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Little Guyana
Little Guyana in southeast Queens is home to a large immigrant population.
Caroline Shin/Eater

11 Can’t-Miss West Indian Restaurants in NYC’s Little Guyana

This region’s uniquely multicultural, grandma-level soul food is unmatched anywhere else in the city

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Little Guyana in southeast Queens is home to a large immigrant population.
| Caroline Shin/Eater

In southeast Queens, Little Guyana hasn’t yet garnered the same mainstream cultural cache of say the city’s Chinatowns or Jackson Heights. But for those make the trek here, it upholds a booming Indo-Caribbean presence — one filled with uniquely multicultural, grandma-level West Indian soul food not found anywhere else in the city.

Little Guyana runs along the 40-block-or-so stretch of Liberty Avenue (officially named Little Guyana Avenue in May) from the Van Wyck Expressway to Woodhaven Boulevard at the southern border of Richmond Hill. It caters to the predominantly Guyanese and Trinidadian communities of Asian descent that dominate Richmond Hill and adjacent South Ozone Park. The multicultural legacy — forged by the Indian and Chinese indentured servants in then-British West Indies — reveals itself in the food strikingly.

Make your way around the marigold flower garlands streaming from party shops, saree (also called sari) boutiques and grocery stores, and head to these eleven restaurants in Little Guyana.

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. S & A

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10306 Liberty Ave
Queens, NY 11417
(718) 925-2224
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Depending on which direction you’re eating through Liberty Avenue, some locals say that Little Guyana begins with S&A West Indian Restaurant and ends with Sybil’s. At the western Ozone Park section of Little Guyana, Indian-Trinidadian co-owner Savi Samsair has been bringing homestyle West Indian classics to Queens since 1996 (originally on Hillside Avenue). Here, locals flock to her aloo pie, a boat of fluffy, fried dough lined with mashed potato that eagerly soaks up its fillings. Ask Savi to make an aloo pie for you, and she’ll stuff it with boneless chicken curry, stewed pumpkin talkari, and a smattering of her housemade sauces like mango, tamarind, pepper, and a spicy “mother-in-law” made from about 20 different ingredients. Mango curry, oxtail stew, and bake and salt fish are also local favorites.

aloo pie
Aloo pie at S & A.
Caroline Shin/Eater

2. GT Rice Bowl

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11409 Liberty Ave #1809
South Richmond Hill, NY 11419
(718) 323-4000

The labor-intensive coconut choka makes it a hard find (even in Little Guyana), but GT Rice Bowl, one of the few sit-down table-service restaurants in the area, has been dishing it out since opening its doors 20 years ago. A de-husked coconut is fire-roasted then finely ground and mixed with onions, garlic ,and hot peppers for a kick. The nutty flakes are then scooped on top of rice and dhal for one of the abundant home-style treats the restaurant excels at.

rice with bunjal chicken
Rice bowl with bunjal chicken at GT Rice Bowl.
Caroline Shin/Eater

3. Rising Tide

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116-20 Liberty Ave
Queens, NY 11419
(718) 374-3299
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This neighborhood newcomer opened its doors in September 2020. The extensive Guyanese-Chinese menu reads like those you’d find at Chinese takeout spots but with West Indian flair. Highlights include goat curry, chicken in-the-rough (fried chicken), jerk tofu, lap chong, fried pacu (a South American freshwater fish related to the piranha), and pepper duck. Particularly delightful is the popular chicken fried rice: generous golden chunks of bone-in roast chicken nestled on top of rice lightly fried with chopped-up bora, or Chinese long bean, and a side of hot sauce.

roasted chicken and rice
Roast chicken atop rice that’s been lightly fried.
Caroline Shin/Eater

4. Tropical Jade 3 Roti Express

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118-3 Liberty Ave
South Richmond Hill, NY 11419
(718) 571-9888

