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Flushing, Queens: Guide to Eating Out

Restaurants and Food Vendors in Flushing Chinatown

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Ocean Jewels Dim Sum

Ocean Jewels Dim Sum

Photo (c) John Roleke
Restaurants in Flushing
As in most Chinatowns, there are restaurants on nearly every street in downtown Flushing, but one strip holds my attention. On Prince Street near 38th and 39th Avenues, around the corner from the Flushing Mall and a couple of blocks from Main Street, a few excellent eating establishments rub shoulders. How or why this block has produced so many delicious meals, I cannot explain. I restrict my pondering to which one I should pick for lunch today.

Spicy and Tasty (39-07 Prince St, 718-359-1601) is amazing. The Sichuan peppercorns will blow the socks off your tonsils, but then there's a lovely tingling and taste that's unexpected and deeply satisfying. Doused in red peppery oil, this is spicy food, but not crazy hot like real Thai food. The timid will inherit the tea smoked duck, and still walk away happy.

Green Papaya Thai Cuisine (38-12 Prince St, 718-353-1888) serves excellent Thai food.

Pho Vietnamese Restaurant (3802 Prince St, 718-461-8686) has tasty pho beef noodle soup and other Vietnamese dishes. It's one of the best deals on Prince Street for price and quality. 66 Lu's Seafood (38-18 Prince St, 718-321-0904) is highly recommended for its Taiwanese food, especially for rice sausage and oyster pancakes.

Sentosa Malaysia Cuisine (39-07 Prince St, 718-886-6331) serves delicious Malaysian food. Definitely try the sate, especially if you're with child or children. Grilled chicken sticks are a hit at any age. Sentosa's roti canai will hold up to the best you've had in NYC, and I love the way the chef cooks squid.

Dim Sum in Flushing

Dim sum -- like a Chinese brunch of snacks and tea -- is a great way to relax on a weekend morning. Here's our top three restaurant picks for the best dim sum in Flushing.

Highly recommended for dim sum is Ocean Jewels Seafood (133-30 39th Ave, 718-359-860)

For Vegetarians

For vegetarian Chinese food (also kosher), the long-time name is Buddha Bodai, which is several blocks south of the heart of Chinatown (42-96 Main St, 718-939-1188). There are no animal products used in the cooking.

Downtown Dumplings: Street Food in Flushing

There are many places to get a quick, cheap bite to eat in downtown Flushing. Just below the LIRR tracks there’s always a line at a window counter for fried noodles. Walk a couple blocks in either direction and you will find several small restaurants and street vendors serving up filling portions fast. (Bubble tea cafes and Chinese bakeries are covered on the next page.)

The pick of the litter is the Dumpling Stall on 41st Avenue (across from a Starbucks). At four dumplings for a dollar, you can’t go wrong. The dumplings are pan-fried and big enough to fill your stomach but not the floppy puddles of dough found at too many Chinese restaurants. There are also soups, fried noodles, and other quick dishes for sale. Nothing costs more than a couple of dollars. Get yours to go from the window on the sidewalk or step inside to claim one of the few stools.

Don't get the wrong impression that Flushing is only about Asian food. There are diners, a McDonald's, and pizzerias, like most places in Queens. Because of the sidewalk traffic, hot dog and kebab vendors do great business. The two most popular carts are at the corners of Main and 38th Avenue and 39th Avenue, just outside St. George's Church. For a $1.50 you can't beat a chicken kebab, seasoned with lemon or hot sauce, served on stick with a piece of Italian bread. And Joe's Best Burger steps up the fast-food experience with fresh-cooked burgers and fries.

Food Shopping

Hong Kong Supermarket in the Hong Kong Plaza (37-11 Main St, 718-539-6868) stocks Chinese and Asian groceries.

Han Ah Reum (29-02 Union St) is a Korean market that supplies the most essential summer drink mix: citron tea.

Next >> Still have room for more?: Bubble tea cafes and Chinese bakeries

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