In Astoria, New York City’s unofficial Greek capital, Italian cuisine is in demand. Locals happily leave Taverna Row for authentic pizzerias, fine-dining establishments, and Italian delis. Here are the best Italian restaurants in Astoria, Queens.
Il Bambino has racked up more than 1,130 Yelp reviews for its—paninis? The unassuming café staple is elevated here with help from ingredients like charred broccoli, truffle spread, and apricot butter. Tip: Come early to try a “Brunch Panini” packed with scrambled eggs and sweet sausage or even Nutella and fruit.
For nearly 20 years, Trattoria L’incontro has been satisfying Astorians’ cravings for upscale Italian. Dishes including veal with lemon and capers and mascarpone ravioli in a brandy-chopped-walnut sauce please even the most discerning palates, while the use of fine ingredients transforms rustic classics such as beef lasagna into gourmet fare.
This family-owned pizzeria makes one of New York City’s best slices. Sac’s Place relies on a coal-brick oven for its made-to-order pies in traditional flavors like marinara and Sicilian. Order one of each, plus Sac’s unorthodox small plates, fried artichokes and eggplant rollatini.
The dishes at Vite Vinosteria were created to complement the restaurant and wine bar’s 40-plus red, white, and sparkling wines. To let its wines shine, Vite Vinosteria keeps its dishes simple. For example, house-made ribbon pasta is dressed with meat sauce or a fan-favorite seafood mix of calamari, shrimp, and more, while brunch entails grilled sirloin steak and toast with Praga ham and fontina.
At Vesta, customers will enjoy dishes they won’t find anywhere else. Here, wines poured by the shot are enjoyed alongside burrata salad with blueberry balsamic and crispy speck, wild boar lasagna with spiced ricotta, and for dessert, Italian sticky pudding cake with warm caramel.
Any Astorian can tell you that Sal, Kris, & Charlie’s isn’t your average neighborhood deli. The massive sandwiches at this takeaway shop attract fans from across New York City, as does its signature offering: “The Bomb.” The explosive bite stuffed with salami, ham, Swiss and American cheese, pickled peppers, mayonnaise, and much more is likely to last patrons two to three meals.
A self-described “rustic Italian” restaurant, Gastroteca is a neighborhood favorite for brunch. The plates on Gastroteca’s weekend and weekday brunch menus range from familiar (Italian fried chicken with buttermilk waffles and shrimp scampi and grits) to foreign (a brunch lasagna comprising bacon, sausage, and fried egg comes to mind). Both styles taste best when washed down with cocktails like the Amalfi Coast and the house sangria.
Locals rely on Via Vai for its classic cuisine. Chef and owner Antonio Morichini shapes by hand the restaurant’s pasta and Roman-style pizza before dressing both with prosciutto di Parma, buffalo mozzarella, and more ingredients imported from Italy. Going one step further, Morichini prepares many of his dishes in Via Vai’s imported Italian-made brick oven.