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.Read More