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Korean food | © bourre / Pixabay
Korean food | © bourre / Pixabay
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The Best Ethnic Restaurants in Queens, New York City

Picture of Julia Goicochea
Updated: 10 September 2017
Thanks to incredibly diverse inhabitants (no one ethnic group makes up a majority of the borough’s population), Queens, New York has become an unlikely international dining destination. From bubbling Shanghainese soup buns to Greek-style seafood, New York’s largest borough invites eaters to taste the world without ever leaving the city. Here are the 10 top ethnic eateries you need to experience in Queens, New York.

District Saigon

Restaurant, Vietnamese, $$$
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Straight from the streets of Vietnam, District Saigon’s down-home delicacies are not to be missed. Beer-simmered clams, salt-and-pepper fried shrimp, and chicken wings caramelized in a garlicky fish sauce are just a sampling of the unique offerings at this Astoria eatery.
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Mon - Fri:
12:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Mon - Fri:
5:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Sat:
11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Sun:
11:00 am - 10:00 pm

Arepa Lady

Restaurant, South American, $$$
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For more than 20 years, one Queens resident delighted thousands of outdoor eaters with her sidewalk food stand. Now, you can visit this local legend at her eponymous brick-and-mortar business, Arepa Lady. Arepas, or cheesy griddled corn cakes, come stuffed with juicy chicharron, grilled chicken, skirt steak, and more, while ethnic classics such as meat-topped plantains and Colombian kebabs round out the menu.

The Arepa Lady is forever a New York legend. (📷: @food_p.o.r.n_ny) #feastagram

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Mon - Thu:
11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Fri - Sat:
11:00 am - 12:00 am
Sun:
11:00 am - 10:00 pm

Pochana

Restaurant, Thai, $$$
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A taste of traditional Thailand is closer than you may think. At Astoria’s Pochana, a menu of family recipes caters to homesick consumers—and in-the-know eaters. From Grandma’s pork chops to Uncle New’s crab curry to ethnic staples such as Thai basil fried rice, Pochana provides some of the city’s most comforting cuisine, regardless of where you’re from.

Sometimes you just crave a classic. Order from us via @trycaviarnyc today! #padthai

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Sun - Sat:
11:30 am - 10:30 pm

Taverna Kyclades

Restaurant, Greek, $$$
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More than 1,700 Yelp reviews don’t lie: the Greek cuisine at Taverna Kyclades is well worth a schlep to Astoria. While menu items such as pan-fried Greek cheese and Greek-style grilled quail are scrumptious supporting players, it’s Kyclades’ seafood selection that steals the show. Meaty swordfish kebabs, grilled baby shark, and whole Mediterranean sea bass make every meal feel like a seaside escape.

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Mon - Thu:
12:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Fri - Sat:
12:00 pm - 11:30 pm
Sun:
12:00 pm - 10:30 pm

Golden Shopping Mall

Restaurant, Chinese, $$$
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Only in New York could a mall food court beat out thousands of neighboring eateries as the local’s favorite. Skip the stores at Golden Shopping Mall in Flushing, Queens and head straight to its underground food hall, home to the city’s most authentic Chinese cuisine. Those willing to brave any language barriers (a majority of the menus are in Mandarin and Cantonese) will be rewarded with scrambled egg chive pancakes, lamb and beef burgers, oxtail noodles, and more.

Sometimes you need to add a bit of wontons to your #hotoil

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I Love Paraguay

Restaurant, South American, $$$
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Experience Paraguayan cooking (one of the country’s most underrepresented Latin cuisines) at I Love Paraguay. Here, generous portions of filled-to-the-brim empanadas, cheesy corn pudding, and massive meat platters are served with warmth. Treating (and feeding) patrons like guests in a private home, the restaurant makes it easy to love Paraguay.

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Tue - Thu:
9:00 am - 10:00 pm
Fri - Sat:
9:00 am - 11:00 pm
Sun:
9:00 am - 10:00 pm

Sik Gaek

Restaurant, Korean, $$$
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Adventurous eaters swear by Sik Gaek, a Korean restaurant known for its ultra-fresh cuisine. For those who dare to dine here, be sure to try Sik Gaek’s live seafood hot pot, in which squirming octopus, lobster, and more are cooked as you eat. Traditionalists will find plenty to love here too, such as cheesy, creamy udon and seafood scallion pancakes.
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Sun - Thu:
2:00 pm - 2:00 am
Fri - Sat:
2:00 pm - 3:00 am

Tito Rad’s Grill

Restaurant, Asian, $$$
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At Filipino hot spot Tito Rad’s Grill, “lutong bahay,” or a taste of home, is what’s on the menu. Sizzling sisig, grilled pork belly in vinegar, and tuna belly in coconut milk are just a few of the Filipino plates offered at this Woodside restaurant.

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Mon - Fri:
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sat - Sun:
10:00 am - 10:00 pm

Tortilleria Nixtamal

Restaurant, Mexican, $$$
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Don’t call it a trend: the all-natural, homemade, and mostly gluten-free ingredients at Tortilleria Nixtamal are as classically Mexican as things come. Using the same process employed by ancient Mesoamerican peoples, this Latin establishment has earned rave reviews for its authentic corn tortillas. Enjoy yours as a taco stuffed with rotisserie pork or as a layered quesadilla before washing it all down with a Mexican-style soda or spicy hot chocolate.

in my mind's eye

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Thu:
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Fri - Sat:
11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Sun:
11:00 am - 9:00 pm

Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao

Restaurant, Chinese, $$$
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Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao, which has more than 2,500 Yelp reviews, serves some of the most sought-after snacks in New York City. Foodies from all five boroughs flock here to sample this Shanghainese hot spot’s signature dish, soup dumplings. Follow their lead, and you’ll find that these super-sized snacks, bursting with pork, crab, and bubbling broth, will prove well worth your trip.

These scallion pancakes with beef are not to be missed. Do not forget it. #EEEEEATS 📷: @food.drunk

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