1. ASTORIA, QUEENS
What to go for: Greek food and a little bit of everything else!
Queens is New York City’s most ethnically diverse borough and Astoria’s food scene is a great exemplar of that! The neighborhood was primarily a Greek food destination so you’ll find classic spots like Telly’s Taverna and Artopolis Bakery crowded with locals and visitors alike looking for real-deal spanakopita and lemon soaked grilled octopus!
You’ll also find savory Brazilian pastries, (Pao de Queijo), deeply flavored bowls of pho District Saigon, a colorful spot for housing sweet, Spicy bot noodles, Pye Boat Noodle, and one of the city’s best grilled cheese sandwiches (Queens Kickshaw). It’s he ideal neighborhood for spending a day sampling a bit of everything!
What to go for: Eastern European and classic waterfront spots!
Sheepshead Bay is where you go when you want a quiet meal with a view, without the obnoxious crowds (and prices) of Manhattan/Williamsburg rooftops and patios. Numerous spots offer affordable waterfront meals, including classic bay view restaurants Il Fornetto and Randazzo’s Clam Bar, which we’ve Quality thin crust pizzas and fresh seafood!
The neighborhood is also home to New York’s only Armenian Bakery, Brooklyn Bread House, and the boisterous ever welcoming Russian/Uzbek restaurant, Nargis Cafe. When it’s nice out you can take a quick walk or bike ride to Brighton Beach, and stop by Sheepshead Bay Institution Roll-n-Roaster on the way for a classic roast beef sandwich!
3. LONG ISLAND CITY, QUEENS
What to go for: ambitious restaurants with cool vibes!
Fewer outer borough neighborhoods offer as many restaurants combining big outstanding food and great vibes as Long Island City! Famed Canadian chef and meat aficionado Hughes Dufour has both of his restaurants, M. Wells Steakhouse and M. Wells Dinette, in the neighborhood.
The always packed Mu Ramen is known for some of the best (and most ambitious) bowls of ramen in the city! Plenty of other lievely places are worth centering a night around — like Casa Enrique (the only Michelin-rated Mexican restaurant in NYC) with its modern cantina Vibes, or Jora, for bold and bright Peruvian!
What to go for: Red sauce pasta and deli sandwiches from NYC’s real Little Italy!
You maybhubj Little Italy is only in Downtown Manhattan — but these days, that’s mostly just a tourist trap. For the real thing, head uptown to Belmont, home to Arthur avenue, the most iconic stretch of Italian eateries in New York. Make sure you stop by Calabria Pork Store, where fiery soppressata hangs like birthday decorations from the ceiling, then onto Casa Della Mozzarella for slabs of fresh cheese!
For lunch, the move is always Mike’s Deli where you’re getting an Italian Combo, a gargantuan sandwich featuring a smattering of Mike’s famous house made deli meats. Finally a trip to Arthur Avebue wouldn’t be complete without a visit to one of the neighborhood’s classic red-sauce joints. Tra Di Noi is known for its excellent and unusual pasta specials (like fusilli with favs beans) and stellar cheesecake, and Emilia’s for impressively large plates of Chicken Parm in a picturesque outdoor patio!
5. TOMPKINSVILLE, STATEN ISLAND
What to go for: Authentic Sri Lankan food!
When it comes to eating on Staten Island, the borough’s true destination cuisine is Sri Lankan — the best of which can be found in Tompkinsvikke. Take the free Staten Island Ferry and atroll 15 minutes south of the St. George droop-off point. You’ll find yourself among rows of Sri Lankan Restaurants, each with its own specialty.
For traditional hoppers (crispy, stringy, bowl shaped pancakes) head to San Rasa, which offers a dainty but hearty version accompanied by a rich fish curry for dipping or Dosa Garden which is an “Indo Lankan” spot where the hoppers are served as they would be in South India, with an assortment of coconut and tomato chutneys.
Ceylon Curry has an entire menu of lamprais which is a signature Sri Lankan dish. Rice, onion relish, plaintains, and your choice of meat are wrapped tightly in a banana leaf, baked, then unfolded to reveal a fragrant curry and pillow soft rice!