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The Hottest Restaurants in Queens Right Now, November 2014

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It's time to update the Queens Heatmap, a guide to new restaurants and recently-reviewed establishments in the mighty borough of Queens. Here are the places that the critics, bloggers, and restaurant obsessives are buzzing about right now. This edition of the map also includes a few seasonal restaurants that just returned for the summer. Check it out:

Added 05/05/2013: MP Taverna, The Shady Lady, Lao Cheng Du.
Added 06/08/2013: Bunker, Mamak House, Forno Pizzeria & Trattoria.
Added 07/13/2013: Milkflower, the Rockaways concessions, Thai Rock, Grill 43.
Added 08/04/2013: Sayra's Wine Bar, Crescent Grill, Mar's.
Added 09/08/2013: Snowdonia, Tamashii Ramen, Woodbines, Pata Paplean.
Added: 10/06/2013: Dutch Kills Centraal, Mezze Place, Papa's Kitchen.
Added: 11/10/2013: Venturo Osteria, Crazy Crab 888, Houdini.
Added: 12/08/2013: M. Wells Steakhouse, Mu Ramen, The Food Box.
Added: 01/04/2013: El Bombon, New York Dog House, Blend on the Water
Added 02/09/2014: The Little Lamb, Arunee Thai, Marani, Pink Nori
Added 03/09/2014: Front Toward Enemy, Maizal Astoria, Dhaulagiri Kitchen
Added 03/09/2014: Hibino, EIM Khao Mun Kai, The Bao Shoppe.
Added 05/04/2014: Mapo Korean BBQ, Fatty's, Dish
Added 06/08/2014: Rippers, Pye Boat Noodles, Rockaway Taco, Khao Man Gai NY.
Added 07/03/2014: Pastes Kiko's, Arepa Lady, Spicy Lanka
Added 08/08/2014: Bella Puebla, Khao Kang, Tommy Thai
Added 09/05/2014: Grandma's Dim Sum, L'inizio, Saw Shack
Added 10/05/2014: Kitchen 79, Dumpling Galaxy, Tacuba
Added 11/09/2014: El Coyote, Paet Rio, The Bonnie

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Grandma's Dim Sum

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40-24 College Point Blvd Store B-O
Flushing, NY 11354
(718) 888-3326
Cindy Ng serves the Cantonese dishes she grew up eating in Hong Kong, and the dim sum is ordered from a menu, instead of being pushed around on little carts. The house specialty is the peking duck, which is cooked for seven hours. But, be warned, there is a limited quantity each day. [Photo Credit]

2. L'inizio

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47-23 Vernon Boulevard
Long Island City, NY 11101
(516) 713-1965
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The pies here are made entirely with locally sourced produce and homemade mozzarella. Options include the "Pa Ta Ta" topped with potatoes, pancetta, fior di latte, and rosemary, and the "Barese", which is made with susage, kale, olives, and mozzarella. There’s gelato from Il Laboratorio for dessert. [Photo Credit]

3. saw shack

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84-22 37th Avenue
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
(718) 898-2768
The family of five who run this Jackson Heights vegetarian spot call it a "retro modern Chinese" takeout joint. The father of the family, who is running the kitchen, used to cook at Zen Palate and Gobu. [Photo Credit]

4. Bella Puebla

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9411 Roosevelt Ave
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
(718) 639-7300
Robert Sietsema is a big fan of this place and says it has the "most complete Pueblan menu in the city." He recommends tacos arabes, or Arab tacos, which are made with grilled flour tortillas and pork al pastor. [Paul Crispin Quitoriano]

5. Khao Kang ข้าวแกง

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76-20 Woodside Ave
Elmhurst, NY 11373
(718) 662-8721
Hungry City columnist Ligaya Mishan calls this steam-table spot in Elmhurst “one of the sincerest Thai restaurants in the city.” She recommends everything, but warns diners of the intense heat packed in the curries. [Photo Credit]

