Welcome to our three-part series called “LIC for Brooklynites,” from the folks at the QueensNYC webmag. We’ll be featuring where to eat, what to do, and where to live in Long Island City. This first part is about where to eat.
Brooklyn is right to be proud about its diverse food scene, but it’s no secret that Queens also has a lot to offer too. Especially for authentic ethnic cuisine like Greek, Mexican, Colombian, Uzbeki. Long Island City continues to gain a reputation for excellent eats, in particular European-influenced and New American dishes, as well as myriad artisanal foods.
To visit Long Island City, bike (the Pulaski has a safe bike lane), walk (it’s a short walk, we promise), drive (there’s parking), take the ferry (from DUMBO or Williamsburg), or take the subway (7/E/F/M/N/Q/R, and the G). You’ll be well-fed.
Here are some places worth checking out. We’ve grouped them by street, and most are accessible by subway, at the least.
If tasty pub grub and an seemingly endless beer list appeal to you, Alewife has your number. It’s only a couple of blocks from the Vernon-Jackson 7 stop, and shows off with a beautiful, warm dining room and terrific group of bartenders and servers to help you out. We’re partial to their fries, which come with parmesan and truffle oil. The burger is also terrific.
Image source: Alobar
This is one of the new kids on the block and is a restaurant that should not be missed. Chef Ian Kapitan brings all sorts of interesting dishes to the menu with the imprint of New American style throughout. The menu also changes with the seasons. Anything having to do with pork is a winner, like the Berkshire pork loin (BTW, occasionally they’ll hold pig butchering classes at the restaurant); the pickles are delicious and are made locally (the carrot and sweet tarragon is especially good); the Long Island Duck is also amazing. Cocktails also change with the seasons – give their gin-based Quince Cooler a try if you find it on the menu. Brunch is also served on the weekend, where you’ll find croissant french toast, a stellar BLT, and their popular wild mushroom toast.
Domaine Bar a Vins
Image source: Domaine Bar a Vins
This cool, sophisticated, yet unpretentious wine bar is owned by Tournesol proprietor Pascal Ecriout, and is located just next door to the restaurant. Stop in here for a glass of wine, cheeses from Artisanal, and local oysters and charcuterie. Late nights there’s often jazz. This is a real refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city, a great place to relax with a glass of vino and your loved one(s).
This new Vietnamese spot is serving classics like pho, clay pot dishes, spring rolls, and banh mi sandwiches. Particularly good is the ginger clay pot chicken — the dark meat chicken is moist and the rice below soaks up the sauce. Give the homemade pickled plum soda a try for something a little different, or the ginger lemon soda, recommended by the staff.
Cyclo, 5-51 47th Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101; (718) 786-8309 (GMAP)
Welcome to the home of great and varied comfort food — consider a half pound burger that comes with sweet potato fries, pulled pork tacos al pastor, disco tots (served with white sauce and cheese), and chicken fried chicken. The cocktails are also delicious, including the Jim Jam that comes with muddled blackberry and orange with a bourbon base; the pisco sour is also fab. Stop by for brunch on the weekend for classics like french toast, egg sandwiches, and chicken and waffles