12 Days of Giveaways, Astoria, Coffee, Giveaways
Dec 07, 2011

12 Days of Giveaways, Day 2: The Queens Kickshaw

12 Days of giveaways – the queens kickshaw gives away a 12-day coffee card.

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Our second day of 12 Days of Giveaways, continues with a handsome prize from one of our favorite coffee shop newcomers, The Queens Kickshaw.  If you haven’t yet tried it, we highly urge you to do so – their grilled cheese sandwich options offer the most inventive combinations such as our personal favorite, the gouda with black bean hummus, guava jam, pickled jalapenos on a buttery brioche.  And the experts agree – just look at all the attention they’ve been getting from VH1, the Cooking Channel, Gothamist and more.

queens kickshaw gouda sandwich

Gouda sandwich. Image by Meg Cotner

Our second giveaway brings you the opportunity to win a 12-days of coffee card at The Queens Kickshaw.  Is this not super cool or what?! For this prize, Kickshaw will hook you up with a card that you can redeem for your choice of espresso, macchiato, cortado, Americano, latte, mocha…I think you get it.

12 days of giveaways

12 days of giveaways

To enter, tell us either about your favorite coffee at Queens Kickshaw or your most beloved grilled cheese combo by commenting on this post. And if you have a particular barista that you fancy, shoot that over to us too – Ben and Jen, TQK’s lovely owners would love to know!  Please make sure to leave us your email in your comment, so we can contact you easily.

You have until Friday to play and a winner will be announced on Monday, December 12th.  Go get ’em!



I have finally had the good fortune to sample TQK, and did so with a cup of Guatemalan roast and the grilled cheese with tomato soup.

Put simply, it was delicious, and the perfect end to a rainy, not-so-great day. Though this was a simple order, it all tasted sublime. I’m not hugely complicated in my preferences; I just want it to taste good, and TQK surpassed the already high expectations I had.

The only quibble I have is location- I live around Ditmars, and I’m hugely jealous of anyone with ready access to TQK. I just hope they’ll consider opening a second one at this end of the neighborhood! :-)

Mauricio P.

They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. But my addiction to the Kickshaw is less of a dilemma and more of a love for perfect coffee and delectable grilled cheese. I usually keep it simple with the egg and cheese sandwich; the combination of ricotta, gruyere and maple hot sauce is amazing! I always happen to get Zack as my barista when I head over for my soy latte reload. He’s down to earth, hilarious and a latte art maestro. TQK has seriously made my recent transition to living in NY a lot better. :)

Melissa Marie

I heart the manchengo grilled cheese sandwich. It reminds me of my delicious honeymoon in Turkey. I can’t wait to try the Mast Bros. hot chocolate!


I’ve never been to Queens Kickshaw but I need to get up there someday – I love grilled cheese in any form!


Oh, I never win anything! But I’m gonna go for it! Never been to Queens Kickshaw (embarrassed to admit it) but I am so on my way & would love the extra incentive! I’ll blog about how deelish it all is, I’m sure. did I win? helloooo?



Kickshaw is kicking! Thrilled to have this wonderful amazing coffee/bar/restaurant near my apartment! I’ve brought so many of my friends from out of town there and they all say the same – so lucky to live near Kickshaw! The cappucino is by the far the best i’ve ever had! Love the little swirls of milk on top. As for the cheese sandwhiches..oh dear..love the fontina along with the wonderfully prepared Tomato Soup. As for best waiter/server it is Zach! Love Kickshaw!


Queens Kickshaw has great iced coffee and Gruyere grilled cheese is amazing!


I first fell in love with Queens Kickshaw when I bit into the gruyere with pickled and caramelized onions on rye. HEAVEN. Though you also can’t go wrong with their fun spin on the classic grilled cheese and tomato soup with their cheddar and mozzarella on brioche. They also make their hot chocolate with dark chocolate and sea salt — enough said.


A great place to wow your Manhattanite friends or out-of-town guests. I try to refill my growler bi-weekly. Yum!


They are the SWEETEST people, they put the “comfort” in comfort food. I love the blue cheese samwich on the raisin bread–pure heaven!, plus those pickled raisins–ooh la la.


I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve had there, but the cheddar and mozzarella really hits the spot when all I’m craving is grilled cheese. The melt of the cheese and the crispy, buttery bread makes for perfection on a plate!


My fav local coffee shop! Great Hill Blue is the best sandwich & goes great with all of their beverage options.

Harris Graber

I haven’t been there yet, but I’m going to go very soon. I want to have the gouda grilled cheese sandwich with black bean hummus, guava jam, & pickled jalapeños. A green salad with jalapeño vinaigrette sounds too good to be believed.


all the pour overs. cheesy nite snacks. and my husband is totally charmed by the free seltzer water :)


I love everything I’ve had at the Kickshaw. Love the crispy gruyere, the seltzer on tap, and the weekly farmer’s market table in the summer.


