The Best Restaurants In Flushing

Besides having one of the biggest Chinatowns, Flushing is one of the best food neighborhoods in New York City, period. Here’s where you should be eating.
The Best Restaurants In Flushing image

photo credit: Kate Previte

Flushing’s downtown area is crammed with so many delicious things to eat that just walking the length of one block can result in half a dozen side quests: Were those durian popsicles for sale outside the pharmacy? Did you see that tanghulu vendor? Those roast ducks hanging in the window look and smell amazing, maybe we should pop in. Half the fun of eating in Flushing is letting your eyes, nose, and stomach guide you, but if you need somewhere to start, check out a few of our favorite spots.


photo credit: Kate Previte



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Best North Dumpling Shop is inside a narrow shopping center on Flushing’s Main Street, and if you’re not paying attention, you’re likely to miss it. Once you find the right door, walk halfway down a hallway and look for a big yellow sign. You'll feel like you’ve stepped into a Studio Ghibli film as you place your order, then sit down at a little table tucked between a pile of rice sacks and a counter where the staff chop cabbages for filling. They sell 12 types of dumplings here, but the juicy mutton-filled ones are our favorite. 

White Bear is a tiny, takeout-only spot in Flushing with a big menu taped above the counter. That menu has 34 options on it, but the most popular thing by far is the plate of wontons with hot sauce (no. 6). These wontons come filled with pork and vegetables, and they’re incredibly soft and just a little bit chewy. An order comes with 12, which is good for a light meal. You can always get 100 frozen wontons to go if you want to make some more at home.

Szechuan Mountain House


Come to Szechuan Mountain House for face-numbing mapo tofu, sour fish and cabbage soup, and other Sichuan favorites. At this large restaurant, service is always fast and friendly, you never have to wait too long for a table, and it's great choice for a last-minute group dinner. You’ll probably see a lot of people taking photos of a tiny wooden A-frame of thinly-sliced pork belly and cucumbers hanging over a dish of spicy garlic sauce. Trust us when we say that this dish isn’t just a gimmick.

If you’re interested in trying some of the city’s best xiao long bao, prioritize a visit to Shanghai You Garden. You can choose between 10 varieties of soup dumplings, all dyed with different colors so you’ll be able to tell what you’re eating from the exterior, tender skin. Our favorites are the classic, bright yellow crab and pork (the broth tastes noticeably crabbier and more clarified than most other versions), and a giant thick-skinned version. Get a bunch of these, clink glasses with your friends, and then proceed to suck out the meaty soup out with a gargantuan straw. 

Kong Sihk Tong is a big, pastel-and-neon wonderland of Hong Kong-style food. It’s perfect for a casual breakfast or lunch when you want to hang out for a while without spending a ton of money, since the breakfast sets are all under $10. The salted egg yolk lava French toast is our favorite dish on the menu, but the beef satay instant noodle soup is a close second. They also make the best milk tea around. On weekends, expect to wait a while for a table if you don’t get there before 10am. 

Eight Jane Foods is a tiny stall with space for two or three people to stand near the register. There’s no printed menu, but you’re basically here for jianbing. Their version of the Chinese breakfast crepe is heavy on egg, and has a thin, crisp square of fried dough in the middle that adds a satisfying layer of crunch. The youtiao is also delicious, but you’ll need to come early if you want to score this coveted cruller, since they almost always run out. Bring cash, and plan to eat your food on the sidewalk.

New World Mall is New York’s biggest Asian indoor mall, and its massive basement food court is one of Flushing’s main attractions. There are around 30 food stalls in the kind of drab but still dizzying space, serving everything from xiao mian and pumpkin congee to jianbing and Uyghur lamb skewers. Lamb knife-cut noodles from Lanzhou Handmade Noodle and pan-fried pork buns from Pan Bao are must-orders. Go with a group so you can eat a lot of food, and don’t forget to stop by the cotton candy vending machine on your way out.

Just one block from the Main Street station, Soy Bean Chan is a plant shop, but it's always our first stop on a Flushing food crawl because they also sell perfectly silky and jiggly douhua. There’s nowhere to sit, but you can take your soft tofu pudding to a park with benches around the corner. It’s too hard to choose between the sweet version with ginger syrup, and the spicy one with chili oil and pickled radish—so just get both. They also have soy milk (warm or cold) and other things like tea eggs, taro cake, and fish balls. It's cash-only, but nothing on the menu costs more than $10, and most items cost less than $5.

