A Food Lover's Guide to Kensington
This stretch of Church Avenue may be low-key and scruffy, but wedged between dental clinics, discount stores and beauty parlors are restaurants and shops representing a dozen nationalities, including Polish, Albanian, Thai and Bangladeshi.Take the F or G train to Church Avenue. Start at McDonald Avenue and walk toward Coney Island Avenue. Sugandha
483 McDonald Ave., 718-438-8773
While all Bangladeshi restaurants here offer inexpensive steam table fare, Sugandha’s looked more sprightly, and the savory yellow lentils and delicately spiced chicken biryani ($5.50) will win you over. To Be Thai
126 Beverley Road, 718-435-0459
This Thai offers friendly service and fresh, herb-laden dishes at great prices. The $6.95 lunch special includes a crispy veggie spring roll (or soup), salad, soda and Thai standards, such as Panang curry, done absolutely right. Dan’s Select Meats
205 Church Ave., 718-438-1982
More than a purveyor of quality, inexpensive meats, Dan’s offers cases of Russian Baltika beer, homemade Russian salads—from tasty beet and cabbage to layered herring and mushroom—as well as whole smoked mackerel (“Skumbrija”), and vats of pickled cucumbers and sauerkraut. Dinosha Albanian Village
319 Church Ave., 718-851-9773
This is a preserved fruit lovers’ paradise. Sour cherry compote sits alongside rose hips jam and “grape-pumpkin-eggplant” (!) preserves, along with a freezer-full of borek, Albanian cheese or spinach pies. Bastek Deli Inc.
321 Church Ave., 718-437-1081
This Polish deli is a go-to spot for half-moon shaped pierogis, filled with potato and cheese, sauerkraut and mushroom or pork ($5.29/lb or about ten pierogis). Golden Farm
329 Church Ave., 718-871-1009
Their awning epitomizes Kensington, advertising “Russian – Ukrainian – Polish – Turkish – Israeli- Kosher- Organic – Gourmet Food.” Inside you’ll find “Japanese – Chinese – Mexican,” staples and delicacies, too. Russian Homemade Cuisine
505 Church Ave., 718-484-0156
Three men swirl batter in an assembly line at this blini factory, which caters to the wholesale market. Five excellent mushroom and potato blini to-go are about $5.50. Old Brick Restaurant
507 Church Ave., 347-425-8391
A group can enjoy a four-course dinner for $15 at this cozy BYOB “Italian, Balkan and Mediterranean.” Stick with cevapi—kebabs of minced veal, lamb or beef—fragrant rice, homemade yogurt, and luscious tiramisu. Taqueria Los Poblanos
733 Church Ave., 718-436-5705
Authentic Mexican foods, such as zesty shrimp ($2.75) and pork al pastor ($1.50) tacos are prepared Puebla style. Next door La Flor de Santa Ines sells fixings to make your own.
905 Church Ave., 347-789-1849
The one hipster spot on Church, NYC icy provides palate cleansers for your polyglot food walk. Their icys and creamy icys ($2.00/two scoops/$4.00 four scoops) are chock-full of fruit and intense flavors—lemon basil, lychee and apricot. Go now: It might close this fall. Shayna’s
907 Church Ave., 718-282-8190
Shayna’s serves Trinidadian & Guyanese goodies—from jerk chicken ($6.50) to rich goat/beef roti ($4.00-$6.50/$1.50 for flaky “roti skin”) and Peanut Punch, a kind of peanut-butter milkshake ($3.00).