Best Of

Best Food Court (Old-School)


Food halls are all the rage these days: Italian-themed, Nordic-themed, Brooklyn-themed — seemingly every unused corner of the city, whether a parking lot, ground floor of a condo building, or train station hall, hosts some sort of culinary experience. But the New World Mall in Flushing, stuck, unstylishly, in the basement of a mall at the end of the 7 line, feels like the o.g. of food courts. Although it’s only been around since 2011, when a group of Chinese businessmen took over the site of the long-vacant discount department store Caldor and turned it into an upscale Asian mall, the bustling basement feels like it’s been a neighborhood fixture for much longer. What the food court lacks in décor it more than makes up for in variety. Instead of trendy food trucks or precious small plates, there are 32 (and counting) stalls selling the real deal — from expertly folded dumplings to heaps of hand-pulled noodles laden with tongue-numbing sichuan peppercorns to tanks of seafood waiting to be cooked up in one of five sauces to fluffy, palate-cleansing snow flavored with fruit and covered in tapioca. (Eater beware the durian, with a aroma that will linger for hours.) 

136-20 Roosevelt Avenue, Flushing, Queens