Best coffee in astoria. I prefer a skinny cappuccino. I do have a fav barrista but I don’t know his name! Unnamed barrista, if you’re reading this, you pull a damn good shot.

Pete Horowitz

The Kenya AA is VERY GOOD COFFEE! Just yesterday they gave me a try of a new kombucha alcoholic beverage that they will be serving soon which is incredible as well.


How can I possibly pick just one? Oh, wait, I’ve only had one, so by definition, that is my favorite: Chedder/Mozzerella.


I’ve been meaning to try this place since I first read about it. The gruyere grilled cheese sounds delicious!!


I’m going to say Ditto to everything that Astoria Haiku said,

except I don’t have a son. And I would never go to Brooklyn for coffee. And I don’t skip over to TQK; I stroll. Oh , and I do love Alisha but have never once called her Sharon. Or Shirley. And I have admired her portrait over in Welling Ct. without once feeling stalker-ish

However, if I win, I promise to buy Mr. AH a coffee. #teamspirit
And now, I will be getting dressed, strolling over to TQK and getting a Gouda. You should as well.


Love love LOVE the gruyere! It’s like french onion soup in a sandwich but so much better. I always wash it down with ginger soda. We absolutely adore the bespectacled red head waitress (wish I knew her name!). She’s super sweet and knowledgeable and always makes us feel welcome.


Call me boring but the straightforward cheddar & mozzarella with tomato soup just warms my soul! The only times I’m able to go are either when I’m working from home due to snow or the sniffles. The baristas are always so friendly and accommodating. TQK is a really great addition to the neighborhood.


Sadly I can only drink decaf- lucky for me, their decaf pour-over coffees are delicious.


The matcha green tea iced tea is so good I want to make out with it. As a vegan, however, I am not so much into the grilled cheeses. Luckily, an AM soy latte and bowl of pickled vegetables makes for a pretty handsome breakfast.


I keep it simple. I like the Cheddar/Mozzarella on a brioche. Best grilled cheese I’ve ever had. The cappuccino is one of the best around, too!

Notorious Liz

Since it opened, Queens Kickshaw NAILED what I’ve always wanted in Astoria. The vibe, staff, decor, music (which I stay extra long for sometimes, wondering what will be played next)…all great. But it was when I had my first Mexican coffee (now retired), I knew this place would be my new coffee local.

I have a sensitive stomach. Most coffee is WAY too acidic (esp. Starbucks) and does me in. There are brands I can have at home, but I WORK at home, so getting out is important. The Mexican coffee was not only DELICIOUS, it didn’t hurt my stomach! I came back 2-3x/week for months.

Then came the iced coffee growlers. Sheer brilliance. I had wanted something like a coffee growler for YEARS. They nailed it yet again! I could take my Mexican coffee home and drink it ANYtime. And I did.

Beyond that, I’ve had the classic grilled cheese and tomato soup (both truly exceptional), the breakfast sandwich (the dollop of sweet is magic) and the Kitchen Sink Salad (HUGE meal!). Now that it’s getting to be grilled cheese weather again, I intend to try each sandwich on the menu and know without a doubt, each will be awesome.

Kudos, Kickshaw. You’ve got my vote.


The Gruyere sammie is my favorite! Paired with a bottle of Uerige Sticke beer = heaven!


Definitely my new favorite spot in 2011! My favorite drink is any of their awesome pour-over coffee, black. But they do also make a mean cappuccino!


My favorite coffee drink at the Kickshaw is the cortado….it is divine!


LOVE the Kickshaw. Seriously the best thing to happen to Astoria in a long time. My favorite sandwich is the Gouda- the guava jam and jalapeno are the perfect contrast and just enough bite. AMAZING! The Gruyere and Fontina (open faced goodness!) are tied for a very close second though!

And my favorite barista is Alicia! She’s super sweet and friendly. I doubt she remembers me when I come in but she always acts like she does which makes me feel like a true regular.


LOVE TQK! i’ve been there several times for their delicious coffee and many more times for their amazing grilled cheese and a glass of white. i might be a little obsessed with the gouda sandwich — walked 20 minutes in the rain for it last night.


What don’t I love at Queens Kickshaw?? I personally try different kinds of coffee each time because all are amazing!


The Gruyere sandwich is awesome, and I agree, their lattes are great. I like grabbing one and heading across the street to the library to browse the aisles. A perfect weekend morning.


I do love the gouda grilled cheese, and also their fantastic selection of ciders!

