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Eat and Drink

Where to eat and drink in Woodside, Queens

Situated between Sunnyside and Jackson Heights is Woodside, a neighborhood that was once predominately Irish but is now home to a diverse group of ethnic enclaves from Asia.

Thai-Americans, Filipino-Americans, Indian-Americans and Korean-Americans comingle in this working- and middle-class community, which translates to plenty of options for adventurous foodies looking to try something new.

Here, seven options as varied as the neighborhood itself.

Papa's Kitchen

Woodside, home to the city's Little Manila, boasts
Photo Credit: Esha Ray

Woodside, home to the city's Little Manila, boasts a wide variety of Filipino eateries, but there is none quite as intimate as Papa's Kitchen. With its small dining space, gated front yard and string lights hanging overhead, you get the feeling that you've been invited to someone's house for lunch or dinner.

Choose from a variety of Filipino staples made-to-order, like the dynamite, tightly wrapped spring rolls filled with jalapeño and pork; the chicken adobo (pictured), which comes in a steaming pot and looks almost like a hearty stew; or the salu-salo sa bilao, a mouth-watering feast of various meats served on banana leaves.

While you wait for your meal, you may notice that you've been handed a microphone and a songbook with your menu. Papa's Kitchen also happens to be one of the only Filipino restaurants in Woodside that offers karaoke, a national pastime in the Philippines. Even if you just came for dinner, with a restaurant as tiny as this, you might end up becoming a part of the show. (65-40 Woodside Ave., Queens, 347-724-9586,

F. Ottomanelli Burgers & Belgian Fries

There's nothing fancy about this burger joint that
Photo Credit: Esha Ray

There's nothing fancy about this burger joint that shares its name with the famous butcher shop just down the block; just fresh patties and quality service. Choose from standard options like the bacon cheeseburger or the chili burger, or go one step further and get something more seasoned like the jalapeño cheddar or chipotle burgers.

While you munch on your side of Belgian fries or sip on a milkshake, glance up at the walls and learn a little history of the place while you eat. (60-15 Woodside Ave., 718-446-7489,

Sik Gaek

The main attraction at Sik Gaek is the
Photo Credit: Sik Gaek

The main attraction at Sik Gaek is the fresh octopus hot pot, though "fresh" is probably an understatement when you see what comes to your table. The octopus, or sannakji, is grabbed right out of the tank near the front of the restaurant and chopped up into bite-sized pieces immediately, so its tentacles are still squirming when you finally pluck up the courage to put one in your mouth. It's a feast meant for a group and is not for the faint of heart.

Fortunately, Sik Gaek offers plenty of steamed seafood and meat dishes for those feeling less adventurous. Popular options includes the marinated beef short ribs and the seafood pancake, which is perfectly crispy. After dinner, try the watermelon soju and settle in for a long night in this cozy establishment right near the 7 train. (49-11 Roosevelt Ave., 718-205-4555)

Woodside Cafe

The sign outside Woodside Cafe boldly advertises
Photo Credit: Woodside Cafe

The sign outside Woodside Cafe boldly advertises "Italian - American - Nepali - Indian Food," but you won't find any lasagna or chicken Parmesan on the menu. The cuisine here is strictly Nepali and, fortunately for hungry customers, absolutely delicious.

Start with the musya palu, roasted soybeans tossed in mustard oil, a snack food appetizer that is highly addicting. For the main course, a plate of vegetable or meat-filled momos (pictured), South Asian dumplings that are native to the Himalayan region, is a popular choice here. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, try a traditional Newari thali. It's a platter consisting of flattened rice, various vegetables, yogurt, and a meat of your choice. Each thali usually comes with flatbread that's meant to serve as the vehicle for all the items on the plate -- although it may take you a few tries to get the hand technique just right. (64-23 Broadway, 347-642-3445,

Fresca la Crepe

Tucked in between a grocery store and a
Photo Credit: Esha Ray

Tucked in between a grocery store and a nail salon on 61st Street is Fresca la Crepe, a cute little cafe whose bright blue exterior and Comic Sans-like logo might be reason enough to draw you inside. Patricia Chu is the master chef here, a woman with a cheery disposition who chats with all of her customers as her hands expertly smooth out crepe after crepe on her large, open stove. Choose from sweet options, like Nutella banana and s'mores, or something more savory, like the omelet that comes with egg, ham, Swiss, Gruyère, onions, and mushrooms.

Though the menu here is pretty standard and there's nothing really fancy about each crepe, Woodside natives will tell you there's something different about the way chef Chu makes them. That might explain why there's a whole wall opposite the kitchen covered in hand drawings from thankful customers. (39-82 61st St., 347-768-1488)

Donovan’s Pub

Ask the friendly bartender behind the counter what's
Photo Credit: Esha Ray

Ask the friendly bartender behind the counter what's good to eat at Donovan's Pub, and he'll mention the burger. "Ranked number one by Time Out!" he might say. That may have been years ago, but the noshes at this 50-year-old Irish watering hole still remain some of the best bar food in Woodside.

If not the burger, locals usually go for Irish-American fare like the shepherd's pie, with roast beef or steak. You can choose to eat in the bar up front or sit in the cavernous yet cozy dining room in the back, where a roaring fire keeps you warm on cold days. Wash everything down in typical Irish fashion with a Guinness -- and then a tall glass of water if a dry stout is a little too bitter for your palate. (Donovan's Pub, 57-24 Roosevelt Ave., Queens, 718-429-9339,

Ayada Thai

At Ayada Thai, there are dozens of Thai
Photo Credit: Esha Ray

At Ayada Thai, there are dozens of Thai delicacies to choose from, but it's the duck panang curry (pictured) that is the star of the show. In fact, it is probably the best duck you'll have in the city. Like many Thai dishes, the duck panang curry is savory, spicy and sweet all at the same time; the boneless duck is crisped and seasoned to perfection; the Panang coconut curry underneath is buttery and full of flavor; and the mound of rice on the side is an excellent vehicle to hold all the elements together.

It's surprising that such bold flavors could come from such a small, simple looking restaurant but, on second glance, perhaps it's meant to be that way. While the bright, green walls are adorned with yellowed photos of the Thai royal family, jazz versions of popular pop songs play softly from the speakers, bringing together old and new, sweet and savory just like your meal. (78-03 Woodside Ave., 718-424-0844,


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