Arts and Culture, Astoria, Bars, Beer and Wine, Brunch, Burgers, Cocktails, Coffee, Comedy, Dessert, Food and Drink, Literary, Music, Restaurants, Theater
May 20, 2015

Best of Astoria-Lindsay’s Picks

The Best of Astoria awards celebrate the very finest Astoria has to offer, voted on by our readers. After the well-deserved winners get their time in the spotlight, the writers (…)

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The Best of Astoria awards celebrate the very finest Astoria has to offer, voted on by our readers. After the well-deserved winners get their time in the spotlight, the writers at We Heart Astoria take a moment to highlight some of our personal favorites.  

JudithMackenzi, Meg, and Emily have all given us the scoop on their top picks, and now it’s my turn!

 Best New Arrival: Halsey’s Tavern

Have you ever walked into a restaurant or bar, and immediately felt at home? Not only did I get that feeling the first time I set foot in Halsey’s Tavern, but I’ve actually heard friends say they felt the exact same way on their first visit. The bar/restaurant has a relaxed, comfortable vibe: perfect for anything from a catch-up session with an old friend to a group outing to watch a big game on their multiple screens. Their food and drink menu complements the atmosphere perfectly: their burger can compete with the best in the city, and their beer selection has something for everyone. I’m looking forward to many more laid-back nights at Halsey’s! (Halsey’s Tavern, 30-95 33rd St, Astoria

 Best Place To Experience the Arts: Q.E.D.

I can’t think of a cooler addition to the neighborhood than Q.E.D. Part bar, part performance venue, and part “after school space for grown-ups,” this new arrival has something for every adventurous Astorian. Where else can you find live entertainment like stand-up comedy, theater, poetry, and storytelling, in addition to classes featuring everything from swing dancing to Kickstarter fund-raising? This is the type of creative space that always has something cool or quirky going on. Check out their calendar to find an event or class for you! (Q.E.D., 27-16 23rd Ave, Astoria

Best Bar: Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden

-“Is it Beer Garden weather yet?”
-Q: “What are your plans for tonight?” A: “Not sure, but we’ll probably end up at the beer garden.”
-“I have friends visiting from out of town, so I’m definitely bringing them to the beer garden.”
These are all quotes I have said at least once a year since I’ve moved to Astoria. The Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden is an Astoria icon, and for good reason. When the weather finally turns, there is no better place to meet friends, find new ones, enjoy beer, chow down on some bratwurst, and enjoy the sunshine.  It’s the kind of place that’s casual, but also feels like a special occasion. You know there’s only so many precious “beer garden weather” days, so you make the most of them: go with a big group, bring friends from out of town and other boroughs, and have an absolute blast. If I had to choose one place in all of New York City to spend a summer Saturday, it would be the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden. (Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, 2919 24th Ave, Astoria

Best Coffee Shop: Astoria Coffee

There’s no shortage of places to get coffee in Astoria. What makes Astoria Coffee unique is the experience within the shop. Every employee is cheerful and welcoming, the drinks and baked goods are to die for, and their #duelingtipjars Instagram battles is enough to make me double check that I have singles before I walk in the door. Every time I’ve left this place, I’ve tried to plan when I can make my next visit. And they plan the coolest events: Drunk Vocab Bees, Reading Series, and Meetups, just to name a few. They are constantly brainstorming for new ideas, so you never know what they’ll come up with next! (Astoria Coffee, 30-04 30th St, Astoria

Best Brunch: Sugar Freak

When I first moved to Astoria and would wander around 30th Ave, Sugar Freak was the one place that intrigued me the most. With a funky decor, fantastic selection of New Orleans-inspired drinks, and overwhelming amount of mouthwatering menu options, their brunch is my favorite in a neighborhood FULL of excellent brunch options. For starters, it’s a good thing the Brunch Beignet Sliders (with Pimento cheese, Praline Bacon, and Scrambled Eggs) aren’t available as an entree, because otherwise I probably would never order anything else, EVER. They’re THAT good. Sugar Freak also presents you with the “savory version sweet” dilemma. Do I get a massive Po’Boy, Muffaletta sandwich, or Jambalaya and Eggs? Or do I go the sweet route and get their heavenly Bananas Foster French Toast or Funnel Cake Pancake? My suggestion: go with a few people and order EVERYTHING. (Sugar Freak, 36-18 30th Ave, Astoria

BONUS! Best New Reason to Leave Astoria: Wassail on the Lower East Side

I know We Heart Astoria is all about our neighborhood, but I couldn’t resist giving a shout out to Wassail cider bar, from the team behind local favorite (and Best of Astoria winner!) The Queens Kickshaw. Recently opened on the LES, Wassail is the first cider-focused bar in New York City, and the concept is in great hands with owners Jennifer Lim and Ben Sandler. The selection of ciders is exciting, with changes to the draught menu occuring daily, and the food menu follows in the Queens Kickshaw tradition of focusing on quality, well-prepared vegetables. As a live music fan, I love Wassail’s location. It’s a just around the corner from venues like Mercury Lounge, Piano’s, Arlene’s Grocery, and the Cake Shop, and very walkable to  Bowery Ballroom. It’s the perfect spot for a pre-show drink or quick bite. Next stop you venture outside our neighborhood, give Wassail a try! (Wassail, 162 Orchard St, Manhattan

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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