When the MTA suspended 7 train service between Queensboro Plaza and Times Square for 13 consecutive weekends, beginning last weekend, they effectively cut off much of the foot traffic and train travel to Long Island City. Here are a dozen ways to support the businesses and business owners in LIC during the next 12 weeks of service interruption, and have some really great eats along the way!
Finally Make it to M.Wells
An acclaimed restaurant, set in a classroom, set inside a museum that used to be a school, M.Wells Dinette is likely to be one of the most original dining experiences you’ll have in New York City – or maybe anywhere. Check out the exhibits at MoMA PS1 while you’re there.
Visit a Queens Coffee Pioneer
As a coffee fanatic, one of the first places on my list to try when I moved to Queens was Sweetleaf, which first opened in 2008 and introduced the neighborhood to Stumptown and Verve coffee as well as Queens’ first pour-over coffee bar. A Sweetleaf latte and one (or three) of their cinnamon puff pastries remains one of my all time favorite breakfasts.
Get to Know Chimney Cake
I was first introduced to the Chimney Cake, a traditional Hungarian Transylvanian pastry baked in a unique cylindrical shape, at the annual Taste of LIC event. Often served at weddings and other special occasions, now you can get this delicious treat any day of the week in LIC at their eponymously named establishment.
Have a Fast Food Style Burger Throwdown
This year one of my Astoria favorites, Petey’s Burger, opened an LIC location on Vernon Avenue. Order a Petey’s cheeseburger and fries and then travel down to LIC’s other fine fast food style burger joint, Burger Garage, and try the same in a head to head challenge!
Drink Beer Here
Check out the fantastic beer selection including American craft and rare and well-loved imports at Alewife Queens. I like to wash down the beer with Alewife’s french fries tossed with garlic, parsley, and salt and pepper.
Savor Serious BBQ
I haven’t been to John Brown Smokehouse since it moved from a semi-obscure location on 37th Avenue on the border of Astoria and LIC. I do remember how good the food was, however, and now they have a new location with beer, wine, and live music closer to the heart of LIC, it seems like a perfect time to go back.
Sample Slovak-Czech Varieties
Recently featured on the site Queens NYC, I also encountered Slovak-Czech Varieties at the last Taste of LIC where I got to sample some delicious imported candy and chocolate. This specialty store has been in the neighborhood since 2003 and is a true hidden gem. Try something completely new and you’re likely to be rewarded for it.
Get your Filipino Food Fix
With the closing of Manila! Manila! Resto Grill in Astoria, our local Filipino food options have dwindled to next to none. Luckily, our neighbor to the south, LIC, is home to Ihawan 2 (the original location is in Woodside) where you can get great lumpia, halo halo, crispy fried pork and all of your favorite dishes.
Drink More Beer Here
LIC Bar was closed for weeks following Hurricane Sandy due to flooding and electrical issues. They reopened in late November, only to now be cut off from 7 train service on weekends. So make sure to stop by this cozy bar with its warm, homey feel, for some good beer in a great environment.
Enjoy a Funny Feast
The Creek and The Cave is a highly regarded stand up comedy venue where the food and beer are hardly an afterthought. So take in a show and enjoy a great meal as well at this LIC cultural institution.
Try Something New
I must confess that there are many LIC restaurants that are still on my list to try including Manducatis, Alobar, LIC Market, and many more. Pick a place or two from your own list and check them out in the weeks ahead!
Thank Your Old Favorites
Revisit one or more of your favorite places to eat in LIC. Thank them and let them know that you are grateful for what they bring to the neighborhood: they help sustain us, and now’s our chance to help sustain them.