Cafe Boulis, a tiny, charming new Greek cafe in Astoria, is improbably tucked around a corner at 31st Street and 31st Avenue within eye and earshot of the hulking frame of the N/Q line. Along with friendly service and picturesque decor intended, according to the owner’s wife, to evoke “a little bit of Greece right here in New York,” what stands out at Cafe Boulis are their fresh, delicious, homemade loukoumades.
Before moving to Astoria I must confess that I had never heard of loukoumades, Greek deep fried dough pastries, typically topped with honey and cinnamon, and served warm. You can find loukoumades on the dessert menu at a number of Greek restaurants in town and a few bakeries, however Cafe Boulis is the first place that will make them fresh to order in front of you while you wait. Here in Astoria, they are generally shaped into a ball, akin in size and shape to a zeppole or beignet, however, using a loukoumades-maker that the owners brought over from Greece, the ones at Cafe Boulis are a more traditional ring shape with a slightly crisp shell and an impossibly light-as-air, pillowy interior.
Cafe Boulis offers a small 5 piece order ($4) or a large 12 piece order ($8) and trays for large groups and parties. One more thing that sets the loukoumades at Cafe Boulis apart is the wide variety of toppings available beyond the traditional honey and cinnamon, including chocolate syrup, agave nectar, sesame, sour cherry syrup and more. At Boulis they are called “famous loukoumades,” and as a must-try item for any sweet-loving Astorian, I hope that indeed they soon will be famous. Cafe Boulis’ vibrant, welcoming atmosphere provides all the more reason to stop by and see for yourself how great fresh, warm loukoumades can be.
Cafe Boulis, 31-15 31st Ave, Astoria, NY
Astoria Greek food news bonus!
While chatting with the owner’s wife at Cafe Boulis, I learned of a new restaurant slated, as of now, to open in late November at 23-15 31st Street in Astoria, close to the Ditmars Station stop. It will be called Kopiaste Taverna and will serve authentic, traditional Greek and Cypriot cuisine. In a neighborhood stuffed full of Greek food, it’s amazing that I never, ever tire of Greek food and I look very forward to checking this new place out when it opens!