A popular stretch of Long Island City (24th St and 40th Ave) has just received its first Citi Bike stations, which means the Queens neighborhood is now more accessible than ever. If you’re going for a leisurely day trip, gearing up for a morning commute, running errands or gunning for a hardcore trek from FiDi, here are the places to eat or drink before you hop aboard or after a long ride.
LIC Beer Project: This boutique tap house serves hazy-style suds brewed right on the premises. Cool off with hoppy IPAs like the aromatic Pile of Crowns in its industrial-style space.
Crescent Grill: This community-focused restaurant serves seasonal fare sourced from local farms alongside NYC-based brews to wash it all down. The Dougherty Gallery inside the premises is run by the chef’s brother, Daniel Dougherty, and showcases a wide range of pieces sourced from local artists.
The Baroness Bar and Kitchen: Get the burger at the Baroness. Which burger? Doesn’t really matter. After an arduous ride, you’ll have 16 patties to choose from sans guilt. If you’re really looking to indulge, order the Marilyn, which is bacon-wrapped and stuffed with mac and cheese.
Gordo’s Cantina: The south-of-the-border spot began as a pop-up dishing out Mexican street food in NYC fairs and fests, like Hester Street Fair and the Bryant Park HBO Film Festival. As of 2016, it’s a full-fledged brick and mortar. Stop by for some hearty tacos, burritos and quesadillas along the route.
Birch Coffee: If you’re feeling a bit worn down after the ride, or are looking for an extra pep before, stop in for an energy boost at this trendy java chain that serves velvety coffee, espresso and cold brew.
Resobox: Resobox, a privately-owned Japanese cultural center, is a destination all in itself thanks to its Japanese-inspired art gallery and classes (Bonsai workshop, Manga drawing). Take a break in the center’s cafe for authentic eats of ramen, udon, rice bowls and sushi.
Clever Blend LIC (formerly Triple Shot World Atlas Cafe): Eating the hand-rolled bagels doled out at this compact cafe are the best way to carboload before a ride. Get ‘em stuffed with ingredients like lox, avocado and scallions. Oh, and the cafe also proclaims on its website that it has “coffee that doesn’t suck,” so maybe order a cup of joe as well.
Dutch Kills: It’s a bit of a trek to this upscale cocktail bar from the docking station, but, hey, you’re on a bike, anyway. Try some of the most well-crafted elixirs in town, like a traffic light-colored Queens Park Swizzle or a customized order off the menu. You might want to leave the workout clothes at home.
Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge: Okay, so this one isn’t really a restaurant, but if you’re feeling extra athletic before or after your ride, you can conquer the walls at this rock climbing branch. Fuel up with protein-packed snacks served at the front like Cliff Bars, spicy beef jerky and Muscle Milk.