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An Astoria List

So I just moved out to Astoria a few weeks ago and I LOVE it, can't figure out why it took me so long to leave Manhattan. I've been trolling the boards about favorites in area. There are a few scattered lists that I was looking to consolidate and update. Everything from cheap ethnic to the Astoria version of more upscale to the best of all the 30th Ave Cafes. I'm not going to touch on Greek food here, because for that there are plenty of posts about Astoria.

So far, these are the places that I've come up with (I've only tried a couple of them) so please add on, tell me which not to bother with or offer any other general opinions.

Bistro-type-things: Bistro 33, 718 Restaurant, Stove, Brick
Italian: Piccolo Venezia, L'incontro, Il Bambino
Japanese: JJ's, Bistro 33, Nebuta
Pizza: Sac's, Rizzo, Last Stop
Chinese: ??
Thai: Thai Pavilion
30th Ave Cafes: Ovelia, Athens Cafe
Cafe: Freeze Peach, Il Bambino, Cafe Soleil
Mexican: El Rey Del Sol truck
Brazilian: Sabor Tropical, Favela
Egyptian: Mundo, Mombar, Kabab Cafe

Of these places, we've tried:
Bistro 33- REALLY impressed, great duck, very good sushi
Thai Pavilian- first time was excellent, second time just good and slightly bland (bad order?)
Ovelia- good enough food, very good drinks, somewhat pricey, comfy chairs
Il Bambino- have been three times. we love it. string bean salad with truffle dressing!
Cafe Soleil- brand new, great iced tea sweetened with buckwheat honey- oddly delicious
El Rey Del Sol- heaven
Sac's- just got a slice, not the best ever, but very good, fresh and not greasy

Alright... that's what I've got. Just wanted to get a comprehensive list together. Get some updated reviews... I've just been noticing a deficit/lack of cohesiveness in Astoria food websites/information. Thanks for the help!

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  1. Great list. And welcome to the neighborhood.

    Add Morroccan- Walima, Jour et Nuit- and the one by the citibank on Steinway... name anyone?

    Sabry's for fresh grilled fish and tahini Egyptian style - comically bad service tho

    Add Rudar's for Istrian Italian on 45th st and 36th ave....

    Add Favela for Brazilian up on 28th ave

    There are mucho good mexican places-- I believe there was a thread about them...

    Thai: the new Poodam's has been getting good reviews

    3 Replies
    1. re: quentinC

      no, malagueta for brazilian

      25-35 36th Ave, Queens, NY 11106

      1. re: zemilideias

        I agree. Malagueta is one of the best restaurants in Astoria and certainly the best Brazilian restaurants.

        25-35 36th Ave, Queens, NY 11106

        1. re: Glinda

          I tried Malageuta for the first time last week, and aside from a great Caipirinha, I wasn't blown away. I prefer Favela myself.

    2. Any tips on street meat in Astoria ?

      4 Replies
      1. re: cmballa

        There's a better-than average souvlaki cart on the SW corner of Steinway and 31st Ave. and the halal chicken-'n'-rice cart at the NW corner of Steinway and 30th Ave. is all right as such things go.

        1. re: cmballa

          Although not street meat, but a meat "pie" and you can get a huge slice of it at Yaya's Bakery. Definitely worthy of a mention here if you need a quick bite and want to fill up. Meat, spices, cheese, sweet vidalia onions, all wrapped in phyllo dough. It's a meal in itself for perhaps $3 (or less). The onions were a little too sweet for me, but some people might like it that way. The slice itself was so generously cut that I had a difficult time handling it while trying to eat and walk at the same time. I'd say it's best eaten once you get it home. Their spanakopita looked good too, btw.

          Yaya's Bakery
          2846 31st St
          Astoria, NY 11102
          (718) 932-3113

          1. re: Cheese Boy

            oh yes- the best spanikopita imho. Try the little triangles of spanikopita for 50 cents. I always pick these up when I'm having parties, and any time I'm nearby frankly. I also like the bread and pastires there. They use a wood burning oven.

            1. re: quentinC

              Wood-burning oven? I'm there: thanks for the tips.

