Astoria, Best Of Astoria
Apr 24, 2015

Best of Astoria 2015 – Meg’s Picks

We thought we’d bring back our personal picks again for the Best of Astoria this year, since the WHA anniversary action is still going on. Here are my picks—look for (…)

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We thought we’d bring back our personal picks again for the Best of Astoria this year, since the WHA anniversary action is still going on. Here are my picks—look for those from Judith, Mackenzi, and Emily in future weeks!

Favorite Restaurant—Il Bambino

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Yes, Bambino remains in my top five restaurants in Astoria pretty much perpetually. Their food is solid and delicious, and they serve one of the best cakes in town, the chocolate layer cake by genius baker Molly Killeen of Made By Molly (available only on the weekends). But in-house, Il Bambino makes wonderful panini—I’m partial to the Soppressata these days, which includes this cured meat, hot peppers, asiago, and basil pesto. I also love the Crostini made with mozzarella, tomato pesto, fried shallot, and Lawless’ spicy mayo. 34-08 31st Ave, Astoria, (718) 626-0087, ilbambinonyc.com

Favorite Thai Restaurant—Pye Boat Noodle

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Tom Yum “Bolarn” noodles – “bolarn” means “traditional” or “old fashioned.”

This newcomer has become my favorite Thai restaurant in town. Their bowls of noodle soup are full of complex flavors and I like how you can customize the tang and heat levels with the condiments they give you. I’m a big fan of the Tom Yum Bolarn boat noodle soup, which contains fish balls, minced pork, and lime, and it’s nice and spicy. I also really like the pork strips, and I could eat the sauce they serve with it every day. 35-13 Broadway, Astoria, (718) 685-2329, Facebook

Favorite Coffee Shop/Cafe—60 Beans

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This is my favorite cafe in Astoria. I love the decor, ambiance, coffee, and food. My boyfriend and I find ourselves coming back again and again to enjoy all they have to offer. One of my favorite items on the menu is the greek yogurt with granola, dates, figs, and honey. For something a little more sweet, the creme brulee dossaints are awesome (made by none other than Chikalicious). I’m also glad they have their terrific cold brew coffee on tap.

In the winter they lit the fireplace, which was so nice and cozy, and I look forward to spending time there during the warmer months when they open up all the front windows. 36-02 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria, (347) 987-3994, Twitter

Favorite Pizza—Antika

(and, frankly, most of the finalists)

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The Favorite Pizza category was tough! All the finalists are worthy competitors, but I was actually at Antika last night and fell in love with their Grandma/Old Fashioned pie with pepperoni. It reminded me very much of the old fashioned pies at Adrienne’s, my favorite pizzeria in Manhattan—it had a nice crust thickness with a slightly fried crispy exterior, a fruity-tomato sauce, slightly salty mozzarella, and the kind of pepperoni that end up cupping when baked on the pizza.

We also had some great meatballs and burrata with prosciutto. This is a solid pizza option in the neighborhood. 36-08 30th Ave, Astoria, (718) 545-0555, antikapizzeria.com

Favorite New Arrival—Q.E.D.

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Photo credit: Astoria Park Alliance

Q.E.D. is such an excellent addition to Astoria! It’s providing things that have been missing from the neighborhood—a skillshare-type element, with classes from ASL to juggling, swing dance to learning how to color Easter eggs—and has also brought some serious top talent in comedy to the stage. It’s a lot of fun getting updates from them on Facebook on how Janeane Garofalo just dropped by, or how Ted Alexandro is hosting his next show. Their Oscar Watch Party was also a ton of fun. They are definitely my favorite new arrival to the neighborhood. 27-16 23rd Ave., Astoria, (347) 451-3873, qedastoria.com

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

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