With a population of 8.5 million, NYC has an awful lot of mouths to feed. Luckily, we've got our fair share of restaurants, with 24,000+ in Manhattan alone. But breaking out of Manhattan proper, the other boroughs are also teeming with worthwhile places to eat. Here, we set our sights on Queens.
Like oh so many of our fave trendy NYC bars, The Bonnie nails the reclaimed, rustic-industrial look we crave. Exposed brick walls, hanging plants, communal picnic tables, and red leather-topped bar stools cater to a young, typically bearded and tatted-up crowd. As for the elevated pub menu, we lean towards crispy fish tacos, beer battered pickles, and the Bonnie Burger (à la Pat LaFrieda). Of course, this is a happening bar, so you simply have to imbibe in a house cocktail (or two); we’re particularly partial to the Jailer’s Daughter – vodka, Darjeeling tea, Granny Smith apple, vermouth, Cocchi Rosa, caraway, honey, and lemon.
Where to Find it: 29-12 23rd Ave, Astoria, NY 11105
Since David Chang's Momofuku Noodle Bar hit East Village in 2004, New Yorkers have been swept up in ramen rapture. Innovative versions of the Japanese dish can, in fact, be found outside of Manhattan, however, and the recently-opened Tamashii Blue is a prime example of why you should stray to the outer boroughs. As the first Japanese restaurant in Astoria (circa 2005), Tamashii found instant success and expanded to LIC with more than a dozen ramen dishes and a slew of sakés. If you're up for some spice, go for the Tantanmen, a mix of ground pork, bean sprouts, scallion, onion, broccoli, bok choy, egg, menma (bamboo), and mineral salt.
Where to Find it: 47-36 Vernon Blvd, Long Island City, NY 11101
Pick a cuisine, any cuisine, and with some assistance from Yelp, you’ll likely be able to find a handful of joints serving your favorite international dish – just don't hold your breath on authenticity. At Tortilleria & Taqueria Nixtamal, Fernando Ruiz wanted to turn that concept on its head. As a Veracruz native, he set out to bring real Mexican food to NYC, starting first with homemade corn tortillas. We’d say he succeeded, because sweet salmon citrus ceviche, al pastor tacos served simply with cilantro, onion and pineapple, and heaping plates of mole poblano regularly call us (and plenty of others) to Corona.
Where to Find it: 104-05 47th Ave, Corona, NY 11368
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If you’re looking for something more refined, check this LIC eatery out. Grilled artichoke skewers, French onion soup with Gruyere, and Wagyu flank steak come courtesy of Québécois chef Hugue Dufour. From the outside, the space is unassuming – just a blink-and-you'll-miss-it brick exterior. That’s because M.Wells occupies what used to an auto-body shop, one that’s now been skillfully redone with painted red brick walls, wallpapered ceilings, an open kitchen, and a backlit bar. Come for the gourmet grub, stay for the ambiance (...and the gourmet grub, of course).
Where to Find it: 43-15 Crescent St, Long Island City, NY 11101
Even the most all-consuming hunger is no match for these Sunnyside cemitas. The 10-layer Mexican sandwich starts with your choice of meat (fried chicken, carnitas, barbacoa, etc.), before piling on avocado, Oaxaca cheese, pickled onions, papalo, chipotle puree, mayo, black bean puree, lettuce, and tomatoes. Along with a cemita, a milkshake is a must. While it may seem like an odd pairing – a dark chocolate milkshake and spicy Mexican sandwich – just trust us on this one.
Where to Find it: 45-14 48th Ave, Sunnyside, NY 11377
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With a Coca Cola-branded marquee and red-lit neon soda sign hanging over the door, Eddie’s is a nostalgic look into Queens’ yesteryear. Inside, dark wood features make way for a marble-topped counter lined with bar stools (think: the sweet shop where Charlie Bucket wins his Golden Ticket), where humongous sundaes are served in metal footed dishes. The Metropolitan Ave parlor has kept generations of customers happy with homemade ice cream, malts, egg creams, and candy-filled glass cases, and given their continued popularity, we don't see them going anywhere.
Where to Find it: 105-29 Metropolitan Ave, Forest Hills, NY 11375
Sometimes you just can’t make it to Paris, even when you’ve got a hankering for gâteau Breton and choux Chantilly. That’s when you hop the 7, E, F, M, or R and head for the next best thing: traditional tarts and pastries at Cannelle Patisserie. Former Waldorf-Astoria pastry chef Jean Claude Perennou holds down the fort whipping up pear tarts, chocolate eclairs, chocolate mousse and more. Just glancing the glass case will have you dreaming of sweets for days.
Where to Find it: 75-59 31st Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11370
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As far as niche restaurants go, Green Street LIC is pretty unique. The spot touts itself as an organic, Paleo-friendly, Korean BBQ joint. What does this mean for non-Paleo diners? Simply that everything you're eating is just a tad more health conscious; regular flour is traded for almond flour, soy sauce for gluten-free Tamari sauce, and white sugar for coconut sugar. You can choose from regular dishes (vegan, vegetarian and omnivorous), or you can go for table BBQ sets which come with options like bulgogi, pork belly, chicken thigh, organic vegetables, and spicy seafood stew (entirely veg options also available). Picnic-style tables are outfitted with grills so you can cook everything to your own standards.
Where to Find it: 10-39 47th Road, Long Island City, NY 11101
Funky comfort food is the name of the well-played game at this ultra-hip eatery (witness the hipness by peeping the GIF section of their site). Cap'n Crunch coated chicken fingers (with red chili bacon caramel sauce), PB&J burgers, and Bechamel, Fontina, and Cheddar mac ‘n cheese rule the menu while communal tables, mismatched dishes, and string lights complete the vibe. FYI – if you intend to drop by on the weekend, get ready to stand in line with everyone else checking out the hype.
Where to Find it: 40-09 30th Ave, Astoria, NY 11103