By: Kimberly Lew
Astoria is a great taste of Queens with a close proximity to Manhattan. And while the short train ride there from Times Square is certainly a convenience, the neighborhood hosts many of its own great destinations worth traveling to, especially for a fun and interesting date night. Here are some of idk tonight’s favorites:
idk tonight's Top Ten Date Night Picks—Astoria
21-02 30th Avenue, Astoria
Nothing says romance like a bottle of wine at an Italian restaurant, and Vesta is one of the best in the neighborhood. Bask in the warm glow of the dining room with its exposed brick, wood paneling, and local artists’ work on the walls as you enjoy dishes inspired by the local greenmarket. Split thin-crust pizzas topped with apple and pancetta or homemade pork sausage, or try their pastas like the boar lasagna or fettuccini with clams. It’s a neighborhood gem, perfect for conversation and good eats.
36-01 35 Avenue, Astoria
Whether you’re a film connoisseur or novice, the Museum of the Moving Image has a lot to see and do. Take a look at their Jim Henson exhibit, which includes seeing puppets like Miss Piggy and Big Bird up close and personal. There’s also lots of other classic movie stuff on display like the mask from The Mask and costuming from Mrs. Doubtfire. If you want to get more interactive, there is a section with old video arcade games you can play, and you can even use their photo booth to create a flip book of yourself for purchase in the gift shop. The museum even hosts film screenings in their private theater of classic and lesser-known films, and you can check their schedule for the latest showing here.
2919 24th Avenue, Astoria
Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden in Astoria, run by the Bohemian Citizens’ Benevolent Society of Astoria, Inc., is the oldest Beer Garden in New York and continues the tradition with a lot of spirit. Grab a mug of their extensive (and often changing) menu of draft beers, including many Czech offerings. There’s also a hearty menu of Czech food, from goulash to schnitzel, that will serve as the perfect compliment to a cold brew. There are plenty of tables around to offer somewhere to plant yourself for the night, and the place is often bustling, offering lots of potential for people watching and striking up a conversation with strangers if you’re feeling extra social.
37-11 30th Avenue, Long Island City
With a restaurant name like this one, you would expect excess, and they certainly show no restraint in some areas like with their boozy cocktails on tap and desserts like hot chocolate and banana bread pudding, both of which come in deep-fried form. Sugar Freak has a Creole/Cajun menu with many of the staples like jambalaya, po’boys, and muffalatas, along with some less common items like fried alligator nuggets and beignet sliders. The eclectic decor also invites a boisterous crowd with its chandeliers, decorative plates on the wall, and mixed materials, sure you make for an upbeat date with some delicious food.
The Bonnie is often regarded as one of the best cocktail bars in the area with its friendly, inviting atmosphere and warm, wooden interior. They have a great cocktail menu consisting of inventive drinks like the Bonnie Punch with a house rum blend, brandy, honey, ginger, chamomile, peach, and lemon. They also have some inventive shots that include the classic Pickle Back but also the Midnight Express which includes coffee-infused rye, milk-washed amaro, and hazelnut. With all the tasty drink options, it might be easy to overlook the food menu, but there are also lots of great eats from the house burger with frizzled onions and pork belly to Reuben with house-made vegan “pastrami.” There’s live music on Thursdays and a DJ on Saturdays, sure to add that little oomph to your evening.
The Social Astoria is a new addition to the neighborhood and has already been welcomed with open arms by the community. You can expect international tapas (we’re talking American, Asian, Italian, Latin, and Mediterranean dishes, so if you’re both in the mood for different stuff, this place has you covered), inventive cocktails, and a neon sign that reads ‘I’m not flirting, I’m just being social’. The outdoor/indoor seating makes for the perfect all-season hangout.
32-04 Broadway, Astoria
If you’re looking for a place that screams fun, Break Bar and Billiards is the spot to go to. The brightly lit sports bar has games and activities as far as the eye can see: pool tables, darts, shuffleboard, foosball, table tennis, and more. Get competitive playing their vintage arcade games or playing Jenga; whoever loses can buy the other a cocktail or beer from Break’s fully stocked bar. There’s also a menu of bar food staples like nachos, wings, and burgers to help sustain you as you get your game on.
With Astoria being known for its Greek residents, a Greek restaurant is the perfect way to spend an evening in the neighborhood, and Taverna Kyclades is one of the best. Don’t be put off by the long line outside (they don’t take reservations)—it will be well worth it. There are a lot of Greek specialties, but seafood is where it’s really at. Be adventurous and ask your waiter for whatever they recommend and prepare yourself for dishes like tender grilled octopus, crab-stuffed shrimp, and fresh fish that will make you think you’re on an island in the Mediterranean.
If you’re looking for an excuse to dance the night away, head over to Hangar Astoria, an aviation-themed lounge on Steinway Street. Order small plates with American, Asian, and Spanish influences and sip their cocktails or a glass of bubbly. At night, the dance floor comes alive with 90s bangers, current chart toppers, and Spanish dance hits. The bar also offers Hookah if you’re looking for a break from busting a move and making all the other couples on the floor jealous.
40-17 30th Avenue, Astoria
Craving a special meal without pretense? Enjoy modern takes on Mexican staples at Hoja Santa. Their modern dining room sets the scene with its palette of white and warm browns, and starters like guacamole with crab and house smoked swordfish dip only further immerse you in this fine dining experience. Drinks include horchata and agua fresca as they await their liquor license, though the bar will be a welcome addition when it’s fully up and running. In the meantime, their elegant food menu will be more than enough to please, from starters to mains to desserts, including their highly recommended pastel de elote or sweet corn cake.
19-33 37th Street, Queens
The tap room at SingleCut Beersmith offers the awesome selection of beers from the SingleCut brewery, so come ready to try something new off their draft menu. You can get taster pours so that you can try a variety of their offerings like their Eric More Cowbell! Chocolate Milk Stout or Lifton Helles with Green Tea and Lemon. There’s also a delicious menu of tacos, nachos, and pretzels to accompany the beer selection, and the whole vibe is chill and welcoming in the warehouse setting. They have a solid collection of tunes on vinyl and some small board games tucked on the side, perfect for a whole evening of fun.
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View a NYC emerging artist, YangTzu Chaung’s exhibit, “Lilith,” at By Name, then grab some wood-fired pizza and classic Italian food at Vic’s in NoHo.
Share some seriously well-done Neopolitan pies at MidiCi, then follow it up with creative cocktails at the chill bar, The Exley.
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Learn a lil’ somethin tonight with dinner at Merakia followed by drinks at Library of Distilled Spirits in the Flatiron District.
Sign up for a night of magic with the Wizard’s Brunch and Dinner before heading over to Bowlmor for an elevated bowling experience.
Enjoy delicious, deep Korean dishes at hotspot Chingunae Pocha, then jam it out at Music Box Karaoke in Flushing, Queens.
Sit down for a casual-romantic Italian dinner at Coppola's, then try some craft beer at the dimly-lit Ted's Corner Tavern in Kips Bay.
Have the night of your lives starting with a pre-show dinner at Momofuko Nishi before catching the actual show The Night Of Your Lives at Magnet Theater.
Grab a vibe-y, all-American pre-show dinner before a juicy, interactive off-Broadway show about online dating by OkCupid.
Get some classic Italian at a classic NYC spot on the Lower East Side, then check out Justin Theroux’s new dive bar.
Learn how to mix your own cocktails at Liquor Lab and then visit Pegu Club for a nightcap, one of the pioneering craft cocktail bars in NYC.
Pick up a set of fancy handmade chocolates at ROYCE', then enjoy a night of the best seafood and steak at The Sea Fire Grill.