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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 that the critics, bloggers, and restaurant obsessives are buzzing about right now. Check it out:

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/reopening 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 05/05/2013: 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.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Hibino LIC

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10-70 Jackson Ave
Queens, NY 11101
(718) 392-5190
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The owners of Cobble Hill Japanese favorite Hibino just opened a sunny new location in Long Island City. Just like the Brooklyn original, the new restaurant offers sushi, salads, homemade tofu dishes, and entrees like teriyaki chicken and broiled miso-marinated salmon. The kitchen uses top-notch ingredients, and many of the entrees are priced under $20. [Photo: Hibino]

2. EIM Khao Mun Kai

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8132 Broadway
Elmhurst, NY 11373
(347) 554-4862
The Yelpers love this tiny new Elmhurst restaurant dedicated to Hainanese chicken and rice. For $8.99, you can get a plate of juicy chicken over jasmine rice with soup and a handful of sauces on the side. Head over to Chopstick and Marrow for a close-up look at the specialty dish here. [Photo: Yelp]

3. The Bao Shoppe

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3066 Steinway St
Astoria, NY 11103
(718) 777-1883
At this Astoria newcomer, first-time restaurateur Johnny Shek is serving overstuffed baos, fried snacks, and bubble teas. In addition to a traditional braised pork belly bao, The Bao Shoppe also offers versions filled with smoked brisket, pulled pork, and marinated ribeye. Shek recently told DNAinfo that he's constantly tweaking the menu and hopes to add some seafood baos this summer. [Photo: Facebook]

4. Front Toward Enemy

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40-11 30th Ave
Astoria, NY 11103
(718) 545-2269
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Astoria restaurateurs Tim Lorito and Matt Dill tapped Pegu Club veteran Scott Teague to draw up the cocktail list for this lodge-like new gastropub in the old Canz space. The opening food menu at Front Toward Enemy has hearty dishes like cod & chips, braised lamb shoulder, Shepherd's pie, and wild mushroom risotto, plus oysters, charcuterie, cheeses, and bar snacks. Most of the entrees are priced under $16. [Photo: Front Toward Enemy]

5. Maizal Astoria

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32-07 34th Ave
Astoria, NY 11106
(718) 406-9431
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The team behind Staten Island Mexican restaurant Maizal recently opened a second outpost on 34th Avenue in Astoria. Maizal serves a slightly upscale version of traditional Mexican cuisine made with top-notch ingredients, some of which are imported directly from Mexico. The menu includes a section devoted to vegan and vegetarian entrees, and the restaurant offers a $19 three-course prix fixe Tuesday through Thursday. [Photo: Maizal/Facebook]

6. Dhaulagiri Kitchen

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3738 72nd Street
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
(718) 457-7766
At this tiny, year-old Jackson Heights restaurant inside an Indian bakery, Kamala Gaucha serves authentic, inexpensive Nepalese cuisine. Before opening this restaurant, Ms. Gaucha cooked at the nearby Himalayan Yak. In her Hungry City review, Ligaya Mishan recommends getting the thali, a set meal that has curry, pickles, and starch. Andrew Zimmern is also a fan. [Yelp]

7. Little Lamb

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4024 College Point Blvd.
Flushing, NY 11354
Massive international hot pot chain Little Lamb recently opened its very first New York location. Situated inside the Skyview Shopping Center, the restaurant offers several types of hot pot broths with a long list of add-ins, plus meat pies, noodles, dumplings, and Mongolian barbecue. Little Lamb is on Level B of the shopping center, right between the Chase bank and the Applebee’s. [Photo: Brownstoner Queens]

8. Arunee Thai

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78-23 37th Ave
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
In January, the owners of Jackson Heights favorite Arunee Thai closed their 19-year-old restaurant and reopened it up the block in a bigger space. The new Arunee Thai has a more contemporary feel, with exposed brick walls, clean woodwork, and a full bar up front. The menu has stayed exactly the same. [Facebook]

