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Where to Eat Near LaGuardia Airport:

Our Guide to Excellent Food Within a Bus Ride


LaGuardia has been the butt of many jokes about airports in the US. Most flight delays in the nation. Traffic jams and Uber snafus.
However, there is a plethora of excellent food from around the world that can be found only a bus ride away from the airport. So if you are stuck with a long layover at LaGuardia, have a cancelled or delayed flight or would like to eat something besides overpriced airport food before or after your trip, our guide is sorted by bus route. Please note that we only include places that are within a reasonable walk of a train station where the bus stops.

Q70 Bus

From LGA Airport to 74 St/Roosevelt Avenue – Jackson Heights (E, F, M, R, 7 Train) Station and 61 St – Woodside (7 Train and LIRR) Station.

Where to Eat Near the 74 St/Roosevelt Avenue Stop

Sammy’s Halal Cart – Excellent Chicken and/or Lamb Over Rice
Corner of 73 St and Broadway, Hours: 24/7

Chicken Over Rice from Sammy’s Halal

This award-winning cart specializing in chicken and lamb over rice serves some of the best halal food in all of NYC. The rice goes above and beyond most dime a dozen halal carts in the city, as it is perfumed with cinnamon, clove and cumin seeds.
Tip:
  • Ask for green sauce! They don’t usually offer it, but ask and you will receive this creamy, minty cilantro, slightly-spicy sauce.

 

AMDO Kitchen Truck – Delicious Tibetan Beef Dumplings
Corner of 74 St and 37 Rd, Hours: 12PM-9PM Daily

Beef Momos with Spicy Radish from AMDO Kitchen

Momos, Tibetan or Nepalese dumplings filled with different meats or veggies, have become a staple of this part of the neighborhood. In fact, there is an annual momo crawl that takes place each fall. AMDO Kitchen was voted by tasters on this crawl in 2015 to have the best in the neighborhood, a well-deserved accolade for these juicy specimens.
Tips:
  • Order the beef momos and be sure to ask for the pickled radish, which comes with a couple of mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns.
  • These momos are a bit soupier than average, so eat them slowly to sip out the tasty broth!

 

Taqueria Coatzingo – Superior Mexican Food
76-05 Roosevelt Avenue, Hours: 9AM-3AM Daily (Until 4AM on Friday/Saturday Nights)

Cemita con Milanesa de Pollo from Taqueria Coatzingo

Our favorite Mexican spot for Mexican food in the neighborhood. The al pastor is roasted on a spit in traditional fashion – a great choice for tacos or in a platter. It is a place where you can grab quick take-out or sit down and eat inside. Take the edge off with a michelada or cocktail, as there is a full bar in the restaurant. There is also a bakery next door with a myriad of sweet breads and pastries.

Bowl of Birria de Res from Taqueria Coatzingo

Tips:
  • The birria de res (stewed beef) is smoky, tender and can be had in several ways. The soup version is hearty and warming, perfect for the cold weather months.
  • Another cold weather treat is their champurrado, a warm cinnamon and chocolate drink made from masa.
  • The cemita is excellent, with soft bread and all ingredients of the sandwich blending together nicely.

 

Lali GurasNepalese Food in a Newly Expanded Space
37-61 76 St, Hours: 12PM-11PM Daily
Recently doubling in size, Lali Guras is a go-to for Nepali food in Jackson Heights just a short walk from the bus stop. The thali is highly recommended, as it comes with a sampling or vegetarian dishes including sauteed escarole, lentil soup, another vegetable curry and a mound of rice and the middle of the round silver platter. This alone is a great dish, but you can also choose to have it with a meat or fish.
Tips:
  • The curry scented chicken momos are a must-order, especially with lots of their addictive peanut-flavored orange hot sauce!
  • Chicken sukuti makes for a light appetizer that also goes well in the thali
  • For adventurous eaters, order the “Bhutan” – goat head and curry

Arepa Lady: Legendary Street Food Now Available at a Brick and Mortar
77-17 37 Ave

Arepa de queso y arepas de choclo

Maria Cano aka the Arepa Lady, has been cooking up some of the best arepas in NYC out of a cart on the corner of 79th Street & Roosevelt Avenue on Friday and Saturday nights since the 1990’s. However, for many years, the only time that you could feast on these buttery and cheesy corn cakes were on these two nights for roughly 6 months a year. Fortunately, she now has a brick and mortar location and additional dishes such as patacones and fresh fruit milkshakes.
Tips:
  •  Our favorite is the arepa de choclo made with sweet corn, which has a delightful contrast with the salty cheese tucked inside. However, you should order both and see for yourself as both are delicious!
  • You can add grilled steak, chorizo or chicken to any of the arepas or patacones.