        2. I had some great carnitas tacos today from Tacos Mexico on 38th street just south of Broadway.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Astoria Lurker

            Tulcingo deli (off the Broadway stop, just past the C-Town) is my favorite Mexican place in the neighborhood. Been going there for years,even when I didn't live anywhere near by. Try the Bistec ala Mexicana - easily the best I've ever had. Also, Opa! Souvlaki off the 30th st. stop is good. Try the Tzatziki.

          2. El Mariachi for Mexican on Broadway btwn 33rd and 34th St. Love the tortas, burritos, soups and horchata beverage.

            Try Yaiya Thai on 30th Ave near 34th St. I like it a lot, and Thai friends have told me that it's closest to Thai homecooking. I think they also make Thai offmenu dishes for Thai customers.

            Balkh Afghan Grill near corner of 23rd Ave on 31st St. I'm addicted to the pitcher of sweet lassi and the combo grill.

            1. I would suggest Burek's at Djerdan, great veal soup too. I see you have Kabab Cafe up there...try anything Ali suggests at Kabab Cafe (25th/Steinway), specifically his mezze plate, amazing lamb cheeks and tongue, and the lamb shank is the best I have ever had.

              1. Watawa on Ditmars for Sushi!!

                Great fish great rolls and and such a good feeling when you go inside.

                1. ovelia - i went there for brunch - and it made my stomach really upset for several hours afterwards. and apparently my friend didn't feel too hot afterwards as well.

                  favela - i heart!!!

                  nebuta - i went there right when it opened and quite disappointed - i ordered the beef udon soup and some tempura - lacked flavor and quite greasy. maybe i'll try it again.

                  cafe triskall on broadway - fabulous place for crepes.

                  bz grill - good for quick gyros.

                  cafe soleil - just tried it on saturday - yummy coffee and desert bars.

                  sparrow - good brunch and evening menu for a bar type of place.

                  sac's - been there once - the soup was disappointing. the pizza was the best pizza i had in astoria so far - white pizza w/ shrimp and garlic. i want to go back soon!

                  30th ave cafe - i like the new one called Vibe. not super crowded or really loud music. and the food is pretty good (except the nachos).

                  1. I did a list so similar to this when I first moved into Astoria. I compiled a list of all my fav restaurants, first by cuisine and then by Avenue/Street.

                    It's very outdated now.

                    I go to Athen's cafe for brunch every Saturday, which I love, but there is also a European crepe place on Broadway and like 33rd that makes great breakfasts.

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: doona

                      Can you post the list, however outdate, just as a place to start. My list has expanded ten-fold just by doing some research online.

                      Had pizza at Rizzo's the other day. WOW! I didn't know that pizza can be so light and fresh.

                      Fatty's is also high on my list to try. If anyone is interested I will post the further list that I've developed, it's rather large. Let me know though...

                      1. re: jdream

                        ASTORIA RESTAURANTS

                        20th ave
                        40th st tango mambo argentinean steakhouse
                        steinway ammos greek/seafood: good décor

                        Ditmars / 21st ave
                        19th st agnanti meze greek: 27 for food – very far
                        25th st fatty’s café latin American
                        31st st rizzo’s pizza
                        31st-ish michael angelo's II pizza: great crust
                        31st st emack and bolio’s ice cream: inventive flavors
                        31st st trattoria l’incontro italian: 26 for food
                        31st st el olivo spanish
                        31st st mezzo mezzo mediterranean
                        32nd st watawa sushi: great rating
                        33rd st taverna kyclades greek: outside seating
                        33rd st tony signori italian
                        35th st 718 spanish infused french food
                        36th st buon appetite deli italian
                        36th st mccann’s beer and wings
                        43rd st porto bello

                        22nd ave
                        31st st los amigos mexican
                        31st st thirty one pizza plus

                        23rd ave
                        28th st telly’s tavern greek/seafood: outside patio
                        31st st balkh shish kabob middle eastern
                        31st st tavern vraka greek
                        41st st christos greek/steakhouse

