1. Brick Cafe, 30-95 33rd Street
Brick Cafe is in a slightly quieter spot than a lot of Astoria’s restaurants, so it’s a great place to relax. They have daily specials, and a pretty substantial menu. Starting your meal at Brick Cafe is always wonderful because they have fresh, sliced bread with an olive tapanade that’s seriously divine. Brunch here is awesome, and the omelets are always cooked up perfectly with fresh, filling toppings. The Penne Rustica here is super good – made with roasted eggplant, cherry tomatoes, shredded basil, rustic tomato sauce and ricotta. They also have an awesome filet of Branzino, which is amazing served over sauteed spinach and pan searched gnocchi.
2. Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, 29-19 24th Avenue
The Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden is generally pretty packed, and for good reason. There’s almost always great live music, and you can catch awesome live acts from locals. The atmosphere here is always really energetic – it’s a great place to come with a group of friends. The beer selection is large and rotating, and they’ve got a good range between strong, dark beers and lighter fruity varieties. They’ve got $16 pitchers which is a pretty good deal. They’ve got great food that is REALLY filling, like the bratwurst – which goes amazing with their sauerkraut.
3. Wave Thai 21-27 21st Street
Wave Thai is PHENOMENAL for take out, but they are definitely worth stopping by. Now, if you’re going to Wave Thai, you have GOT to try their curry. Seriously. I’ve had a lot of curries and Wave Thai takes the cake. The portions are generous, and they vary from not spicy to super-h0t-i-need-water spicy (which is my favorite option). They’ve also got the classics like curry puff, spring rolls, and Pad Thai.
4. Ovelia, 34-01 30th Avenue
Ovelia is a classic. They’ve got amazing Greek food, and awesome brunch options. The Saganaki burgers here at great, made with chopped veal and topped with cucumbers, fried kefalograviera, Greek yogurt tahini spead, all on Turkish Pide bread, and they come with a side of hand cut oregano fries which are perfectly crisp and flavorful. The service here is always extremely friendly and accommodating, and it’s a great family spot. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, try the Loukamades for dessert – it’s amazing. The Greek food here is really authentic, and whether you’re having the classic spanikopita or the zucchini croquettes, they’re bound to be delicious.
5. Il Bambino, 34-08 31st Avenue
I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone that doesn’t like Il Bambino. Probably because they have a menu that seriously appeals to everyone. I mean come on, who doesn’t like sandwiches!? They have a different panini special each day, and it’s always something worth checking out. They’ve got classic paninis like the roast chicken, and other great ones like the roast mushroom, caramelied onions, dirty chips, truffle spread and fontina. Their paninis always seem to have an extra kick to them – they’re savory and crunchy, not just regular toasted sandwiches. They also have phenomenal soups like the roasted garlic tomato bisque, and their potato salad is out of this world.
Did we miss YOUR favorite restaurant to enjoy during the summer? Let us know!