168-25B Hillside Ave., Jamaica; 718-298-5696
A mixture of flavors is at the heart of Pakistani food including the biryani selections. These mixed rice dishes that include saffron, meats, and vegetables are sure to please. Picky eaters can choose a plain chicken mixture while those with more adventurous palates might opt for goat.
66-21 Fresh Pond Road and Palmetto Street, Ridgewood; 718-366-6226
Most people associate meat, potatoes, and cabbage with Polish food. Although this restaurant offers diverse options with French, Italian, German, and Russian influences, the Polish classics stand out including kielbasa, a sausage that comes in dozens of varieties and made with pork, beef, turkey, lamb, or veal. Most children won’t know the difference between these sausages and traditional hot dogs. Other options include pierogi, yummy dumplings filled with meat, potato, or cheese (NYC kids accustomed to eating street-vendor knishes will get the finger-food appeal). Encourage picky eaters to taste cheese pierogi with a bit of butter.
98-98 Queens Blvd., Rego Park; 718-263-4444
Most tykes won’t turn down shashlik, marinated lamb on skewers that is similar to Shish kebab (veggies included!). Vstrecha, serving traditional Tashkent fare, makes its menu more family-friendly by offering versions of this traditional dish with chicken or steak.
63-88 Woodhaven Blvd., Rego Park; 718-894-8084
Owned and operated by the Barnes Family since 1959, London Lennie’s has become one of the premier seafood restaurants in Queens. Start your anxious eater out with fish tacos. Made with mahi mahi, these tacos don’t have a strong “fishy” taste and are complemented by fresh pico de gallo, which many may already be familiar with.
Spicy & Tasty
39-07 Prince St., Flushing; 718-359-1601
Well known for their cold Szechuan noodles, try ordering several items for the table to allow your child to try many different options. Dumplings or the wonton in chicken soup will already be familiar to most and rice balls are sure to please. Consider the duck dishes if your child would like to move outside his or her comfort zone.
136-55 Roosevelt Ave., Unit D, Flushing; 718-813-9107
Located in the heart of Flushing, Taipei Hong serves traditional dishes like Gua-bao, a steamed bun filled with pork belly, diced veggies, and crushed peanuts. Parents shouldn’t expect to get filled from eating one; but for children, these snack-sized sandwiches make a great lunch.
64-13 39th Ave., Woodside; 718-899-9599
Although Thai food is known for dishes with strong aromatic components and a spicy edge, little eaters do not need to be overwhelmed. Pad thai is a bright but not-too-spicy dish. Those with peanut allergies, however, should watch out. Parents of picky eaters can request a non-spicy variety of most dishes.
Bun-Ker Vietnamese Restaurant
46-63 Metropolitan Ave., Ridgewood; 718-386-4282
Vietnamese recipes use lemongrass, ginger, mint, and basil—all flavors that children may not have yet been exposed to. Offer them Bánh Mì sandwiches to give them a taste of Vietnamese food in a form they’re already familiar with (as well as various options!). Other top options for kids include grilled lemongrass short ribs.