Imperial Palace

The rating scale of 0 to 100 reflects our editors’ appraisals of all the tangible and intangible factors that make a restaurant or bar great — or terrible — regardless of price.

Read more about the new ratings
83 Very Good

This frenetic Cantonese spot specializes in succulent seafood dishes.

136-13 37th Ave., Queens, NY, 11354


Known For

The lowdown

Located on a block adjacent to acres of municipal parking lots, Imperial Palace sports the hallmarks of quintessential Chinese restaurants: fish tank, crystal chandeliers, ceiling tiles, and salmon-colored banquet chairs. The Joe’s Shanghai–grade mob scene at the hostess stand is one tip that exceptional food flows from the kitchen. By dinner rush, the dining room is packed with families of six and eight swiveling their lazy Susans to reach for crackly segments of fried chicken or fleshy sable served sizzling on a cast-iron pan. The seafood-heavy menu is overwhelming; particularly since there’s hardly a dud among the scores of choices. Elephantine pacific oysters steamed with a bright splash of black-bean sauce are just smaller than a dinner plate. The main event is a Dungeness crab in a bamboo steamer filled with sticky rice and chopped scallion. One bite of the dreamy, succulent meat makes the trip out on the 7 train worth it.

What you need to know

Recommended DishesSteamed pacific oyster; sizzling sable fish with black bean sauce; Dungeness crab with sticky rice.

DrinksBeer and Wine

Noise LevelCivilized