As New York’s most ethnically diverse borough, Queens is a local mecca for adventurous eaters. The neighborhood of Jamaica
lives up to the borough’s hype, hosting 100% vegetarian diners, old-school Salvadoran cuisine, classic North American breakfast spots, and more. Here, we’ve rounded up eight of the best places to start your day in Jamaica, Queens.
Restaurant, North American, $$$
You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu at soul food hot spot Vibes
, whose breakfast options include grits, shrimp omelets, baked mac and cheese, and Jack Daniels and Hennessy-seasoned wings. The spot’s friendly service—and generously poured drinks—are sure to keep the good vibes going.
Restaurant, Salvadorian, $$$
At El Comal
, the neighborhood’s diverse group of locals dig into authentic Salvadoran food served in a down-to-earth setting. The Central American breakfast menu features plenty of cheesy plantains, refried beans, house-made corn tortillas, and crema
to go around. And while not traditionally considered breakfast items, it’s always the right time for El Comal’s pupusas,
or traditional Salvadoran tortillas stuffed with chicken and cheese, pork and refried beans, and more.
An immigrant-owned business whose authentic West Indian cuisine attracts celebrities and neighborhood regulars alike, Genesis
represents everything that’s great about New York City. This tiny spot, which serves up comforting plantain porridge, spiced mackerel with banana, codfish with stewed greens, and much more,
is bursting with flavor.
The Panorama of My Silence-Heart
Cafe, Healthy, $$$
One of two local spots inspired by the spiritual teacher (and former Queens resident) Sri Chinmoy, The Panorama of My Silence-Heart
—known locally as Panorama Café—delivers plant-powered goodness to Jamaica residents. The café’s healthy, filling fare includes spiced coconut oatmeal, super-sized omelets and salads, fresh sandwiches, and more. A popular spot amongst students and laptop workers, Panorama’s red velvet lattes, Ayurvedic teas, and fresh smoothies are the perfect choices to fuel your day.
Restaurant, Caribbean, $$$
At popular New York chain El Rey
, traditional Dominican fare and classic North American cuisine share space on the menu. You can expect more savory than sweet flavors at El Rey, where they serve traditional hamburgers and cheese omelets alongside fried salami, meat-stuffed potato fritters, and mangu,
or garlicky mashed plantains. If you’re craving confectionaries, the restaurant’s flan, Dominican cake, and tres leches
are guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth.
South American, $$$
Whether you’re hungry for a hearty breakfast or a light bite, trust Colombian bakery and breakfast spot Nutripan 2
to cook up something perfect for you. Scrambled eggs with seasoned rice, grilled steak with cheesy corn cakes, delicate guava pastries, and bite-sized balls of fried dough are all on the menu at this favorite local spot.
Diner, North American, $$$
Get your classic diner fare at Avenita Diner
, where piles of pancakes, syrupy French toast, eggs, bacon, and the rest of the usual suspects don’t disappoint. Serving up morning meals from opening ‘til closing time, the most important meal of your day awaits you at Avenita.
Smile of the Beyond
Diner, Healthy, $$$
For Jamaica residents, the 100% vegetarian diner Smile of the Beyond
is as unexpected as it is welcome. Serving up filling food that won’t weigh you down since 1972, the restaurant’s flavorful tofu scramble, jam-packed breakfast wraps, and veggie-filled omelets are sure to make you smile.