'Sri Lankan' on Serious Eats

Market Tours: Lanka Grocery, Staten Island's Destination Sri Lankan Market

The sloping, tree-lined Victory Boulevard that crisscrosses Staten Island's Tompkinsville neighborhood offers visitors a spectacular view of Manhattan. But it's more than a pretty residential street with views that would make a Brooklyner rethink their rooftop: it's also the heart of the Sri Lankan community that's taken hold on Staten Island (with some great restaurants to boot).

It's also home to Lanka Grocery.


The Vegetarian Option: Dosa Garden

When it comes to dining in the five boroughs, Staten Island often gets left off of the radar. People are willing to make the trip out to Flushing or Sunset Park, but rarely across the water. I'm sure part of it is the trip itself; to get to Dosa Garden I had to take the train to the ferry, then another train, and then I had to walk (uphill) for almost a mile. Yet the stretch of Victory Boulevard between the Tompkinsville stop of the Staten Island Railroad and the restaurant was positively flush with sights that would make even the most jaded New York foodie sit up and take notice: a roti shop, a Nigerian grocery, and multiple Sri Lankan restaurants. More

Date Night: Banana Leaf

The motley nature of Sri Lankan food has few rivals, as amply displayed at Banana Leaf, a narrow, dark, and winning restaurant on an unprepossessing strip in northern Chelsea. Here, an appetizer sings in Hindi, while one entree speaks fluent Thai and another whispers with a Dutch accent. The flavors on display demonstrate centuries of cross-cultural exchange, utterly upending any notion of indigenous purity. More

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