|Sunnyside, Queens–by Doug Letterman via Flickr|
When I stumbled upon Sunnyside for the first time, I wondered what took me so long to discover this hidden gem of a neighborhood. Roughly 20 minutes to Times Square on the 7 train, Sunnyside has a vibrant nightlife and restaurant scene. It’s also an affordable alternative to going out in Manhattan, where one night of indulgence can force you to dine on peanut butter and jelly for a month just to make the rent. Adding to its attractiveness as a cool destination to eat and hang is the 7 train’s proximity to some of best restaurants in Sunnyside, never leaving you feeling stranded after a full night of entertainment.
Just like any other great NYC neighborhood, Sunnyside is culturally diverse with Armenians, Romanians, Indians, Irish, Chinese, Koreans, Colombians, and Ecuadorians making up its rich, multi-ethnic community. And it’s reflected in its cuisine, offering a little bit of something for everyone. We’ve pulled together a few of the best restaurants in Sunnyside, leaving you with a fun night out without spending a fortune.
Natural Tofu Restaurant — 40-06 Queens Blvd —Train Stop: Local #7 to 40th St.
An unassuming restaurant from the outside, Natural Tofu can be easily overlooked. But once you step inside, the wonderful aromas of Korean food emanating from the kitchen will surely validate your decision to dine there.
As the name states, Natural Tofu is known for its variety of Tofu dishes, priced well at $7.95 — Kimchi Soft Tofu (arguably the best on the menu), Vegetarian Soft Tofu and the Seafood Soft Tofu are all excellent choices. But keep in mind — the level of heat can be the difference in your taste experience. Also recommended are the Kimchi pancake with pork and the Whole Squid with vegetables, at $12.
If you require a more stick-to-your-ribs type of meal, then Bliss 46 Bistro will do the trick. A warm, intimate atmosphere with delectable French fare, Bliss 46 Bistro (formerly Bliss 46, located at 46 and Skillman Ave.) stands out in a neighborhood dominated by other ethnic alternatives. But make no mistake, the menu stands up to the best in the area.
|Bliss 46 Bistro in Sunnyside serves French fare and is BYOB–-credit|
For starters, try one of the many appetizers on the menu including the French onion soup, moules marinieres (mussels with white wine, garlic, butter), escargots a l’ail (escargots sautéed with garlic, lemon, butter croutons), and a wild mushroom ravioli with truffle oil and parmesan, all reasonably priced between
$6 and $9 dollars.
Entrees are highlighted by a coq au vin (red wine chicken stew with bacon and mashed potatoes), lobster ravioli, hanger steak, a roasted breast of duck, and a Bliss 46 Burger (with fries and bacon) for just $9.
establishment to enjoy a smooth brew, a sassy cocktail or some tasty fare—indoors or outdoors—with your closest chums.
Claret Wine Bar — 4602 Skillman Ave at 46th St —Train stop: Local #7 to 46th Street (Bliss)
Claret Wine Bar represents the best of both worlds for wine and beer enthusiasts. During the winter months, the inside’s warm and charming space is the perfect place to escape the harsh weather while enjoying one of more than 100 wines from around the world as well as craft beer selections from its extensive list.
|Claret has more than 100 wines from around the world and also stocks a full bar.–photo via Claret Wine Bar|
When Jack Frost stops nipping, you can hang out in the beautiful outdoor space, or stay inside, as the front window opens up to the street, complementing its overall chill, relaxed vibe.
Queens may not sound like a music capital, but believe it or not, hundreds of jazz greats called the borough home, including Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie, among others. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday, local jazz, Celtic and bluegrass musicians play live from 8-11pm.
Claret offers mostly tapas, with a perfect mix of comfort fare and artisan cuisine. The Black Truffle and Aged Gruyere Mac and Cheese for $9 has become one of its signature dishes. It also offers a variety of thin-crusted pizza options and a delicious arugula and prosciutto salad for $10. Though bites are pretty tasty, the prices are a little more expensive. However, weekdays between 5 to 7 p.m. and weekends from 3-5pm (happy hour), a plain pizza and a bottle of wine will cost only $20.