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Moving to Astoria

j
John_Keenan Jun 15, 2009 02:50 PM

Hi --

I'm moving to Astoria in like 2 days. I was wondering if some CH folks would be so kind as to compile a top ten list of their favorites in Astoria -- I did one for Hell's Kitchen as a going away present using the new CH lists feature:

http://www.chow.com/lists/8199

I'm basically looking for a variety of places to hit up -- truthfully, I'm a bit overwhelmed by the amount of food choices in Astoria and also the geography (I am also baffled by the numbering system which is straightforward, i know, but still baffles me!).

It's really pretty simple to create a list in CH and I find the Google map + list makes it much easier to put everything into context. As opposed to sifting through SE and CH which is what I have been doing for the last 3 weeks.

thanks for sharing!

  1. financialdistrictresident Jun 15, 2009 05:32 PM

    You might want to do a search of this Board. I remember seeing a list last year for Astoria. There was also a Greek thread in the past day or two:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/627521

    8 Replies
    1. re: financialdistrictresident
      q
      queenseats Jun 15, 2009 06:49 PM

      Astoria is a pretty big neighborhood, with so much amazing diversity and selection, so you are sure to never be at a loss when it comes to trying new places. A few of my favorites (with a lean toward some of the less expensive venues):

      1. Arepas Cafe - on 36th Ave, closer to LIC. Awesome arepas. My favorites include the Reina (chicken salad with avocado -yum!) and the one with sweet plantain, cheese and avocado.

      2. Philoxenia - delicious Greek food, not swimming in grease/oil

      3. S'Agapo - a neighborhood treasure, serving up Cretan deliciousness

      4. Vesta - very reasonable nouveau-Italian fare and amazing brunches

      5. Pollos 36 - great Peruvian rotisserie chicken

      6. Kabab Cafe - has mixed reviews here but I think it's worth a visit

      7. Seva - excellent Indian fare, very reasonable

      8. Taverna Kyclades - perhaps the best offering of fresh fish in an Astoria Greek restaurant

      9. Il Bambino - really good paninis, crostinis, cute little place. Really yummy green bean salad.

      10. There are a few places that I'm hesitating on strongly supporting such as Bistro 33 (I think their new menu is a bit overachieving and I wish they'd narrow it down and focus), Brick Cafe (really nice brunch, but it's kind of pricey and I'm not sure the quality is worth it), Mombar (Ali of Kabab Cafe's brother Mustafa is the chef here, cool decor in the place, and BYOB) come to mind as worth sampling but not really destination worthy.

      I've still got a ton of places to try since moving to the neighborhood one year ago (on the short list is Agnanti , Stove, and Sparrow). The great news is you've got a huge variety of places on a number of price points (decent food carts and take out establishments to more upscale restaurants -- like Trattoria L'Incontro). PS - wasn't impressed by L'Incontro, but many hounds praise it.

      1. re: queenseats
        janie Jun 15, 2009 09:00 PM

        How's Seva doing? Haven't been there in awhile.

        1. re: janie
          q
          queenseats Jun 16, 2009 06:54 AM

          I've never had a disappointing meal at Seva. I appreciate that their dishes are rather light and not too heavy. A funny aside: I brought my SO to Seva and Southern Spice and he prefers Seva :)

          1. re: queenseats
            janie Jun 16, 2009 07:59 AM

            Oh that's interesting, why did he prefer Seva, what did he order at Southern Spice?

            1. re: janie
              q
              queenseats Jun 16, 2009 09:48 AM

              Well we did the buffet at Southern Spice, so given what I've read, we need to do a la carte to really give it justice. He is obsessed with the chicken saag at Seva. It is quite complex and flavorful.

        2. re: queenseats
          j
          John_Keenan Jun 16, 2009 09:32 AM

          Queenseats --

          I took your recommendations and put them into a Chowhound list -- let me know if I put everything in right -- thanks much for your suggestions!

          http://www.chow.com/lists/8472/

          1. re: John_Keenan
            q
            queenseats Jun 16, 2009 09:47 AM

            Thanks for making the list! All the locations look right. Good luck with your move and happy eating!

        3. re: financialdistrictresident
          j
          John_Keenan Jun 16, 2009 10:18 AM

          There was a must-eat Astoria list circa 2006-2007. I compiled into a list here

          http://www.chow.com/lists/8479

        4. Jeffsayyes Jun 15, 2009 07:15 PM

          not only are there a ton of restaurants, but the Quality of most restaurants is outstanding. Not much crap in astoria.
          here's my list on Astoria
          http://www.yelp.com/list/astoria-long...

          Keep in mind: Astoria is Big

          2 Replies
          1. re: Jeffsayyes
            j
            John_Keenan Jun 16, 2009 09:40 AM

            cool list -- do you know if there any way to search lists on Yelp?

            1. re: John_Keenan
              Jeffsayyes Jun 16, 2009 06:11 PM

              you know, I didn't think there was, but looky here:
              http://www.yelp.com/list_search?q=ast...

              pretty cool. there is A LOT to read.

          2. janie Jun 15, 2009 09:07 PM

            There are many options in Astoria--but here are a few---

            Go to Titan for all your Feta needs and good pastries, and other greek staples--great cheese selection--olives are hit or miss--

            Artopolis is good spot for sweets, also, and they have a nice spinach pastry.

            I like Seva, the Indian place, also.

            Sorriso's, Fantastic fresh mozzarella, salted or not, and fantastic eggplant parm, and other prepared stuff, as well as italian cold cuts, hero's--lots of good stuff, and incredibly nice people working there.

            -----
            Titan Foods
            25-56 31st St, Queens, NY 11102

            Sorriso Italian Pork Store
            44-16 30th Ave, Queens, NY 11103

            Artopolis
            23-18 31st St, Queens, NY 11105

            Seva
            30-07 34th St, Queens, NY 11103

            1 Reply
            1. re: janie
              q
              queenseats Jun 16, 2009 06:57 AM

              Also, Laziza for great baklava and other Middle Eastern pastries.

            2. E Eto Jun 18, 2009 04:50 PM

              More places to add to your list:

              Koliba for Czech
              Cedar's Meat House for great Lebanese takeout
              Telly's Taverna for another option for Greek
              San Antonio Bakery for Chilean chacarero sandwiches and completos
              Stari Most, Ukus, Cevapzinica Sarajevo, and Djerdan for cevapi/cevapzinica and bureks
              Greek House Foods for the house-made yogurt (Mediterranean Foods as an alternative)

              1. d
                Damien Jun 22, 2009 01:48 PM

                i have lived in astoria for 10 years and I've eaten in some great places in that time. you have to try Sal, Charlie and Kris on 23rd ave and 35th street for the Bomb Hero sandwich, Taverna Kyclades on Ditmars and 33rd streetfor Greek seafood, Elias corner for Fish on 24th Ave and 31st street (they have no menu and real gruff service), El Sitio for Cuban sanwiches on 31st and 36th ave, Nuevo jardin on Broadway and 32nd for Chinese, Alieda (hope i spelled that right) for cyprian food, Sanfords for diner style breakfast both on Broadway and 29th street, Stamatis for hellinic style Greek food, the best sushi is Watawa (which doesnt say much for the sushi) and The diners all suck no matter what the Daily News says, avoid all the Pizza places (no matter what is recommended, you're better off going to Nick's of Forrest Hills, try Christos Steakhouse- it is a greek steakhouse. The Greek food is amazing in Astoria, i never ate much beyond Gyros and souvlakis before moving here and im now pretty fluent with the menu.

