It’s a safe bet that you could take the 7 train to Flushing's Chinatown every single day of the week for a year straight and never eat the same meal twice. Sprawling out along Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue, the biggest Chinatown in Queens is also the biggest (and most diverse) Chinatown in all of New York City — and one of the largest by population in the world. Tens of thousands of Chinese and Chinese-Americans call Flushing home, and it can feel like there’s a restaurant for each resident. From the packed food courts to the opulent two-story dinner parlors, the range and scope of Flushing’s culinary scene is both impressive and imposing.

All those options make finding something to eat a breeze, but it can also create serious decision paralysis. Flushing can be overwhelming, particularly if you don’t speak Mandarin or if you’re unfamiliar with cuisines and dishes that don’t usually make their way onto the more Westernized menus you’ll find in Manhattan’s Chinatown. But if you’re willing to take the plunge, Flushing will reward you with some of the best food in the city at any hour of the day and for every meal imaginable. Here’s our guide to the best eats in Chinatown for every need.

If Your Usual Breakfast Isn't Cutting It

We get it: sometimes you’re not up for waiting on line at your neighborhood deli for yet another bacon egg and cheese sandwich, and sometimes that bowl of oatmeal looks awfully unappetizing. The solution to your breakfast woes lies in Flushing, where you can opt for either traditional to-go bites or settle in for a more decadent morning meal.

Eight Jane exterior
Eight Jane (Jon Tayler)
Eight Jane jian bing prep
A jian bing being made at Eight Jane (Jon Tayler)

If neither time nor your wallet is on your side, Flushing has a variety of counter joints, bakeries and coffee shops that cater to the commuter on the go, offering commonplace Chinese breakfast items like congee, noodle soup or pastries. At Eight Jane (37-12 Main Street), right next to Busy Mall, you can quickly snap up one of China’s most popular and recognizable breakfast foods: jian bing. Essentially a crepe with egg in the middle, the jian bing is cheap, hearty, comes together in a flash, and is perfect for eating on the run. It’s a tight squeeze at Eight Jane, with barely enough room for two or three people to stand inside at the counter, but if you can make your way in, you can watch as the cooks make your jian bing in front of you, spreading the batter on sizzling hot plates and then folding warm soft eggs into the mix.

Fu Yuan prep
An order of rice rolls being prepared at Fu Yuan (Jon Tayler)

Fu Yuan (135-43 Roosevelt Avenue) takes up even less space than Eight Jane, operating as a kitchen with a walk-up window in a tiny space about the size of your average apartment bathroom. But they produce big flavors in sizable servings, producing steamed rice rolls, congee and soup for early-morning commuters. The steamed rice rolls are the specialty, and the largest portion will only run you $7.25. Or you can get a container of rice noodles with sauce and some delectable fish balls on top for a satisfying start to the day.

Kong Sihk Tong exterior
Kong Sihk Tong (Jon Tayler)
Kong Sihk Tong breakfast
Breakfast at Kong Sihk Tong (Jon Tayler)

Have a bit more time on your hands? Make the trek down Main Street toward the Queens Botanical Garden and get a table at Kong Sihk Tong (42-35 Main Street), a Hong Kong-style breakfast joint that also has a location on Bayard Street in Manhattan’s Chinatown. The Flushing outpost is spacious and bright, with subway tile and pastel colors alongside a neon depiction of the Hong Kong skyline and a huge mural of Chinese street life. Come for the ambience and milk tea, stay for the decadent golden lava French toast — two slices of white bread coated in condensed milk and fried with a salted egg yolk custard filling. It’s a Hong Kong delicacy, and one you’ll come back for again and again.

If You’re in Need of Lunch But Your Checking Account Is in Need of a Break

The midday meal is where Flushing truly shines thanks to its abundance of low-cost eateries. You truly can’t go wrong in picking a lunch spot, but if your budget is tight, here are a few places where you’ll get the most bang for your buck.

White Bear exterior
White Bear (Jon Tayler)
White Bear wontons closeup
White Bear's wontons (Jon Tayler)

White Bear (135-02 Roosevelt Avenue) is well-known in the New York food scene for its wontons, which come doused in chili oil. They’ve long been a favorite of Flushing visitors, and with good reason: stuffed with pork and vegetables, they’re doughy but not rubbery, and the combination of chili oil, charred chiles and pickled vegetables layered on top bring a beautiful combo of heat, acid and umami to the dish. Best of all, you’ll pay a mere $10 for a dozen.

Joe-s Steamed Rice Roll rice roll closeup
The Joe's Signature steamed rice roll at Joe's Steam Rice Rolls (Jon Tayler)

Closer to the 7 train and right inside the venerable Landmark Quest Mall is another Flushing stalwart: Joe’s Steam Rice Roll (136-21 Roosevelt Avenue). Step through the doors and you’ll be greeted on the left by a sizable kitchen with a small counter that churns out rice rolls by the dozen. Silky and soft, these rolls come stuffed with ingredients; take the Joe’s Signature, which has beef, beef sausage, pork, dried shrimp, eggs, and your choice of vegetables. At peak lunch hours, it might be a struggle to find a seat, but given that your hefty plate cost just $10, you won’t mind standing up as you wolf it down.

Prince Noodle shrimp wonton soup closeup
The shrimp wonton noodle soup at Prince Noodle & Cafe (Jon Tayler)

Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue are the main thoroughfares in Chinatown, and great restaurants can easily be found along both. A little off the beaten path, though, you can find some fantastic older and overlooked places that specialize in quick and satisfying meals on the cheap. Case in point: Prince Noodle & Cafe (40-09 Prince Street), a corner spot that dishes out superb wonton soups. The shrimp wonton noodle soup in particular is a winner, with walnut-sized wontons crammed with pork and shrimp paired with simple yet excellent noodles and a nicely salted broth.

