JonNYC recently recommended Spicy Lanka restaurant at 159-23 Hillside Avenue in Jamaica, Queens. It’s a great option for two reasons.
- Good Sri Lankan food is always a great option.
- It’s just 5 miles from New York’s JFK airport
I was in New York for about 20 hours, flying into LaGuardia and out of JFK. I was on a 5:30pm flight out yesterday. The lunch event I attended in Manhattan yesterday was more useful for talking with folks and I decided not to eat anything, I got out of there around 2:30pm, so I decided to stop here on the way to the airport. Good call.
(Although I was originally concerned by the ‘A’ rating in the window.)
And I realized this is a great option for a long-ish layover at JFK. I don’t think most people should attempt this with less than a 3 hour connection. You’ll want to cab or Uber, public transit options are just going to take awhile. It can be as little as a 10 minute drive, but plan for 20. Traffic yesterday at 4:30pm was bad, naturally and it took me 16 minutes. I mapped it this morning around 9am and it was showing 19 minutes.
I didn’t have a ton of time while I was there. Around 3:30pm there were two other tables occupied. I stood in the entryway for a few minutes until the server came out with food for one of the tables, she apologized profusely. I didn’t take a menu, I just asked for chicken kothu and stringhopper noodles with fish curry. Then when I saw her bring falooda to the next table over and asked for some as well.
It was outstanding, spicy, flavorful. It wasn’t quite the version I had three months back in Colombo, but it sure hit the spot.
String hopper with fish curry
The noodles were perfect and the curry excellent, folks that don’t like extremely ‘fishy’ taste of course won’t prefer the fish curry but I much enjoyed it.
Sweet, yummy goodness of course.
Here’s the restaurant menu. Kothu is a steal at $8 ($9 for beef or mutton). I can’t wait to go back to try their biryani and their other curries.
I’d highly suggest this for pre-flight dining out of JFK. I’ll take this over just about anything that’s going to be served onboard, and unquestionably over anything that’s available in terminals 7 or 8 which is where I’ve generally departed from.