Looking for great lunch in the Forest Hills/Rego Park area, but don’t want to break the bank? Here are five places to get you started. By Yvo Sin.

Corfu Grill

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70-17 Austin St
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 263-6263

See Also: NYC’s 6 Best Falafel Spots

Up a short flight of steps from the main drag of Forest Hills along Austin Street sits Corfu Grill. Its unassuming posture might make you keep walking, but go inside and browse the lunch menu. A measly $6 will get you a Greek or Caesar salad, a bowl of lentil or chicken soup, pita bread, tzatziki, choice of rice, hand cut fries or lemon potatoes (a classic Greek carb)… and that’s just the “comes with” part of the lunch menu. In addition to all of that, you can choose from a variety of kebabs, gyro, falafel, moussaka, and a couple of classic American diner dishes thrown in for good measure. But Corfu’s draw isn’t simply the cheap lunch menu; the lamb souvlaki is juicy, tender and not gamey in the slightest, while any of the kebabs are delicious as well.

Ben’s Best

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9640 Queens Blvd
Rego Park, NY 11374
(718) 897-1700

See Also: The 9 Best Soup Spots In NYC

Ben’s Best is the local deli you wish was in your neighborhood; serving up bowls of the most excellent chicken noodle soup at Ben’s Best (pictured). Broth that is almost sweet from the carrots, with an abundance of delicious noodles, this chicken noodle soup will knock anything bad right out of your system – or get it with a matzoh ball, which comes in a giant mug labeled “Jewish Penicillin”! Of course, you can’t ignore the most amazing pastrami at Ben’s Best; made in-house, savory, piled high on rye bread and the best you will find in Queens, it goes great with the soup as well. The corned beef is as light as cotton candy and just one more great choice at Ben’s Best… the entire menu, really, is filled with great choices that will fill you up without emptying your wallet. Rejoice in this lovely neighborhood kosher deli!

Mint’s Thai Kitchen

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70-15 Austin Street
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 268-1470

It isn’t really clear who Mint is, but you don’t need to know that many details about a place that offers above average Thai food for below average prices: consider their two course lunch menu for $8, which is made even cheaper if you take advantage of their “pay cash” discount. With ten choices for a starter and eleven choices for your entree – each of which can be customized with your choice of beef, chicken, shrimp or vegetable/tofu with no upcharges – you will certainly have plenty from which to choose. For your starter, your choices include three varieties of soup, two types of dumplings, and more. Try the shrimp pad thai (pictured), which comes arranged neatly on a platter, the peanuts and bean sprouts kept separate so you can add as much or as little as you like, along with the lime that, once squeezed over the noodles, livens up the dish. Bonus: whoever Mint may be, s/he is definitely vegetarian-friendly.

Cuzco Peru

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98-102 Queens Boulevard
Rego Park, NY 11374
(718) 275-1575
(718) 275-1518

When most people think “Peruvian food” they immediately think chicken, due in large part to a certain Peruvian chicken chain of restaurants that is quite popular. Sure, Peruvian chicken is delicious – and yes, available here at Cuzco Peru – but there is so much more to the cuisine that is often overlooked. Try the lomo saltado, or strips of beef with tomato and onions, scooped on top of fries that stay crispy and served with white rice, or the chaufa mixto, which roughly translates as Peruvian Chinese food – fried rice with both beef and chicken, egg scattered throughout. If you really want Peruvian chicken, Cuzco Peru offers quite the “super combo” (pictured) – no, really, that’s the name – for $8.50, which comes with a quarter chicken, salad, and your choice of rice&beans, green plantains, sweet plantains, or fried cassava – and don’t forget to ask for extra green sauce. Feeling adventurous? Try the leche de tigre, a ceviche with chunks of fish and other seafood tossed with a spicy lemon juice, topped with shrimp.

5 Burro Cafe

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7205 Austin Street
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 544-2984

127 Columbia St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 875-5515

See Also: NYC’s 5 Best Plates Of Nachos

Everyone wishes they had the perfect neighborhood Mexican spot; 5 Burro is that perfect little spot. Thankfully open for lunch, 5 Burro offers their full menu for lunch, with minor changes like two tacos instead of three. This will still definitely stuff you full of delicious food inexpensively, with enough for leftovers to take home. Try anything with the ‘tasty pork & cilantro’ because, as the name suggests, it is tasty. VERY tasty. Each platter comes with rice, beans, healthy scoops of sour cream, guacamole, and refreshing pico de gallo for you to garnish your tacos, though they don’t need any additions to be delicious. If you’re feeling daring, try a mini-margarita – each garnished with a cute toy – for $5. Happily, none of this will push you over budget for lunch OR dinner.

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Yvo Sin is the founder and head writer of The Feisty Foodie.


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