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From Momos to Masala: A Foodie Day in Jackson Heights

This Queens neighborhood is the ultimate ethnic dining destination.

Photo by Carolina Ramirez

The contemporary residents of Jackson Heights completely rejected the intended identity of its 1909 founders as an exclusive quasi-suburbia—and thank goodness for that. Instead, this vibrant neighborhood highlights the best parts of city living: immense diversity and incredible food.

EAT: Heaps of Chickpea Fritters at Jackson Diner

Start with a taste of Little India on 74th Street. Its unbeatable all-day, unlimited buffet includes solid classics like chicken tikka masala and biryani. 37-47 74th Street

SHOP: Spice Shopping at 5 De Mayo Food Market

To bring a taste of Mexico City home with you, go wild at this mercado. It’s similar to the ones in Mexico’s capital, and you’ll find delicacies like red cacao powder, chile de arbol, guajillo peppers, and passion fruit. 81-06 Roosevelt Avenue

LUNCH: A Taste of Tibet at Himalayan Yak

Order momos at Himalayan Yak, served steamed in a wood box alongside thali, a traditional sampling of Nepali offerings including daal, rayo saag (mustard greens), a veggie curry of the day, and achars (pickles). 72-20 Roosevelt Avenue

DINNER: Secret Seafood at La Esquina del Camaron

On the corner of 80th and Roosevelt is this Mexican seafood counter in the back of a nondescript bodega. Take a seat at the worn-out blue and green picnic table and order the ceviche with shrimp, scallops, and octopus in a sweet tomato-based sauce. 80-02 Roosevelt Avenue

DO: Grab the Mic at Papa’s Kitchen

This hole-in-the-wall restaurant’s low-key vibes dramatically change come evening, when mics and tunes are brought out for dinnertime sing-alongs37-07 83rd Street

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