Flushing, Queens is located right at the end of the 7 subway line. It is the second-largest Chinatown in the United States after San Francisco and home to a plethora of marvelous Asian cuisine. And a few not so great, so here’s three Vietnamese recommendations that will leave you full and happy without heavily taxing your wallet.
Pho Bang (4107 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing) along with the now defunct Full House Vietnamese Noodle has long been considered the reigning champion of the Queens pho scene. Be sure that you’re where you meant to be when heading to Pho Bang. Right next door is the newer Pho Hoang which, despite the delicious roasted ducks and pigs hanging in the window, doesn’t quite measure up to its neighbor for the all-important pho.
Many hungry connoisseurs make the thirty minute commute from downtown Manhattan to satisfy their noodle craving. But the lines that sometimes form here are made up predominately of locals and that’s always a sign that we’re in the right place for some great food! The space is very basic and nothing to look at but the large menu is filled with the simple, satisfying classics: rice plates and pho.
Best dishes include: Cha Gio – perfectly crisped Spring Rolls with carrot dipping sauce and leafy greens for wrapping them in. These rolls are short, crunchy, delicious and a must-have. Other rolls worth ordering include Summer Rolls and Pork Rolls. And moving on to the pho. All the beef broth soups are fabulous, especially Pho Bo Vien – Noodle Beef Soup with Meatballs.
Don’t be fooled by the old barber shop sign that’s still on the roof of the appropriately-named Pho (3802 Prince Street, Flushing). The hair-cutting days are over and it’s all serious noodle business here. Parking can be tricky (read: maddening) in Flushing, especially on the weekends but there is a large parking lot right across the street from the restaurant which is helpful.
The dishes here are varied and huge! Along with excellent rolls, their pho selections are all well prepared and more than filling. But Pho is a good place to step outside just the regular broth dishes. Also worth trying is the very good cubed beef over rice and they serve a wonderful grilled pork chop over vermicelli.
Jackson Heights in Queens is sometimes referred to as Little India due to the large number of residents from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan. In reality, the neighborhood is just as, or more, diverse than any in Queens. Nestled in among its Indian and South American neighbors is Thai Son (4010 74th Street, Jackson Heights) a typically unassuming restaurant serving classic Vietnamese fare. Dishes to try here include: Spring Rolls, Shrimp Salad (especially in summer) and Seafood Pho.