Eat and Drink Where to eat and drink in Flushing, Queens By Esha Ray Special to amNY.com Updated December 27, 2016 9:22 AM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email Flushing is Queens’ original Chinatown, a vibrant and bustling neighborhood located at the very end of the 7 train. There’s no shortage of Chinese eateries here, many of them cramped together on the third busiest intersection in New York City: Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue. But spend a little time walking around and you’ll find that there’s more diversity in Flushing’s cuisine than meets the eye. Whether you’re the type of person who likes to sit down for a three-course meal or someone who’s more of the grab-and-go type, there’s something here for everyone to try. Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao Photo Credit: Esha Ray Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao has a diverse menu of Chinese fare, but let's face it -- you're really only here to try the xiao long bao, or soup dumplings. They are arguably the most authentic in the city. Each basket comes with five or six dumplings that are churned out like clockwork by a trio of female chefs huddled together in the restaurant's open kitchen. But don't mistake their efficiency for carelessness: These xiao long bao are delicately wrapped, the dough just firm enough to hold everything together until your spoon tears it apart to reveal a steaming, soupy goodness of pork and crab, or vegetables. During peak hours, you might be hard-pressed to find a seat, but if you've got the time, the food here is well worth the wait. If you're not quite in the mood for dumplings, Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao also offers noodle soups, an array of seafood appetizers and rice cakes. (Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao, 38-12 Prince St., Queens, 718-321-3838) The COOP Restaurant & Bar Photo Credit: Esha Ray Opened in 2015, The COOP is the place for Korean-fried chicken lovers to pig out just a block away from the 7 train. Their signature COOP wings, which are made fresh every morning, are double battered, double fried and come with two types of dipping sauces: spicy and soy garlic. The food here is a little more expensive than nearby lounges and bars but the menu variety and ambience make up for the price. The combination of metal, wood and brick gives the restaurant a chic, industrial sort of vibe, and you can order everything from truffle parmesan fries to spicy pork belly. If you're daring, you might even try the beef intestine soup. Wash it all down with an eccentric drink like the lychee cosmopolitan (vodka, triple sec, lime juice, lychee juice, cranberry juice) or the tai chi ginger margarita (ginger, tequila, triple sec, lime juice, sour mix, ginger ale). (The COOP Restaurant & Bar, 133-42 39th Ave. #103, Queens, 718-358-9333, thecoopnyc.com) Leaf Bar & Lounge Photo Credit: Leaf Bar & Lounge Perched atop the Hyatt Place Hotel with a gorgeous view of the Manhattan skyline, this upscale establishment will make you forget you're in downtown Flushing. But sit back with a cocktail or two and you'll get a taste of what makes this place uniquely Queens. The Hot Toki Toddy, made with Suntori Toki Whiskey and oolong tea, is an East Asian twist on an old winter classic. During happy hour, the Thai Basil Lemonade and Gin is a refreshing option if you're looking for something more herby. Leaf Bar and Lounge may primarily be a bar but there are delectable food options -- like the molten cheeseburger spring rolls or the salt and pepper popcorn chicken -- if your stomach is grumbling. Don't be surprised if your party ends up staying the entire night in the outdoor garden; the warm wood, the string lights and the trees will make you feel like you're hanging out in your own backyard. (Leaf Bar & Lounge, 133-42 39 Ave., Queens, 718-865-8158, leafbarandlounge.com) Lamb Noodle Soup Photo Credit: Esha Ray Tucked away on the second floor of Main Street's unassuming Golden Shopping Mall, across the hall from a barber shop, is some of the best lamb noodle soup you'll find in the city. There's no fancy décor here -- just hearty broths filled with hand-pulled noodles, fatty meat and an array of vegetables that's sure to leave you full and satisfied. Sit around for awhile and you'll notice customers eventually ditch their spoons in favor of their own hands. It's