6. Tommy Thai

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85-32 Grand Avenue
Elmhurst, NY 11373
(917) 632-6881
Husband and wife team Tom and Alle Nuamcharoen are veterans of the city’s kitchens. They recently opened a small, reasonably priced Thai spot that focuses primarily on dishes from the Northeastern part of Thailand like crispy pork with basil and a spicy seafood salad. [Photo Credit]

7. Tacuba Mexican Cantina

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35-01 36th St
Astoria, NY 11106
(718) 786-2727
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Julian Medina, the man behind the Mexican mini-empire of Toloache restaurants, recently opened this taco-centric cantina in Astoria. Tacos range from carne asada to spicy lobster to grasshopper, and the menu also includes dishes like nachos, ceviche, chicken mole, and fried whole snapper. [Bess Adler]

8. Kitchen 79

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37-70 79th St
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
(718) 803-6227
Robert Sietsema is impressed by this new southern Thai restaurant in Jackson Heights. There, he says, you'll find dishes "rarely seen" in New York, like gaeng tai pla, "a dark and brooding fish curry heavily accented with chiles...One bite and you'll wrinkle up your nose; by the second you may or may not love it." [Paul Crispin Quitoriano]

9. Dumpling Galaxy

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42-35 Main Street
Flushing, NY 11355
(718) 461-0808
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There are over 100 different kinds of dumplings at this new restaurant in Flushing's Arcadia Mall. Helen You, the owner, began exploring filling options at Tianjin Dumpling, her stall in the nearby Golden Shopping Mall, but this is her first full-service restaurant, and her first chance to go all out with dumpling creativity. Fillings range from the classic pork and chive to tofu with crab roe, or lamb and celery. [Yelp]

10. The Bonnie

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29-12 23rd Ave
Astoria, NY 11105
The team behind several popular local spots, including Sweet Afton and the Penrose just opened this restaurant/cocktail bar. The menu includes pub fare like fried pickles, seafood pie, and a burger. [Facebook]

11. Paet Rio

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81-10 Broadway
Queens, NY 11373
(917) 832-6672
Phimploy Likitsansook, the woman behind Wondee Siam in Hell's Kitchen, opened this Thai restaurant in August. In a recent review, Ligaya Mishan notes that much of the menu here is the spicier food found on the "secret menu" at Wondee. Favorites include the khua kling (a dry pork belly curry), the khao soi (noodles in coconut broth), and the miang kha-na (a salad of Chinese broccoli leaves, pork, peanuts, and chilies). [Facebook]

12. El Coyote

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70-09 Austin St
Forest Hills, NY 11375
This Mexican mini-chain with locations in Jackson Heights and Connecticut just opened its newest outpost in Forest Hills. The menu is mostly standard American Mexican fare like fajitas and chimichangas, plus larger meat entrees like mole poblano chicken and cochinita pibil (pork slow-cooked in banana leaves). There's also one novelty cocktail: the lime boat margarita, which is a regular margarita with an extra shot of tequila floating in half a hollowed out lime. [Facebook]

1. Grandma's Dim Sum

40-24 College Point Blvd Store B-O, Flushing, NY 11354
Cindy Ng serves the Cantonese dishes she grew up eating in Hong Kong, and the dim sum is ordered from a menu, instead of being pushed around on little carts. The house specialty is the peking duck, which is cooked for seven hours. But, be warned, there is a limited quantity each day. [Photo Credit]
40-24 College Point Blvd Store B-O
Flushing, NY 11354

2. L'inizio

47-23 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, NY 11101
The pies here are made entirely with locally sourced produce and homemade mozzarella. Options include the "Pa Ta Ta" topped with potatoes, pancetta, fior di latte, and rosemary, and the "Barese", which is made with susage, kale, olives, and mozzarella. There’s gelato from Il Laboratorio for dessert. [Photo Credit]
47-23 Vernon Boulevard
Long Island City, NY 11101

3. saw shack

84-22 37th Avenue, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
The family of five who run this Jackson Heights vegetarian spot call it a "retro modern Chinese" takeout joint. The father of the family, who is running the kitchen, used to cook at Zen Palate and Gobu. [Photo Credit]
84-22 37th Avenue
Jackson Heights, NY 11372

