New York City is known for being a big and beautiful mishmash of cultures, but there’s one borough in particular that lets you taste the whole world within just a few blocks. Erik Trinidad heads off in search of deliciousness.

Standing in the food court of the New World Mall in Flushing—a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens—and first glance, it appeared like the mall hangouts of my teen years in suburban New Jersey. However, upon closer look, the culinary selections were a tad different.

In a spot where there might have been an Auntie Anne’s, women at Joong Han Bon Sik were not hand-making pretzels; instead, Korean-Chinese dumplings with different fillings from fish to lamb. In lieu of a Cinnabon, a man was garnishing bonito flakes over takoyaki, balls of Japanese batter filled with diced octopus. And across the way, I saw big wooden bowls of Sichuan malatang, a spicy stir-fry containing some familiar ingredients like chicken and beef, and some not so common, like lotus root, tripe, woodear mushrooms, fish cake, and frogs’ legs. Panda Express, this was not.