High-end grocery in Astoria?
My wife and I are seriously contemplating a move from Manhattan to Astoria. We really dig the neighborhood for a lot of reasons, but one thing I haven't seen is a high-end place for fish, cheese, appetizing, prepared food, etc. Does such a place exist? Is there anything comparable to Agata and Valentina or Citarella in Astoria? If not, are there particular specialty places that people recommend (e.g., a fish market)? I only noticed a fish place on 31st St. near the Ditmars stop, which I wasn't terribly impressed with, and as far as markets go, all I saw was Top Tomato and Key Foods. Am I missing something, or is that it?
I am in the process of moving to Astoria after having grown up a few blocks from Fairway, Zabar's, etc. I don't think there is a place that exists like these stores. As far as a good fish place, I hear good things about Marino on 30th ave and I think 37th street. Definitely a lot cheaper than Citarella (but then most places are) They seem to close pretty early. For all things Greek (including a great Feta counter, olive bar, prepared spreads, pastries), make sure to check out Titan Foods, the Greek supermarket on 31st street near Astoria Boulevard (25-56 31st st) Hope this helps.
My partner and I love to cook and shop for food, and this was one of our primary reasons for moving to Astoria! You won't find a one-stop shopping place per se, but need to hit the markets along the way for all your needs. 30th avenue between 31st street and Steinway has 2 very good fish stores (including the impeccable Marino's), International (a first-rate butcher shop) for meats, including D'Artagnan products, Tony and Daves as well as Sorriso (at 44th street) for Italian products, plus several bakeries. There are also 2 large vegetable markets at 32nd street and a few blocks east, an organic food store. Towards 29th street on 30th ave is Trade Fair- a big messy wonderful grocery store with specialties reflecting the diversity of the neighborhood- I actually spotted a can of stewed iguana- a decent vegetable selection, tons of unusual grains, frozen goods, etc. Just around the corner (on 31st street)
is a huge diverse wine store with wines from everywhere (Spain, Greece, France India, Morocco, Romania!!)
Just north of 30th ave on 31st street, Check out Ya Ya's bakery for great Greek pastries, and head north on 31st street under the train to Artopolis, a breathtakingly beautiful bakery, and nearby Titan foods for all things Greek. Also off 31st towards Ditmars you will find Christo's on 23rd ave to the west, a Greek shop with great prices on Parmesean feta etc. To the east on 23rd is a store which only makes home made pasta (it's name escapes me...) There is so much more, check out Steinway for a myriad of Middle Eastern stores and markets
What you will NOT find (or at least I haven't) is a place to by good french cheeses and other such fancy food products, but this is a small consolation! Enjoy the neighborhood.
The borough of Brooklyn was the first to welcome "gourmet" establishments like Fairway and The Garden into their working-class neighborhoods of Red Hook and Greenpoint respectively. Can Astoria in Queens be far behind? Astoria has so much already to offer. It does not have a high-end "one-stop-shopping" location like say a Grace's Marketplace, Citarella's, Eli's Manhattan, or Agata & Valentina's. Those places will all remain behind on the UES after you move, unfortunately.
Astoria has a lot of smaller but great shops of its own. Titan Foods. Mediterranean Foods. Trade Fair. Rosarios. Omonia. Artopolis. etc etc.
The only store I know of that fits into the category of high-end and is worth a visit from anywhere is ARTOPOLIS.
Most everywhere else is affordable shopping to accomodate the surrounding community. If the rents keep climbing as they are, it won't be long before you see gourmet shops cropping up everywhere to keep up with the changing demographics. But until then, enjoy the neighborhood for its present charm.
D&F on Broadway is fabulous. You no longer need Fairway or Zabars---you have Gary. He makes fresh mozzarella in the back several times a day---it is fabulous. Prices are good, service really friendly. The prepared foods are terrific--which is saying a lot for me, since I am Italian and am PICKY about la bella cucina. I have been known to stop at D&F for the starters when I am doing a last minute dinner party.
Address: D&F Italian Deli, 35-13 Broadway, Astoria, Queens, NY (35th and 36th Sts)
Hours: Open M-F 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sat 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sun 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Subway: N, W to Broadway; R, V, G to Steinway
Menu: Breakfast, sandwiches, fresh sausages and cheeses
I moved to Astoria b/c of the grocery shopping and stayed b/c of the restaurants. I lived near 30th ave, so all these places are in the vicinity:
Italian deli (don't remember the name) on 30th ave and around 35-37th st. Fresh italian prosciutto and any other cold cuts.
There is also a butcher a little further up that was great, as well as the one near the subway where I used to buy rabbit.
Produce in Astoria is great, I favored the Greek place on 30th ave and 35th(?).
Opa-Opa bakery (next door to the restaurant) on 30th st, slightly north of the subway, has absolutely amazing. bread, cookies and pastries baked in a wood-burning oven. try the olive bread, you will move to Astoria.
For seafood, there is a place up 30th ave (all of this is between the N and steinway) that has a cheezy mermaid/sea theme out front. They actually have really good quality and some good variety.
Wander down 30th ave (and to Opa bakery) and you won't be dissapointed. Think of yourself as European, dropping into various shops, they're all very close to one another.
Also, Ferrara pastries are passable, but fun to have an espresso and cookie there. There's also Joe's or Frank's(?) where they make real cannoli and sfogiatelle.
Very good baba ganoush, hummus, and kibbeh can be had down Steinway at El Rawhsheh, and there is an excellent grocery store for nuts and dried fruit near Astoria Blvd in the shopping plaza.
Anybody know anything about the "International Supermarket" that's being constructed at 34th Ave and 35th Street, next to the Kaufmann studios and that great Greek restaurant S'Agapo?
I heard it's opening up around Sep-Oct. Maybe it will be a step up from C-Town, Associated, and the like. I heard it might be affiliated with the Bravo supermarkets, though.
It's definitely a Bravo market on 34th Ave. Hasn't opened yet.
With the opening of Le Petit Prince, a new French bakery on Broadway at 33rd, Astoria is pretty much complete on the grocery front, I think. Excellent produce, amazing range of world cuisine (though still skimpy on Asian stuff). I _guess_ there could be a better fish joint...
honetly-- everything is walking distance in Astoria- although our stuff might not be as "high class" as the city- it sure seems like it is getting up there... (with a few small sacrifices on your part), you would probably like the convenience that Astoria has to offer and especially the fact that the city is 10 minutes away... Good luck making your decision and possible move...