Queens >Subzi Mandi
72-30 37th Avenue, Jackson Heights, NY | Directions 1137240.748843 -73.892905
Neighborhoods: Jackson Heights
Go there. Now. Seriously. – Jump on the Queens bound F train when you're in Manhattan, and take it on down about two stops past Roosevelt Island. Once you're there, exit from the side where they have the giant double glass doors. It's a short skip and a jump away from there, at the end of 35th, with a hideous like peach and pink (? not 100% sure) awning over it. You'll see lots of the produce sitting outside. Meanwhile, Subzi Mandi is such an iconic place that literally anyone on the streets can tell you how to get there.
Once inside, get ready for the melee, because it will be very crowded (on weekends). The aisles are relatively cramped because of all the people in there, so be prepared with a "excuse me, please" or ten, so that you can navigate the store. If you see some produce that looks interesting, but you don't know what to do with it, wait for someone to approach that vegetable (or fruit!), and simply ask them what they do with it. Most people are more than happy to share their tips on the best way to cook ("My mummy always did it this way ...").
Although Patel Brothers (one block away on 37th) is bigger, and has fancier equipment, and all that jazz, skip their higher prices, and go to "The Ladies' First Choice" (as is printed on their shopping bags haha). Definitely worth the schlep from Manhattan, especially if you want CHEAP garlic and ginger and chilies and cilantro (I got cilantro at 2 huge bunches for a dollar). Also, unlike overpriced Kalyustan's in Curry Hill, you'll actually find real live Indians shopping there.
When you're in the neighbourhood, dash over to the other Indian clothing and jewellery stores that are prolific in Jackson Heights.
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