Long Island City: Tips for restaurants and sights

Food and indulgence is always a theme in New York City, and Long Island City is no exception. The city is just pulsing with culinary hotspots and experimental restaurants. But if you only think of Manhattan as the epicenter, you're wrong. Queens is without a doubt one of New York City's culinary epicurean hotspots.

Queens is an underdog and so is the Long Island City neighborhood. A culinary community has formed here over the years. Whether pasta, burgers, British or even French. Here a foodie can find everything his or her heart desires.

I'll give you lots of tips for your trip to Long Island City in this article, as well as the best restaurants and places to visit.

Long Island City – A neighborhood that surprises

Long Island City (LIC) is a borough in the borough of Queens, hip and up-and-coming. A lot of new hotels have made Long Island City an attractive accommodation area in NYC. With a breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline, an apartment here costs even more than inside Manhattan.

Moreover, the former industrial district of New York is only a few subway stops away from Manhattan. Long Island City is home to numerous turn-of-the-century buildings. The former factories have been converted into galleries, hotels, museums and studios. In addition, Long Island City is home to many restaurants, stores and cultural institutions.

The former “industrial area” is home to people from about 150 different nations, all of whom have brought a part of their traditions with them. After immigration numbers skyrocketed in New York in the early 1900s, new ground was needed. Thus Queens and also Long Island City grew into a diverse neighborhood.

Long Island City – A tour with 5 culinary hotspots

Long Island City Food Tour Street

At one I not only ate well, but got an excellent insight into life outside the “epicenter” of Manhattan. On the tour we visit 5 restaurants and try out their specialties. Each with a different character and absolutely unique.

After my Manhattan I was of course very curious to get to know a new side of NYC. Richard, our guide and organizer of the Queens food tours explained to us in the beginning that most people only think of the boroughs of Flushing, Jackson Heights and Astoria when they think of Queens. Long Island City was unfortunately always left out because of its industrial character.

Weapons, machines and many other things were made here at that time. Long Island City was neither a residential area nor a hotspot to stay for a long time. But that was to change at the beginning of the 20th. century.

Burger Garage – Cheeseburger

Long Island City Food Tour Burger Garage

To start with an industrial feeling, the first visit was the Burger Garage. A former auto repair shop, which is now a burger joint with a mission: to fill you up. The Juicy B.G. Burger, is an ode to Long Island City's industrial past.

Just a few minutes from the Burger Garage is Court Square, a courthouse that has heard some of the most spectacular cases in history. Nowadays only the backdrop for the famous series Law and Order New York.

For more info, check out:

LIC Corner Cafe – Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie

Long Island City Food Tour Corner Cafe Cookie

Well, after all that walking, of course you're hungry again. My favorite salty and sweet creation is waiting at a cute little bistro on a street corner. Corner Cafe just. The cookie, was moist and crispy at the same time. The so called “chewy” consistency that Americans ( and I too) love so much.

Plus a homemade lemonade with watermelon puree. Delicious! Around the Corner Cafe are some typical houses for the industrial and also poor areas of New York at that time. The so-called “Brownstones”, were taxed uniformly at that time and shape the cityscape enormously.

For more info, check out:

Woodbines Craft Kitchen – Scotch Egg

Long Island City Food Tour Woodbines Craft Kitchen - Scotch Egg

An absolute bar classic from Scotland that also made it to New York. Scotch Egg with homemade mustard. So simple and yet so delicious. A hard-boiled egg coated with sausage and then breaded and deep fried. The perfect hangover killer and snack.

Not far from Woodbines is the former 5 Pointz. A former and now demolished graffiti mecca. Here artists from all over the world travelled to immortalize themselves. Sadly, it had to make way for high-priced apartments overlooking Manhattan. By the way still managed to take a peek. Very worth reading.

For more info, check out:

Manducatis Rustica – Italian Pizza

Manducatis Rustica Long Island City Food Tour

The heart of Long Island City beats mostly in the long-established restaurants, like Manducatis Rustica. Gianna Cerbone, known as “Mama Gianna” and “Mayor” of Long Island City, serves classic Italian pizza. No frills and not as loaded as the typical American pizza.

Outside of New York, I've only had better pizza in Italy. The Italian spirit is also noticeable in Mamma Gianna. This one is very warm and most of all interested in what's going on in “her” neighborhood. Unfortunately, according to her, so much is changing that there is a fear that it will eventually become too much to handle. and out of control.

For more info, check out:

Cannelle Patisserie – Almond Croissant

Cannelle Patisserie Long Island City Food Tour

Run by a former patisserie chef, Cannelle Patisserie is located almost on the East River. Here we are served the specialty of the house, an almond croissant. Here I ask myself the question: How can a pastry be so fluffy and perfect??

Not surprising, since the owner worked at the Waldorf Astoria for years and absolutely maintained his standard with his cafe. Another highlight is said to be the cheesecakes. Unfortunately, I was too full to eat one more bite.

More info can be found here:

Long Island City – You are great.

Long Island City Pepsi Cola Sign

The tour ends at Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City at the famous Pepsi-Cola sign. Finally, here is a breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline from Gantry Plaza State Park. It's Saturday afternoon and only a few souls stray into the park. This is a great advantage of Queens, the potential that the borough has is underestimated. So a plus for people like me, because as you know I'm always looking for the more unknown areas.

Between Long Island City and Manhattan lies a narrow, about 60 hectares large island in the East River. If you have time, you should take the subway over and escape the hustle and bustle altogether. The park on the island is an idyll and the view is breathtaking.

Long Island City New York

Finally, I stroll a little through Long Island City and enjoy the atmosphere at a flea market. The industrial past has really left its mark. Unlike Manhattan or Brooklyn, I feel, in the midst of this streetscape, relaxed and almost familiar. Maybe an attachment to my beloved , but who knows.