photo credit: Adam Friedlander

The mapo tofu from Hupo.



Long Island City

$$$$Perfect For:Big GroupsCasual Weeknight DinnerDate NightDinner with the ParentsWalk-Ins


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If you’re looking to eat Chinese food in LIC, Hupo is the best option we’ve tried by far. Turn your random Tuesday night into a party here, even if the guest list is limited to you and some Chengdu cold noodles. (It's an exclusive party.)

We can’t think of any other restaurant in the Long Island City or Astoria serving Szechuan food that tastes like what you’d find in Flushing or Lower Manhattan. To see what we mean, try the mapo tofu, which stands out partly because of its accessories. Hupo tops the dish with a small handful of ground Szechuan peppercorns (the way you'd throw a dollop of whipped cream on a sundae), and we suggest thoroughly mixing in the peppercorns and digging for bites with scallion. The excessively thick-cut scallions add a brightness that’s so often missing in sub-par mapo tofu.

Stop by with a date or a group for dinner and drinks in the indoor space, which has two separate dining rooms and a bar. Hupo offers a long list of beer, wine, and sweet-ish cocktails—which should go nicely with all the peppercorns you're about to ingest. Come here once, and you won't want to eat Chinese food from anywhere else in the neighborhood.

Food Rundown

Mapo Tofu

Thick and meaty. We haven’t had such good mapo tofu in the Long Island City and Astoria area. You need to order this.

Pea Shoots

We’d argue this is as important of an order as the mapo tofu. Despite being covered in a ton of garlic and oil, the pea shoots stay bright and crunchy.

Build Your Own Mala Dry Pot

This customizable dry pot option works especially well for group dinners. Get five-ish ingredients to split between two people (and double that amount for four people).

Cumin Lamb

Hupo's cumin lamb is one of the spicier dishes we've tried here. It's always delicious, especially when you get wok-fired onion, peppers, and lamb all in one bite.

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Suggested Reading

Hwa Yuan Szechuan image

Hwa Yuan Szechuan

A reboot of a Chinatown spot that closed decades ago, Hwa Yuan serves great Peking duck, sesame noodles, and more in a massive space on East Broadway.

Szechuan House image

Szechuan House is a Szechuan restaurant in Flushing that’s been around since the 1980s.

Birds Of A Feather image

Birds of a Feather is a Szechuan spot in Williamsburg that’s great for small groups. Stop by with some friends and share a few mouth-numbing things.

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