Han Song Ting exterior
Han Song Ting (Jon Tayler)
Han Song Ting beef malatang closeup
The beef malatang at Han Song Ting (Jon Tayler)

Some of the best food in Flushing can be some of the hardest to find, and Han Song Ting (37-02 Main Street) definitely qualifies as both. You won’t find any signage for this small lunch counter on the street; instead, you have to enter a mall on Main Street — it’s the same building that houses the Windsor School — and walk past storefronts selling jewelry and furniture. At the back, you’ll find some round wooden tables with high-backed chairs, a small kitchen, and some of the best malatang (a spicy hotpot that originated as Sichuan street food) in the neighborhood. Order it with your choice of meat, and don’t skip out on the small plate of hot sauce you’re given; you don’t know it yet, but you and that sauce are about to become best friends. Liberally apply it to every bite and enjoy.

If You Want To Take a Culinary Tour of China Without Going To China

New World Mall exterior
New World Mall (Jon Tayler)

Food courts dominate the Flushing food scene, and none is better than the one in the basement of New World Mall (136-20 Roosevelt Avenue). Over two dozen stalls (and a cotton candy vending machine!) make up this space, offering cuisine from virtually every corner of mainland China as well as Taiwan, Korea and Japan and ranging from noodles to dumplings to dessert.

There’s no optimal way to approach this expansive collection of culinary delights; your best bet is to take a lap and see what stands out. If you’re in the mood for something hard to find, sidle up to Tarim Uyghur, one of the few places in all of New York serving the traditional food of China’s Xinjiang province. A massive bowl of laghman — long pulled noodles, beef, and peppers and onions cooked together — makes for a rich and filling meal. In a similar vein, Chong Qing Noodle (stall no. 19) serves piping hot bowls of their namesake dish, a Sichuan specialty that they execute to perfection.

NWM Tarim Uyghur laghman closeup
A bowl of laghman at Tarim Uyghur in New World Mall's food court (Jon Tayler)
NWM Chongqing noodles closeup
A bowl of Chongqing noodles from Chong Qing Noodle 19 at New World Mall's food court (Jon Tayler)

New World Mall’s enormous portions also make it a great place to go for a group outing. You can sit down with a hubcap-sized bowl of dry hotpot from Lao Ma Mala Tang, get a pile of dumplings from Pan Bao 66, or assemble a family-style meal from various different stalls. Your curiosity and stomach will both be amply rewarded.

If Dumplings Are in Your Dreams

Nan Xiang exterior
Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao (Jon Tayler)
Nan Xiang soup dumpling closeup
Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao's pork and crab meat soup dumplings (Jon Tayler)

Perhaps the best known restaurant in Flushing is the mecca of soup dumplings: Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao (39-16 Prince Street). Originating in Shanghai, it’s a dumpling lover’s dream, with a menu offering nine different kinds of soup dumplings, plus the usual assortment of noodles, dim sum, and cold appetizers. You can’t go wrong with their traditional soup dumplings filled with pork, but don’t miss the pork and crab meat soup dumplings, or try their Lucky Six sampler if you can’t decide.

Diverse Dim Sum exterior
Diverse Dim Sum at New York Food Court (Jon Tayler)

While Nan Xiang is all the rage in Flushing, plenty of other places do terrific dumplings, too. One of the best can be found in the New York Food Court (133-35 Roosevelt Avenue): Diverse Dim Sum, aka stall no. 12 (its name is written in Hanzi). A half-dozen dumplings cost $10 and come out to you in a large metal bowl with a small container of soy sauce; there are zero frills to be found here, but who cares about that when the dumplings, hand-made at the counter, are as juicy and flavorful as these?

Diverse Dim Sum prep
Dumplings being made at Diverse Dim Sum in New York Food Court (Jon Tayler)
Diverse Dim Sum dumplings closeup
An order of pork and crab meat soup dumplings at Diverse Dim Sum in New York Food Court (Jon Tayler)

If Your Sweet Tooth Needs Satiating 

Flushing doesn’t lack for bakeries where you can buy pastries, cakes and other sweets, but all of them have the same basic selection, and none of them particularly stand out. Instead of settling for one of their pre-packaged buns, make your way to Foodie Town Flushing Food Court (135-15 40th Road), a narrow indoor mall where you’ll find the Queens outpost of the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, as well as Mochiido. The former is a Manhattan Chinatown institution, but the latter can be found only in Flushing. Their mochi donuts are airy and soft and come in a variety of flavors, including lychee, black sesame, milk tea, and the best of the bunch, passionfruit. It’s almost impossible to walk away without buying a dozen.

Mochiido donuts closeup
A half-dozen mochi donuts from Mochiido (Jon Tayler)

If you prefer to drink your dessert, you won’t have trouble finding a tea or coffee shop that can meet your needs. Among the many contenders, consider this a vote for Happy Lemon, located in New York Food Court. This semi-national chain is big in California, but Flushing is its only brick-and-mortar in New York. Known for their salted cheese teas, they also have milk tea, slushies, smoothies, and specialty fruit teas, plus bubble waffles if you do decide you want to chew instead of sip on something.



Port Washington

Flushing's Chinatown can be reached via the LIRR or the 7 train at the Flushing-Main St station

Plan Trip

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Check out all of our NYC Chinatown Guides: