Jackson Heights is a neighbourhood in Queens (New York). It is arguably one of the most diversified places in the world! Over here, we saw ethnic enclaves of Indians, Latin Americans, Filipinos, and more. And of course we also tried plenty of different cuisines, such as Korean food, Mexican tacos, Indian restaurants, etc.
Before our trip, we were quite unsure about how to explore Jackson Heights. After some research, we managed to come up with a route that allowed us to fully experience the diverse nature of this vibrant enclave. We have outlined our route below, enjoy!
1. Walk along Roosevelt Avenue to 74th Street
To go Jackson Heights, we took the 7 train to 69 St-Fisk Av Station. From the station, we walked along Roosevelt Avenue to 74th Street, crossing over the highway along the way. We saw many Filipino businesses between 69th and 71st Streets. We had a quick meal at Unidentified Flying Chicken just before 72nd Street; this joint sells delicious Korean fried chicken. If you are interested, there is also a Tibetan restaurant Himalayan Yak just slightly further down the street.
2. Turn left into 74th Street and walk to 37th Avenue
We turned left into 74th Street, going directly into the famous Little India section of Jackson Heights. As we walked towards 37th Avenue, we saw lots of Indian sari shops, gold shops, Indian businesses, Indian grocery shops, and Indian restaurants. We didn’t have time to check out the food here, but from what we read online, Indian Taj and Jackson Diner are both popular restaurants here. Both these restaurants are located along 74th Street. We also passed by Patel Brothers, an interesting Indian supermarket. You will also find two popular Tibetan restaurants along 74th Street: Lhasa Fast Food and Phayul.
3. Turn right into 37th Avenue and walk to 77th Street. Turn left into 77th Street.
We took a right at 37th Avenue and walked to 77th Street. We turned left into 77th Street, and this was where amazingly the landscape changed completely. We found ourselves in a upper middle class estate with neat rows of brick buildings lining the streets. We had a refreshing cold drink at Espresso 77, a cozy coffeehouse that is very popular with the locals in Jackson Heights.
After that, we strolled down 77th Street, admiring the pretty Hawthorne Court residential complex on our left. Designed in 1922, these historic garden blocks are amazingly well-preserved. They have many pre-war architectural features such as wood burning fireplaces and private garden courtyards, though we couldn’t really see these from the outside. This area of Jackson Heights is famous for many of such beautiful historic garden blocks.
4. Walk up 77th Street to 34th Avenue
We continued walking up 77th Street to 34th Avenue, where we saw Travers Park. This is a community park and playground, and we saw many young locals playing sports and games here. On the left of Travers Park, we saw a castle-like building with pointed turrets, which was pretty cool.
5. Turn right into 34th Avenue and walk to 80th Street
From Travers Park, we walked down 34th Avenue to 80th Street. At the junction of 34th Avenue and 80th Street, we saw The Towers on our left, which is another prewar garden apartment. It has elements of Italian Romanesque traditional architectural style, such as the red tile roofs and belvederes.
6. Turn right into 80th Street and walk to Roosevelt Avenue
We turned right to walk down 80th Street. On our left was The Chateau, which reflected influences of the French Renaissance style with its mansard roofs and intricate chimneys. Both The Towers and The Chateau were planned by designer Andrew Thomas in 1924.
We continued walking down 80th Street to Roosevelt Avenue and saw other historic garden blocks along the way. It was pleasant to walk down the street lined with pretty trees.
7. Turn right into Roosevelt Avenue and walk to 74th Street
After reaching Roosevelt Avenue, we took a right and walked towards 74th street. Again, the landscape changed suddenly. This street is home to many Mexican and Latin American businesses, and you can check out the taco and arepa trucks here. The famous Arepa Lady is located near 77th Street. Finally, we reached the 74 St-Broadway subway station where we caught the 7 train to visit Flushing, our final destination in Queens.
If you are interested, you can check out the Colombian/Peruvian neighborhood between 82nd and 90th Streets to experience the culture and food. We didn’t have time to do this as we were running behind schedule.
Below is an outline of the route we took in Jackson Heights: