10. Little Colombia in Jackson Heights and Corona, Queens
Though Jackson Heights has a significant Indian and Himalayan community, it is also home to a concentrated Colombian population and several Colombian businesses. Roughly running between 80th to 84th streets and between Roosevelt Avenue and 37th Avenue, Little Colombia is a center of Colombian life in Queens, which has the largest Colombian population in the United States. Little Colombia also extends into nearby Corona, which has a Latino majority. Many Colombian families settled in Jackson Heights in the 1950s, particularly middle-class businessmen during a 10-year civil war called La Violencia. The area remained significantly Colombian until other groups moved in during the 1980s, leading many to move to neighboring areas including Elmhurst and College Point.
Though gangs and drug dealers occupied the area in the 1990s, today it is a lively center that celebrates Colombian culture with the sounds of traditional cumbia and salsa music, an “Arepa Lady” food truck, and countless other businesses and restaurants. Near the heart of Little India is Los Arrieros, a Colombian spot serving up sancocho, a traditional stew, and bandeja paisa, a mix of red beans with pork, ground meat, chicharron, fried egg, plantains, and rice. Other notable Colombian spots in Jackson Heights include La Boina Roja Steak House, Raices Colombianas, and Pollos a la Brasa Mario on Roosevelt Avenue or 37th Avenue.