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Jul 14, 2010 09:29 AM

Astoria Walking Tour

Hi all,

I am planning to go on a walking food tour of Astoria this weekend and I could use your help! I have been searching the boards for Astoria recommendations, and walking tour recommendations (I have seen plenty for Queens in general, although I have not found any for Astoria in particular). I have a list of good recommendations for restaurants in Astoria, but since we are looking to try a bunch of different things over the course of a few hours, we will probably need to focus more on street food or carry-out type places than sit-down restaurants. Any recommendations you have for these types of places would be much appreciated!

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Astoria is an eater's paradise, but it is more of a sit and lounge in a cafe kind-of place, than say, a nosher's place like other areas of Queens such as sunnyside, woodside , elmhurst, and jackson heights. Nonetheless, I'll take a stab at a walking tour that will give you a little flavor of this incredibly diverse neighborhood. Astoria is fairly large and has 5 main commercial strips (Broadway, 30th Ave, Ditmars Ave, Steinway street and 36th Avenue) so bring your walking shoes ...

    Take N or Q train to 36th Avenue, exit and head west on 36th Avenue about half a block

    1st stop) Copacabana Brazilian meat churrascaria place - cheap and good!

    2nd stop) Arepas Cafe (36th avenue and 33 street) - great, cheap arepas

    Now turn north on 34th street, cross 35th avenue, cross Broadway, head to 31st avenue

    3rd stop) Djerdan, a Balkan burek place -- try the meat burek (meat pie in phyllo dough) at 31st ave and 34th street

    4th stop) Continue north on 34th street to 30th avenue, turn right and find a nice place to sit outside at one of the many Greek/Euro cafes; have a coffee and rest your feet; the Athens Cafe at 32nd street is pretty typical -- good Euro people watching

    5th stop) continue east toward Steinway street, turn left (north); for about the next six blocks, on both sides of steinway street, you will see many arabic stores, coffee houses and hookah cafes; I can't remember any of the names, but find one that looks fun, sit yourself down, inhale, have another coffee and do some arabic people watching

    6th stop) at 28th ave and steinway, the AMAZING Laziza pastry shop -- wonderful baklavas and other nut and honey oriented pastries

    7th stop) Little Morocco Cafe, at 25th avenue and steinway, famous for its merquez sausage sandwiches - yum

    Head west along Astoria boulevard (the BQE will be below you) back towards the train, cross past the Burger King (do not stop, except to pee) and you'll be at the train again (Astoria Blvd stop of N and Q)

    If you are tired, you can go home, but if you have the strength I really recommend to continue heading west alongside the triboro bridge till you reach the really lovely astoria park (about 10 min walk). You can burn off some of that food!

    8) I would also really suggest capping your visit by continuing down astoria blvd (one block south of the bridge) to 27 street; you will find the BZ Grill - hands down the best gyros and souvlakis in the city, IMHO. Get the pork souvlaki from the spit - they make it themselves unlike almost other gyro place. Amazing!

    9) Finally, it is worth it to walk south under the train a block or two on 31st to Titan Foods, a huge greek supermarket with a great pastry section; get a little something to take back with you.

    Hope this helps. Opa!

    34-04 31st Ave, Queens, NY 11106

    Arepas Cafe
    33-07 36th Ave, Queens, NY 11106

    Laziza of New York Pastry Shop
    25-78 Steinway St, Queens, NY 11103

    BZ Grill
    2702 Astoria Blvd, Queens, NY 11102

    Little Morocco
    24-39 Steinway St, Queens, NY 11103

    3 Replies
    1. re: Anicca

      Nice list. But that route would mean overlooking Stari Most (42 St nr 30 Ave) and Ukus (30 Ave nr 41 St) for Bosnian cevapi and pljeskavica (aka Bosnian burgers); Sorriso on 30 Av near 44 St for excellent and varied Italian hero sandwiches among other things; San Antonio Bakery #2 on Astoria near 37 St for Chilean style hot dogs and chacarero sandwiches; Rose and Joe's on 31 St nr Ditmars for an excellent Sicilian slice; LoRusso's on 26 Rd nr 18 St for some of the best focaccia ever; the recently opened Astor Bake Shop on Astoria nr 14 St for some interesting and mostly very good pastry....

      42-08 30th Ave, Queens, NY 11103

      Astor Bake Shop
      12-23 Astoria Blvd, Queens, NY 11102

      1. re: Anicca

        woah, that's good and big, but the thing is: Astoria is Huge. It would be a big trip to walk it in a day.