best you do the same: After all, the only proper way to enjoy lamb noodle soup is to slurp up every bite. (Lamb Noodle Soup, 41-28 Main St., Queens, lambnoodlesoup.com) PokéWave Photo Credit: Esha Ray PokéWave is one of the few places in downtown Flushing that offers something other than East Asian cuisine. The main draw is -- yes, you guessed it -- the poké bowls (pronounced po-kay), a Hawaiian raw fish salad that's become New York's latest food craze. Choose a pre-made bowl like the Big Island Poké, which includes tuna, scallions, cilantro and sesame seeds, or build your own. If you're the health-conscious type, swap the rice base for zucchini noodles and the raw fish for tofu. The narrow space is simple yet bright and the cute "PokéWave" sign above the entrance is a cheery respite from the sea of shops that clutter Roosevelt Avenue. Sure, poké bowls go well with bottled water, but try a Hawaiian Sun Green Tea to get the full island effect. (PokéWave, 135-27 Roosevelt Ave., Queens, 917-868-1097) Dosa Hutt Photo Credit: Dosa Hutt The dosas here might be served on Styrofoam plates, but don't let that deter you from the quality of the food. Whether you order a plain dosa or one filled with potato and spices, these crackling crepes are so tasty they'll transport you straight to India. Each plate comes with a hearty helping of coconut chutney -- the best side to any dosa -- and a small cup of hot sambar, a lentil-based vegetable stew. Of course, dosas aren't the only option on the menu: Try the idli, steamed rice and lentil cakes, or utthappam, thick dosa-like pancakes, to really embrace the South Indian way of eating. Finish off with a plate of sweet rasmalai, a syrupy cheesecake doused in cream, or a mango lassi to cool off your taste buds after an afternoon of spice far from Flushing proper. (Dosa Hutt, 4563 Bowne St., Queens, 718-961-5897, dosahutt.com) Incredibowl Photo Credit: Esha Ray In the words of one server, Incredibowl is "Chipotle for Chinese food." Walk up the counter and you'll see why. Each bowl is prepared exactly to the customer's liking, with an endless variety of meats, fish and vegetables to choose from. The result is a massive pot of food meant to be shared by the whole family or a group of friends with after-school munchies. If you'd like to heat things up, Incredibowl offers varying degrees of spiciness from "mildly spicy" to "very spicy." But be warned -- "mildly spicy" is actually quite enough heat for most spice-lovers; choose "very spicy," and you might not be able to feel your tongue for the rest of the week. Here's a suggested combination if it's your first time to Incredibowl: fatty beef, swai fish, fish tofu, enoki mushroom, bok choy, tofu skin, fried tofu, rice vermicelli and potatoes. Let us know how it tastes. (Incredibowl, 133-35 Roosevelt Ave., Queens, 917-365-2023) White Bear Photo Credit: Esha Ray White Bear may be a hole-in-the-wall, but it's often the smallest restaurants that have the best food. This place is no exception. The most popular order here is the #6 -- 12 gorgeously made wontons, dripping in chili oil and topped with spices and scallions for only $5.50. The presentation itself is something to stop and marvel at, but you won't be able to hold out for long. Food this cheap deserves seconds -- and maybe thirds. (White Bear, 135-02 Roosevelt Ave., Queens, 718-961-2322) Daily Waffle Photo Credit: Daily Waffle Daily Waffle is a little farther away from the main stretch of downtown Flushing, but if you're looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, this cute little place won't disappoint. Run by husband-and-wife team Hank and Anna Han, Daily Waffle takes a simple breakfast item and transforms it in all sorts of ways. Choose from sweet and savory options like the Oreo Waffle or the Chicken Waffle Sandwich. Ditch the waffle entirely, if you'd like, and go for the fried Oreos that are only two for $1. The only thing better than the food might be the service -- the owners are warm, welcoming and quick to strike up a conversation. While you're chatting, be the spontaneous person you've always wanted to be and order the Hawaiian waffle. It's a big messy plate of banana, macadamia nut and coconut shavings that gives the famous Wafels & Dinges a run for its money. (Daily Waffle, 34-08 Union St., Queens, 201-563-8005) By Esha Ray Special to amNY.com Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.