Astoria, Bakeries, Best Of Astoria, Fitness, Food and Drink, Pizza, Restaurants
Apr 25, 2014

Best of Astoria – Judith’s Picks

Best of Astoria Editorial Picks (Judith) – Ovelia, Astoria Bier & Cheese, Milkflower, Tone Pilates, La Guli Pastry Shop, Sanfords

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After last month’s big We Heart Astoria Best of Awards (and party!), we hope you’ve been enjoying and visiting some of the top picks.  The awards were based on your votes, which kept things authentic and helped uncover  what’s truly valued in the neighborhood.  Throughout the next few weeks, we’ll shine a light on our personal picks as well to give you a slightly different take on our personal Astoria bests.  Here are a few of mine:

Ovelia feta cubesFavorite Astoria Restaurant: Ovelia
I never tire of visiting Ovelia for many reasons.  The food is always delicious and the Giannakas brothers are constantly reinventing things, whether that involves new, innovative menu items, ingratiating fun whimsical decor, throwing great parties and more.  What I love about Ovelia is that it sticks to its mission of delivering Greek food with a modern spin, but at the same time respecting its deeply seated family traditions.  A few staples such as the loukaniko, monastiraki bifteki and pastitsio never leave the menu, but fun new items such as the parea plate, the saganaki burger and fried feta cubes for example bejewel their offering to keep things fresh. 34-01 30th Avenue, Astoria. 718.721.7217

sanfords-brunchFavorite BrunchSanfords
I’m going to agree with the people’s choice, and also go with Sanfords.  Even though it’s hard to get into on the weekends, there’s a reason for that – simply because it’s great.  I’d advise going later in the day (after 2 p.m.) if you’d like to get seated quickly, as prime brunch time incurs a pretty long wait. When you do get in, you’ll marvel at their extensive brunch smorgabord, boasting four varieties of pancakes, including my favorite, the peanut butter banana (pictured above). 30-13 Broadway, Astoria. 718.932.9569

astoria-bier-and-cheeseFavorite Outdoor DiningAstoria Bier & Cheese
I know it may seem unusual, but I adore the simple, cozy backyard at Astoria Bier & Cheese’s Broadway location.  On a nice day, it’s lovely to situate oneself at one of their picnic tables outside, have some brews and a heaping cheese and meat platter.  While it’s not a secret by any means, their outdoor garden still seems undiscovered and under the radar, and I love that!  34-14 Broadway, Astoria. 718.545.5588

sfinge-zeppola-la-guli-astoria-queens

Sfinge and zeppola from La Guli Bakery.

Favorite BakeryLa Guli Pastry Shop
Never tiring of the traditional and classic, I enjoy being brought back in time at La Guli Pastry Shop.  You almost feel like you’re in the 50’s when you go in there, and I mean that in the best possible way.  Their displays of traditional Italian cookies and pastries is second to none in Astoria, and my personal favorites are the sfogliatelle filled with creamy ricotta, the cannolis, brutti e buoni and of course the gelato.  29-15 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria. 718.728.5612

surf-pilates-toneFavorite Yoga StudioTone Pilates
Even though it’s technically not a yoga studio, this pilates haven offers small, personalized classes and really great instructors who make each experience effective for you.  Personally, I’ve been enamored with their Surf Pilates classes, which test your balance, endurance, flexibility and coordination.  It’s an all around great experience, as you feel super cool pretending to catch waves on the RipsurferX board.  It’s a blast but prepare to work hard! 36-19 Broadway, Astoria. 347.730.6057

Image by Bradley Hawks

Image by Bradley Hawks

Favorite New Arrival of 2013Milkflower
Appreciating a delicious pizza pie, Milkflower came to Astoria with a vengeance and we think it’s here to stay.  The only one of its kind on 31st Avenue, Milkflower fires up Neapolitan style pizzas with a beautifully charred crust and a thin as air middle.  Some of my favorites include the Spicy Soppressata and the Hawaiian, which comes dressed with prosciutto instead of the traditional ham.  Bravo!  34-12 31st Avenue, Astoria. 718.204.1300

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