The restaurant scene near St. John's University (Queens campus) has been improving, with a number of quality restaurants adding to the neighborhood standbys. At one time, there were slim pickings for tasty grub around this major university. Luckily that has changed, and there are a handful of good options in Fresh Meadows and Jamaica Estates in Queens that include standout Italian and Chinese restaurants, along with a great bakery and cafe and a bagel shop.
Acquista Trattoria scores the game winner for inexpensive, delicious Italian food. Share a long table with local families and students or discover the back room at this Union Turnpike star. The Acquista family excels at home-cooking and soccer, as the newspaper clippings on the wall attest. You'll find a menu full of pasta choices; pizza; calzones; hero sandwiches; and Italian American classics like chicken, veal, and eggplant parmigiana.
Peking House is a classic. It serves American-style Chinese food, but it's the best of that too-often uninspired genre. The shrimp with garlic is a standout, as is the service and price at this sit-down restaurant.
LuLu's Italian and American Bakery
LuLu's gets the neighborhood prize for Italian cookies, biscotti, breads, cakes, and pastries. Sip a cappuccino at one of this bakery's four little tables or order that special cake for your next big celebration.
Bagel Oasis is a little inconvenient unless you're headed east on the Long Island Expressway, but the trip is worth it. The classic NYC bagel is the draw. It's crispy outside, chewy inside, and just the right size. Make it a Sunday morning tradition.
You just can't have a list of the best restaurants in just about any location in NYC and not have one pizzeria. Regina's is the place if you are hankering for a slice or two. But Regina's has much more than pizza, even if that part of the menu is long and creative with many specialty pies. It's a full-fledged Italian restaurant, with calzones; Italian appetizers; pasta entrees; baked pasta dishes like lasagna and baked ziti; Italian chicken, veal, and seafood entrees; and yes, homemade cheesecake and tiramisu.