Livin’ Large in LIC
By Shirley Roberts
Queens really is the gift that keeps on giving. Just when you think you’ve discovered all the secret hot spots our little borough has to offer, all of a sudden, there’s a whole other world to explore. If you haven’t already met, reader, we’d like to introduce you and show some love to Long Island City. Between the waterfront view, plethora of breweries, abundance of art culture and delicious local dishes, your weekends are bound to become a lot more interesting. Not to mention this part of town provides a bit of relief from the typical hustle and bustle of NYC streets. Hidden in plain sight, LIC makes for a Saturday well-spent. Don’t worry, we’ll get you started.
If you’re anything like us, you need that caffeine fix before you start the day. Carpe diem your way on down to Sweetleaf Coffee Roasters. We recommend their signature drink, Voodoo Child: a Vietnamese-style cold brew with condensed milk. We bet you’ll love it so much you’d wish you could take a bunch home. Oh wait, you can, with their 32oz “Rocket Fuel” growler.
10-93 Jackson Ave. | 917.832.6726 | @sweetleafnyc
Like your meal with a view? Head on over to Latin-American fusion restaurant, Blend on the Water, and treat yourself to their Huevos Rancheros, Churrasco and Eggs or Arepas Benedictos. Wash it down with a $6 mimosa or Bellini (or five) and thank us later. That’s right – only $6.
4540 Center Blvd. | 718.606.9851 | @blendonthewater
For all our fellow sushi lovers out there, you can’t visit LIC and not try Dai Hachi. From the freshest of rolls and sashimi, to ramen and stir fry galore, to one of the most extensive sake menus you can find, Dai Hachi has it all. If you’re still not sold, drop by for one of their Kitchen Lunch Box Specials: your choice of protein with a side salad, miso soup, white rice and three pieces of California Roll, all for under $13. Name a better deal. We’ll wait.
46-18 Vernon Blvd. | 718.255.6260 | @daihachisushi
If you’re an Italian or seafood lover, Maiella is the place for you. Lose yourself in one of their handmade pastas while surrounded by a beautiful, rustic atmosphere, or reserve one of their heated cabanas outside for a $30 fee which guarantees you privacy and social distancing. We recommend starting with their famous Burrata appetizer which includes whole burrata, butternut squash, pumpkin seed and balsamic.
4610 Center Blvd. | 718.606.1770 | @maiella_lic
Here to fulfill all your sun-filled Saturday needs, we have Gantry State Plaza Park. Overlooking the East River and Manhattan skyline and away from the relentless sound of traffic, this one- of-a-kind park is the definition of R&R. Have a picnic, catch a tan, read a book, take a nap, play some frisbee, the list goes on and on. Ring in spring the right way.
4-09 47th Rd. | @gantrygram_nyc
MoMA’s little sister, the contemporary art institute, MoMA PS1, gives learning a new and incredibly fun meaning. The museum hosts a variety of rotating and interactive exhibitions and events, including their current feature, “Rashid Johnson: Stage,” in which visitors can practice making their voices heard both literally and figuratively. A little fun fact for you: if all that learning works up an appetite, MoMA PS1 is also home to Mina’s Café, where you can enjoy their outdoor seating with any one of their Greek pastries, salads or mezze plates.
22-25 Jackson Ave. | @momaps1
Let’s be honest, we all love a good “gram” moment. Rockaway Brewing Company and its amazing exterior murals are the perfect candidate for exactly that. The work was painted by a local artist over ten years ago and makes Rockaway Brewing every hipster’s paradise: contemplate art with an IPA in hand. Inside the brewery you’ll find even more unique artwork ranging from colorful wall stickers to refurbished skateboards. #DoItForTheGram and don’t forget to tag them and us when you do!
46-01 5th St. 718.482.6528 | @rockawaybrewco | @astoriafilmfestival