Well known for its bustling Roosevelt Avenue, Little India, a plethora of food trucks and ethnic eateries, there is a softer, quieter side to the multicultural western Queens neighborhood of Jackson Heights.
As vibrant as the area is in its main corridors, with scores of restaurants, bars and boutiques, a different kind of vibrancy -- the family-friendly, community-oriented type -- infuses its tree-lined side streets.
Jackson Heights was the first garden community to be built in the United States, in 1914, and many of the buildings from that era are protected in a historical landmarked section.
The area is a melting pot of ethnicities -- Peruvians, Ecuadorians, Columbians, Indians, Pakistanis, Nepalis and Tibetans, among others.
Jackson Heights runs from Junction Boulevard/94th Street in the east to the BQE in the west. It is bounded to the north by Northern Boulevard and to the south by Roosevelt Avenue.
Mustang Thakali Kitchen, 74-14 37th Ave. This small spot serves up authentic Nepali and Tibetan food, including thali, a traditional platter made up of various small dishes. They also serve the Nepali style dumplings known as momos. 718-898-5088
Tawa Tandoor, 37-56 74th St. At this Little India restaurant, diners can choose from appetizers such as aloo tiki chole (potatoes with chick peas, yogurt, tamarind and mint chutney) as well as meat and vegetable curries. 718-478-2730
Alchemy Texas BBQ, 71-04 35th Ave. Located at the back of Legends Bar, this 3-month-old spot might soon be the place to flock to for a BBQ fix. Try the brisket, the spicy chicken wings or the pork ribs. 718-803-8244.
Amaru Pisco Bar, 84-13 Northern Blvd. This trendy bar takes its name from the famous Peruvian cocktail, Pisco Sour. Try the Cholito, the Viejo Verde, the Amaru or Pisco Sour. For a place with such minimalistic decor, the drinks have a lot of flare. 718-205-5577, amarubar.com
Club Evolution, 76-19 Roosevelt Ave. Jackson Heights is known for its string of gay-friendly bars, but Club Evolution turns it up a notch. Two dance floors pump out Latin music, techno and popular hits, and drag queens can be seen flaunting their beauty in this often jam-packed spot. 718-457-3939
Made in Brazil, 81-09 37th Ave. This local boutique offers affordable clothing and accessories for women. 718-507-9747
India Sari Palace, 37-07 74th St. In the heart of Little India, this shop offers traditional colorful Indian garb for anyone who needs an ensemble for an Indian wedding or who just wants to own a sari. With gold jewelry to match any outfit. 718-426-2700
Food tours with Jeff Orlick. From momo crawls to midnight tours, local guide Jeff Orlick shows groups where to sample the authentic food that abounds in the area. iwantmorefood.com/tours