With its “locals only” atmosphere, Jamaica is Queens’ best-kept secret—and one we’re happy to spill! Next time you’re hankering for some destination dining (think freshly made dumplings, soul food, and vegetarian diner grub), consider one of the best restaurants in Jamaica, Queens
Restaurant, American, Soul Food, $$$
At Jamaica’s aptly named Vibes
, stellar soul food is served alongside DJ-spun tunes and a relaxed environment. For the best Hennessy chicken wings, red velvet waffles with chicken, and macaroni pie (not to mention some positive vibes) this side of the South, this Queens hot spot has you covered.
Beijing Dumpling House
Restaurant, Chinese, $$$
While the rest of Queens flocks to nearby Flushing, Jamaica locals enjoy their dumpling fix at Beijing Dumpling House
. Here, vegetable, pork, and shrimp dumplings are made fresh in front of you before being steamed or fried to your liking. Tip: Diners hungry for heat shouldn’t skip the eatery’s spicy chili oil dumplings.
Restaurant, Portuguese, Spanish, $$$
For nearly 40 years, O Lavrador
has been the Jamaica local’s pick for Spanish and Portuguese plates. Some of the authentic Iberian bites here include the paella with lobster, mussels, and scallops, homemade sausage flambéed tableside, and Portuguese chicken churrasco. The must-try dish? A seafood specialty comprising lobster, shrimp, and scallops in a champagne sauce served with rice.
Restaurant, Indian, $$$
Even in a melting pot like New York City, authentic Bangladeshi cuisine can be difficult to come by. That’s why the tandoori fish,
, and pulao rice at Panahar
are so popular with Queens eaters. Strangers to Bangladeshi cuisine need not worry—Panahar’s extensive menu offers a dish for every appetite.
Restaurant, Jamaican, $$$
Jamaican fare that’s no frills, all flavor is what’s on offer at this casual Queens counter. Patties are the focus at Jamaican Flavors
and come in spicy beef, curry chicken, jerk chicken, and more varieties. Whichever you choose, be sure to complete your experience with cheese, coco bread, and a Jamaican soda.
Sangria Tapas Bar & Restaurant
Restaurant, Portuguese, Spanish, Tapas, $$$
Bring the whole family to Sangria Tapas Bar & Restaurant
, where we guarantee you’ll want to sample the entire menu. Tortilla Española, croquetas, and fragrant seafood paella round out the selection of sharable Spanish and Portuguese plates served in a quality environment.
Smile of the Beyond
Diner, Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, $$$
Visit Smile of the Beyond
to discover how New York’s first vegetarian diner continues to be one of the city’s premier plant-based destinations. Since 1972, the restaurant has fueled Queens eaters with loaded omelets, veggie wraps, and protein-packed smoothies. Alternative eats, including vegan tofu scramble, soy sausage and bacon, and vegan cheese, are well worth trying here.
A Churrasqueira Restaurante
Restaurant, Portuguese, $$$
Experience Portuguese home-cooking at A Churrasqueira Restaurante
. Here, everything from down-to-earth eats, such as homestyle grilled cod fish, seafood casserole, and grilled Portuguese sausage in grappa flame, to an expansive wine list to live entertainment provides a dining experience not usually found past Portugal’s borders.