Tudor and Victorian-style homes line the curved streets of Forest Hills, a neighborhood located in central Queens. The most distinctive part of the community is Forest Hills Gardens, a residential area made up of small apartment buildings and two main commercial streets (Metropolitan Avenue and Austin Street) where locals and tourists can eat, drink, shop, and enjoy live shows and cheap movie tickets. Forest Hills is well known for its array of antique shops, local boutiques, and longtime restaurants, but it’s just as famous for its lively bar scene. We take a closer look at the 10 best local bars.
Forest Hills Station House
Gastropub, Pub Grub, $$$
Forest Hills Station House exudes the character of a timeless local pub with its rugged brick walls, wooden bar, and inviting ambiance. This gastropub serves an extensive menu of popular items that are prepared with the best quality ingredients. Smoked country pork ribs, jumbo wings, braised bacon and jalapeño cornbread, and a wide selection of burgers and sandwiches are just a few of the delicious upscale menu items. In addition, Forest Hills Station House is also a beer hall and whiskey den. Visitors can sample beers or bourbon from around the world as new flavors and selections are regularly rotated. Those who dare to down 100 flavors join an exclusive ‘beer club’ and get their names inscribed on the Station House’s wall of fame.
Dirty Pierre’s serves well-prepared meals in big portions and well-mixed drinks concocted by expert bartenders. Customers are greeted by a friendly staff and seated at tables where butcher paper and crayons are available for patrons and children to doodle on. The burgers and mussels are said to be some of the best in the area, but other options include steamy French onion soup or Italian steak sandwich. Dirty Pierre’s has an extensive selection of beer and other mixed drinks, including a delicious white sangria that seems to be a customer favorite.
Banter is an appropriate name for this traditional Irish pub, as it promotes a lighthearted, friendly atmosphere with a warm and welcoming staff. A modern and distinguished menu adds a twist to conventional Irish fare and includes an array of items such as Jameson spring rolls, blackened salmon salad, curry cheese fries, and Bubble & Squeak dumplings served with corned beef hash and cabbage. Banter Irish Bar & Kitchen proudly offers New York City’s largest Irish whiskey selection.
This lively Mexican restaurant and bar is famous for its delicious and highly potent frozen margaritas that are offered by glass or pitcher. Customers may choose any one of the original flavors or combine up to two flavors for the ultimate tequila and citrus fruit juice experience. The stylized tiki bar at 5 Burro Cafe serves a number of other strong pick-me-ups, like a Spicy Paloma mixed with Pueblo Viejo Blanco. The colorful restaurant, adorned with rainbow fairy lights and funky posters on the walls, also offers an extensive list of authentic Mexican fare which includes flautas, fajitas, tacos, quesadillas, burritos and other large plates.
Keuka Kafe is a splendid destination for an intimate date night or a small gathering of friends. Although small in size, this wine bar packs a large punch of sophistication and style. Teal blue walls, candle-lit tables and a large window that allows for some ambient light all work together to create a cozy setting for guests to enjoy. Keuka Kafe is one of the few establishments in New York City that devotes half of its wine list to New York wineries. In addition, it offers a moderate selection of food, meats, and cheeses that complement the extensive quantities of fine wine. For those who aren’t avid wine drinkers, there is also a small selection of quality beers on tap as well as cider.
Manor Oktoberfest prides itself on being one of the few German restaurants around. Enjoy traditional German fare like Sauerbraten, Jägerschnitzel, and Pierogies while sipping on one of over 30 imported beers. Their famous pretzels are imported daily from Münich, and when combined with the beer cheese, they make the perfect appetizer. Manor Oktoberfest has over eight draft beers which include Spaten Oktoberfest, Hofbräu Original, Stiegl Goldbräu and Radeberger Pilsner as well as four rotating taps and dozens more bottled beers. New varieties are added to their roster every day, and patrons can select one of three sizes, ranging from a half-liter to two liters.
For decades, Cabana has provided quality food and service to its guests in a lively and fun setting. The Nuevo Latino restaurant and bar offers delicious Cuban platters like chicharrones de pollo (tender chunks of dark meat chicken marinated in garlic and oregano then fried until crispy) and ropa vieja, a popular dish made of shredded skirt steak. Weather permitting, guests may sit outside where they can enjoy one of the best-mixed mojitos in the area and other fruity cocktails like a Passion Martini or a Mango Daiquiri.
Acey Ducey’s has all the components of a classic American pub: great service, delicious food and plenty to drink. Acey Ducey’s offers the typical bar fare with an upscale twist. The Ace of Steak, for example, is a marinated skirt steak sandwich cut and cooked to perfection and served with a sweet marinade between perfectly baked buns. Pair this with the bar’s sweet potato tots or a 32-ounce Bloody Mary for the perfect after-work wind down.
At night, Jack & Nellie’s exudes the character of an intimate wine bar with its dark woods, dim lights, and high ceilings. At weekends, it transforms into a hip, urban brunch spot equipped with delicious food, live jazz, and nicely mixed cocktails. The drinks menu at this small eatery and bar is extensive and varied: there are over 18 wine options, seven lagers, eight porters and stouts, a variety of Belgian beverages, and a few Pilsner options. In addition, Jack & Nellie’s offers delicious platters and an impressive brunch menu that contains mouthwatering dishes like the grilled brie and prosciutto sandwich served with fig jam, and the eggs Benedict.
Rove has an industrial style with exposed brick and wooden decor. Menu highlights include filet mignon bruschetta and pork buns, the latter a trio of delicious pulled pork bao-style sandwiches. To complement the moderate selection of traditional American fare, guests are offered an extensive wine list comprised of impressive white and red options. There are also four signature cocktails: Backyard (a tequila gold martini), Follow My Lead (a cucumber tequila vodka), Right Turn (served on the rocks) and Thin Print (shaken over ice). In addition, special ‘after dinner’ beverages are available and include anything from Irish coffee to a sweet cream rum.