Enter this narrow Trinidadian roti shop, and there’s a long steam table of more than 40 dishes like chicken curry, goat curry, macaroni pie (squares of mac and cheese), and pholouries (a ubiquitous Trinidadian street snack of deep-fried, spiced-up chickpea fritters) with a pineapple chutney. The rotis, in particular, come in three versions: buss up shut (a plain paratha shredded to resemble a bust up shirt, hence the name), dhal puri, and sada puri (a puffed up bread). Pro tip: For burrito-style handling, ask for your roti wrapped with your choice of stuffing. You won’t go wrong with chicken stew, channa, potato, and pumpkin stews with a fiery pepper sauce.

steam table with Trini food
The steam table offers more than 40 dishes at Tropical Jade 3 Roti Express.
Caroline Shin/Eater

5. D’ Savannah Roti Shop

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119-15 Liberty Ave
South Richmond Hill, NY 11419
(347) 494-4971
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In an ode to memories of “cooking up by the savannah” in Trinidad, the mother-and-son team of Sarah Singh and Adam Singh opened up D’Savannah with Trinidadian classics in November 2019. The counter spot is open as early as 6 a.m., so commuters can get their hands on breakfast staples like roti with stewed pumpkin or a saltfish and bake (a sandwich of Atlantic codfish that’s been salted, dried, and sauteed). A hit among the lunch crowd is the combination platter with jerk chicken and barbecue chicken over fried rice and chow mein with a side of their homemade peanut punch.

jerk chicken and sorrel juice
Jerk chicken at D’Savannah Roti Shop.
Caroline Shin/Eater

6. Kaieteur Express

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120th St
South Richmond Hill, NY 11419
(718) 323-8748
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Named after the largest single-drop waterfall in Guyana’s sector of the Amazon rainforest, this low-key neighborhood spot invites guests to lay back with a Banks Caribbean lager or a Tomboy ginger beer with cutters (appetizers and bar snacks). Its Chinese-influenced cha chi kai chicken (crispy, breaded wings with hot peppers and scallions) is a hit here as are the fried shark and banga mary (a light white-fleshed Caribbean fish), and chicken over fried rice.

7. Darbar's Chicken & Ribs

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12609 Liberty Ave
Queens, NY 11419
(718) 529-4900
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Since 1997, locals have been lining up for owner and chef Shabhaz Ganny’s fried chicken — proudly halal, never frozen, and spiced with Indian masala and hot chile peppers. While it can be ordered solo, the popular poultry is incorporated into fried rice, lo mein, and the beloved zesty chicken sandwich. Order ahead to avoid the wait.

8. Bakewell

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127-08 Liberty Ave
South Richmond Hill, NY 11419
(718) 322-5600

Guyanese locals line up here daily for their bread pantry essentials like plait bread (a breakfast-favorite white bread that’s soft, buttery and braided), tennis rolls (sweet rolls that you can break off from the fluffy loaf), and bags of bara (spicy, golden fried orbs of chickpea flour and spinach not to be confused with Trinidadian bara that bookends doubles) coupled up with little containers of tamarind chutney. Bakewell serves all the other freshly baked Guyanese favorites like pine tarts, salara (swirled red coconut bread), and dhal puri (paper-thin roti stuffed with ground yellow split peas), among other items. A family-owned halal enterprise,  

the father-and-daughter duo of Chief Samsair and Sasha Samsair brought the shop from Guyana in 2016.

Cheese rolls
Cheese rolls at Bakewell.
Caroline Shin/Eater

9. Singh's Roti Shop

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13118 Liberty Ave
South Richmond Hill, NY 11419
(718) 323-5990
Visit Website

The Trinidadian family-owned Singh’s Roti Shop has been a beacon for the metropolitan West Indian community since it swung its doors open in 1990 and has since lured line after line of compatriots even throughout the pandemic. Sure, there are steaming trays of glistening goat curry, spicy mango curry, tender oxtail stew, and chunky stewed pumpkin ready to be dipped into shreds of dhalpuri roti, but Singh’s number one allure is its doubles. Singh’s crew tops two warm, fluffy discs of bara flatbread with channa (curried and stewed chickpeas). Pre-pandemic, crowds packed the ample, neon-lit space for live chutney soca music (calypso with Indian instruments).

