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The Hottest Restaurants in Queens Right Now, December 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. 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

Added 12/06/2015: Mu Ramen, End of the Century Bar, Gakyizompe

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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. 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]

5. 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]

6. 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]

7. 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]

8. 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]

9. 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]

10. Mu Ramen

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1209 Jackson Ave
Queens, NY 11101
(917) 868-8903
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Joshua and Heidy Smookler's first brick and mortar ramen-ya changes its menu daily, but expect stellar and creative renditions of ramen, plus foie gras-stuffed wings, and possibly quite a few truffles. [Courtesy of Mu Ramen]

11. End of the Century Bar

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104-08 Metropolitan Avenue
Flushing, NY 11375
718-544-1624
Ian Present, Sofia Present, and Valentin Gonzalez, vets of Pegu Club, PKNY, and Maison Premiere are hoping to bring the cocktail revolution to Queens with this new tiki bar/cocktail lounge. [Google Street View]

12. Gakyizompe Restaurant

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Read Review |
47-11 47th Ave
Sunnyside, NY
The menu at this Robert Sietsema recommended spot "offers not only standard Tibetan fare, but Nepalese and Bhutanese dishes." Try the mutton thali, several curries, and vegetarian momo. Many of the dishes come in at a cool $6. [Paul Crispin Quitoriano]

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. 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

5. 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

6. 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

7. 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

8. 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

9. 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

10. Mu Ramen

1209 Jackson Ave, Queens, NY 11101
Joshua and Heidy Smookler's first brick and mortar ramen-ya changes its menu daily, but expect stellar and creative renditions of ramen, plus foie gras-stuffed wings, and possibly quite a few truffles. [Courtesy of Mu Ramen]
1209 Jackson Ave
Queens, NY 11101

11. End of the Century Bar

104-08 Metropolitan Avenue, Flushing, NY 11375
Ian Present, Sofia Present, and Valentin Gonzalez, vets of Pegu Club, PKNY, and Maison Premiere are hoping to bring the cocktail revolution to Queens with this new tiki bar/cocktail lounge. [Google Street View]
104-08 Metropolitan Avenue
Flushing, NY 11375

12. Gakyizompe Restaurant

47-11 47th Ave, Sunnyside, NY
Read Review |
The menu at this Robert Sietsema recommended spot "offers not only standard Tibetan fare, but Nepalese and Bhutanese dishes." Try the mutton thali, several curries, and vegetarian momo. Many of the dishes come in at a cool $6. [Paul Crispin Quitoriano]
47-11 47th Ave
Sunnyside, NY

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