restaurant

10306 Liberty Ave, Queens, NY 11417

S&A West Indian Restaurant has been doling out beloved Trinidadian dishes for so long that generations of local families claim it their favorite. Since co-owner Savi Samsair opened the local institution in 1996 (originally on Hillside Avenue before opening its current spot under the A train tracks in 2005), locals have been lining up for her aloo pies (brought out hot and steaming throughout the day by her husband, co-owner and chef Shane) and filled with a choice of around 30 curries, stews and sauteed vegetables, meats, and chunks of soybean protein. Mango curry, boneless chicken curry, channa (stewed chickpeas), and stewed pumpkin talkari are big hits here, and they can also be served with rice, chow mein, and roti (a rolled-up pizza pie-sized flatbread). Add any of Samsair’s housemade chutneys — mango, tamarind, pepper, and a spicy “mother-in-law” made from about 20 different ingredients — for an extra kick of flavor. Samsair has put the business up for sale — though she may stay on in an agreed-upon capacity — so come quick.

10306 Liberty Ave
Queens, NY 11417

7. Sofia's Pizza

112-15 Linden Blvd, South Ozone Park, NY 11420

Owner Nick Agola and chef Suad Cecunjanin of Sofia’s Pizza have up to 52 types of pizza slices out at a time. That prodigiousness reflects inventiveness and agility that have led to the creation of their garlic knot crust pizza pies, where whole garlic knots adorn the edge of the pie to be pulled apart and dipped in a side of tomato sauce between bites of each slice. Vodka sauce with basil, caesar chicken pesto, eggplant caprese, and mushroom balsamic pizzas also delight as do the mini pepperoni pastry sticks. Its biggest hits among entrees are penne vodka with grilled chicken and fettuccine alfredo with grilled shrimp — those are just two of 28 dishes on offer.

112-15 Linden Blvd
South Ozone Park, NY 11420

8. Don Peppe

135-58 Lefferts Blvd, South Ozone Park, NY 11420

Don Peppe’s calling card — with praises sung to it in Hollywood — is its baked clams. The linguine with white clam sauce is a close second. This Italian restaurant dates back to 1942 — originally in Brooklyn with a move to Queens in 1968 — and it serves huge, family-style portions of old-school classics like chicken with butter and lemon, shrimp Luciano, zuppa di mussels, beef braciola, and veal parmigiana. There is only one menu, and it’s on a blackboard at the back wall of the large one-room restaurant. Go hungry — or with friends — and bring cash.

135-58 Lefferts Blvd
South Ozone Park, NY 11420

9. El Campeon De Los Pollos

111-06A Lefferts Blvd, South Ozone Park, NY 11420

Locals favoring Latin American dishes line up in front of El Campeon de los Pollos, where an expansive L-shaped steam table holds no-frills Dominican classics: chicken stew, beef stew, oxtail stew, sancocho, steak and onions, pernil roast pork, arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas), and of course, rotisserie chicken. Dessert flan and bread pudding are also on deck.

111-06A Lefferts Blvd
South Ozone Park, NY 11420

10. Trinciti Roti Shop and Restaurant

111-03 Lefferts Blvd, Queens, NY 11420
Trinciti Roti Shop and Restaurant
Trinciti Roti Shop and Restaurant
Caroline Shin

Even during the pandemic, lines in front of this Trinidadian-Indian-owned institution haven’t wavered, curving around the corner of Lefferts Boulevard and 111th Avenue in an otherwise quiet section of South Ozone Park. Hungry fans of Trinidadian and Caribbean food enjoy their rotis — both the plain, shredded buss up shut (paratha), and the dhal puri filled with crumbly ground split pea — dipped into their favorite chicken curry and goat curry. Triniciti’s doubles, fluffy, palm-sized fried dough sandwiches filled with channa and chutneys are also favorites. Order ahead to avoid the lines.

111-03 Lefferts Blvd
Queens, NY 11420

11. Tics Bar and Restaurant

125-17 Rockaway Blvd, Queens, NY 11420
Tics Bar and Restaurant storefron
Tics Bar and Restaurant
Caroline Shin

Since owner Samantha Rivera opened Tics on the busy thoroughfare of Rockaway Boulevard in December 2020, it’s quickly become a new local favorite for West Indian food that incorporates Trinidadian, Guyanese, Indian, and Chinese flavors. The menu boasts classics like fried banga mary (a light white-fleshed Caribbean fish found in coastal marine waters), spicy garlic boneless lamb strips, chicken-fried rice, lamb lo mein, lamb fried rice, spicy garlic lamb, and roast duck. The spacious blue-hued restaurant has booths in the back for a music-filled lounge setting once it opens to dine-in guests.

125-17 Rockaway Blvd
Queens, NY 11420

12. Dar Al-yemen

131-05 Rockaway Blvd, South Ozone Park, NY 11420
Dar Al-yemen
Dar Al-yemen
Caroline Shin

Dar Al-yemen’s calling card is its succulent and spiced lamb, which appears in the haneed (marinated and slow-cooked lamb served over rice with vegetable curry), mandi (clay-oven steamed lamb over rice), fahsha (lamb chunks stewed in tomato sauce with fresh coriander), soughar (stir-fried cubes of lamb fillet), and saltah (minced lamb stew with tomato sauce, fenugreek and egg) preparations, among others. The whole kingfish, fried and splayed open, makes for a foot-long stunner inside the four-table dining room whose beautiful tiling runs up and wraps around the ceiling. The fasolia, a kidney bean stew with eggs, typically eaten for breakfast, is also a local favorite. Desserts like fattah tammar (dates and chapatti flatbread pieces with olive oil and sesame oil) and masoub with banana, honey, and cream round out the Yemeni menu.

131-05 Rockaway Blvd
South Ozone Park, NY 11420

13. Satguru Sweets

13408 Rockaway Blvd, South Ozone Park, NY 11420

Three blocks down from Dar Al-yemen, locals make their way over to Satguru Sweets for its samosa chaat, filled with fresh cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, onions; chole bhature, a pairing of chana masala and fluffy, fried leavened puri bread; and palak paneer with corn roti; and other home-style northern Indian vegetarian food. As its name suggests, hundreds of colorful, housemade sweets like barfi milk cake; round, crumbly peda cookies; and flaxseed pinni balls line the glass counters. There’s also a crunchy snack bar where guests can mix up fried lentils, chickpeas, masala roasted cashews, salted matthi wafers, and garlic sev sticks from fried gram chickpea flour. Satguru Sweets is the rare NYC spot with a traditional kulfi machine that holds dozens of long, skinny, nut-studded rockets of the milky ice cream.

13408 Rockaway Blvd
South Ozone Park, NY 11420

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