For those of us who live along the clattering path of the N/Q subway line, Steinway Street can be a sort of arbitrary eastern limit to our boundless exploration of Astoria. Today I want to spotlight some of my favorite spots to eat and drink east of Steinway. The Astorians who live out that way already know how great these place can be, but for the rest of us, it’s worth the walk!
Stove is an often overlooked restaurant in Astoria’s vibrant food scene. Perhaps that’s because it feels a bit like the sort of place your parents used to take you as a kid when you got all A’s. But it’s exactly that warm feeling of nostalgia (suggested in its name) combined with a well executed menu that makes Stove special. My favorite dishes are the perfectly fried fish and chips and the juicy, decadent sautéed chicken kiev with garlic butter, but it’s worth a trip to Stove to explore all of what they have to offer on this American Traditional menu with English and Irish influences.
I’ve already shouted mighty praise for Ukus’ phenomenal chicken soup, the Begova Corba, but the entire menu at this small, unpretentious Balkan eatery is worth checking out. Personal favorites include the rich, flaky Cheese Pie, the Burek Meat Pie, and the Kromprirusa, or Potato Pie that are served up in generous slices. I have yet to try the Cevapi platter (for shame) but it looks delicious when I stare just a bit too long at other people’s dinners. Everything is homemade at Ukus and the owners are kind and welcoming. If you haven’t yet been to this lesser known Astoria restaurant east of Steinway, you should totally check it out.
Queens may be known for its Filipino food, but Astoria itself is not. Manila! Manila! Resto Grill changed all that last year when they opened down at the quiet end of 30th Avenue. My absolute favorite thing about Manila! Manila! is the warm, welcoming service where you feel like you are being personally invited into the chef’s house to eat. The food is really excellent too, of course, and my favorites include the traditional comfort foods like the crispy pork Lumpia, the Home-style Chicken Adobo and the nutty Java Rice. But there is much to try on their varied menu including some delicious looking soups that I will be investigating when the fall ushers in soup weather. [UPDATE: Manila! Manila! Resto Grill in Astoria is closed. It will be missed.]
Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that next to eating my other favorite hobby is drinking beer. East of Steinway you’ll find some excellent suds including at my favorite bar in Astoria, The Quays. This cozy drinkers bar, which mixes long time locals with newer Astorians intent on a perfect pint, is known to have one of the best pours of Guinness in the city. I’m not much of a Guinness drinker (hold the hate mail), but they have a lot of other great, rotating options on tap. Perhaps most importantly, the Quays has an excellent daily drink special where your third drink is always free. Always.
One of my other favorite places for beer east of Steinway is Tri-Boro Ice (or Tri-Boro Beverage) on Astoria Boulevard. When I waxed nostalgic about it last September, they were just putting the finishing touches on what has become an wonderfully well stocked craft beer heaven on earth. Along with this great selection, Tri Boro features a large refrigerated room if you need your beer cold for that day and a state of the art growler filling station that keeps beer fresh for 30 days. Their branded Growlers are totally cool and maybe I have two of them on display in my studio apartment.
Tri-boro has long hours, but if you want a surprisingly good selection of craft beers at decent prices after 9pm, I recommend the C-Town on 28th Avenue, just east of Steinway. They also sell my beloved Pilao Brazilian coffee, so basically it’s a good place to multitask with your vices. On that note, I wish you all a good day of Astoria eastward adventures!
Stove 45-17 28th Avenue, Astoria
Ukus 42-08 30th Avenue, Astoria
Manila! Manila! Resto Grill 47-16 30th Avenue, Astoria
The Quays 45-02 30th Avenue, Astoria
Tri-Boro Ice/Beverage 41-08 Astoria Boulevard, Astoria
C-Town 4012 28th Avenue, Astoria