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11 Reasons Why Astoria Is the New Williamsburg

Picture of Julia Goicochea
Updated: 8 May 2018
As the L train shutdown looms closer and a new trend heats up, hipster-haven Williamsburg is being neglected for another New York City neighborhood. Before it breaks, get to know Astoria, Queens, the area everyone will soon know as the new Williamsburg.

More young renters are moving to Astoria than Williamsburg

According to a 2017 report by the roommate-finding app Roomi, Astoria is the number one pick for millennial New Yorkers. Compared to Williamsburg, Astoria is more affordable, making it popular with young renters living with roommates.

More New York millennials are moving to Astoria | © Mattheus Ferrero / Unsplash

Like Williamsburg, Astoria is a quick commute from Manhattan

Whereas Bedford Ave in Williamsburg is only one stop from Lower Manhattan, Astoria is almost as close at just four stops from Midtown. However, the key difference here is (again) pricing: you’ll pay more for an island-adjacent apartment in Brooklyn than you will in Queens for a commute of the same length.

It’s a beer lover’s paradise

If the bar scene in Williamsburg gets you hopped up, then wait until you experience Astoria’s. Beer is the (unofficial) drink of the neighborhood and is enjoyed at local watering holes including Astoria Bier & Cheese, SingleCut Beersmiths, Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, and on a good night, all three.

Astoria has the same East River views as Williamsburg—but without the eyesore-causing crowds

This Queens neighborhood, located right on the river, boasts ‘grammable views of the East River and New York City skyline. Best of all, you’ll get a better shot here than in Williamsburg, where the waterfront is crowded with tourists and Smorgasburg attendees.

It’s one of New York City’s most vibrant ethnic enclaves

While Williamsburg locals travel to nearby Greenpoint to experience one of the city’s ethnic enclaves, Astoria residents are just a stone’s throw from Taverna Row, the New York base for Greek food and culture. Highlights include Taverna Kyclades, Astoria Seafood, and MP Taverna.
A salad at MP Taverna | © MP Taverna

Similarly to Williamsburg, green spaces abound in Astoria

If North Brooklyn has spoiled you with its numerous parks and waterfront green spaces, you won’t be disappointed by Astoria. The largest of the neighborhood’s parks, Astoria Park, runs along New York’s East River and is home to the city’s largest public pool. Running above the park is the Triborough Bridge, which pedestrians can walk or run across to access another green space, Randall’s Island.

A number of cult restaurants call Astoria home

Williamsburg isn’t the only foodie-famous area around; Astoria restaurants such as Taverna Kyclades and Sal, Kris, & Charlie’s Deli regularly rack up critic and diner raves, attracting hungry hipsters from all over New York City—including North Brooklyn.

You can be my hero, baby! 📷: @stefeatsworld #forkyeah

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There are plenty of train lines

The similarities between Astoria and Williamsburg end here, and that’s a good thing. While the North Brooklyn neighborhood’s primary train is slated to shut down for over a year, Astoria’s options include the N, Q, M, and R lines. Not that we’re keeping score.

New York subway | © Andre Benz / Unsplash

It’s safe

Though not a trait often mentioned when extolling the virtues of Williamsburg, safety is undoubtedly a benefit and a draw for families and night owls. Both of these demographics would fit right in within Astoria, which is credited as one of the safest neighborhoods in Queens.

It’s home to quirky (code for hipster-approved) attractions

Among Astoria’s offerings is the Museum of the Moving Image, where a collection of over 1,400 artifacts includes 19th-century optical toys and cult video games. There is also HiFi Records, a new and used record store and café, and every other Saturday destination your hipster heart could desire.

© John Smith : Courtesy of Dishoom
Labyrinth | © The Jim Henson Company / Courtesy of Museum of the Moving Image

Queens is the new Brooklyn

With Ridgewood, Long Island City, and now Astoria dominating New Yorkers’ news cycles, it’s safe to say Queens has been tapped as the new Brooklyn (which as you already know is the new Manhattan).