4. Bella Puebla

9411 Roosevelt Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
Robert Sietsema is a big fan of this place and says it has the "most complete Pueblan menu in the city." He recommends tacos arabes, or Arab tacos, which are made with grilled flour tortillas and pork al pastor. [Paul Crispin Quitoriano]
9411 Roosevelt Ave
Jackson Heights, NY 11372

5. Khao Kang ข้าวแกง

76-20 Woodside Ave, Elmhurst, NY 11373
Hungry City columnist Ligaya Mishan calls this steam-table spot in Elmhurst “one of the sincerest Thai restaurants in the city.” She recommends everything, but warns diners of the intense heat packed in the curries. [Photo Credit]
76-20 Woodside Ave
Elmhurst, NY 11373

6. Tommy Thai

85-32 Grand Avenue, Elmhurst, NY 11373
Husband and wife team Tom and Alle Nuamcharoen are veterans of the city’s kitchens. They recently opened a small, reasonably priced Thai spot that focuses primarily on dishes from the Northeastern part of Thailand like crispy pork with basil and a spicy seafood salad. [Photo Credit]
85-32 Grand Avenue
Elmhurst, NY 11373

7. Tacuba Mexican Cantina

35-01 36th St, Astoria, NY 11106
Julian Medina, the man behind the Mexican mini-empire of Toloache restaurants, recently opened this taco-centric cantina in Astoria. Tacos range from carne asada to spicy lobster to grasshopper, and the menu also includes dishes like nachos, ceviche, chicken mole, and fried whole snapper. [Bess Adler]
35-01 36th St
Astoria, NY 11106

8. Kitchen 79

37-70 79th St, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
Read Review |
Robert Sietsema is impressed by this new southern Thai restaurant in Jackson Heights. There, he says, you'll find dishes "rarely seen" in New York, like gaeng tai pla, "a dark and brooding fish curry heavily accented with chiles...One bite and you'll wrinkle up your nose; by the second you may or may not love it." [Paul Crispin Quitoriano]
37-70 79th St
Jackson Heights, NY 11372

9. Dumpling Galaxy

42-35 Main Street, Flushing, NY 11355
There are over 100 different kinds of dumplings at this new restaurant in Flushing's Arcadia Mall. Helen You, the owner, began exploring filling options at Tianjin Dumpling, her stall in the nearby Golden Shopping Mall, but this is her first full-service restaurant, and her first chance to go all out with dumpling creativity. Fillings range from the classic pork and chive to tofu with crab roe, or lamb and celery. [Yelp]
42-35 Main Street
Flushing, NY 11355

10. The Bonnie

29-12 23rd Ave, Astoria, NY 11105
The team behind several popular local spots, including Sweet Afton and the Penrose just opened this restaurant/cocktail bar. The menu includes pub fare like fried pickles, seafood pie, and a burger. [Facebook]
29-12 23rd Ave
Astoria, NY 11105

11. Paet Rio

81-10 Broadway, Queens, NY 11373
Phimploy Likitsansook, the woman behind Wondee Siam in Hell's Kitchen, opened this Thai restaurant in August. In a recent review, Ligaya Mishan notes that much of the menu here is the spicier food found on the "secret menu" at Wondee. Favorites include the khua kling (a dry pork belly curry), the khao soi (noodles in coconut broth), and the miang kha-na (a salad of Chinese broccoli leaves, pork, peanuts, and chilies). [Facebook]
81-10 Broadway
Queens, NY 11373

12. El Coyote

70-09 Austin St, Forest Hills, NY 11375
This Mexican mini-chain with locations in Jackson Heights and Connecticut just opened its newest outpost in Forest Hills. The menu is mostly standard American Mexican fare like fajitas and chimichangas, plus larger meat entrees like mole poblano chicken and cochinita pibil (pork slow-cooked in banana leaves). There's also one novelty cocktail: the lime boat margarita, which is a regular margarita with an extra shot of tequila floating in half a hollowed out lime. [Facebook]
70-09 Austin St
Forest Hills, NY 11375

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