Long Island City is a smorgasbord of great places to eat — from tongue-tingling Taiwanese dumplings to magnificent Mexican tacos. Live in a Modern Spaces rental, and these culinary treats sit right on your doorstep. Here are four exciting restaurants in Astoria and Long Island City that are revving up our appetites.
Chinelos Birria Tacos | 4-09 Center Boulevard, Queens
Hailed as one of Eater New York’s hottest new dining experiences this summer, Chinelos Birria Tacos has fast established itself as one of THE places to score a primo taco in NYC. The food truck, festooned with Aztec and Mayan motifs, serves up a mouthwatering array of tortas, quesadillas, fajita bowls, burritos, and nachos. But the star dish is the beef birria tacos — corn tortillas dipped in meat juice, then stuffed with melt-in-your-mouth beef and heaped with punchy salsa. Demolish while enjoying the views across the East River.
Yumpling | 49-11 Vernon Boulevard, Queens
The Taiwanese-style fried chicken and dumplings at this LIC food truck are legendary — the proof is in the long lunchtime queues. Your patience will be well rewarded; a pint-sized but perfectly formed menu includes crispy chicken bian dang rice bowls, beef noodle soup, and pickled lotus root on the side. You can’t come to Yumpling without trying the pork dumplings, though. (There are also veggie versions available.) Thick, crispy, chewy, and doused in chili oil, they’ll have you grinning all the way back to your LIC rental.
Nneji | 32-20 34th Avenue, Queens
“SO delicious.” “A hidden gem.” “A great new addition to the neighborhood!” These are among the rave reviews for this homey Nigerian eatery in Astoria. It’s run by the incredibly friendly Beatrice Ajaero, who will talk you through Nneji’s menu of authentic fare, including spicy goat stew, melon seed and pepper soup served with pounded yam, and mixed-meat jollof rice. Prepare to go on a culinary adventure.
Ruta Oaxaca Mexican Cuisine | 35-03 Broadway, Queens
More Mexican magic for the final eatery on our list. Often described as one of the best Mexican restaurants in Astoria, Ruta Oaxaca offers a dizzying array of dishes: vegetable enchiladas, slow-cooked baby back ribs, crispy shrimp tacos … the list goes on. Whatever you choose, wash it down with a margarita or two — the restaurant does delicious variations on the classic cocktail, and it’s two-for-one on weekends. Your brunch plans are set.
Casa Enrique | 5-48 49th Avenue, Queens
Praised by the New York Times, Village Voice and Michelin Guide for its authentic, full-flavored dishes, Casa Enrique specializes in cuisine from Mexico’s southernmost state, Chiapas. Begin with a house margarita while chef Cosme Aguilar magics up plates of brightly-hued moles, fried oysters with chili mayo, cochinito chiapaneco (roasted pork ribs), and poblanos stuffed with chihuahua cheese and rice. Though the restaurant’s interior is sparse and white, all the culinary color and excitement you could need is right there on your plate. Would you like to live close to these (and many other) culinary delights? Modern Spaces will put you there — and help you find the right home. Contact us today at 201-975-3887.