Arts and Culture, Astoria, Bars, Beer and Wine, Best Of Astoria, Brunch, Featured, Food and Drink, Mexican, Music, Restaurants, Sushi and Japanese
May 15, 2017

Best of Astoria 2017: Lindsay’s Picks!

While the fabulous Best of Astoria party celebrated our readers’ picks for the finest in the neighborhood, now it’s time for the WHA writers to shine a light on our favorite (…)

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While the fabulous Best of Astoria party celebrated our readers’ picks for the finest in the neighborhood, now it’s time for the WHA writers to shine a light on our favorite spots. Last week, our fearless party planner Emily shared her choices for the best of the neighborhood, and on this lovely Monday morning, I’m happy to present my selections!

Best Brunch: The Bonnie

Photo Credit: Oleg March

Photo Credit: Oleg March

In the past year, I’ve needed to pick a brunch spot for the following occasions:
-Celebratory engagement brunch with my parents and fiancé’s parents
-30th birthday brunch with my twin sister
-“Meet the baby” brunch with four co-workers, one being a new mom with a stroller
-Last minute Plan B brunch when Day 3 of Governor’s Ball was cancelled

 

For all of these events, The Bonnie was the easy choice. Their menu can please anyone, the environment is cozy and welcoming, and the brunch cocktails are a refreshing way to kick off your day. I’m a sucker for their avocado toast, and my companions have often raved about the Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Sandwich. No matter what the reason for your brunch, The Bonnie is always an excellent choice.

 

Favorite Place to Experience the Arts: HiFi Records

hifi-records-astoria-grand-opening-party-we-heart-astoria-queens-steinway-live-music-record-stores-live-music

A few weeks ago was Record Store Day, and attending HiFi Record‘s celebration of the event reminded me how lucky we are to have a place like it in the neighborhood. A young local band called Better Head was performing, and Owner Javi, who was completely rocking out, leaned over to me and said, “I feel like I’m a teenager again!” His love for music is completely infectious, and it’s fantastic to have someone in Astoria dedicated to keeping live (and recorded, obviously) music alive and well in the hood.

 

Favorite Bar: Diamond Dogs

Photo Courtesy of Diamond Dogs' Facebook page

Photo Courtesy of Diamond Dogs’ Facebook page

Okay, my plan for this year’s post was to switch things up and not repeat any winners from last year. However, everything I said about Diamond Dogs still rings completely true: it’s still my go-to spot for pretty much any kind of drinks meetup. And there’s still no better one-two punch than ordering a pizza from Milkflower and enjoying it with a beer in Diamond Dog’s backyard. That’s my idea of Astoria heaven right there.

 

Favorite New Arrival: Gaijin

blue-makerel-gaijin-we-heart-astoria-queens-sushi

If you’re looking for special occasion-worthy sushi in Astoria, newcomer Gaijin is an excellent choice. Chef Mark’s omakase menu is changing constantly, so you always know you’ll be getting the freshest fish, along with whatever creative combinations the kitchen can come up with. For your next splurge, make your way over to 31st Ave and prepare to be impressed!

 

Favorite Mexican Restaurant: Chela & Garnacha

tacos1-chela-garnacha-we-heart-astoria-queens-mexican-tacos-36th-aveSince it was so rainy out this weekend, I did some serious binge-watching of the second season of Master of None on Netflix. In one scene, a TV producer asks Aziz Ansari’s character Dev what his favorite taco in NYC is. I wanted to yell at the TV: “It’s the El Pastor at Chela & Garnacha!” If you’ve enjoyed their pork/pineapple delight, you might agree. This place is one of my favorite spots to bring visitors: the food is always excellent, the beer list is solid, and it’s just a comfortable, laid-back, welcoming place. I don’t make my way over to the 36th Avenue area often, but when I do, it’s usually for a trip to Chela & Garnacha.

 

There are way too many awesome places in Astoria to shout all of them out, but I did my best! What do you think? Share some of your picks in these categories in the comments below, or on Facebook!

About Lindsay Goyette

Lindsay has been eating and drinking her way through Queens since 2011. A casting director by day and Astoria explorer by night, you can usually find her checking out live music, theatre, or the newest neighborhood spot to enjoy a craft beer.

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