The Best Restaurants in Long Island City, New York

© Xhico / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Culture Trip
9 July 2020

When you’ve seen all the art galleries and performance spaces Long Island City has to offer, head to one of the area’s trendy restaurants to chow down like a real New Yorker.

Restaurant, Ramen, Japanese, $$$
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Mu Ramen, Jackson Ave
Mu Ramen, Jackson Ave | Courtesy of Mu Ramen

Run, don’t walk, to Mu Ramen, a Long Island City spot hailed for its signature – and limited – namesake dish. Foodies fall in line for the highly coveted Mu Ramen bowl, which features an oxtail-and-bone-marrow-based broth, tender brisket and sour pickle. Missed today’s Mu? The always-packed spot’s foie-gras-stuffed chicken wings, ‘crack’ kimchi and uni with spicy maguro will more than make it up to you.

Bar, American, Mexican
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Hosting events every day and night, from comedy shows to film screenings, The Creek and The Cave always has something going on. This comedy bar also has a kitchen upstairs, where cooks will dazzle you with amazing Mexican food. Be sure to check out the secret bar downstairs for some bacchanalian times.

Market, Contemporary, $$$
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Break from tradition at LIC Flea and Food, a monthly showcase which features two beer gardens. Visitors can sample local craft beers (including some from LIC itself) before exploring the neighborhood, including the world-famous Astoria Kaufman Studios or the riverfront facing the Manhattan skyline.

Restaurant, Thai, $$$
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Named for Bangkok’s iconic three-wheeled taxis, Tuk Tuk promises to transport patrons to the Thai capital. Classics such as fried rice and curries (brave the heat and try the spicy Green Curry bowl) join house specialties, including the baked crunchy duck in pineapple coconut curry, and vegan options on the menu at this bright, clean space.

Bar, American, $$$
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The ever-coveted brunch at Dutch Kills Centraal begins at 11 am sharp, but get there early because this is a popular destination for locals and it fills up fast. A friendly vibe is what you will find here, from the staff to the welcoming light blue wood paneling being the first thing you observe when approaching this place, all diners will feel right at home. Devouring an order of buttermilk pancakes or a three egg omelet has tough competition with being the favorite part of your day spent here, as they have other fun components such as live music later on Saturdays. Brunch should not just be an early afternoon affair; it should be done right, by dedicating time to the occasion and enjoying it at a place, like Dutch Kills Centraal, that will provide not only a meal but also an experience.

Restaurant, American
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Green eggs and ham are not just for Dr. Seuss books, but also for brunch patrons at Masso. The décor is not the only creative and inspiring feature at this place – the presentation of each dish is just as inventive. From adorable mason jars filled with various types of flowers to the attention spent on detail to each plate, customers will find everything here aesthetically pleasing. Décor and appearance is just the beginning; the food here is equally fascinating. Popular menu items include smoke salmon eggs benedict and the frittata of the day, which will have your mouth watering in no time. Masso embodies the complete package, when searching for a place that provides good food and atmosphere.

Gastropub, Pub, American, Irish, $$$
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Dutch Kills
Dutch Kills | © Isaac Rosenthal
Nestled in the middle of Vernon Boulevard is a new take on an old Irish pub. Woodbines is a quaint and cozy pub with excellent craft beers and a sophisticated pub menu. The menu offers pub favorites like fish n’ chips and chicken curry in great portions. They have a good range of cocktails including their signature cocktail – The LIC Tea. You’ll also find a variety of craft beers, with many local beers from breweries like Singlecut and Rockaway Brewery.

Restaurant, American, Spanish, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
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Mic at The Creek
Mic at The Creek | © Mindy Tucker
Step inside Blend on the Water and you’ll feel closer to the Equator with the hot Latin American menu, drinks, and atmosphere. You’ll find frozen sangria and margaritas and a menu of Latin fusion fare, from the lomo saltado to the homemade ‘Blend Burger.’ Located off the East River, there’s an infectious party feel with music pumping and people dancing. The amazing views of the city can be seen through the ten-foot windows that wrap around the entire restaurant.
These recommendations were updated on July 9, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.