15. Little India and Tibet in Jackson Heights, Queens

Samudra in the Micro neighborhood of Little India
Shops in Little India in Jackson Heights, Queens

Jackson Heights is situated in the northwestern portion of Queens. Like many neighborhoods in Queens, Jackson Heights has historically seen influxes of various ethnic groups settling into the area. Prepare to be dazzled by the plentiful sight of garments, especially the colorful saris worn by women in Little India and Little Tibet. Today, some consider Jackson Heights the most diverse neighborhood in New York, if not the world. Residents of Jackson Heights claim that 167 languages are spoken within the 300 acres of the neighborhood, including many minority Indian, Nepali, and Tibetan languages.

Considering the abundant locales and eateries, Jackson Heights doubles as a global ethnic market. While walking down Roosevelt Avenue—the neighborhood’s busiest commercial thoroughfare—you’ll find Indian restaurants juxtaposed with Colombian diners that sit next to Mexican taco shops. Among the most popular Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants are Angel Indian Restaurant, Samudra Vegetarian Restaurant, and Haat Bazaar. The Butala Emporium serves as a great resort for Indian souvenirs, including its extensive selection of Indian clothing, incense, prints, instruments, Bollywood films, etc. Interspersed in the neighborhood are over a dozen Himalayan restaurants, including Nangma Restaurant with Tibetan and Nepali options, Lhasa Tibetan Restaurant, and Laliguras Restaurant.