New York’s most ethnically diverse borough, Queens is well known for its Caribbean and West Indian cuisine, concentrated mainly around the areas of Jamaica and Rosedale. West Indians immigrated to Jamaica in the 1800s when the Union Hall Academy opened, attracting students from across the US and the West Indies. Queens didn’t see a large migration of African Americans until the 1970s, as white flight began and housing prices began to fall. West Indians, Guyanese, and Surinamese immigrants began moving to other areas like Ozone Park at the turn of the 21st century, and Richmond Hill, known as Little India-Guyana-Trinidad and Tobago, saw a rise in its immigrant population around the 1970s. Across Queens are tributes to African-American communities like the Proctor-Hopson Circle, members of the 369th Infantry of the National Guard (the Harlem Hellfighters); Gladys Warren Triangle, named for the founder of the Hollis Local Development Corporation; and Liberty Triangle, painted with the stripes of the Pan-African Flag.
In Rosedale, Henrica’s serves a very rare fusion of Chinese and Jamaican cuisine, with dishes like jerk pork lo mein and curry shrimp. Nearby is Island Taste, serving roti and Italian-influenced dishes like seafood pasta and poached salmon. Other Caribbean places in the area include Pa-Nash Eurosoul, which also offers some Mediterranean cooking, Breeze’s Island Grill, and Forever Jerk.
Patty World in Jamaica
Nearby in Jamaica is one of Queens’ only Nigerian eateries, Africana Restaurant, serving classics like Egusi soup and and Ogbono soup. The Door in Jamaica is best known for its jerk chicken with rice and beans, while Ky’s Takeout features Haitian cuisine. In nearby Ozone Park, Heat Caribbean Kitchen offers both traditional Jamaican fare as well as Jamaican twists on Chinese dishes. Also popular is Sybil’s, a Guyanese bakery opened in 1976 known for its roti, stews, and curries. In addition to the area’s many Caribbean eateries, Smoke BBQ Pit in Jamaica offers classic BBQ options like rib tips and brisket as well as Southern dishes like fried catfish. Patty World serves Caribbean favorites from beef and chicken patties to customer favorites such as oxtails and jerk chicken.
Outside of these areas are a number of Black-owned restaurants, such as Jamaica Breeze in Elmhurst with options like cow foot, beef patties, and steamed fish with okra. In nearby Astoria is Something Catchy, a seafood restaurant that also offers soul food. Barbecue is popular at Queens Bully in Forest Hills and K & A Bar in Glendale, while sandwiches and healthy options are offered at King’s Juice Bar in Ridgewood and Cafe Moca in Glendale. In Astoria, Snowdonia Pub is a farm to table and locally sourced Irish pub, with the kitchen helmed by owner Carrie Spiller and her Welsh husband.