 

969 NYC Coffee: Excellent Coffee, Matcha and Japanese Food Served With Charm
37-61 80 St, Hours: 7AM-9PM. CLOSED THURSDAYS. 
The generic sounding name masks the full capabilities and charm of this humble Japanese café run by the friendly Oda Mitsumine, who is eager to please and constantly expands the menu in a thoughtful manner. The coffee itself is excellent, sourced from NYC’s renowned Joe Coffee, recently acquired by Shake Shack mogul Danny Meyer. A place for all seasons, Oda’s café offers a large variety of onigiri, as well as several sushi rolls, vegetarian dishes, ramen, matcha, Japanese soft drinks and sweets.
Oda is known for onigirazu, a sandwich made with rice and bound together with nori. Inside, he makes a standard combination of a fried protein, slices of American cheese, scrambled eggs, lettuce, carrots and avocado. He also makes a vegan option with a variety of vegetables inside. They are not only delicious, but very visually appealing. There are several other dishes he makes, including chicken curry katsu, takoyaki and yakisoba. For dessert, he makes avocado or matcha shakes topped with a scoop of black sesame or matcha ice cream. He calls his concoction a shake shake.
The dynamism is also reflected in the fact that you can grab and go, leisurely enjoy your beverage and food while connected to the wi-fi or sit outside on one of the outdoor tables.
Tips:
  • If you don’t see something in the display case, ask Oda and he will be happy to make it fresh for you. He will make you a custom onigirazu with any combination of fillings if you are willing to wait.
  • You can have any of the onigiri or sushi rolls made with brown rice for $0.50 extra.
  • Get to know Oda, who moved from Japan less than a decade ago. He is a big reason why we frequent the café.
Louie’s Pizzeria: Dynamic Pizzeria Offering Excellent Italian Food and Fresh Pasta
81-34 Baxter Ave, Hours: 11AM-11PM Mon-Sat (CLOSED Sunday)
Another place which offers much more than you would expect from the outside is Louie’s Pizzeria. Although their pizza is excellent, it is their dishes which make them stand out among the myriad of pizza places in the neighborhood. The pasta is handmade in-house, with the ricotta and spinach-filled agnolotti in creamy pesto sauce among the standouts. Pescatarians and seafood enthusiasts will love the salmon, cooked surpremely tender with tomato and fragrant basil and the black linguine made with squid ink and accompanied by shrimp, squid and more. For the meat lovers, there is a delicious ribeye steak, as well as several chicken and veal dishes. Louie’s is another one of the many places that prove the adage “don’t judge a book by its cover!”
Tips:
  • Order their signature grandma slice made with fresh mozzarella, tomato, garlic and basil. It is one of the finest that you will find in NYC.
  • One bite of the ribeye steak will make you question how does this exist in a humble neighborhood pizzeria.
  • There is no pork products offered – the ham, sausage and pepperoni are made with beef or turkey.
Khao Kang: Sample a Variety of Fiery Authentic Thai Food on a Budget
76-20 Woodside Ave, Hours: 11AM-9PM Tue-Sun (CLOSED Monday)

Delicious spread from Khao Kang, including chicken red curry, pumpkin and egg curry and braised pork belly with egg and tofu in an anise-scented broth. Both topped with a fried egg.

Located on Woodside Avenue in what has become a Thai enclave of Elmhurst, Khao Kang offers a variety of different dishes in its steam table each day. For a bargain price below $10, you can order any three over white rice. The beauty of this place is that all of the food is cooked the same way, so you will experience the full heat, funk and spice not often found in Thai eateries in NYC. Thoughtfully, they have a water cooler that you will likely need to return to several times throughout your meal!
Tips:
  • Their Thai iced tea is a perfect accompaniment to the spicy fare, served in a cup with finely crushed ice.
  • Several different sweets are offered in their front display case. They also have a sister restaurant, Khao Nom, located next door. Khao Nom specializes in desserts, but also has an array of savory dishes.
  • If you have time, take a walk between 76th and 78th streets on Woodside Avenue to explore the various Thai establishments, such as the Pata Paplean bar and Thai Thai Grocery

Where to Eat Near the 61 St/Woodside Stop

Donovan’s:  A Classic Irish Pub and Real Deal Neighborhood Joint
57-24 Roosevelt Ave, Hours: 11AM-12AM Sun-Thu, 11AM-1AM Fri and Sat

The Donovan x The Sunnyside Custom Burger With Sweet Potato Fries

Woodside has long been home to a large Irish population and Donovan’s is one of the many pubs near the 61st Street station. Donovan’s is more than just your average watering hole, as they offer a delicious burger that has been ranked as one of the best in NYC, as well as a variety of Irish comfort food. One step into the bar area and you will feel the old world charm of the place.
Tips:
  • The burgers are highly customizable beyond what the menu may suggest. We have combined the “Sunnyside” and the “Donovan” before, resulting in a combination of fried egg, sautéed peppers and onions on top of the burger. You can also opt for a pretzel bun, which is also recommended!
  • Go with the thick-cut sweet potato fries for a delicious accompaniment to your burger.

