Have the Best Food Day of Your Life
By Annie Cheng
Please enjoy the guide below by Annie Cheng, and check out the links below that, as I have a VERY important question. —Katherine
The Best Food in the Best Borough
by Annie Cheng
They don't call it "the world's borough" for no reason: over 130 languages are spoken in Queens, New York City. One of my favorite pastimes is taking long, hundred-block walks under the above-ground tracks of the beloved 7 train that bridges Manhattan and Queens, running laterally into Flushing. This guide celebrates the non-restaurant food vendors that cluster around the 7 train’s keystone stations.
3 Aunties Market: With two locations within blocks of the 61st-Woodside station, the grocery stores are favored by locals for rarer Thai pantry staples and prepared foods, including housemade green curry, noodle soups, pandan jelly, grilled pork and sticky rice, and fried fish. Starting June 2023, shoppers can pull up a stool and order from the hot menu. There is just one item available: tom yum noodle soup. You can add a Thai iced tea for $2.75.
Jugo Naturales y Tamales: Another notable 61st-Woodside mention: Jugo Naturales y Tamales, stuffed below the underhang of a now-closed fried chicken shop. The most prominent printed menu features fresh vegetable and fruit juices, but per the handwritten signs and massive tamale steamers, it’s got more to offer. Accepting only cash and Zelle, the owners sling a variety of incredible tamales: savory chicken with red sauce and roasted peppers, Oaxaquan style with chicken and green sauce, or mole.
Fuska House: Fuska House is one of a cluster of food carts near the 74th-Jackson Heights stop, slinging Bangladeshi chat (street snacks). Filled with a mixture of seasoned mashed potatoes, lentils, yogurt and/or chickpeas, the crispy fuska semolina shells are served with chutney or tamarind water and topped with grated hard-boiled egg, cilantro, red onion, and chilis. Other offerings include bhelpuri, fruit chaats, and cups of spiced motka tea.
Wong Kwong Hop Tofu: A brief walk from the 90th St.-Elmhurst station you’ll see Wong Kwong Tofu shop, which primarily supplies the local neighborhood restaurants. You can order from the window to sample some of its wares at smaller quantities. There’s no seating, but you can take both ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook menu items home to try out. The menu features the Chinese classic tofu pudding with ginger syrup, fresh hard and soft tofu blocks, bottled soy milk, rice rolls, and chewy tofu puffs.
Taco el Lobo: Just a few blocks away from the 103 St.-Corona Plaza is Taco el Lobo, which is open only on weekends from 9am-9pm. The beef headliner surtida is made every morning, flavorful, and chopped on a wooden butcher block Mexico City-style. Offerings span pork, chicken and beef cuts, including masiza, cuero, costilla, pastor, chorizo, buche, lengua, barbacoa, and panzita. Wash it down with a Jarritos soda or a massive $30 cantarito cocktail served in a clay cup with grapefruit, orange, and lemon juice, with your choice of mezcal or tequila.
Cevichocho carts: Dozens of Latin American regional specialty carts vie for attention in Corona Plaza, from tripa mishqui to pozole. Cevichochos, an Andean traditional dish, is vegetarian by default with a blend of lupini beans, tomatoes, corn, red onion ,and cilantro topped with fried plantain chips. Common optional add-ons include fried pork skins or shrimp.
Tarim Uyghur Cuisine : The New World Mall food court near Flushing station is chock-full of good eats, but Tarim Uyghur Food is one of the tastiest and most distinctive. Tarim serves halal Uyghur staples like “big tray chicken,” lamb kebabs, hand-pulled wheat noodles, and roujiamo, a flatbread sandwich stuffed with minced lamb. The juicy kebab is a go-to, laced generously with cumin, chilis, and aromatics. You can eat it right off the metal skewer it’s cooked on.
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There are In-N-Out knockoffs across Mexico! That In-N-Out, so alluring.
New indoor/vertical farm start-ups are launching around the country … just as many others are folding. It might not be sustainable from a business standpoint, and it may not even be environmentally sound. (They require a lot of energy to maintain light and temperature levels.) Per usual, maybe we just to eat locally and seasonally, rather than looking to tech to keep us healthy.
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