Sitting hunched over a bowl of wontons and hot broth at Maxi’s Noodle is the ideal way to spend a chilly morning. This teeny tiny cafe specializes in Hong Kong-style noodle soup with springy egg noodles and wontons the size of a baby’s fist. You can add supersized dace fish balls and dumplings, or rich beef stew to the mix too. The food comes out fast, and space is limited, so there’s no need to linger here.

From the hanging plants to the koi fish pond, to the lavish amount of space between tables and even the paper stock used for the menus, every detail at Jiang Nan seems carefully considered. That precision extends to the food from different regions of China at this group-friendly spot. The Peking duck is the main event, and it comes with pineapple chunks in addition to the usual accoutrements. The chewy pancakes are so good, we wish we could sneak them into every Peking duck spot. Add soup dumplings, and the fried, roe-filled capelin (a type of smelt), for a meal you’ll soon want to have again.

Nurlan is among our top choices for Uyghur food, especially laghman and meat skewers. The former comes with fried fatty beef and bouncy, chewy noodles that you won’t want to stop slurping. Order the slightly sweet saffron tea, and add as many $3 skewers as your appetite can handle (but skip the onion-and-lamb samsa). If you can't choose between dining in among the tapestries, crochet tablecloths and ceramics, or taking your food to the Queens Botanical Garden across the street, just let the weather decide. 

Chong Qing Lao Zao is the Disneyland of hot pot restaurants. The space spans two and a half floors, decked out like a rural village with grass huts, big wooden water wheels, and even fake chickens. It’s a little cheesy, but we’re into it. The eating experience is just as over-the-top. You get to pick two rich broths per pot to dip your crab stick and bean curd into, with spice levels ranging from mild to please-call-my-mom, and then have a ball at the extensive sauce bar while you wait for your food. It’s on the pricier side for Flushing and you might encounter a long wait, but that’s part of the theme park experience. 

Gong Gan is a dessert cafe by day and a wine bar by night, and you should bookmark it for the next time you want to lowkey impress someone by picking an extremely cool place to meet up. The downstairs is bright and airy with lots of mirrors and avant-garde sculptural elements. The zany design extends to their signature cakes like a black tea cheesecake, decorated with a garden of colorful meringue mushrooms. A warm croffle topped with vanilla ice cream and a pile of grated brunost is more understated, but even more delicious. Upstairs, the atmosphere is a little darker and more date-night adjacent.

Sponge cakes are the main attraction at this small Taiwanese bakery near the Queens Botanical Gardens. Their version of Boston cream pie—no chocolate, just two thick, airy slices of cake, stuffed with an ethereal whipped cream—has a dedicated fandom, and we’re proud members of the club. Yeh’s also makes ultra flaky cookies and mooncakes. We like to stock up on all our favorites, then have a picnic in the gardens when the weather is nice. 

This little fluorescent-lit shop has been open since the 1970s, and it has all the hallmarks of a classic pie joint: employees wearing Yankees hats, ceiling fans with dangling strings, and just enough tables to seat a modest birthday party. Their Sicilian slices are pleasantly doughy (kind of like the ones at L&B), and the sandwiches get the job done—but what you really want is a plain cheese slice. The crust is thin and crispy with a little bit of chew, the sauce is thick and not too sweet, and the thick layer of cheese is bright orange with grease. Get a whole pie and split it with some friends in the barebones space, or take your food to go.

Frankly, multiple wedding receptions could happen at the same time in the many rooms of this dim sum spot. That is to say, there’s a lot of room here. Asian Jewels is usually pretty busy on weekend afternoons, but even then, you’ll probably only have to wait 20 or 30 minutes to eat your har gow, shumai, and steamed rice rolls. You can also stop by for dinner to eat some delicious Cantonese dishes, like a puffy chow fun with beef and salt, and pepper pork chops.

Ganesh Temple Canteen is a Flushing institution. The basement cafeteria is under the city’s first and oldest Hindu temple, and you’ll see temple-goers and tourists alike flock to the basement for idlis, sambar, and big buttery dosas. You won’t find better dosas in town, and everything on the menu is vegetarian. The canteen is a basic operation with communal tables and folding chairs, but it has just as many devotees as the deities upstairs. Buy some take-home snacks while there, and make sure to check out the gift shop on your way out.

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