Astoria is a lively, multicultural, and fun neighborhood located in the borough of Queens, NYC. Drenched in history and culture, Astoria is bound by the East River to the west, 36th Avenue to the south, St Michael’s Cemetery to the east, and Ditmars Boulevard to the north.
Astoria has a long written history spanning all the way back to 17th-century colonial times. By the 19th century, Old Astoria became home to the Manhattan elite who built large houses in the neighborhood. In 1839, one of these wealthy men, a fur merchant called Stephen Halsey, officially founded the neighborhood and named it Hallett’s Cove. This was inspired by the area’s first landowner William Hallett, who settled there in 1659 with his wife, Elizabeth Fones.
Astoria was originally a refuge for wealthy New Yorkers and an open space for farmers, but by the end of World War II Astoria had become a primarily Italian neighborhood. In the 1970s, Arab and Greek communities swelled and one third of all Greeks arriving in America settled in Astoria.
Today, a wide selection of professionals have moved in, and many bars and restaurants that cater to this hip and trendy crowd have followed. Throughout the years, Astoria has continued to maintain its identity as an ethnically diverse neighborhood.
Astoria NYC is a fairly accessible neighborhood. Within the neighborhood, the main lines of transport are the N, W, and Q trains, which service five different stations in the neighborhood. One station in the southeastern section of the area services the E, M, and R lines.
PC: Martha Cooper
Astoria offers several worthwhile spots to enjoy with plenty of museums, parks, and great nightlife options. Astoria Pool, located next to the waterfront on the East River, is the oldest and largest public pool in NYC, and attracts people from across Astoria throughout the summer. For some casual drinks and live music on the weekend, our top pick is the fun Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden. See below for our restaurant recommendations.
PC: Matt Coneybeare
Famously known for its mass array of Greek food, Astoria has expanded its cuisine to a variety of delicious dishes over the years. Two neighborhood favorites that stand out are Taverna Kyclades and Astoria Seafood.
Taverna Kyclades, one of the favorites of Astoria, is a lively old-school taverna that has hosted the likes of Bill Murray and George Clooney. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, so expect a wait, but it’ll be worth it when you try their grilled octopus, which is known for converting even the fiercest tentacle-phobe into a fan.
Astoria Seafood is a low-key seafood shack which comes highly recommended by both The New York Times and New Yorker. You can bring your own bottle of wine and head to the ice trays to pick from a daily selection of fresh fish that they’ll cook then and there.
Astoria is one of the most affordable neighborhoods in Manhattan. On average, a 2-bedroom apartment will cost you $599,000 and will cost you $2,400/month to rent.
Our verdict is that Astoria is an affordable and diverse gem amongst the many neighborhoods in NYC. Steeped in history and rich in culture, Astoria is definitely a great neighborhood to live in or visit, whether you’re touring its wide range of renowned restaurants or simply enjoying Astoria Park.