                1. c
                  colfaxBee Jul 17, 2009 02:13 PM

                  A little late posting here, but I've lived in Astoria for 4 years, here are my favorites, mostly in the Ditmars area where I live:
                  1. Wave Thai on 31st st
                  2. Best souvlaki-- from the cart parked on 33rd and Ditmars.
                  3. Astoria Bagels on 29th st and ditmars-- made fresh in house
                  4. Pizza-- Frankie's for slices, Last Stop is good for whole pies
                  5. Latin rotisserie chickens, sweet plantains, yucca fries, beans and rice, etc on Ditmars between 31st and 29th, I forget the name of the place.
                  6. Agnati-- Ditmars and 19th st, across from the park. Cute atmosphere and more unusual dishes, although service can be spotty
                  7. Mojave for southwestern food and a nice garden patio on 31st between 23rd and Ditmars. I
                  8. Fatty's cafe on Ditmars and Crescent, random new american food, relaxed "hipster" atmosphere
                  9. Zenon on Broadway for Greek Cypriot. Best bet is the sampling menu option where you get to try a dozen or more appetizers and entrees. Vegetarian or Meat.
                  10. Martha's country bakery Ditmars and 38th-- for sweets and coffee also open late, but in a more homey atmosphere than the cafes around 30th ave (which are also great in their own right)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: colfaxBee
                    c
                    colfaxBee Jul 17, 2009 02:15 PM

                    One more-- Favela for Brazilian on 28th ave near 34th st.

                  2. j
                    John_Keenan Aug 7, 2009 02:38 PM

                    UPDATE
                    thanks for the suggestions -- i'm pretty impressed by Astoria food wise so far! I've also become a passionate defender of Vesta -- it might be a destination worthy restaurant in Astoria.

                    Also destination worthy in my mind is Arepas Cafe-- I was skeptical, but man, that dough is incredibly tasty and fillings are phenomenal. I want to see a movie just so I have another excuse to eat there.
                    On the Greek side -- I'd been to Philoxenia before, liked it. Also have tried Aki, S'agapo, Olevia and Agnanti. All are good in their own way and have their own vibe -- what are the unusual dishes to order at Agnanti? I think the Taram is best at Agnanti btw.

                    Seva is a great Indian spot -- the naans are fantastic, pungent spices, everything feels fresh. staff is nice. and its byob so you same some cash.

                    Rudar was very nice for Istrian -- and it's fun to go the basement since you think you are entering some kind of private sanctuary. that's a must see.

                    Tried BareBurger -- want to make a few more trips before I render an opinion. I think Brick is an OK stand by place, but there are more compelling options.

                    BTW -- 30th Ave is the greatest food street in America -- From Vesta to the Trade Fair to the small greenmarkets, butchers, fishmongers, bakeries, outdoor cafes, taco truck, souvlaki cart and italian stores. There is simply put no other street that offers as much in such a compact space.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: John_Keenan
                      z
                      zemilideias Nov 29, 2009 04:36 PM

                      John Keenan, although I can't say I share your enthusiasm for Vesta's food (But do love its ambience) I agree that 30th Ave is about the hottest food stretch in N. America. Vegetales and fruits are freshest, taco trucks great, Greek/Cypriot, Turkish and Thai and Brazilian and Italian as well as variouis Andean cuisines all represented in many ways. Yeah, right on.

                      1. re: zemilideias
                        q
                        queenseats Nov 29, 2009 05:44 PM

                        Since the original post over the summer, there have been a lot of changes in the food scene in Astoria. I am sad to see that S'Agapo, once a stronghold, is now Sofia, and appears to be suffering with offers of free drinks with a meal. Also Pollos 36 is now a (Mexican?) diner, can't tell from the signage.

                        On a positive note, had a phenomenal meal at a Mexican place on 30th Ave -- don't know the name (between 30th & 31st Sts, on the north side of the street, next door to Sai Organics). They have a window counter but also some seats inside. I recently tried Taqueria Coatzingo and found the food to be quite comparable. Very pleasantly surprised. Of note, I had enchiladas, which may not be the specialty at TC but it's what I like :)

                        Had a lovely lunch today at Andy's Seafood & Grill in Rego Park. Really on par with what I'm used to when I eat in Flushing. This makes me hopeful for some good Chinese food to come to Astoria...it's the one glaring cuisine missing from the area.

                        1. re: queenseats
                          b
                          braisen Dec 29, 2009 12:23 PM

                          That's El Athen's Grill. Another good place for Mexican Take Out on 30th Ave is La Cabana between 33rd and 34th. In my opinion better prices and better food than the truck across the street.

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