Q72 Bus

From LGA Airport to Junction Blvd

Where to Eat Near the Junction Blvd/Roosevelt Avenue 7 Train Stop

 

Rincon Criollo: Delicious Old School Cuban Food
40-09 Junction Blvd, Hours: 12PM-10PM Mon-Sun

Smoked Pork Chop at Rincon Criollo

Whenever we are asked about Cuban food in NYC, one name comes to mind – Rincon Criollo. When you walk in, it feels like you stepped back into time with the vintage pictures of Havana on the walls. The hospitality and portions are old school as well – you are treated and fed like a family member. Each dish comes with two sides and the list of delicious options is long – you can’t go wrong with nearly anything on the menu.

Ropa Vieja and Yuca with Garlic

Tips:
  • If you are looking for something quick to go – they do make a nice Cuban sandwich.
  • The smoked pork chops are excellent – think of a juicy thick cut with a smoky ham flavor. Another standout is the ropa vieja.
  • If you like garlic, order the tender yuca with garlic sauce as one of your sides.
Tortas Neza: Mega Mexican Sandwiches
96-15 Roosevelt Ave (Juan Bar), Hours: 11AM-10PM Daily (CLOSED Wednesday)

Torta Puma from Tortas Neza

Another highly regarded former food truck, the king of tortas can be found at the front window of the Juan Bar diagonally across from the Q72 stop. Quite possibly the most gluttonous option in this guide if you order the Puma, which contains hot dogs, a chorizo omelet, ham, breaded chicken, avocado and Oaxaca cheese. Although this sandwich ideally would be shared, it is a nice option to take to go if you want to avoid the overpriced airport food and hedge against any long delays. There are several variations of tortas here and you can’t go wrong.

Tips:

  • If you want to have the sandwich to stay, order a drink at the bar inside.
  • Owner and chef, Galdino Molinero, is quite personable and a wizard on the flat top – watch closely for a nice show of his skills.
Warren St Food Trucks: Epicenter of Ecuadorian Food in Queens
Warren St and Roosevelt Avenue, Southeast Corner, Hours: 9AM-12AM Sun-Thu, 24 hrs Fri + Sat

Encebollado from Pique y Pase Pepin Truck

Once you approach the south side of Roosevelt Avenue and Warren Street, you will be greeted with several large trucks and smaller carts lining the street. It may be a bit intimidating for first-timers (it was for us too!), but you will be rewarded with a bounty of affordable and delicious items. Our go-to is the Pique y Pase Pepin truck, the large white truck that is usually the first one when you walk south on Warren St.
Tips:
  • Encebollado is one of the specialties – a traditional fish soup with onions and cancha, toasted corn. Add some hot sauce and lemon for heat and citrus.
  • Buy one of the fresh drinks on offer to pair with your food –Quaker, made with passion fruit and a small amount of oatmeal or coconut.
  • For tripe lovers, go with the guatita, which is stewed in a peanut sauce and lacks the gaminess that this offal sometimes has.
BONUS Late Night Option: Tortas and Tacos al Pastor Cart
Northside of Roosevelt Avenue between Junction Blvd and Warren St, Hours: After 10:30PM Mon-Sun

This cart has been an obsession of ours for over a year now! Read more below all about this amazing spot that offers tremendous tortas and tacos al pastor.
http://foodandfootprints.com/tacos-al-pastor-cart-queens/
We hope that this guide will be useful for any of you who are seeking out some of the best food that NYC has to offer, whether you are on your way into or out of the city. Even if you are on your way to or from JFK Airport, this guide can be used if you are willing to take an adventure along the way.
For more options, you can also check out our Queens food maps below. There are hundreds of choices from across the borough!

http://foodandfootprints.com/eat-queens-newyork-nyc-food-maps/

Have you eaten at any of these spots en route to or on the way back from LaGuardia? Do you have any other places that you like to frequent? Please let us know in the comments!
TitleCategoryAddressDescription
Arepa Lady Colombian 77-17 37th Avenue, Jackson Heights, NY, USA
Rincon Criollo Cuban 40-09 Junction Boulevard, Corona, NY, USA
Donovan's Pub Burgers,Irish 57-24 Roosevelt Avenue, Woodside, NY, USA
Khao Kang Thai 76-20 Woodside Avenue, Flushing, NY, USA
Louie's Pizzeria and Restaurant Italian,Pizza 81-34 Baxter Avenue, Flushing, NY, USA
969 NYC Coffee Japanese 37-61 80th Street, Flushing, NY, USA
Taqueria Coatzingo Mexican 76-05 Roosevelt Avenue, Flushing, NY, USA
AMDO Kitchen Tibetan 37-59 74th Street, Jackson Heights, NY, USA
Sammy's Halal Cart Bengali 72-35 Broadway, Jackson Heights, NY, USA
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