Take the N train past Times Square and Central Park, and you’ll find yourself in a mecca of international cuisine. Astoria may be well-known for its Greek fare, and for good reason – the influx of Greek immigrants to the lively Queens neighborhood brought with them some of the most authentic, first-rate Mediterranean restaurants in New York. However, you’d be remiss to assume that’s all Astoria has to offer – from Egyptian seafood to Afghan kababs to fabled sandwich shops, This waterfront locale is overflowing with flavor on every corner. Here are some of the best spots to include on your foodie tour of Astoria. Come hungry, and don’t forget to leave time to walk off your dinner in Astoria Park while taking in a view of the city skyline.


Taverna Kyclades

This wildly popular neighborhood institution is known for its fresh food based on original Greek recipes. Beloved by locals and lauded by critics, this Michelin-recognized taverna is easily identifiable by its distinctive Aegan-blue awning and expansive seafood menu. Grab lunch on the enclosed patio or dine in the brightly lit, friendly interior, and you’ll be met with large portions of reasonably priced and consistently delicious stuffed clams with crab meat, whole branzino, Black Sea Bass, and calamari. Be sure to balance your meal with lighter fare as well – Taverna Kyclades is famous for its lemon potatoes.


Be forewarned that the taverna often has a long line of patrons and doesn’t take reservations; however, if you’re willing to brave the wait, the stellar Greek fare will make it well worth your while.

Hamido Seafood – Egyptian seafood spot

If you grow weary of the line at Taverna Kyclades, head across the street to the equally delicious Hamido Seafood. The menu at this Egyptian seafood spot also boasts a stellar selection of ocean dwellers, as long as you don’t mind a slight shift in palette. Try their grilled calamari, grilled octopus, or whole sea bass, all dressed with the chef’s secret concoction of Egyptian herbs and spices; or, if you’re in the mood to splurge, shell out for the King Crab Legs.


Hamido’s method of service is somewhat outside the norm for a sit-down restaurant – you’ll wait in line, order your seafood by the pound, and tell them how you want it cooked. They’ll then give you a number and seat you at a table, where you can order sides and drinks off the menu with your server. When in doubt, ask the staff for recommendations. They’ll guide you towards the recipes best suited for each fresh catch.


Sal, Kris, & Charlie’s 

Near the Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard subway station is an unassuming storefront you may be tempted to write off as just another deli, but is in fact anything but. Sal, Kris, & Charlie’s are well-known for their massive heroes, and shop’s current owner, Charlie Gordon, has been lauded by his devoted crowd of regulars as the “Sandwich King of Astoria.” Their claim to fame? The Bomb, a 14-inch hero roll stuffed with a delicious and vast assortment of meats, cheeses, and toppings.


Be sure to have cash on hand and your exact order in mind before stepping up to the counter, and make sure you have plenty of space in your fridge for leftovers – even the hungriest of patrons are likely to fill up before finishing one of these mammoth sammies. 


Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna

Dine at Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a cottage in the Greek countryside. Sitting in the cozy interior decorated with model ships and evil eyes, you might notice local fishermen stopping by with their catches of the day on ice for the owner, Gregory, just as they do in restaurants on the Greek coastline. While Gregory believes in word of mouth over out-and-out advertising, word of his establishment has certainly gotten around, and that’s all due to the caliber of his cooking. On the patio, you’ll likely hear snatches of Greek being spoken as regulars meet up to feast on spreads of grilled bass and octopus, souvlaki platters, and roast lamb along with more unconventional dishes like grilled steaks of baby shark. 


If you plan to dine at this rustic retreat, expect to be treated to some traditional Greek hospitality. Each table gets a free dessert after finishing their meal, and the mainstay waitstaff is ready and more than willing to offer their recommendations. Come with a group and sample as many things as possible in order to get the full experience at this beloved Greek spot.


The Thirsty Koala 

A trip Down Under may not be the first thing that comes to mind when planning an excursion to Astoria, but this one-of-a-kind restaurant serving up authentic Australian cuisine is a must for food lovers. For those who aren’t familiar with Australian fare, the robust menu is filled with seafood such as crab, prawns, branzino, octopus, and Australian sea bass, along with meats sourced directly from Australia. Their cocktail menu deserves a mention as well, featuring espresso martinis made with the popular Australian liquor Mr. Black, along with themed cocktails such as the Dingo, the Gingeroo, and the Koalapeno Margarita.


This is a great pick for diners with food allergies in particular. Chef and owner Katherine Fuchs is gluten-free and her menu features many options catering to those with food sensitivities, as well as numerous adjustments that can be made. The menu is seasonal and is updated regularly, so you’re sure to find something new on every visit.

The Bonnie

For those looking for a more accessible menu and a casual setting, head over to this moody gastropub that’s elevated by its creative cocktails and quality cooking. The Bonnie has all the requisite exposed brick, local beer on draft, and comfort food – the fried pickles and smash burger are not to be missed. It also includes a spacious outdoor garden space that often hosts live music. On the weekends, sit down for bottomless brunch at $25 while munching on avocado toast and hot honey fried chicken biscuits.


The indoor area is more pub than gastro, but you can find some intimate tables perfect for first dates or catching up. The patio has plenty of seating and is an ideal spot for a boozy brunch or dinner on a nice night.


Sami’s Kabab House

At Sami’s Kabab House, embossed ceiling tiles, rich carpeting, and tasseled wall hangings evoke owner Sami Zaman’s hometown of Kabul, Afghanistan, as does his famously flavorful menu. Sami, a former coffee-and-bagels street cart vendor, has seen so much success with his Afghan kabab spot that he’s opened two other locations in Long Island and Long Island City. The colossal kabab portions alone are worthy of the rave reviews, and are even better paired with their mantu (beef dumplings) or aushak (veggie dumplings with leeks and scallions).


If you’re unfamiliar with Afghan cuisine, this restaurant makes for an excellent starting point with its convivial atmosphere and helpful staff. 

Ruta Oaxaca

This buzzy Oaxacan restaurant may be new (it opened its hot pink doors in 2021), but it’s quickly becoming Astoria’s go-to option for Mexican fare. Ruta Oaxaca also is one of the first Oaxacan restaurants in New York to serve up a fresh take on the region’s colorful cuisine. Sample a platter of their standout ceviche in the enclosed outdoor seating area, and don’t forget to order an entrée that includes mole – the rich sauce-based dishes are what Ruta Oaxaca is known for.


There are a few different types of mole, so when in doubt, ask your server about the different flavors they have available to find one that suits your palette.