Every great resident of Queens knows that the best Greek food is found in Astoria. There are a multitude of Greek havens found within a mile or so radius. We, of course, have our favorites.
Each one of the four we highlight here are special in their own way.
33-07 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria
Taverna Kyclades: Undoubtedly one of the most complete Greek meals you will find. They start you out with a whole loaf of crusty bread slathered in nutty olive oil and Greek seasonings. Try the calamari, it’s some of the best I’ve ever had. Lightly battered and fried to perfection, it melts in your mouth. Enjoy a large Greek salad with the ripest tomatoes (I swear that the tomatoes in Astoria are PERFECT!) and creamy, salty feta cheese. Order their shrimp (either simply grilled, or prepared with tomatoes and feta) or the swordfish kebabs, perfectly grilled and succulent. They give you a free dessert of galakoboureko. This is one of the most popular restaurants for Greek food in Astoria, so either come early (around 6 or 7) and dine in an empty room or battle the crowds during the Greek dinner time of 8pm and beyond…..
19-06 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria
Agnanti: This small-plates Greek restaurant is located right on the edge of Astoria Park and has seating outside, cold or warm weather. There is usually a super-long wait as well, and people line the sidewalks for hours waiting to get in to try their tasty offerings. Stick to their small plates and askew the mains here……a basket of bread starts you out (pita by request), try the great eggplant dip, the fresh Greek salad, the shrimp wrapped in Phyllo with a mustard sauce, the Fava Beans are AMAZING and comforting after being stewed all day in tomato sauce, and the stuffed grape leaves are served with a giant scoop of Greek Yogurt in the middle. I also love their free dessert of grain cake and honey cake and a large scoop of Greek yogurt drenched in sweet and sour cherries. The house wine is cheep and flows plentifully and you have to hunt the waiter down after two or three hours to get your check!
29-09 23rd Avenue, Astoria
Stamatis: In our neck of the woods they just re-did the restaurant and they moved across the street, but luckily the food is the same. Large roasting pans stand in the front of the restaurant filled to the brim with slow-cooked Greek food. This is a family restaurant and is large and loud, filled to the brim with Greek families dining into the late hours of the night. Their small antipasto plate is a steal and comes full with eggplant dip, fishroe dip, yogurt sauce and a garlicky potato dip. The fresh crusty bread soaked with olive oil accompanies it well. Stick to the classics here and get the large plates of stews, pasticio, moussaka, and vegetables. Be warned that this is peasant style dining: the portions are large and soaked in olive oil! I would have to say that this is not the best quality Greek you’ll find, but the portions are plentiful and certainly comforting.
23-01 31st Street, Astoria
Athens Tavern: This high-class Greek replaced one of our favorites (Anna’s Corner RIP) but there is something interesting in having a High Class competitor using the same ingredients, but jazzing up the presentation (and the prices!). This restaurant is dimly lit and has white table clothes and votive candles abound. We went here with a group of 8 during the very first week it opened, and we look forward to going back. They give you fresh baked breads with small cups of dips to try to start. This is definitely a NYC restaurant in Astoria…..the service is classy and the food is complicated. The whole fish is recommended, as well as the rabbit. Be prepared to spend $75-100 depending on drinks for two.