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The Queens Heatmap: Where to Eat Right Now

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121212_bk12_bk1212123123112008_10_hasmaps%20%281%29.jpegIt's time to update the Queens Heatmap, a guide to the noteworthy new restaurants in the mighty borough of Queens. This list showcases the recent arrivals — all of them less than 18 months old — that the critics, bloggers, and restaurant obsessives are buzzing about right now. Here's a guide to the hot newcomers in Queens:

Like all of the Eater Heatmaps, this list focuses on new restaurants, not the established, beloved neighborhood standbys and legendary dining destinations. The restaurants are listed on this map based on opening date. Have a recommendation for a new restaurant in the borough of Queens? By all means, drop your recs in the comments or send them to the tipline.



Added 05/05: MP Taverna, The Shady Lady, Lao Cheng Du.
Added 06/08: Bunker, Mamak House, Forno Pizzeria & Trattoria.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process. If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Bunker is one of the biggest dining surprises of the year. This is the new, no-frills Ridgewood Vietnamese restaurant from Eleven Madison Park veteran Jimmy Tu. He originally opened this storefront as a seafood supply company, but after the space was damaged by Hurricane Sandy, Tu decided to turn it into a restaurant. The menu includes Vietnamese favorites like banh mi, pho, and banh xeo, as well as dishes that you won't find at many of the city's more popular Vietnamese establishments. In her Hungry City review, Ligaya Mishan notes that Tu is serving "some of the best Vietnamese street-style food in New York." Make sure to try the shrimp chips. Note: The restaurant is not close to any subway trains (the nearest station is in Bushwick), so plan your travel accordingly. [Photo: Facebook]

Mamak House

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[Foursquare]

Forno Pizzeria & Trattoria

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[Photo: Facebook]

MP Taverna

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In April, chef Michael Psilakis expanded his Greek hit MP Taverna to Astoria. The chef recently told the Times that he wanted to open in the neighborhood because, "It’s the center of Greek culture in New York.” The menu includes mezze, salads, burgers, and a number of lightly-prepared proteins, as well as things like a mixed grill plate and "Greek paella." The space has a tavern room downstairs with a long bar, plus a more formal upstairs dining room with plenty of tables for large parties.

The Shady Lady

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Astoria just got a fun new gastropub by the name of The Shady Lady. The menu includes quirky pub grub like "carbonara" mac and cheese, baked potato soup, pork wellington, and meatloaf meatballs. To drink, the bar offers a small list of original cocktails, plus beer and wine (carafes are just $35). So far, the bloggers and Yelpers have lots of good things to say about the food and the vibe here.

Láo Chéng Dū

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The owners of Prince Noodle House in Flushing recently transformed the space into a Sichuan restaurant with a menu from Big Sister Zhu, a chef who earned something of a following among the Chinese food aficionados from her stints at food stalls in the area. In a recent positive review on Serious Eats, editor Max Falkowitz wrote: "Lao Cheng Du might be one of those restaurants where you have to order 'right' for best results, but it doesn't seem that hard to get something good." Falkowitz recommends the diced rabbit with red chili sauce and the spicy radish with peanuts and tofu. [Photo: Yelp]

Alchemy, Texas

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Tufino Pizzeria

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The Strand Smokehouse

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M. Wells Dinette

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At M. Wells Dinette, chef Hugue Dufour serves versions of classic bistro and diner dishes, as well as creations that don't easily fit into any category. The menu changes daily, but Dufour frequently offers a bone marrow & escargot tart, homemade terrines, and a version of Korean bibimbap topped with an oyster and raw egg. Make sure to order one of Bethany Costello's excellent pastries for dessert.

Little Pepper Hot Pot

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Casa Enrique

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This year-old Long Island City restaurant specializes in dishes from the Chiapas region of Mexico. Standout dishes include the fresh chorizo tacos, the chicken & avocado enchiladas, and the pork shank smothered in earthy mole sauce. And if you just want chips, guac, and margaritas, the space features a long bar up front that's perfect for cocktail sipping and snacking.

Bunker

Bunker is one of the biggest dining surprises of the year. This is the new, no-frills Ridgewood Vietnamese restaurant from Eleven Madison Park veteran Jimmy Tu. He originally opened this storefront as a seafood supply company, but after the space was damaged by Hurricane Sandy, Tu decided to turn it into a restaurant. The menu includes Vietnamese favorites like banh mi, pho, and banh xeo, as well as dishes that you won't find at many of the city's more popular Vietnamese establishments. In her Hungry City review, Ligaya Mishan notes that Tu is serving "some of the best Vietnamese street-style food in New York." Make sure to try the shrimp chips. Note: The restaurant is not close to any subway trains (the nearest station is in Bushwick), so plan your travel accordingly. [Photo: Facebook]

Mamak House

[Foursquare]

Forno Pizzeria & Trattoria

[Photo: Facebook]

MP Taverna

In April, chef Michael Psilakis expanded his Greek hit MP Taverna to Astoria. The chef recently told the Times that he wanted to open in the neighborhood because, "It’s the center of Greek culture in New York.” The menu includes mezze, salads, burgers, and a number of lightly-prepared proteins, as well as things like a mixed grill plate and "Greek paella." The space has a tavern room downstairs with a long bar, plus a more formal upstairs dining room with plenty of tables for large parties.

The Shady Lady

Astoria just got a fun new gastropub by the name of The Shady Lady. The menu includes quirky pub grub like "carbonara" mac and cheese, baked potato soup, pork wellington, and meatloaf meatballs. To drink, the bar offers a small list of original cocktails, plus beer and wine (carafes are just $35). So far, the bloggers and Yelpers have lots of good things to say about the food and the vibe here.

Láo Chéng Dū

The owners of Prince Noodle House in Flushing recently transformed the space into a Sichuan restaurant with a menu from Big Sister Zhu, a chef who earned something of a following among the Chinese food aficionados from her stints at food stalls in the area. In a recent positive review on Serious Eats, editor Max Falkowitz wrote: "Lao Cheng Du might be one of those restaurants where you have to order 'right' for best results, but it doesn't seem that hard to get something good." Falkowitz recommends the diced rabbit with red chili sauce and the spicy radish with peanuts and tofu. [Photo: Yelp]

Alchemy, Texas

[Photo]

Tufino Pizzeria

[Photo]

The Strand Smokehouse

[Photo]

M. Wells Dinette

At M. Wells Dinette, chef Hugue Dufour serves versions of classic bistro and diner dishes, as well as creations that don't easily fit into any category. The menu changes daily, but Dufour frequently offers a bone marrow & escargot tart, homemade terrines, and a version of Korean bibimbap topped with an oyster and raw egg. Make sure to order one of Bethany Costello's excellent pastries for dessert.

Little Pepper Hot Pot

[Photo]

Casa Enrique

This year-old Long Island City restaurant specializes in dishes from the Chiapas region of Mexico. Standout dishes include the fresh chorizo tacos, the chicken & avocado enchiladas, and the pork shank smothered in earthy mole sauce. And if you just want chips, guac, and margaritas, the space features a long bar up front that's perfect for cocktail sipping and snacking.

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