Getting to know the Queens food scene is like taking a trip around the world, and the candy selection throughout the borough is no exception. Indulge in a journey from Flushing to Astoria, stopping for sugary treats along the way. Just make sure you have a good dentist.
Kar Wor Tong – Flushing – Chinese – The narrow shop Kar Wor Tong—that you might miss if you’re not looking for it, or even if you are—sells Chinese dried fruits, herbs, and candy by the pound. (Candy comes to about 10 cents a piece, so let the kiddies fill up a bag.) Flavors of hard and chewy sweets include red bean, lychee, peanut, corn, mango, coconut, pineapple, and tomato. Don’t be scared away if you don’t speak Mandarin or Cantonese; just smile, point, take a bag, and start filling. (GMAP)
Maharaja Sweets & Snacks – Jackson Heights – South Asian – Venture to Jackson Heights for freshly made South Asian sweets at Maharaja Sweets & Snacks, where the display bursts with possibilities. Will you try the moist yellow cham cham, the crispy orange jalebi, or the silver leaf-covered chocolate burfi? It’s hard to tell what’s what if you’re unfamiliar with Indian desserts, so try to squeeze in questions to the staff when there’s a break between regular customers rattling off their orders. We Heart New York has some great photos of the treats. If you need pre-packaged treats instead, head to the Patel Brothers grocery store around the corner. (GMAP)
Phil-Am Foods – Woodside – Filipino – For Filipino treats, walk a few blocks to Woodside’s Phil-Am Foods, where you can buy chewy, milky pastillas in adventurous flavors like purple yam, jackfruit, carrot, and macapuno—also known as “gelatinous mutant coconut.” Many flavor names are written in Tagalog, so just use this handy key: purple = yam; white = coconut; orange and yellow are anyone’s guess. (GMAP)
Parrot Coffee – Sunnyside – Eastern European and Mediterranean – Next, head to Parrot Coffee in Sunnyside for Eastern European and Mediterranean foods. Coffee, olives, yogurt, spices and other essentials from the homeland are favorites here, but the candy aisle isn’t lacking either. There’s a selection of Turkish delight, as well as packaged confections like ouzo-flavored hard candies from Greece, pistachio-laced chocolates from Turkey, and chocolate-covered banana fluff from Austria. For more photos, see the review at Our LIC. (GMAP)
Euromarket – Astoria – European – Finally, Euromarket, a full-sized Astoria supermarket with products from all over Europe, has a large array of popular candy bars, especially from the UK, including Fry’s Turkish Delight, Curly Wurly, Drifter, Yorkie, Wispa, Bounty, and Milkybar. You’ll also be like a kid in a candy store if you’re a beer aficionado, an olive lover, a cured meat connoisseur, or a cookie junkie—this store has it all. (GMAP)
Joanna Eng is a Sunnyside-based writer covering arts, culture, and all things green. She loves biking, books, public parks, and Southeast Asian vegetarian food.