                        24th ave
                        31st st elias corner greek/seafood
                        steinway sabry’s seafood middle eastern

                        Astoria / 25th ave
                        25th st astoria world manor buffet
                        28th st la locando del buongustaio
                        30th st jimbos bar seafood – late night good octopus
                        33rd st perivoli mediterranean, seafood
                        steinway ubol’s kitchen thai
                        steinway kebab café egyptian
                        steinway mombar egyptian

                        28th ave
                        31st st opa souvlaki greek
                        33rd st girasol churrascaria brazilian steak
                        42nd st piccolo venezia italian: expensive, bad décor
                        45th st stove french / american
                        steinway raices peruvian
                        steinway jour et nuit moroccan

                        30th ave
                        25th st arigato sushi
                        29th st plaza lounge mojitos and martinis
                        30th st athen’s café greek, cafe
                        31st st zlata phaha eastern european
                        33rd st go wasabi sushi, interesting rolls
                        34th st thai angel kitchen thai
                        34th st grand avenue greek, cafe
                        34th st cyprus deli deli
                        35th st golden house takeout Chinese
                        36th st marinos fish
                        37th st thai pavilion thai
                        37th st sabor tropical brazilian
                        37th st grand café greek
                        40th st gaudio’s italian

                        29th st butcher bros steakhouse
                        30th st amici amore italian/steakhouse
                        30th st zodiac greek

                        31st ave
                        33rd st brick café french/italian
                        34th st zenon greek
                        34th st djerdan e. european
                        37th st JJ’s sushi
                        42nd st cavo trendy: garden and dancing

                        32nd ave
                        31st st la espiga ii mexican

                        25th st sac’s place pizza/Italian
                        25th st tulcingo mexican
                        29th st shima sushi
                        29th st aliada mediterranean
                        30th st gables seafood
                        31st st stamatis greek
                        32nd st demetris seafood seafood: live music
                        32nd st mundo turkey and argentinian: like a soho restaurant
                        32nd st syros seafood
                        33rd st pleos greek
                        33rd st opus tapas, cute decor
                        33rd st taverna roumeli greek
                        33rd st uncle george’s greek
                        33rd st michaels mediterranean
                        33rd st tierras colombianas columbian/latin
                        33rd st omonia café dessert bar; cute but not good food
                        34th st viva el mariachi mexican
                        34th st bartolino’s italian
                        35th st viva mar café seafood
                        35th st karyatis greek
                        38th st tacos mexico mexican
                        38th st las margaritas mexican
                        38th st cronins irish pub w/ food
                        44th st le sans souci french: cute décor
                        44th st el potro mexican
                        46th st ponticello italian

                        34th ave
                        31st st el boqueron mexican
                        32nd st tacos el compita mexican
                        34th st s’agapo greek/seafood: outdoor seating
                        37th st cevabdzinica sarajevo bosnian
                        45th st rudar soccer club eastern european

                        35th ave
                        35th st sunsick irish pub w/ food
                        36th st the cup diner diner
                        38th st uno chicago pizza

                        36th ave
                        28th st malagueta brazilian steakhouse
                        32nd st arharn thai thai
                        33rd st flor de luna mexican

                        1. re: doona

                          Zenon Taverna
                          31st ave & 34th street.

                          a pearl.. a gem..


                          Yajai Thai on 30th ave..

                          not mentioned here,
                          but surely worth mention!

                          1. re: HaveTasteWillTravel32

                            Yajai is great Thai. Its my number one take out place.

                          2. re: doona

                            Was this list a link from somewhere else??
                            You have missed a few good restaurants and also mentioned a few that have closed
                            ex. Roumeli has been closed for over a decade, syros, karyatis,san souci etc
                            Also, you are right about Omonias food but his pastries are pretty good

                            1. re: pcorntail

                              Please note that I mentioned on the thread above that it is very outdated.

                              1. re: doona

                                Sorry you're right
                                i only read your list

                          3. re: jdream

                            Pizza: GREAT Sicilian slice:
                            Rose and Joe's bakery, west side of 31st near Ditmars

                            1. re: melon

                              Hands down the best. I hate Sicilian pizza and I can't get enough of Rose and Joe's. Delicious. Possibly my single favorite pizza.