Singh’s Roti Shop
Singh’s Roti Shop has been open since 1990.
Caroline Shin/Eater

10. Veggie Castle II

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132-9 Liberty Ave
South Richmond Hill, NY 11419
(718) 641-8342

Legions of longstanding loyalists would easily crown Veggie Castle king of vegan cooking in New York. Since 1998, Viburt ‘Cookie’ Bernard, current owner of both his mom’s eponymous Sybil’s bakery and Veggie Castle, has been doling out Caribbean vegan fare favored by local Rastafarians at the latter. The soy-based garlicky ginger “chicken” is a hit here. Other menu highlights include jerk “chick’n,” vegan “fysh,” lentil patties, stewed black eyed peas, collard greens, and a creamy rasta pasta. A medium-sized meal with two sides and two proteins will run you $11.43. Dishes can be paired with beverages at the juice bar, which proposes antidotes to life’s ailments like the Hangover (watermelon, ginger, orange, and cucumber). A second Flatbush location that closed last year is set to open soon.

Vegan Cafe
Veggie Castle is a longtime favorite for vegans.
Caroline Shin/Eater

11. Sybil's

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13217 Liberty Ave
Queens, NY 11419
(718) 835-9235

Way back in 1976, Sybil Bernard-Kerrutt had the foresight to turn a homespun business baking breads for her homesick Guyanese American friends. Sybil’s would become a legendary household name for baked treats and curries — even earning a feature in Indian Matchmaker — and paving the path for Little Guyana’s restaurant row. Head over to the iconic yellow sign jutting out like a theater marquee into the triangular tip of Liberty and 103rd Avenues, grab a numbered ticket and take your pick of Guyanese classics like cassava pone (golden squares of grated cassava and coconut), round and flaky Guyanese chicken and beef patties, and pine tarts (pineapple compote-filled triangles). Platters like oxtail stew, jerk chicken, goat curry with chow mein, and fried rice are also favorites. If there’s a long line, be sure to look for the inconspicuous upstairs dining room next door.

Sybil’s
Sybil’s has been open since 1976.
Caroline Shin/Eater

1. S & A

10306 Liberty Ave, Queens, NY 11417
aloo pie
Aloo pie at S & A.
Caroline Shin/Eater

Depending on which direction you’re eating through Liberty Avenue, some locals say that Little Guyana begins with S&A West Indian Restaurant and ends with Sybil’s. At the western Ozone Park section of Little Guyana, Indian-Trinidadian co-owner Savi Samsair has been bringing homestyle West Indian classics to Queens since 1996 (originally on Hillside Avenue). Here, locals flock to her aloo pie, a boat of fluffy, fried dough lined with mashed potato that eagerly soaks up its fillings. Ask Savi to make an aloo pie for you, and she’ll stuff it with boneless chicken curry, stewed pumpkin talkari, and a smattering of her housemade sauces like mango, tamarind, pepper, and a spicy “mother-in-law” made from about 20 different ingredients. Mango curry, oxtail stew, and bake and salt fish are also local favorites.

10306 Liberty Ave
Queens, NY 11417

2. GT Rice Bowl

11409 Liberty Ave #1809, South Richmond Hill, NY 11419
rice with bunjal chicken
Rice bowl with bunjal chicken at GT Rice Bowl.
Caroline Shin/Eater

The labor-intensive coconut choka makes it a hard find (even in Little Guyana), but GT Rice Bowl, one of the few sit-down table-service restaurants in the area, has been dishing it out since opening its doors 20 years ago. A de-husked coconut is fire-roasted then finely ground and mixed with onions, garlic ,and hot peppers for a kick. The nutty flakes are then scooped on top of rice and dhal for one of the abundant home-style treats the restaurant excels at.

