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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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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Bunker

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46-63 Metropolitan Ave
Ridgewood, NY 11385
(718) 386-4282

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]

2. Mamak House

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35-20 Farrington Street
Flushing, NY 11355
(718) 886-4828
[Foursquare]

3. Forno Pizzeria & Trattoria

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52-27 69th St
Maspeth, NY 11378
(718) 424-1200
[Photo: Facebook]

4. MP Taverna

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31-29 Ditmars Blvd
Astoria, NY 11105
(718) 777-2187

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.

5. The Shady Lady

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34-19 30th Ave
Astoria, NY 11103
(718) 440-9081

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.

6. Láo Chéng Dū

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37-17 Prince St
Flushing, NY 11354
(718) 886-5595

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]

7. Alchemy, Texas

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71-04 35th Avenue
Jackson Heights, NY
(718) 899-9553
[Photo]

8. Tufino Pizzeria

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36-08 Ditmars Blvd
Astoria, NY 11105
[Photo]

9. The Strand Smokehouse

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2527 Broadway
Astoria, NY 11106
(718) 545-2120
[Photo]

10. M. Wells Dinette

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22-25 Jackson Ave
Queens, NY 11101
(718) 784-2084

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.

11. Little Pepper Hot Pot

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133-43 Roosevelt Ave.
Flushing, NY 11354
(718) 690-2206
[Photo]

12. Casa Enrique

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5-48 49th Ave
Long Island City, NY 11101
(347) 448-6040

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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1. Bunker

46-63 Metropolitan Ave, Ridgewood, NY 11385

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]

46-63 Metropolitan Ave
Ridgewood, NY 11385

2. Mamak House

35-20 Farrington Street, Flushing, NY 11355
[Foursquare]
35-20 Farrington Street
Flushing, NY 11355

3. Forno Pizzeria & Trattoria

52-27 69th St, Maspeth, NY 11378
[Photo: Facebook]
52-27 69th St
Maspeth, NY 11378

4. MP Taverna

31-29 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria, NY 11105

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.

31-29 Ditmars Blvd
Astoria, NY 11105

5. The Shady Lady

34-19 30th Ave, Astoria, NY 11103

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.

34-19 30th Ave
Astoria, NY 11103

6. Láo Chéng Dū

37-17 Prince St, Flushing, NY 11354

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]

37-17 Prince St
Flushing, NY 11354

7. Alchemy, Texas

71-04 35th Avenue, Jackson Heights, NY
[Photo]
71-04 35th Avenue
Jackson Heights, NY

8. Tufino Pizzeria

36-08 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria, NY 11105
[Photo]
36-08 Ditmars Blvd
Astoria, NY 11105

9. The Strand Smokehouse

2527 Broadway, Astoria, NY 11106
[Photo]
2527 Broadway
Astoria, NY 11106

10. M. Wells Dinette

22-25 Jackson Ave, Queens, NY 11101

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.

22-25 Jackson Ave
Queens, NY 11101

11. Little Pepper Hot Pot

133-43 Roosevelt Ave., Flushing, NY 11354
[Photo]
133-43 Roosevelt Ave.
Flushing, NY 11354

12. Casa Enrique

5-48 49th Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101

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.

5-48 49th Ave
Long Island City, NY 11101

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