18. The Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean, and Indian Communities in Flushing, Queens
Though many know Lower Manhattan’s Chinatown for its dense Chinese population, Flushing, Queens, has a nearly equivalent Chinese presence. About 70% of its population is Asian, making it a thriving ethnic micro-neighborhood with a Chinese population that’s larger than Lower Manhattan’s Chinatown. Immigrants from Taiwan first established a presence in the neighborhood in the 1970s, though there was already a small Japanese community there. In contrast to Manhattan’s Chinatown, where Cantonese is predominantly spoken, many of Flushing’s residents a few decades ago spoke Mandarin, as well as Fujianese and Hokkien. Multiple waves of Chinese immigration occurred in the 1990s and 2000s, with a growing Northern Chinese population. The Chinese community grew alongside other Asian communities, such as the large Korean demographic that grew in the 1980s, particularly around Union Street and neighboring Murray Hill. Flushing also includes a small Indian community that has existed since the 1970s. The Hindu Temple Society of North America was the second Hindu temple consecrated in the U.S.
The heart of Flushing’s Asian community lies in Downtown Flushing, where the bustling streets and crowded markets are reflective of those in Asia. A popular destination in Downtown Flushing is the New World Mall on the corner of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue, which prides itself on being perhaps the largest indoor Asian mall on the East Coast. There are over 100 retail shops and a huge Asian supermarket on the first and second floors. The third floor has one of the largest Chinese dim sum restaurants and banquet halls in the Tri-State area. For additional culinary recommendations, check out our guide to New York’s many Chinatowns. Some of the most popular Korean eateries in the Flushing area include Kimganae, Hahm Ji Bach in Murray Hill, and Kun Sohn Korean Noodle House in Murray Hill.