9. El Bombon

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73-13 Roosevelt Avenue
Queens, NY 11377
718-205-2996
Robert Sietsema recommends this new, no-frills Jackson Heights taqueria, which serves tacos, roasted meat dishes, and hearty soups. Sietsema likes the braised goat with yellow rice, beans, tortillas, and Pueblan beef-and-veggie soup. Robert notes: "At $12.50, this humongous meal has to be one of the best deals in Jackson Heights." [El Bombon by Robert Sietsema]

10. M. Wells Steakhouse

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43-15 Crescent St
Long Island City, NY 11101
(718) 786-9060
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In addition to steaks, this stylish new restaurant from the M. Wells team serves things like "BBQ mussels on a stick," foie gras-stuffed gnocchi, a "stack of pork chops," and scallop stew topped with mashed potatoes. The fish come from a tank in the kitchen, and the desserts come from a stationary pastry trolley. Pete Wells and many other critics suggest skipping the steaks, and ordering one of the fish dishes as a main course. [Photo: Facebook]

11. Houdini

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15-63 Decatur St
Ridgewood, NY 11385
Houdini is the new Ridgewood pizzeria from Massimiliano Bartoli and Pilar Rigon, who previously operated Miss Williamsburg Diner. Houdini serves 12'' Neapolitan-style pizzas with simple topping combinations, like pancetta and basil, and tomato with garlic and oregano. The menu also includes two salads and three desserts. [Photo: Facebook]

12. Venturo

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44-07 Queens Blvd
Sunnyside, NY 11104
Venturo is the rustic new Sunnyside Italian restaurant from the team behind Vesta and Pachanga Patterson. The menu includes a handful of salads, Neapolitan-style pizzas, three pastas, and a few mains, like a pork chop and a roasted chicken leg. All the pastas, breads, and cheeses are made in house. Judging from the early word on Yelp and Foursquare, it looks like Venturo is already a hit with the neighbors. [Venturo]

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1. Hibino LIC

10-70 Jackson Ave, Queens, NY 11101
The owners of Cobble Hill Japanese favorite Hibino just opened a sunny new location in Long Island City. Just like the Brooklyn original, the new restaurant offers sushi, salads, homemade tofu dishes, and entrees like teriyaki chicken and broiled miso-marinated salmon. The kitchen uses top-notch ingredients, and many of the entrees are priced under $20. [Photo: Hibino]
10-70 Jackson Ave
Queens, NY 11101

2. EIM Khao Mun Kai

8132 Broadway, Elmhurst, NY 11373
The Yelpers love this tiny new Elmhurst restaurant dedicated to Hainanese chicken and rice. For $8.99, you can get a plate of juicy chicken over jasmine rice with soup and a handful of sauces on the side. Head over to Chopstick and Marrow for a close-up look at the specialty dish here. [Photo: Yelp]
8132 Broadway
Elmhurst, NY 11373

3. The Bao Shoppe

3066 Steinway St, Astoria, NY 11103
At this Astoria newcomer, first-time restaurateur Johnny Shek is serving overstuffed baos, fried snacks, and bubble teas. In addition to a traditional braised pork belly bao, The Bao Shoppe also offers versions filled with smoked brisket, pulled pork, and marinated ribeye. Shek recently told DNAinfo that he's constantly tweaking the menu and hopes to add some seafood baos this summer. [Photo: Facebook]
3066 Steinway St
Astoria, NY 11103

4. Front Toward Enemy

40-11 30th Ave, Astoria, NY 11103
Astoria restaurateurs Tim Lorito and Matt Dill tapped Pegu Club veteran Scott Teague to draw up the cocktail list for this lodge-like new gastropub in the old Canz space. The opening food menu at Front Toward Enemy has hearty dishes like cod & chips, braised lamb shoulder, Shepherd's pie, and wild mushroom risotto, plus oysters, charcuterie, cheeses, and bar snacks. Most of the entrees are priced under $16. [Photo: Front Toward Enemy]
40-11 30th Ave
Astoria, NY 11103

