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The Freakin Rican
Photograph: Courtesy The Freakin Rican

5 great outdoor dining spots in Astoria

This popular Queens neighborhood’s vibrant streets set the perfect stage for dining al fresco.

By Bao Ong
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Astoria may be known best for its large Greek community, but it actually offers much more. From crisp Puerto Rican pasteles to flavorful bowls of Thai noodle soups, there’s a wide-range of cuisines to be found here. This summer, we’ll be enjoying our meals outdoors as indoor eating and drinking are on hold. But this popular Queens neighborhood’s vibrant streets set the perfect stage for dining al fresco. Here’s where to go:

Compton's
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

Compton's

3 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Sandwich shops Astoria

You also feel like you’ve been sucked into a 1990s time warp when TLC’s “No Scrubs” plays on the flat-screen TV and replicas of Jeff Koons’s Balloon Dog sculptures adorn the shelves. Looking like they’re hungover, locals stroll in on weekends wearing shorts and baseball caps and some arrive on skateboards. Then they order hefty sandwiches to undo their late-night shenanigans. The sandwiches and burgers are fairly priced and portions are large—all things we love about Compton’s.

Photograph: Courtesy of The Freakin Rican

The Freakin Rican

Restaurants Puerto Rican Astoria

It’s an exciting time for Puerto Rican food in New York (one of our favorite caterers specializing in the cuisine, Que Chevere, opened at Essex Crossing this past year). Here, Derick López’s The Freakin Rican has gained much critical acclaim. One reason? The pasteles, broiled plantains with pork are worth the trip.

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Milkflower
Photograph: Courtesy Milkflower/Sara Duffy

Milkflower

Restaurants Pizza Astoria

New Jersey brothers Peter and Danny Aggelatos flip Neapolitan-style pies topped with Brooklyn Grange produce at this neighborhood favorite. Wood-fired crusts are topped with creative combos like spicy sopressata and thyme honey; and brussels sprouts, farm egg and truffle oil. The beer list also skews seasonal, highlighting American sips from Dogfish Head, Victory Brewing Company and Firestone. It’s all perfect to enjoy al fresco.

Taverna Kyclades
Photograph: Dominic Perri

Taverna Kyclades

Restaurants Greek Astoria

The Greek banter rising from the back patio ought to tip you off: This sunny spot is one of the more authentic tavernas among Astoria’s Hellenic roster. Crisp calamari, flash-fried sardines and succulent grilled scallops are as fresh and deftly cooked as those you’d find at a seaside spot. You can’t go wrong for Greek fare here.

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Pye Boat Noodle
Photograph: Courtesy of Pye Boat Noodle

Pye Boat Noodle

Restaurants Astoria

The word "pye" in Thai means paddles, once a necessary tool for guiding the small wooden boats that would transport noodle soups along the canals of Bangkok. The boat noodle soup epitomizes the style of Bangok street food on the menu with its quick cooking ingredients: thin rice noodles, bean sprouts, roast pork, dried baby shrimp and ground pork in a chicken broth. You can slurp your bowl of noodles in the nicely appointed backyard space.

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