Once upon a time, some ol’ chap named George Bernard Shaw said “There is no sincerer love than the love of food.” Mr. Shaw knows what’s up. As much as I loved Astoria for the safe, friendly people, the waterfront park, and my neighborhood dog-friends, I love-loved Astoria for the endless, delicious food options that were on (literally) every corner. Being the ~*Queen*~ of never being able to make a decision (bow down), I decided to type up a restaurant guide for what I consider to be the best restaurants in Astoria!
Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna is, hands down, my favorite place to eat in Astoria. If I remember correctly, Brett and I went to Greg’s the first time because it looked like nothing fancy and there were a few old Greek men sitting outside (Brett’s judgement for finding a good place to eat). I would say that we ate at Greg’s at least 10 times, and never once wished we went elsewhere. Their Chicken Souvlaki plate (extra tzatziki and lemon potatoes instead of fries, please!) was ordered by me every time, and their 1/2 carafe of house red wine was the perfect addition. Dinner for two and wine is always less than $50, and I appreciated that they never cared when I sat cross-legged at my seat.
Okay, I know I called Gregory’s my favorite place to eat in Astoria, but I have to hand the same praise to Ornella Trattoria. Tip one: Go on a Wednesday, it’s BYOB. Tip two: Order the Pasta di Castagna and save some for me. Tip three: Make your reservation through Reservation Genie, because they have some great perks (I get 20% off every time I go, now!). So.good.
Chela! Chela! Chela! My favorite chant, because this means we’re on our way to get the best tacos and margs out there at Chela & Garnacha. This family run business started as a food truck in NYC, and now they have the cutest little spot in Astoria! Their Nopales and Camaron Adobado tacos are my favorite on the menu (pro tip: add their crispy cheese to everything), and you have to get their margaritas — strong, flavorful, and not syrupy. The spot isn’t very big, so I recommend going at a time that wouldn’t be super busy.
Shout out to Seamless for introducing me to Yaar, and another shout out to Yaar for being a BYOB establishment. Located directly under the Astoria-Ditmars Blvd stop on the NW train, Yaar is a delicious and super affordable Indian restaurant that always beats their Seamless delivery time by at least 10 minutes. If you’re looking for a meal recommendation, order Lasuni Gobi, Butternut Squash Kofta, and Garlic Naan!
Brett laughs at me and largely disagrees every time I say that Pizza Palace has the best pizza in Astoria (they don’t have a website, but they’re located at 29-29 Ditmars Blvd). Their sesame crust and yummy toppings have always filled my pizza craving, but if you’re looking for a “meet me here” type place for pizza, head to Milkflower. Their thin crust, fancy-topped, shareable pizzas are always a treat.
I’m having a hard time deciding between The Bonnie and Gastroteca for my favorite brunch place, so I’ll touch on them both. During the warmer months, The Bonnie has the best “Garden Sangria,” that I could drink all day long. And, although I am perfectly capable of making my own avocado toast, I can’t help but to order it off the menu. However, if that’s not your style, go for the breakfast burger or the biscuits and gravy.
Gastroteca has a super trendy style, like The Bonnie, but they get extra points for projecting cartoons and movies onto the bar wall while you eat. How cute! Since I’ve been so satisfied with their brunch lasagna, I haven’t ordered anything else, but I’ve been a few times and haven’t left with anyone not raving about their meal!
Vesta Trattoria and Wine Bar is the perfect place to go for a special occasion – Brett and I celebrated two birthdays, an anniversary, and New Years Eve here! Vesta has a really warm and cozy atmosphere with brick walls, low lighting, and closely-placed tables. Their Barbera wine on tap is pricey, but worth every penny! Plus, the staff here couldn’t be nicer. On New Years Eve, the bartender had a good laugh at the carafe and wine glasses I kept tying balloons around, and gave us another 1/2 carafe of their Barbera on the house!
I’m getting hungry thinking about all of these amazing places. Let me know if you get to try any of these best restaurants in Astoria!