11409 Liberty Ave #1809
South Richmond Hill, NY 11419

3. Rising Tide

116-20 Liberty Ave, Queens, NY 11419
roasted chicken and rice
Roast chicken atop rice that’s been lightly fried.
Caroline Shin/Eater

This neighborhood newcomer opened its doors in September 2020. The extensive Guyanese-Chinese menu reads like those you’d find at Chinese takeout spots but with West Indian flair. Highlights include goat curry, chicken in-the-rough (fried chicken), jerk tofu, lap chong, fried pacu (a South American freshwater fish related to the piranha), and pepper duck. Particularly delightful is the popular chicken fried rice: generous golden chunks of bone-in roast chicken nestled on top of rice lightly fried with chopped-up bora, or Chinese long bean, and a side of hot sauce.

116-20 Liberty Ave
Queens, NY 11419

4. Tropical Jade 3 Roti Express

118-3 Liberty Ave, South Richmond Hill, NY 11419
steam table with Trini food
The steam table offers more than 40 dishes at Tropical Jade 3 Roti Express.
Caroline Shin/Eater

Enter this narrow Trinidadian roti shop, and there’s a long steam table of more than 40 dishes like chicken curry, goat curry, macaroni pie (squares of mac and cheese), and pholouries (a ubiquitous Trinidadian street snack of deep-fried, spiced-up chickpea fritters) with a pineapple chutney. The rotis, in particular, come in three versions: buss up shut (a plain paratha shredded to resemble a bust up shirt, hence the name), dhal puri, and sada puri (a puffed up bread). Pro tip: For burrito-style handling, ask for your roti wrapped with your choice of stuffing. You won’t go wrong with chicken stew, channa, potato, and pumpkin stews with a fiery pepper sauce.

118-3 Liberty Ave
South Richmond Hill, NY 11419

5. D’ Savannah Roti Shop

119-15 Liberty Ave, South Richmond Hill, NY 11419
jerk chicken and sorrel juice
Jerk chicken at D’Savannah Roti Shop.
Caroline Shin/Eater

In an ode to memories of “cooking up by the savannah” in Trinidad, the mother-and-son team of Sarah Singh and Adam Singh opened up D’Savannah with Trinidadian classics in November 2019. The counter spot is open as early as 6 a.m., so commuters can get their hands on breakfast staples like roti with stewed pumpkin or a saltfish and bake (a sandwich of Atlantic codfish that’s been salted, dried, and sauteed). A hit among the lunch crowd is the combination platter with jerk chicken and barbecue chicken over fried rice and chow mein with a side of their homemade peanut punch.

119-15 Liberty Ave
South Richmond Hill, NY 11419

6. Kaieteur Express

120th St, South Richmond Hill, NY 11419

Named after the largest single-drop waterfall in Guyana’s sector of the Amazon rainforest, this low-key neighborhood spot invites guests to lay back with a Banks Caribbean lager or a Tomboy ginger beer with cutters (appetizers and bar snacks). Its Chinese-influenced cha chi kai chicken (crispy, breaded wings with hot peppers and scallions) is a hit here as are the fried shark and banga mary (a light white-fleshed Caribbean fish), and chicken over fried rice.

120th St
South Richmond Hill, NY 11419

7. Darbar's Chicken & Ribs

12609 Liberty Ave, Queens, NY 11419

Since 1997, locals have been lining up for owner and chef Shabhaz Ganny’s fried chicken — proudly halal, never frozen, and spiced with Indian masala and hot chile peppers. While it can be ordered solo, the popular poultry is incorporated into fried rice, lo mein, and the beloved zesty chicken sandwich. Order ahead to avoid the wait.