Astoria Haiku

My wife and I are coffee snobs.

Every Saturday and Sunday, we trekked into the city for a decent latte. Our number one place was Abraco on 7th Street off 1st Avenue. If the line was too long, we’d go to Ninth Street Espresso (various locations). If we happened to be in Midtown we’d go to Stumptown. If we didn’t feel like going all the way into the city (or if the QBB or WBB were too stacked) we’d cut through Greenpoint via McGunness Blvd. and we’d grab some Gimme! Coffee. If we were visiting family in Bay Ridge, we’d cut through Park Slope and go to Gorilla Coffee on 5th Avenue.

Seeing a trend? What do all these places have in common? They’re not in my neighborhood, my beloved Astoria. Every venture outside of Astoria for a latte was a painful one.

Fast forward to Twitter. In my search for all things Astoria, I stumbled upon @tastoriaqueens, who responded to my rant about the coffee-scene in Astoria. She graciously recommended The Queens Kickshaw (TQK). Life would never be the same!

I immediately emailed TQK to ask them about their menu. Our son has a severe peanut allergy and where we go, he goes. So it’s important to us to know what we can eat and what we need to avoid. I immediately got an email from Jen explaining the allergens in their ingredients, and that accommodations would be made to ensure safety. They won me over right there, but on to the coffee.

So some days later, we skipped over to TQK on Broadway, and had their latte. As close to perfect as you can get anywhere in this city. The first time I got the smaller size, which comes in a darn cute cup but is a little more concentrated espresso-wise than I’m accustomed to for an early morning cup. Since then I’ve ordered the larger size and it is PERFECT. I’ve Tweeted about it before, you cannot get a latte this good anywhere in Queens, and it’s right up there with those “big boys” I mentioned earlier in this post.

“Hey you’re a coffee snob, and you drink lattes?”

Okay, let me explain. TQK has the kick-ass pour-over coffees, and they are as tasty as they come too. But being a coffee snob, I can grind/brew my own coffee (I have a Cuisinart Moka Brew, Google it) and I can achieve really good results for my regular brewed coffee. I cannot, however, achieve those results with respect to steamed or frothed milk, without the aid of a $20,000 Faema or La Marzocco.

So how good is the latte? What are the standards?

First, it can’t be too hot. Huge no-no. You should be able to drink it immediately without scalding your mouth. Watch the barista; if they’re using their hand to feel the temperature on the side of the pitcher, they probably know what they are doing. If there is a thermometer sticking out of the pitcher, walk out.

Taste is subjective, so I can’t tell you what a good cup tastes like, but to me, TQK lattes are sweet, almost chocolaty, with tremendous depth and complexity. It’s not burnt. Another gauge of quality (in my opinion) is the amount of sugar/sweetener you need. At TQK I normally use about half a teaspoon, and if I’m in a rush, I can drink it straight-up with no sugar. Plus, I hate to destroy that beautiful latte-art on top with my spoon.

My favorite TQK employee is a pleasant, beautiful young lady that I have encountered a few times. Stalking…I mean…research tells me that her name is Sharon. I just don’t think they make people like that anymore. In a handful of interactions, it just seems that she never has a bad day.

Okay, enough gushing about The Queens Kickshaw. 12-day coffee-card aside, I would have written this regardless. I owe it to Ben and Jen for saving us MetroCards, gas and tolls for all those treks into Manhattan. Thanks for putting Astoria on the map!



I recently discovered the amazing was that is Queens Kickshaw. I’m a cheese fiend, coffee maven, and beer freak, so it’s like this place was made for me, and, the best part is that everything there is executed perfectly. From the single origin bean iced coffee on draft to the variety of brewing methods for hot coffee, the broad range of creative sandwiches (which are all vegetarian if I’m not mistaken), the mac and cheese (I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it), the extremely well-curated selection of bottled and draft beers, and, most importantly, the exceedingly nice and warm staff, it’s impossible to not love this place.

I don’t even live in Astoria – I live in Cobble Hill & work in LIC – and I’ve already been here more times than I can count.

If I had to pick a favorite sandwich, I would go with the black bean, guava, and Gouda. But I would be happy to eat anything off their menu.

Jen Makulowich

The Queens Kickshaw is THE SH*T! I love this place! The atmosphere is cozy, the staff is super friendly, and more or less, I am lucky that I live in the same city as TQK!

My personal favorite sandwich is the Fontina Grilled Cheese w peston and carmalized onions – SO YUMMY!

I have never tried to coffee though, so I hope I win because coffee is another one of my passions!

Rock on, The Queen’s Kickshaw!


I’ve actually never been to Queens Kickshaw but have been wanting to go ever since before it opened. Winning this prize would certainly jump start a visit!

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