15. Little Guyana in Richmond Hill, Queens
Open air markets are common in Guyana
Richmond Hill houses the largest Sikh population in New York City. However, since the 1970s, many Caribbean Indians have been calling the southern part of the neighborhood home, one of the largest populations being from Guyana.
Along Liberty Avenue, named for being the only toll-free road in the area during a bygone era, you’d be hard-pressed to find a pizza or deli. Dotting the main drag are roti and dooble (a street sandwich consisting of fried bread, curried chick peas and topped with Caribbean spices, cucumber, coconut and a hot pepper sauce) shops interspersed with clothing stores selling fabric and traditional Indian clothing.
As diverse as its citizens, Little Guyana offers Caribbean twists on traditional Indian cooking. While predominantly Indian, you can find Caribbean, African and Chinese food—and every combination therein—to accommodate any price range. Guyanese restaurants and bakeries are abundant, notably Sybil’s Bakery and Restaurant Shop where you can taste the gambit of traditional Guyanese meals and the Little Guyanese Bake Shop which offers a variety of traditional cakes, breads and sweets.
The neighborhood has various sit-down restaurants and street-fare stalls as well, from Caribbean-Suriname crossover to Trinidadian “bake and shark” (exactly as it sounds; fried shark on a dough bun) to Chinese-infused curry dishes. Near the larger markets, it’s not unusual to find a picnic table selling fresh peppered mangoes and melons.