Astoria, Best Of Astoria
May 16, 2014

Best of Astoria – Meg’s Picks

We’re back to thinking about the Best of Astoria with We Heart Astoria staff picks, and now it’s my turn (check out Mackenzi and Judith‘s picks for contrast). Let’s go! (…)

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We’re back to thinking about the Best of Astoria with We Heart Astoria staff picks, and now it’s my turn (check out Mackenzi and Judith‘s picks for contrast). Let’s go!

Favorite Restaurant: Il Bambino

spicy avocado and goat cheese crostini

In this category, I was pleased to see our readers vote Il Bambino as their favorite restaurant two years in a row. I’ve loved their food from the first time I ate it (which caused me to write this review), and the panini, crostini (a favorite of mine is pictured above, spicy avocado and goat cheese), salads, and tapas continue to be solid and delicious, at a price point that makes a meal rather affordable. And then there’s the hot maple milk and peanut butter hot chocolate, as well as the incredible desserts (the chocolate layer cake is one of the best cakes in the 5 boroughs, IMO). I’m also fond of their backyard, which is a lovely spot to eat and drink on a warm summer’s day. 34-08 31st Ave, Astoria, (718) 626-0087

Favorite Brunch: Vesta

A Warm Bankie

Whenever anyone asks me where to have brunch in Astoria, Vesta is at the top of my list. I usually order A Warm Bankie, made with fried eggs, creamy polenta, asparagus, mushrooms & truffle oil. Their hangover pizza is also amazing, involving potato, pancetta, sausage, spicy tomato sauce, and also topped with a fried egg. Coffee and mimosas are also solid. This place is a winner. 21-02 30th Ave, Astoria, (718) 545-5550

Favorite Wine Shop: Astoria Park Wine and Spirits 

Astoria Park Wine Spirits

Astoria Park Wine and Spirits is my local wine shop, and if it wasn’t I’d make a point of traveling to it. The owners and staff are always happy to help and have turned me onto some fantastic—and often very affordable—wines from myriad regions. I also like the feel of the place, which is full of light, and the wines are organized in a way that seems logical to me. My household loves this place! We’re big fans. 28-07 24th Ave, Astoria, (718) 606-1142

Favorite Outdoor Dining: Mojave


Indeed, I do love the Beer Garden, but there is something really special about the backyard patio at Mojave. When I’m there, it’s almost like I’m no longer in the city but somewhere on vacation. They have made some of my favorite cocktails, and their grilled asparagus is crazy good. I love the fountain, too. 22-36 31st St, Astoria, (718) 545-4100

Favorite Place to See Art: MOMI


My boyfriend and I have been members of MOMI for a number of years (and he before I has been a member for many years), and we think it’s one of the best deals in the city. Members get to know about special screenings, and regularly programmed films are free with membership. I love the permanent exhibit of old cameras, and I always notice something new each time I’m there. The interactive displays are a lot of fun, not to mention their collection of video games (as a child of the ’80s, I love the nostalgia). And the building is gorgeous. It’s just a really nice place to spend an afternoon or evening. 36-01 35th Ave, Astoria, (718) 777-6888

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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