NYC’s best foodie neighborhoods: Jackson Heights, Carroll Gardens and more

NYC’s best foodie neighborhoods: Jackson Heights, Carroll Gardens and more

Great neighborhoods to eat (and live) in if you love food.

Yarisney Larreal and Keyla Aguilar dine at El Chivito D'oro in Jackson Heights on August 8, 2014.
Yarisney Larreal and Keyla Aguilar dine at El Chivito D’oro in Jackson Heights on August 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Newsday/Matt Davies

New York City has long offered some of the best food from every culture on the globe. But in recent years, the “foodie” scene has exploded, with restaurateurs finding niches in anything from the gluten-free movement to high-end vegan.

Though the term foodie isn’t popular among those in the industry (everyone likes to eat, they say), Carroll Gardens restaurateur Kerry Diamond defined it as “a handy term to describe people who are a little bit more obsessed than the average person with what’s new, what’s different and what’s out there.”

Whether you identify as a foodie or not, here are the best neighborhoods to eat — and live — in, according to gourmands and real estate experts.




Jackson Heights


Jackson Heights’ food diversity reflects that of its residents.

“In Jackson Heights, everywhere you turn is a variety of options,” said Mike Schulte, a licensed real estate salesperson with Citi Habitats who lives in the Queens neighborhood.

The area has several major commercial thoroughfares — Roosevelt Avenue, 37th Avenue, 74th Street, 82nd Street and Junction Boulevard — each offering a plethora of cuisines.

“You can get everything from Korean to Indian to Columbian to Puerto Rican to Cuban food, all within the same block in some cases,” said Schulte.

Top foodie picks:

Indian Taj, 37-25 74th St., 718-651-4187, indiantajny.com

El Chivito D’Oro (Argentinian), 84-02 37th Ave., 718-424-0600

La Pequena Colombia, 83-27 Roosevelt Ave., 718-478-8700, pequenacolombia.com






If you’re hooked on dumplings, dim sum and Asian food in general, Flushing is the place for you. Residents here hail from Korea, China, Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia and beyond, and the restaurant offerings reflect that melting pot.

Jessica Kaufman, a licensed real estate broker with Citi Habitats, said she was struck by how good the food is in the neighborhood’s modest, no-frills restaurants.

“Sometimes your local restaurant or your local hole-in-the-wall is the best, it’s very authentic,” said Kaufman.

Don’t just take her word for it. None other than Anthony Bourdain has taken notice of Flushing’s impressive culinary offerings, featuring several places in the neighborhood on his show “No Reservations.”

Top foodie picks:

Asian Jewels Seafood Restaurant (dim sum), 133-30 39th Ave., 718-359-8600

Ten Ren’s Tea and Ginseng Co. (bubble tea), 135-18 Roosevelt Ave., 718-461-9305, tenren.com

New World Mall (Indoor Asian food court), 136-20 Roosevelt Ave., 718-353-0551 newworldmallny.com






When most people hear Astoria, they likely think of Greek food. But the area, which stretches along the East River, has much more to offer, said Schulte.

“Astoria has definitely seen a lot of gentrification and with that has come more food options,” he said.

There’s European, South and Central American, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean, as well as new foodie scenes in the form of American BBQ at The Strand Smokehouse and Louisiana po’ boys at Sugar Freak.

Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company, which started in Chelsea, has also opened three shops in Astoria in recent years.

Top foodie picks:

Taverna Kyclades (Greek), 33-07 Ditmars Blvd., 718-545-8666, tavernakyclades.com

Balkh Shish Kabab House (Afghani), 23-10 31st St., 718-721-5020

JJ’s Asian Fusion, 37-05 31st Ave., 718-626-8888




Carroll Gardens


This Brooklyn neighborhood is the quintessential foodie nabe in the borough, said Diamond.

“For such a small neighborhood, there are a lot of options,” said Diamond, who, with Chef Rob Newton, runs Nightingale 9 and Southern-style eatery Wilma Jean in Carroll Gardens. “And it’s a fun neighborhood because you’ve got a lot of old-school and new-school stuff.”

On the more modern end, there’s Court Street Grocers (485 Court St.), a food and sandwich shop, while for old-school, Diamond likes Caputo’s Fine Foods (460 Court St.), an Italian specialty goods shop.

“It’s such a treasure,” said Diamond. “It’s definitely one of the places I would miss if it went away.”

Top foodie picks:

Wilma Jean (Southern), 345 Smith St., 718-422-0444, wilmajean345.com

Take Root (seasonal tasting menu), 187 Sackett St., 347-227-7116, take-root.com

Bar San Miguel (Mexican), 307 Smith St., 718-855-2490, barsanmiguelbrooklyn.com




West Village


The foodie scene in the West Village owes a lot to its residents.

“All of it boils down to the people, they really embrace everything and all cultures,” said Harold Dieterle, chef and co-owner of local eateries Perilla, Kin Shop and The Marrow. “The neighbors are really supportive of dynamic concepts.”

Restaurants like Sushi Nakazawa on Commerce Street — an “off street” — can flourish despite their offbeat location.

“The place is packed every night, and a lot of it is locals supporting it,” said Dieterle.

The West Village offers all styles of dining, from fine to ethnic to casual hole-in-the-walls, and West Eighth Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues in particular is a foodie haven, said Dieterle.

Top foodie picks:

Rasa (Malaysian), 25 W. Eighth St., 212-254-1888, rasanyc.com

Village Pisco (Peruvian), 45 W. Eighth St., 212-995-2700, villagepisconyc.com

Matsunosuke (Japanese bakery), 58 W. Eighth St., 212-529-5888

Heather Senison