There are five Chinatowns in New York. The most famous and the one visited by tourists is, of course, Chinatown in Manhattan. However, if you want to try authentic Chinese cuisine, you have to go to Flushing, Queens.
Flushing is a full-blown Asian city, with signs in Chinese and Korean characters, colorful shopping malls and the best Chinese restaurants. If you fancy a real Peking duck (for $10.) or Chinese steamed buns (just for $1) Flushing is your place.
Immediately after exiting the subway line 7, you will be surrounded by a crowd of people, and more importantly, surrounded by fabulous food. From small street stalls to multi-level restaurants – Flushing is a great place to try all the flavors of Asia. It is dominated by Chinese and Korean restaurants, but connoisseurs of Thai or Indonesian will find something for themselves as well.
Last week, we went on a culinary tour of the Queens.
We started with Xi’an Famous Foods, a Chinese family restaurant.
The word “restaurant” sounds too pompous, because Xi’an is located in the basement of the Golden Shopping Mall and is more like a street truck than a restaurant. Here you can eat here delicious, home-made pasta with lamb just for $3. To be honest, there are so many restaurants and choices here that you can easily spend a whole day just in this mall. It is cramped and noisy, and the air is filled with the smell of oil and steam from dozens of stalls selling noodles and dumplings.
Next door to Xi’an there is another great restaurant: Tianjin Dumpling House. It looks extremely humble and you can easily miss it. Many people don’t speak English here, but if you write down the name of the restaurant you are looking for and show it to any retailer, they will direct you there. Try dumplings with lamb and green tea here. For a plate of 12 dumplings, you will pay only $5.
We next went to Spicy and Tasty (at Prince St) to one of the best sichuan restaurants in New York City. Try the smoked duck in tea, or beef in a spicy sauce.
We ended at Fang Gourmet Tea (at Roosevelt Ave.) which is around the corner from the stop subway stop. Fang Gourmet Tea is the tea lover’s wine cellar or the cigar smoker’s humidor – it is all about tea. Sit down at one of the wooden tables, and the server will give you a range of teas to try, explaining exactly the origin of each of them.
Flushing is a diverse American city. Along with great Chinese food, there here is a McDonalds and Starbucks. But you can get those things anywhere, so stick with dumplings and Chinese bubble tea.
The easiest way to get to Flushing is to that 7 train Time Square. The journey takes about 45 minutes but worth it.
List of restuarants: