11. Little Greece in Astoria, Queens
Occupying a rectangular region in Astoria bounded by Ditmars Boulevard, Steinway Street, 36th Avenue, and the East River is a neighborhood filled with traditional Greek taverns, bakeries, cafes, and orthodox churches. Over the years, the Greek presence has shifted from Ditmars Boulevard to Broadway. Large groups of Greeks migrated to the region in the 1960s, with more immigrants arriving from Cyprus in 1974. In 1980, the population of Greeks in Astoria was 22,579, though that number dropped to 18,127 in 1990. The Queens Chronicle previously reported that the Greek debt crisis led to another influx of Greek immigrants to Astoria. The area also has a Maltese population of about 20,000.
Popular traditional Greek eateries in this neighborhood include Taverna Kyclades, Bahari Estiatorio, and the Omonia Cafe. Loukoumi Taverna, one of the highest-rated Greek spots, specializes in saganaki (or dishes prepared in a small frying pan), seafood like Bronzino and black sea bass, and mezedes plates like calf liver or sweetbreads. Seafood is also the star at restaurants including Aliada and Anassa Taverna. Many of these Greek restaurants, markets, and shops are located on Broadway, 30th Avenue, and a handful on Steinway Street. Astoria’s Little Greece is located near another small stretch of Steinway Street called Little Egypt, with plenty of hookah bars, Egyptian restaurants, and a central mosque.