Queens Crossing Mall
Opened in 2008, this urban mall is a single building, four floors of shops and restaurants probably the most affluent shopping destination in Flushing. Look for Asian-themed home furnishings, Asian-inspired art, and fashionable clothes (more on Queens Crossing Mall).
One of the longest established herbalists in Flushing is Shun An Tong Health Herbal Co. (135-24 Roosevelt Ave), just west of Main Street. You can watch the herbalist prepare remedies from ginseng, mushrooms, shark's fin, and other traditional medicines.
Bookshops and Stationery
Flushing Chinatown boasts a number of Chinese bookstores.
- Chung Hwa Books on Roosevelt is convenient to cafes and bakeries for adjourning after finding a new read (135-29 Roosevelt Ave).
- World Book Store, on the other side of Main Street, has the better selection (136-19 38th Ave). The first floor and basement are devoted to books and magazines. Make sure to check out the new glossy magazines coming out of Shanghai. There is a good selection of children's books and games in Chinese. The second floor is devoted to stationery, gifts, and toys, both Hello Kitty types for kids and less fun knickknacks for grown-ups.
Magic Castle should not be missed (136-82 39th Ave). This is a Korean pop culture store that sells toys, stickers, and much more emblazoned with cute characters like Hello Kitty, Kogepan, Pucca, Dragonball Z, and San-X. They also have pop music hits from Korea on CD. They carry low-priced jewelry, hair clips, and more for teenage girls. (Magic Castle is part of Opane, with another store in Manhattan and a great website.)
On Prince Street, south of Roosevelt, Star CD (40-09 Prince St) has the latest Chinese pop music. That means a lot of dance and club music as well as ballads.
There is an Old Navy at the intersection of Main and Roosevelt, just outside the 7 subway (136-02 Roosevelt Ave). Across the street, a Benetton Outlet sells fashion at a discount (40-06 Main St, 718-461-7777).
Household Goods and Chinese Imports
The Double Star Trading Company (135-05 Roosevelt Ave) stocks hardware and household goods, including woks and cooking implements at decent prices. Most fun are the Chinese import items in the back of the crowded shop, like incense and specialty paper goods. There are bundles of money for sale: currency issued by the Bank of Heaven or the Bank of Hell for burning at funerals.
The Flushing Mall
This indoor mall has lots of small shops, that sell everything including Hong Kong fashion, jewelry, art, toys, and cell phones. Plus there is a food court and offices for community organizations. There are bargains to be found at the Flushing Mall, though the real appeal of the mall is convenience. With so many retailers in one location, it is easy to shop and browse with friends and family and get a lot done in a short time. Although people from all over shop at the mall, the main clientele are Chinese. Many stores stock items from East Asia, or clothes tailored for East Asians. Loudspeaker announcements are in Chinese. However, there is no need to be intimidated. If a clerk doesn't speak English well, there is sure to be someone else in the store who does.
Toy Qube is our pick for the best of the Flusing Mall. It sells "urban vinyl," toys and collectibles made by artists. Think toys for grown-ups, more than toys for kids.
For stationery, stickers, and toys marked with Korean, Chinese, and Japanese cartoon characters, check out Joyce Shop (718-359-4678) on the second floor. They stock all sorts of Chinese pop-star items for the teenybopper crowd and at good prices. If you're searching for the waving cat (a.k.a. the beckoning cat or maneki neko), he is also available in a sparkling gold variety, battery-powered for $10.
Do not miss the True Love Wedding Center (718-321-3666), a huge wedding photography studio on the second floor of the mall. The display photos of preening brides and grooms are a delight!
Several of the restaurants in the food court have earned praise. The best places serve dumplings, noodles, fried rice, or hot pots, nothing too fancy, but done right.
133-31 39 Ave (at Prince St)
Flushing, NY 11354
Open: Sunday to Thursday: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.