Flushing, Queens is home to New York City’s second-largest Chinatown. The signs in Chinese are just as prominent as the English signs, giving the street a dazzling visual effect due to the intricate shapes of Chinese characters and lettering. Although this Chinatown might not be as well known as the one in Manhattan, it is just as diverse and exciting.
It is a great place to go if you are looking to experience Asian culture at its fullest. You will also find several beautiful gardens, performance spaces and one of the busiest public libraries in the USA.
There is so much to see and do in Flushing’s Chinatown, so take your time and spend at least a day exploring and soaking up the culture.
What to Eat
Instead of stuffing yourself only one restaurant, one of the best dining strategies for this part of town is to treat Flushing’s Chinatown as if the street itself was one big cart of dim sum and take little nibbles at each different establishment. In this manner, you can sample many of the excellent restaurants in Chinatown in one night, without getting too full to continue.
There are many excellent restaurants where you can order fresh and tasty dumplings, Peking duck wraps, noodles and spring rolls. Try Pho Hoang, a Vietnamese restaurant with a great selection of barbequed meats or Joe’s Shanghai where you will find the soup dumplings that are doughy balls filled with port and soup, and served on a bed of cabbage.
Chinatown is not just about Asian food. There are several other great restaurants in the area including BBQ joints and more. After you have gorged on a wide assortment of treats from different restaurants, you can finish it off with a sweet and milky bubble tea or a pastry from a Chinese bakery.
Where to Shop
The downtown area of Flushing is a major retail area that has everything from chain stores such as Old Navy to Chinese herbalists. Check out the Queens Crossing Mall if you are looking for high-scale shopping, fashionable clothing and chic Asian-inspired home furnishings.
If books are what you want, you will find them at the World Book Store. It has a great selection of books and magazines as well as stationery, gifts and toys. To get your fill of Asian pop culture, the Korean store Magic Castle is your destination for knick-knacks, Hello Kitty merchandise and anything that is cute, pink and sparkly.
Also, check out the Flushing Mall. It has several retailers in one location allowing you to find anything you might be looking for at a good price.
Have fun snacking and shopping your way around the vibrant and culturally diverse Chinatown in Flushing, New York.
About the Author: Noelle Winters is a travel writer and food critic who lives in Albany. When she goes on a shopping and culinary adventure in Flushing’s Chinatown, she stays at the Hotel de Point in Flushing New York.