Hungry Locals, Global Bites
Ever wanted to eat your way across the globe? No passport, no problem. It’s all here on one block in Jamaica, Queens.
Though you may know it as the E train stop that will get you to JFK, Sutphin Boulevard is also home to the Queens County Civil Supreme Court.
But its not until one o’clock, when all the suits break for lunch, that this place really comes alive. Sahil Khan prepares for the flocks coming to his restaurant for the tikka masala. Amy Zhang checks on her stock of multicolored dumplings. Maria Orellana tidies a display of Colombian treats. The smells emanating from the many restaurants here hint at the mix of people found in its streets.
English is not the favored language: almost half of the people here admit to not speaking it very well. But that’s not a problem — we can smell the food.
New York is one of the most diverse cities in the world, and Queens is its most culturally mixed borough. But here at the heart of Jamaica, diversity is taken to an extreme: 98 percent of people living in this block are non-white, and 59 percent were born in other countries.
This means plentiful food options. Just here on this block, lawyers, jurors and paralegals can feast on cuisines from all over the world: Indian, Thai, Chinese, Salvadoran, Colombian, Japanese, Jamaican, Mexican, Guatemalan, Sri Lankan and, of course, pizza and burgers.
Joe DiStefano, a food writer and tour guide based in Queens, takes his pick…
There are multiple Central American food options as well. But Rincon Salvadoreno truly stands out. Check out the decor:
Amy Zhang’s Beijing Dumpling, just across the street, is one of the most popular options.
Even with so many options, no New York block would be complete without an Irish pub, Maloney’s.
Not everyone appreciates the wealth of options, however. We talked to people on the steps of the courthouse about their favorite — and not so favorite — lunch spots.
But court’s back in session at 2pm, so you better make a decision quickly.
If you hurry, you might even have time for dessert.
By Joseph Hong, Grace Ashford, Yassaman Moazami and Manuela Andreoni