                        2. Where is El Rey Del Sol? I love Mexican food and haven't really found good places in Astoria.

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: mwyu

                            El Rey Del Sol is a truck that parks on 30th ave and 33rd St most nights (always weekends) from 7pm-3am.

                            I also recently discovered a Mexican Deli (that's what it's called) on 29th St off of 30th ave. AMAZING! So cheap. So authentic. My best Astoria find so far.

                            1. re: jdream

                              Great great great... my favorite too.

                              1. re: doona

                                What have you gotten? We've tried:
                                Barbacoa Taco- goat, so good... i had no idea!
                                Steak Empanada- aweome
                                Tamale- cheese and chicken (chicken great, cheese, not so much)
                                Tostada with pork skin
                                I can't remember what else...
                                I'm curious to try some of the soups that look amazing...
                                Any other suggestions??

                                1. re: jdream

                                  I'd love to know where you are talking about, but I definitely think its a different place. The truck doesnt have soup, or tamales or tostadas... all my favorites, just not available here.

                                  The best is the Huaracha with Carne, IMO

                                  1. re: doona

                                    Oh.... I thought you were talking about the Mexican Deli that I mentioned at the bottom of my post that you responded to. It is just called Mexican Deli and it is on 29th St just off of 30th ave . AMAZING. The truck is good too but this restaurant just makes me smile. Please let me know what you think if you try it out... or if you need more help finding it. You can feast for under $10!!

                                    1. re: jdream

                                      Oh fun. I can't wait to try it! I think I know where it is.

                                      1. re: jdream

                                        I went to the Mexican deli/market last night. Had a verde tamale and chicken taco. The tamale was great. I'll have to try the steak empanada next. They also had huaracha.

                                        What do you recommend from the El Rey Del Sol truck?

                                        1. re: mwyu

                                          Also try the barbacoa taco too from the mexican deli. What is huaracha?

                                          From the truck I would stick to tacos and ask for them spicey!

                                          1. re: jdream

                                            Hauracha is a thick corn patty, like a tortilla but really thick. They have it on the cart and that's what I would suggest. It's the best. And sadely enough, I like it so much I've neber had the tacos.

                            2. I finally made it into Latin Cabana on Steinway south of 34th street. What a nice and affordable place. I hjad the lunch special - shreaded pork, rice, beans and plantains. Excellent value for $4.95. I just wish I still lived in Queens so I could go back more often.

                              No need for good food to be expensive....

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: maddog5150

                                Tacos Mexicos ya'll!! 38th and Broadway.

                                1. re: arugala

                                  any recommendations there in particular?

                                  1. re: jdream

                                    I get the vegetarian tacos almost every time which are served (i believe) traditionally as two per order. The tortillas are light, and tacos are given a good amount of cilantro and great queso fresco, always soft and perfectly sprinkled. The guac is great. My meat eating friends love the enchiladas. You cant go wrong with the tacos. They have more seafood (soups, etc) than you would expect, and people are always eating it, so if want to try it, go ahead, its safe. Everything is fresh and delicious at Tacos Mexicos!

                              2. Astoria is def a great place to eat!
                                Bistro 33 has a 2 for 10 appetizer special tuesdays and wednesdays.
                                Also, there is the arepas cafe where you can do take out or delivery
                                but I've eaten there and the owner is really down to earth and friendly

                                1. For Tapas; El Boqueron is fantastic on 31st Street

                                  For great Greek (wonderful fish) Bahari on Broadway

                                  Thai: Arharn on 36th Ave (try the duck dishes and the hot green curries are spectacular


                                  El Boqueron
                                  31-01 34th Ave, Queens, NY 11106

                                  31-14 Broadway, Queens, NY 11106

                                  1. Piccolo Venezia is like a Manhattan restaurant, great, food and wonderful serfice, the fish here can't be beat.
                                    Go and enjoy!

                                    1. Astoria, Broadway, and esp. Steinway Street are not to be missed ..