Best Astoria restaurants
This Brazilian, mostly takeout spot offers breakfast all day and its authentic meats make appearances throughout lunch and dinner, heavy on inventive sandwiches and burgers. Fresh fruit juices and smoothies, and the popular Brazilian soda, Guarana, round out refreshing memories of Rio at this hidden spot.
Philippe Fallait brings the flavors of his native Brittany to Astoria with this blue-and-white-walled café. The diminutive spot specializes in sweet and savory crêpes; sample hearty fillings like lamb and aged cheddar, and poached pear with aged goat cheese and toasted almonds.
A neighborhood staple for over 55 years, Rizzo’s is a family-owned pizza parlor that still slings their pies from scratch, using family recipes. Made famous for their mozzarella-topped square pizza, known for its thin, crispy crust and sharp Parmigiano and Romano cheeses, this original Astoria location also serves up addictive garlic knots, classic pizza rounds and a variety of specialty pies to a dedicated Queens clientele.
Some Astorians deem Vesta the best thing to have happened to the ’hood since Elias Corner. (Only, it’s Italian.) This perpetually packed trattoria attracts diners nightly with its modern rustic cuisine—and pasta in particular. We can’t say no to the orecchiette with pork sausage and Swiss chard and hearty wild boar lasagna.
Paninis are the focus of this 32-seat spot, decked out with wooden farm tables and an outdoor garden. Choose from fillings like house-made porchetta and spicy pickle slaw, or opt for small plates like chickpea panzanella and baked stuffed portobello.
If you don’t feel like splurging at Mombar, head a few doors down to the pint-sized Kabab Café. The food is just as delectable, but cheaper and less gussied-up. Cheerful proprietor Ali el-Sayed wants you to be happy; start on your way with velvety baba ghanoush (studded with apples for a sweet twist) and perfectly crisped, creamy sweetbreads. Logs of ground lamb and beef kofta are well-spiced, and the classic moussaka is a hearty vegetarian option.
Steaming bowls of umami-laden ramen are dished out from an open kitchen at this neighborhood staple. Choose from 14 soups, including the Kagoshima-style tonkotsu (pork bone), Nagoya-style (chicken bone) and vegetable broths, along with add-on toppings like chashu (barbecued) pork, poached egg and menma (bamboo shoots). Gyoza, ebi shumai and the rice-bowl dish donburi round out the simple menu.
In the Thai language, the word "pye" means paddles—necessary tools for guiding the small wooden boats that transport noodle soup along the canals of Bangkok. A simple menu of Thai street food (called "hawker food") is found in the old D & F Deli space, where the noodles and soups come with beer and creamy Thai iced tea to wash it all down. The sukhothai soup epitomizes the style of Bangkok street food with its quick cooking ingredients: thin rice noodles, long beans, roast pork, dried baby shrimp and ground pork in a spicy chicken broth.
When you reserve a table, bear in mind that this wood-beamed restaurant is a rare Queens spot where diners are known to dress for dinner. Service is appropriately suave, though the waiter's absurdly long recitation of specials veers into Monty Python territory. Still, whatever he brings out is likely to be good. Salads, pizzas and pastas are nicely put together; zuppa di pesce and braised short rib are richly flavorful. The tiramisu makes a lovely nightcap.
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