Manhattan, where? Many are discovering (what locals already know) the unique adventures, sightseeing, spectacular views, eats, drinks, culture and nightlife that are to be found in Queens New York! Now you can experience it as a local with this guide – create one perfect day, in Queens.
For a leisure start to the day, chance to read the paper, and of course, enjoy a great cup of coffee, you must visit COFFEED, the coffee shop with a conscience. Located on Northern Boulevard and 37th street, COFFEED is a local and sustainable shop. It uses locally and ethically sourced ingredients and donates a percentage of food and drink sales to local charities. Here you will find great seating and comfortable environment. Everything’s fresh, and they even offer wine (just think, it’s happy hour somewhere!).
If you love Thai cuisine, there is a hidden-gem in Woodside named, Thailand Center Point. It is a family-owned business that offers the most authentic Thai food around. Hint: If spicy food does not agree with you, mention it to your server (their “regular” level is medium spicy).
Prefer something else? A few other options include:
For French cuisine, a lovely restaurant in Long Island City, where the owner is also the chef, is called Café Triskell. It has an excellent lunch menu (actually, good for brunch and dinner too). Hint: Their special recipe of Chicken and Lamb Bisteeya is not to be missed…. you won’t regret it.
Tennis, anyone? If you are planning to go to the largest public tennis facility in the world, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, to attend the US Open, take the train one stop to Main Street and visit the Happy Family Hotpot (Chinese/Mongolian Cuisine) in Flushing where you can create your own soup! Start by choosing a spicy or cream based soup, and then select items to be added (options include various vegetables and meats). Best part, the pot’s cooking at your table.
For amazing Korean BBQ in Flushing, go to San Soo Kap San – open 24/7. These are just a few of my favorites. Obviously, there’s a diverse selection to keep us foodies satisfied.
After a good meal, it’s time to work off a few calories by exploring the history and culture of Queens. A visit to the Queens Museum is a must! It houses a 9,335-square-foot scaled-down architectural model panorama of all five boroughs. So you can “visit” all the boroughs at once! And the permanent collection includes a display of Tiffany glass, Salvador Dali paintings, crime scene photographs from the Daily News archives and more than 6,000 artifacts from the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs.
Prefer the outdoors? Visit the Queens Botanical Garden, with 40 acres of trees, shrubs, herbs and flower patches—Something is always blooming, no matter the season. There’s a Cherry Circle, Fragrance Walk, Perennial Garden, Arboretum, Pinetum and The Victorian Wedding Garden. Hint: Romantic setting that’s perfect for two!
Sports fans know that Queens is the home of the New York Mets, at CitiField. Visit the Mets Hall of Fame & Museum, adjacent to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. Mama’s of Corona is a popular Italian restaurant/café located in the shadows of the stadium (including an in-the-park stand, along with other restaurants).
Not a sports fan, never fear. Visit Flushing Meadows Corona Park, which is the second largest public space in all of NYC. With roughly 1,255 acres, it is about 1.5 times larger than Manhattan’s Central Park, and it hosts a wonderful mix of flora, fauna, waterways, paths, athletic facilities, statues and cultural organizations.
Queens also offers the best views (it’s not bragging if it’s true), happy hour spots and live entertainment venues. The Z Hotel Rooftop in Long Island City is not only a great place for drinks, music and food, but it also touts breathtaking views of the New York skyline. Café Ole in Astoria mixes the best sangrias, pairing perfectly with their authentic paella. Prefer Beer? Also in Astoria, try the Bohemian Hall Beer Garden which offers a large selection of craft beer. Its competition, Studio square, also offers craft beer but includes a rooftop (Bonus!) with skyline views. Ready to boogie? Visit Mundo at the Paper Factory Hotel – with different theme nights that include flamenco and arabic nights, it’s never boring!
Last but not least, visiting Queens would not be complete without visiting the Long Island City Waterfront. You can watch the sunset while drinking wine, beer or just tea/coffee. You get the best views of NYC from there. If you still want to keep discovering more of NYC, my friend, Karen Alexis put an amazing list of best places to go in New York. She mentions in her post that if you’re looking for the best food in New York, different neighborhoods, and culture without the crowds, Queens is where to come. We could not agree more.
Now that’s what I call a perfect day. Final Hint: Feel free to rest and repeat your perfect day as often as needed. Manhattan, where? The real magic happens in Queens!
This post appeared first on the NY Daily News – August 27th, 2015 Publication. This post was in collaboration with Queens Economic Development Corporation. All opinions are my own.