One of the most attractive things about Queens is the variety and authenticity of the borough’s food. If it’s made anywhere in the world, chances are you can find it credibly represented in Queens.
The food, particularly Colombian food, is one of the reasons John Leguizamo revisits his old neighborhood of Jackson Heights.
“The food’s all great. You get Indian food, Korean food, Chinese, Mexican, Colombian… and it’s all good and homemade. So it’s an exciting area,” Leguizamo told Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric while taking her to one of his favorite local restaurants.
The two sat down at Colombian restaurant La Pequeña Colombia to enjoy scorched steak, plantains and a traditional side of rice and beans.
You’ve got to wash down the Colombian food with some water ice, of course, and if you’re in Queens, you’re going to the famous Ice King of Corona, which you might recognize from the opening credits of the sitcom “King of Queens.”
The Ice King of Corona has been serving delicious ices since 1944 and has no plans to slow down anytime soon. Some of the neighborhood spot’s best customers are the children and grandchildren of its original customers.
Over in Astoria, a typically large crowd enjoys Czech beer and bratwurst at the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden. Founded in the early 1900s, this establishment is one of the oldest in Astoria, with much of the neighborhood being built around it.
Bohemian Hall was able to survive prohibition and remains the largest beer garden in New York to this day. It’s able to hold over 1,000 guests at a time, and on busy days over 6,000 people are served there.
This is all while supporting a good cause. The majority of the restaurant’s profits help finance the educational programs run by the Bohemian Citizens’ Benevolent Society of Astoria. Through this organization, children and adults of Czech and Slovak ancestry can participate in classes that help to maintain their cultural identity and teach them about American traditions and culture.