Astoria is as rich in culture as its namesake, John Jacob Astor, was rich in commodities.
Use the NYTG Neighborhood Guide: Astoria to navigate the area and find great places to visit all over this Queens community (and download the map here).
NYTG Neighborhood Guide: Astoria
Begin by taking the N or Q train to Astoria – Ditmars Blvd. Walk towards the East River and you’ll find Astoria Park, a 60-acre stretch that offers beautiful, waterfront views of Midtown Manhattan. If walking works up an appetite, you’re in luck. Many of Astoria’s traditional Greek restaurants are on Ditmars Boulevard – check out Taverna Kyclades and MP Taverna, which sit on either side of 31st Street. If you’d rather drink, northern Astoria is packed with bars. Go to Bowery Bay on Ditmars Boulevard and 21st Street for unique cocktails, or hit up Astoria Beer and Brew next door if you’re looking for something hoppy. Mosaic Craft Beer and Wine Bar on 24th Avenue doesn’t serve cocktails, but it does have a wide selection from local breweries and independent vineyards within an ambient atmosphere. Go southeast on 24th Avenue and you’ll find the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, an Astoria staple that’s been operating since 1910. It serves traditional Czech and Slovak food like bratwurst and goulash alongside sundry pints of ale.
Walk underneath I-278 towards Astoria Boulevard and find more places to eat. Basil serves brick-oven pizza that will cure your carbohydrate cravings. Walk south to 30th Avenue from there and see Athens Square, a park that features classic Grecian architecture. Head east and you’ll find Ovelia, another one of Astoria’s popular Greek restaurants. Get a drink at Katch down the block when you’re done with your meal – the sports bar has over 60 big screens and the bartenders will help you find any game, no matter how obscure. For a truly decadent experience, Queens Comfort serves diner food on steroids. Dishes like Peanut Butter, Jelly, and Bacon-stuffed French Toast, Capn’ Crunch Fried Chicken, and Truffle Mac n’ Cheese make up the menu.
Walk off your meal with a little shopping. Rudy’s Hobby & Art has a great selection of craft supplies and decorations. Get a fantastic new outfit with vintage finds at LoveDay31 on 31st Avenue, and then check out Lockwood around the corner on 31st Street for home décor and gifts. The Astoria Bookshop is another great place to find a unique publication for your favorite bookworm (or to treat yourself to a present).
Art buffs will find many great sites in Astoria. The Socrates Sculpture Park off of 31st Drive has rotating exhibits from artists all over the globe, and the Noguchi Museum on Vernon 33rd Road features some of the sculptor’s famed pieces in an open-air building – a uniquely designed edifice that provides an intimate, reflective setting. Film enthusiasts will love The Museum of the Moving Image on 35th Avenue; it features set pieces and props from renowned films, as well as galleries devoted to modern innovations like graphic design and video games.
Want to fulfill your childhood dream of meeting Big Bird? Ask a local to tell you how to get Sesame Street – they’ll direct you to Kaufman Astoria Studios, where the legendary television series is filmed. Visit the neighborhood’s newer biergarten, Studio Square, afterwards; it has cheap pitchers and lots of seating options that you can enjoy with a side of poutine. You can catch the N/Q train again from 36th Avenue or get the M, N, or R train at Steinway Street for easy access out of the borough when you’re finally full.
So concludes NYTG Neighborhood Guide: Astoria — check out other NYTG Guides here.