5. Maizal Astoria

32-07 34th Ave, Astoria, NY 11106
The team behind Staten Island Mexican restaurant Maizal recently opened a second outpost on 34th Avenue in Astoria. Maizal serves a slightly upscale version of traditional Mexican cuisine made with top-notch ingredients, some of which are imported directly from Mexico. The menu includes a section devoted to vegan and vegetarian entrees, and the restaurant offers a $19 three-course prix fixe Tuesday through Thursday. [Photo: Maizal/Facebook]
32-07 34th Ave
Astoria, NY 11106

6. Dhaulagiri Kitchen

3738 72nd Street, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
At this tiny, year-old Jackson Heights restaurant inside an Indian bakery, Kamala Gaucha serves authentic, inexpensive Nepalese cuisine. Before opening this restaurant, Ms. Gaucha cooked at the nearby Himalayan Yak. In her Hungry City review, Ligaya Mishan recommends getting the thali, a set meal that has curry, pickles, and starch. Andrew Zimmern is also a fan. [Yelp]
3738 72nd Street
Jackson Heights, NY 11372

7. Little Lamb

4024 College Point Blvd., Flushing, NY 11354
Massive international hot pot chain Little Lamb recently opened its very first New York location. Situated inside the Skyview Shopping Center, the restaurant offers several types of hot pot broths with a long list of add-ins, plus meat pies, noodles, dumplings, and Mongolian barbecue. Little Lamb is on Level B of the shopping center, right between the Chase bank and the Applebee’s. [Photo: Brownstoner Queens]
4024 College Point Blvd.
Flushing, NY 11354

8. Arunee Thai

78-23 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
In January, the owners of Jackson Heights favorite Arunee Thai closed their 19-year-old restaurant and reopened it up the block in a bigger space. The new Arunee Thai has a more contemporary feel, with exposed brick walls, clean woodwork, and a full bar up front. The menu has stayed exactly the same. [Facebook]
78-23 37th Ave
Jackson Heights, NY 11372

9. El Bombon

73-13 Roosevelt Avenue, Queens, NY 11377
Robert Sietsema recommends this new, no-frills Jackson Heights taqueria, which serves tacos, roasted meat dishes, and hearty soups. Sietsema likes the braised goat with yellow rice, beans, tortillas, and Pueblan beef-and-veggie soup. Robert notes: "At $12.50, this humongous meal has to be one of the best deals in Jackson Heights." [El Bombon by Robert Sietsema]
73-13 Roosevelt Avenue
Queens, NY 11377

10. M. Wells Steakhouse

43-15 Crescent St, Long Island City, NY 11101
In addition to steaks, this stylish new restaurant from the M. Wells team serves things like "BBQ mussels on a stick," foie gras-stuffed gnocchi, a "stack of pork chops," and scallop stew topped with mashed potatoes. The fish come from a tank in the kitchen, and the desserts come from a stationary pastry trolley. Pete Wells and many other critics suggest skipping the steaks, and ordering one of the fish dishes as a main course. [Photo: Facebook]
43-15 Crescent St
Long Island City, NY 11101

11. Houdini

15-63 Decatur St, Ridgewood, NY 11385
Houdini is the new Ridgewood pizzeria from Massimiliano Bartoli and Pilar Rigon, who previously operated Miss Williamsburg Diner. Houdini serves 12'' Neapolitan-style pizzas with simple topping combinations, like pancetta and basil, and tomato with garlic and oregano. The menu also includes two salads and three desserts. [Photo: Facebook]
15-63 Decatur St
Ridgewood, NY 11385

12. Venturo

44-07 Queens Blvd, Sunnyside, NY 11104
Venturo is the rustic new Sunnyside Italian restaurant from the team behind Vesta and Pachanga Patterson. The menu includes a handful of salads, Neapolitan-style pizzas, three pastas, and a few mains, like a pork chop and a roasted chicken leg. All the pastas, breads, and cheeses are made in house. Judging from the early word on Yelp and Foursquare, it looks like Venturo is already a hit with the neighbors. [Venturo]
44-07 Queens Blvd
Sunnyside, NY 11104

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