12609 Liberty Ave
Queens, NY 11419

8. Bakewell

127-08 Liberty Ave, South Richmond Hill, NY 11419
Cheese rolls
Cheese rolls at Bakewell.
Caroline Shin/Eater

Guyanese locals line up here daily for their bread pantry essentials like plait bread (a breakfast-favorite white bread that’s soft, buttery and braided), tennis rolls (sweet rolls that you can break off from the fluffy loaf), and bags of bara (spicy, golden fried orbs of chickpea flour and spinach not to be confused with Trinidadian bara that bookends doubles) coupled up with little containers of tamarind chutney. Bakewell serves all the other freshly baked Guyanese favorites like pine tarts, salara (swirled red coconut bread), and dhal puri (paper-thin roti stuffed with ground yellow split peas), among other items. A family-owned halal enterprise,  

the father-and-daughter duo of Chief Samsair and Sasha Samsair brought the shop from Guyana in 2016.

127-08 Liberty Ave
South Richmond Hill, NY 11419

9. Singh's Roti Shop

13118 Liberty Ave, South Richmond Hill, NY 11419
Singh’s Roti Shop
Singh’s Roti Shop has been open since 1990.
Caroline Shin/Eater

The Trinidadian family-owned Singh’s Roti Shop has been a beacon for the metropolitan West Indian community since it swung its doors open in 1990 and has since lured line after line of compatriots even throughout the pandemic. Sure, there are steaming trays of glistening goat curry, spicy mango curry, tender oxtail stew, and chunky stewed pumpkin ready to be dipped into shreds of dhalpuri roti, but Singh’s number one allure is its doubles. Singh’s crew tops two warm, fluffy discs of bara flatbread with channa (curried and stewed chickpeas). Pre-pandemic, crowds packed the ample, neon-lit space for live chutney soca music (calypso with Indian instruments).

13118 Liberty Ave
South Richmond Hill, NY 11419

10. Veggie Castle II

132-9 Liberty Ave, South Richmond Hill, NY 11419
Vegan Cafe
Veggie Castle is a longtime favorite for vegans.
Caroline Shin/Eater

Legions of longstanding loyalists would easily crown Veggie Castle king of vegan cooking in New York. Since 1998, Viburt ‘Cookie’ Bernard, current owner of both his mom’s eponymous Sybil’s bakery and Veggie Castle, has been doling out Caribbean vegan fare favored by local Rastafarians at the latter. The soy-based garlicky ginger “chicken” is a hit here. Other menu highlights include jerk “chick’n,” vegan “fysh,” lentil patties, stewed black eyed peas, collard greens, and a creamy rasta pasta. A medium-sized meal with two sides and two proteins will run you $11.43. Dishes can be paired with beverages at the juice bar, which proposes antidotes to life’s ailments like the Hangover (watermelon, ginger, orange, and cucumber). A second Flatbush location that closed last year is set to open soon.

132-9 Liberty Ave
South Richmond Hill, NY 11419

11. Sybil's

13217 Liberty Ave, Queens, NY 11419
Sybil’s
Sybil’s has been open since 1976.
Caroline Shin/Eater

Way back in 1976, Sybil Bernard-Kerrutt had the foresight to turn a homespun business baking breads for her homesick Guyanese American friends. Sybil’s would become a legendary household name for baked treats and curries — even earning a feature in Indian Matchmaker — and paving the path for Little Guyana’s restaurant row. Head over to the iconic yellow sign jutting out like a theater marquee into the triangular tip of Liberty and 103rd Avenues, grab a numbered ticket and take your pick of Guyanese classics like cassava pone (golden squares of grated cassava and coconut), round and flaky Guyanese chicken and beef patties, and pine tarts (pineapple compote-filled triangles). Platters like oxtail stew, jerk chicken, goat curry with chow mein, and fried rice are also favorites. If there’s a long line, be sure to look for the inconspicuous upstairs dining room next door.

13217 Liberty Ave
Queens, NY 11419

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