New York’s burgeoning food scene can sometimes seem daunting and superfluous. In a world with infinite options, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when faced with what are seemingly the simplest decisions, including where to eat your meals. With apps like Yelp telling its users where the best of every genre of food can be found, as well as allowing patrons of these establishments to rank and comment on their service, atmosphere, and quality, it has become nearly impossible to experience food without any preconceptions. In the vain of simplicity and a return to a time when there were fewer options, here are some of New York’s best lesser-known restaurants.
Located in Flushing, Queens off the last stop on the 7 train, this small Chinese restaurant with a maximum of ten seats is nothing short of what one would expect from a hole in the wall. White Bear can easily be labeled the Szechuan lover’s paradise, with spicy chili oil covered dumplings and pork noodles coming directly from the kitchen, that is visible through the open layout of a compact eatery, to the table.
This small Mediterranean restaurant in traditionally Greek Astoria is a welcome addition to the list of reasons Queens’ cultural hub makes for such fantastic restaurants. Ukus boasts Greek classics such as Spanakopita and stuffed peppers, as well as beef goulash and Bosnian soup. The fusion of these European foods is very much appreciated.
Located in the basement of a Hindu Temple in Flushing, this fluorescently lit South Indian restaurant has established itself as a staple of the Flushing community. With worshipers and non-temple-goers alike coming to satiate their cravings for incredible food at an extremely reasonable price, this place is rarely empty.
This Bangladeshi deli serves everything from better-known southeast Asians favorites as samosas and saag to lesser-known soon to be favorites as Cockroaches, Pangash Maach, and Halim stew. With customers ordering at a deli-style counter, selecting their foods that are kept in a glass casing, what this eatery lacks in frivolous decor, it makes up for in comfortable American-style leather booths.
This famed Brooklyn pizza joint has been around since 1965 and we can understand why. With up to a two-hour wait for a pie, this place is as popular as its namesake. It was a favorite spot of late food connoisseur Anthony Bourdain and other notable food critics such as Jim Leff and Phil Rosenthal, who featured the establishment on his Netflix food and travel show “Somebody Feed Phil.”