        1. re: Anicca

          Thank you Anicca -- this is beyond helpful. We really appreciate it!!!

        2. id make sure one of my stops would be at sanfords for their xengos

          4 Replies
          1. re: daffyduck

            Thanks everyone for your help and suggestions!

            1. re: sara123


              Couple of things:

              1) at the very beginning of my suggested tour, walk EAST on 36th ave when you descend from the N or Q train, not West as I suggested to get to Copacabana

              2) Burton above has some very good suggestions which I overlooked; you might try to work them in

              3) How could I have forgotten a real Astoria treasure. Toward the end of your tour, at 31st steet and 24th avenue, is the 100 year old Bohemian Beer Garden, an authentic old Czech beer garden that serves sausages and wursts. Totally worth it to stop by and rest your legs and soak up some suds. An NYC gem.

              1. re: Anicca

                Hey everyone -- just wanted to let you know how our day went and our thoughts on the different places we tried!

                We started at Arepas Cafe and thought it was absolutely delicious. We split the Mami arepa (roast pork, avocado and white cheese) and a couple of Aguila beers. We really enjoyed our experience here and the service was very friendly.

                Next we moved on to Cevabdzinica Sarajevo and had some cevapi (beef and lamb sausages), which came with some really good hot bread and a roasted red pepper sauce. The cevapi was surprisingly delicious and we really enjoyed this restaurant as well. The ambiance of this restaurant is a little bit like a fast food restaurant, but hey, the food is good.

                Next we went to Laziza pastry shop and sampled a variety of baklava and other pastries. We really enjoyed this sweet break and thought the pastries were very good. However, while the baklava was delicious, I can't say I thought it was significantly better than other baklava I have had around the city.

                Moving on, we ended up at Zenon Taverna for some greek/cypriot food. The ambiance was really cute and the service was friendly, but we were not blown away by the food. We ordered the hot antipasto plate (which came with a variety of meat, cheese and mushrooms) and the Cyrpus meatballs (fried meatballs made with pork, potatoes and mint). Clearly, we should have balanced out our ordering just a little bit (friend meat is still meat afterall, and we were on overload), but we did not think anything we ate here was particularly noteworthy.

                After we left Zenon Taverna, we decided to take a bit of a break from eating (the meat overload plus the heat took its toll on us!) so we went to Koliba, a Czech restaurant/bar on 23rd Avenue and had a few beers. The ambiance here is great and low-key, and we met some friendly people.

                We then moved on to the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, which has an entirely different feel! Whereas Koliba is small and low-key (and definitely less touristy), Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden was huge and packed, but fun on a nice summer evening. Koliba and the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden definitely bring completely different things to the table, but they are both worth spending some time in.

                Lastly, we decided that we had room for one more meal before getting back on the subway, so we made our way to BZ Grill and shared a pork gyro. Delicious!!!! Definitely the best gyro we have ever had (in fairness, we don't eat them very often), but really great. The pork was so flavorful, it almost tasted like bacon. The pita and the tzatziki was wonderful too. We were really happy we decided to try this place :-)

                All in all, we had a wonderful day in Astoria, and we can't wait to get back out to try more places (and visit some now favorites)! Thanks again for all your help.

                Cevabdzinica Sarajevo
                37-18 34th Ave, Queens, NY 11101

                Arepas Cafe
                33-07 36th Ave, Queens, NY 11106

                Bohemian Hall
                2919 24th Ave, Queens, NY 11102

                Laziza of New York Pastry Shop
                25-78 Steinway St, Queens, NY 11103

                34-10 31st Ave, Queens, NY 11106

                BZ Grill
                2702 Astoria Blvd, Queens, NY 11102

                31-11 23rd Ave, Queens, NY 11105

                1. re: sara123

                  Koliba is a great plqce, with pretty dleicious food ( spaetzle w bacon is awesome). I did their venison feast there once. If you ever return to the neighborhood looking for a Czech place to drink, and don't want to deal with the summer Beer Garden tourists, I'd really push Club 21 on 21st st. It's out of the way, but it has a back smallish beer garden with real Cezech people, and the food I tasted is pretty good. It's like you're at some Czech person's backyard summer BBQ.

                  Also, Zenon is best for the meze. It's a pretty good deal, but way too much for for a snack. Other than that I usually stick to their daily specials (great grape leaves, and I'm kinda addicted to their pasticio).

                  31-11 23rd Ave, Queens, NY 11105

                  Club 21
                  30-09 21st St, Queens, NY 11102