It is no surprise that the ‘Borough of Nations’ (Queens) is home to Astoria, a culturally diverse community known as both a creative neighbourhood full of praiseworthy cultural institutions and a food destination popular for everything from Greek, Italian or Brazilian cuisine.
Faster than you can say Opa! Astoria is easily reached by subway from Midtown Manhattan and is the ideal neighbourhood to sample some of the best Greek food this side of Athens. A quintessential melting pot, Astoria is home to world-class ethnic restaurants, impressive cultural institutions and green space in Astoria Park.
Must-See Astoria Highlights
- Socrates Sculpture Park exhibits large-scale sculptures and multimedia installations in its unique outdoor environment, and the park offers family activities, a place to picnic or jog along the East River and panoramic skyline views.
- Established in 1988, the Museum of the Moving Image offers visitors an understanding and appreciation of the art, technique and history of film, television and digital media. In 2015, the Museum will debut a new Jim Henson gallery that will include nearly 400 puppets, props and costumes donated by The Jim Henson Company and Henson’s family.
- Founded and designed by the internationally renowned Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi, The Noguchi Museum complex is an open-air sculpture garden tucked away inside a converted industrial building that houses a collection of the artist’s life work.
- Extending from south of the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge (formerly the Triborough) to north of the Hell Gate Bridge, Astoria Park offers visitors panoramic views of Midtown Manhattan. The 60-acre park is equipped with playgrounds, tennis courts, athletic fields, baseball diamonds, pedestrian trails and the largest swimming pool in NYC.
- Home to a prominent Greek culture, Astoria offers visitors a wealth of Greek cuisine that can be found at Ovelia, Taverna Kyclades, Telly’s Taverna, BZ Grill, MP Taverna and Artopolis Bakery.
- Astoria’s restaurant scene offers foodies the opportunity to savour international cuisine from around the world. Stop by Malagueta for a taste of Brazil, Mombar for traditional Egyptian fare, Le Gamin Astoria for French delicacies, Piccola Venezia or Trattoria L’Incontro for Italian specialties or Arepas Cafe to tap into the lively atmosphere and delicious treats of Venezuela.
- At the heart of Astoria’s social scene, microbreweries and beer gardens welcome everyone to taste the City’s best tap selections and enjoy live bands in an open-air casual environment. Whether you are looking for a bit of history (try the 100-year-old Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden), seeking out a brand-new watering hole (The Garden at Studio Square is a good choice) or just looking for the biggest space to fit all your friends (check out SingleCut Beersmiths), you can find a good time year-round in Astoria.
- Boutique designers offer hard-to-find vintage clothing. Shop jewellery, bags and boots or collections like Pierre Cardin duffels and Diane Von Furstenberg at LoveDay31.
Visitors looking to experience more of Queens can extend their stay at one of the borough’s hotels—from Long Island City, Flushing or the airport areas of LaGuardia and JFK.
Astoria is the third feature in a three-part Neighbourhood x Neighbourhood documentary series. The videos feature a local’s guide to the neighbourhood, focusing on the shops, restaurants, attractions and history, that make every NYC neighbourhood distinct and provide further reasons to get out and explore beyond the well trodden paths. To view the video of Astoria, visit nycgo.com/nxn.