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Sweet Afton
Photograph: Noah Fecks

The Best Astoria, Queens Bars

The best bars in Astoria range from amazing cocktail dens to an early-20th-century beer garden and craft-beer havens

By Time Out contributors

Whatever your poison, Astoria offers several worthwhile drinking options. Want a stiff drink in classy cocktail den? A few cold ones at one of the city's live music venues? A stein in a 100-plus-year old beer garden? Or how about some suds at one of the best New York breweries? Astoria has you covered. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Astoria, Queens

Sek'end Sun
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

1. Sek'end Sun

Bars Cocktail bars Astoria

One of Queens' best neighborhood bar is this spot serving up drinks with ingredients like pineapple and spirits like absinthe and rum. It's also where you'll find one of Astoria's best outdoor spots for drinks.

Baker's Dozen at The Bonnie
Photograph: Courtesy The Bonnie

2. The Bonnie

Bars Gastropubs Astoria

Searching for the perfect date-night spot? This magical, brick-and-wood gastropub is a great choice. Whether you’re interested in plowing through the joint’s artisan cocktail list including fruity sips like the Bonnie Punch or its dinner menu comprising hearty, laid-back fare (try the dry-aged burger topped with with crispy pork belly), you’re guaranteed a good time. Make sure to check out the spot on Thursday evening to check out some live music from local talents.

Sweet Afton
Photograph: Noah Fecks

3. Sweet Afton

Bars Beer bars Astoria

Kris Moran, the set decorator most known for her work on Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdomredesigned Sweet Afton—a bar that's a part of the hospitality group running The Wren, The Bonnie, The Spaniard, Bua and Wilfie & Nell—in honor of the spot's 10-year anniversary in Astoria. 

Queen's Room
Photograph: Courtesy Queen's Room

4. Queen's Room

Restaurants American Astoria

At this regal eatery and bar, you’ll be treated like royalty—especially on Tuesday nights, when beer, wine and well drinks are two for one. (Trivia goes down at 7pm, too.) As for the bites, you can’t go wrong with the mussels provençal or the signature bourbon BBQ burger with a side of thick—and addictive—hand-cut fries.

Bohemian Hall
Photograph: Gabriela Herman

5. Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden

Bars Beer bars Astoria

New York’s oldest beer garden still has it, serving a variety of brews on tap and Czech and Slovak cuisine  that’s worth licking your plate. Order a massive stein and a grilled bratwurst in honor of Oktoberfest or swing by for events like the Vinyl Revolution Record Show on September 30, when a $5 cover fee grants you access to some great, rare LPs.

Photograph: Courtesy Mar's/Evangelos Roumeliotis

6. Mar's

Restaurants Mediterranean Astoria

This warm, moodily lit bar-restaurant is a popular local hangout and a great date spot, featuring a seafood-centric menu that melds Mediterranean influences with New England traditions. There’s also adventurous cocktails, which highlight exotic ingredients like applejack-soaked Mission figs.

The Highwater
Photograph: Courtesy The Highwater

7. The Highwater

Bars Cocktail bars Astoria

The hippest neighborhood in Queens has a literal Highwater mark. Bright and breezy, the Highwater is a tropical oasis for both the down-to-earth and the down-to-fuck. At the Highwater you feel like you’re exhaling the whole time. It’s liquid yoga.

Photograph: Courtesy Let Love Inn

8. The Let Love Inn

Bars Astoria

Perhaps Astoria’s best kept secret, this old-fashioned jazz bar checks off all the boxes. It boasts a great cocktail, beer and wine list, has a warm and cozy atmosphere, plus incredible live music (with no cover!). On Monday nights, jam out to tunes provided by Adam Platt Trio, get funky with the Subtonic Three on Tuesday at 9pm and get into the groove with guest DJs on Friday and Saturday evenings. In case you were wondering, the haunt gets its name from Nick Cave’s heartbreaking hit “I Let Love In,” which is one of the owner’s (Evan Rumeliotis) favorites. 

Photograph: Courtesy Sunswick 35/35

9. Sunswick 35/35

Bars Beer bars Astoria

Outsiders think of Queens as the beer-garden borough, but locals know that they’ve got a craft-beer bar to rival Manhattan’s best. The name refers to a creek that used to run from the East River to the area that is now Astoria; today, a rotating selection of beers from top domestic and international breweries ($5–$9) rush through 25 taps. Snag shot-size samples from bartenders before committing, then settle in at a high-top table. The weekday happy hour (3–7pm) is a chance to try great beers at varying discounts, while monthly events showcase serious American hops.

Photograph: Dominic Perri

10. SingleCut Beersmiths

Bars Breweries Astoria

Queens—a brewery hotbed for German immigrants before Prohibition—rejuvenates its sudsy past with this 5,000-square-foot microbrewery and tasting room. Owner Rich Buceta, who cut his teeth at Greenpoint Beer Works, produces souped-up versions of classic styles, such as a Double Umlaut Lagrrr!, a German bock aged in old Jamaican rum barrels. Other offerings include a boozy Imperial Full Stack IPA and 19-33 Lagrrr!, an aggressively hopped pilsner. Sip a stein in the 25-seat tasting room, handsomely appointed with mahogany walls, red oak communal tables and hanging metallic lamps. Once you've had your fill, take your favorite brew to go in a growler. A stage for live performances adjoining the tasting room will feature live acts soon, reflecting Buceta's passion for music (the brewery's name references a part of a guitar's neck).

Photograph: Courtesy of The Ditty

11. The Ditty

Bars Cocktail bars Astoria

This Astoria haunt is self-described as “your friendly neighborhood cocktail bar,” but it’s actually more than that. It doubles as a rustic and relaxed dinner and brunch spot, and moonlights as a lively bar where game-playing fiends congregate to play classics from your childhood like Guess Who?, Uno and Scrabble. The spot is also known to host the occasional free, throwback movie night (recent flicks include The Breakfast Club and The Mask) in its backyard.

Grilled Cheese with truffle oil and cabbage at Sparrows Tavern
Photograph: Laura Gallant

12. The Sparrow Tavern

Bars Beer bars Astoria

Young professionals join artsy crowds at this neighborhood cocktail bar. Quaffs feature twists on classics: Whiskey sours are made with saffron simple syrup, while organic blueberry juice and lavender go into the mojito. Behind the 12-seat bar, there are ten draft suds—including Astoria's Singlecut 19-33—as well as 15 by the bottle (Angry Orchard, Breckenridge IPA). You'll find pork tacos and herbed lamb ribs on the menu, along with a veggie burger that earned a nod on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.


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