Welcome to BOAST: Best of Astoria, the essential guide to the best things to eat, drink, do and see in Astoria, Queens.
Kudos to the Sweet Afton, BOAST winner for Bar with Best Atmosphere, for being written up in the May 18 issue of the New Yorker in the Bar Tab section. Here’s the article. Their beers on draught are excellent (the Allegash White is especially tasty), as are their signature cocktails. If you feel like snacking, they are famous for their fried pickles and mac & cheese. They also have live Bluegrass/Folk/Jazz every Monday night at 9pm. You can find out more information on our HAPPENING page, and on their website as well.
Ginger Organic – Around the corner from Grand Cafe (they share the same owner), this fairly new, spacious juice shop is a breath of fresh air. It is open, spacious, and has delicious fresh pressed juices and smoothies along with a daily stocked to-go section of healthy snacks and meals. They also offer 1-, 3- and 5-day cleanses that can be picked up in store or delivered right to your door. If you’re feeling more indulgent, they even make cocktails using their juices and all organic ingredients.
Fusion Juice Bar – This newcomer on 37th st and 31st ave was recently opened by a fitness enthusiast who wanted to share what he learned with the rest of Astoria. With freshly-made smoothies running the gamut from post-workout protein boost to all berries, this place can fulfill any juice lover’s cravings.
Caffe Bene – With two locations, one on Ditmars and one on Broadway/Steinway, no matter where you live in Astoria you can walk here. Both are spacious and comfortable, and boast drinks ranging from iced coffee bubble tea to strawberry lattes. What makes it even more inviting are the books lining the back walls for your reading pleasure while your enjoy your drink and perhaps a snack as well.
Tapioca Story – For those who love bubble tea, this tiny shop on 30th Ave is always able to satisfy the craving. They are very generous with their boba, and offer a wide variety of tea/smoothie flavors from the traditional black milk tea or taro to a pineapple smoothie. Try the lychee tea with boba for a tart twist!
Astoria Coffee afogatto – While all the drinks at this always busy coffee shop are amazing, the oft overlooked afternoon treat is their affogato. Pick one of 4 amazing Ice and Vice flavors (the milk with chocolate ganache pairs quite well), and enjoy your coffee and ice cream combo while cooling off during a sunny day.
Bonus! A must do at least once in the summertime. Go to any Greek restaurant or cafe, order a Greek coffee or latte semi-sweet with a pastry, and wile away the afternoon people watching in true Grecian style.
Mundo is technically in Long Island City, but since it was voted a BOAST winner for Best Vegetarian food, they are certainly on our radar. First, the food and cocktails, which have an international and Latin vibe, are both excellent, and are certainly worth checking out. Second, there is almost always something going on at Mundo besides the food and drink. There are Flamenco and Tango shows, live music many nights of the week, and other events, such as screenings. This Thursday the 14th at 7pm is the opening reception for the art show The Mundo We Live In. Many of the artists will be attending, and there will be live music, and DJ sets later on in the night. You can find out more about this event on our HAPPENING page, and on their website, at mundonewyork.com.
Of course they are great at both of those, as well as craft beer and cider, but they also have live music on a regular basis. This month, there is live music every Friday at 9pm: funk/groove, jazz, world jazz, and country, y’all! Also, this Saturday they’ll be selling food and drinks at the Kite Flight at Socrates Sculpture Park from 11am-3pm, and they will be doing a beer + cider paired dinner as part of Queens Beer Week on Wednesday the 13th. All this info and more is on their website, thequeenskickshaw.com, and on our HAPPENING page.
If you don’t, you should. The Q.E.D. website says it’s like an “after-school for grown ups” with classes, shows, and events. Here is a recent article the Village Voice did about this very place. There’s always interesting things going on over there, and Mother’s Day is no exception. This Sunday there’s Paint and Sip for the artistic mom at 2pm, and Yo Mama’s So Funny! for the mom who wants a laugh at 5:30pm. The following Sunday on the 17th there’s Burlesque Basics for the adventurous mom at 2pm, and Flower Arranging Class for the mom with a green thumb at 4pm. More info about each of these events is on our HAPPENING page, and their website as well.
There is some exciting news with BOAST that we wanted to share with you.
First, this post you are reading is part of our new blog! We will be updating it frequently, so come back and check it out often. Also, if you, or someone you know wants to contribute articles, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or filling out the Contact Form on the website.
Second, we added a new page on the site called LOCATION, which organizes the winners by location. There’s a nifty map which includes all the winners at the top, along with sections divided by geographic region below. We hope you’ll find this section helpful for when you’re around a certain area of Astoria and are looking for places to eat or drink, or things to do and see.
That’s all the new news, but did you know that we have a new poll on the homepage every Monday? You can take the poll, and then check back throughout the week to see the results. This week’s poll is about cold desserts.
Next month we’re going to release the second BOAST survey, which will award the Best of Astoria in warm weather, so keep an eye out for that. If you know people who want to get on the mailing list, they can sign up directly on the homepage.
Astoria Park – The famous Hellgate Bridge and amazing views of Manhattan draw New Yorkers from every borough to this park. Bring your towel and lay out on the grass until you can hop in the Olympic-sized pool come late June. It is known for the huge fireworks display on July 4 and kid-friendly movie screenings on the lawn throughout the summer.
Socrates Sculpture Park – A smaller park also found along the river, it is a unique constellation of modern sculpture, foreign movie screenings, and a weekly farmer’s market all summer. They also feature free yoga, tai chi and kayak rental from Hallet’s Cove on weekends.
Gantry Plaza Park – This lesser known park down under the Queensboro bridge features live music concerts on summer weekday nights as well as monthly free yoga (and now bootcamp!) by The Yoga Room.
Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden – Probably the only reason your friends have heard of Astoria, this boisterous beer garden is great any time of year but especially in the summer, when all Astoria locals can be found sitting at the picnic tables drinking pitchers of Czech beer any time of day or night.
Virtually any restaurant on Broadway, 30th Ave or Ditmars – The sun is finally out and the city has come back to life! Restaurateurs take advantage of sometimes cramped indoor space to spill out onto the front sidewalk or back garden (sometimes these are hidden so be sure to check!). Not much beats sitting outside, people watching, while enjoying a great meal with a cold drink of choice in hand. Opa!
We are excited that Queens Beer Week starts in less than a week–May 8! So many BOAST winners are participating: 60 Beans Coffee & Tea, Astoria Bier and Cheese, Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, Crescent and Vine, Front Toward Enemy, Mar’s, Mosaic Craft Beer & Wine Bar, Pachanga Patterson, The Queens Kickshaw, Singlecut Beersmiths, The Sparrow Tavern, Studio Square, Sunswick 35/35, Sweet Afton, Vesta Trattoria & Wine Bar.
Like to laugh? If you go to bestcomedytickets.com, you can get 50% off any show on the site with the promo code of BOAST. Now go out and enjoy some comedy!