NYC Neighborhood Guide: Long Island City
I know what you’re all thinking. It’s been way too long since my last NYC neighborhood guide post and I couldn’t agree more! Now that we’ve conquered Manhattan and Brooklyn from the West Village to Williamsburg, I am so excited to share my first post from Queens featuring a guide to what to do in Long Island City, which also just happens to be my new neighborhood.
If you had ever told me I’d end up in Queens I would have been surprised after a three year stint in Manhattan followed by three more years in Brooklyn, but ever since Andrew and I first started hanging out in LIC last summer we were totally convinced that this was the perfect place for us to move and I’m so excited to share the best things to do in Long Island City with you. So if you feel like ditching your usual NYC spots and taking the 7 train out to Queens, you’ll be excited to see what LIC has to offer.
There are actually two Sweetleaf locations in LIC and they’re only a few blocks apart so go to whichever one floats your boat! This cozy cafe is a place where you can work (although one location has a dedicated section for laptops) but also a great place to read a book that you want to get lost in with a cup of their delicious cold brew.
I am so happy that one of my favorite spots from Williamsburg has a location in LIC! In terms of decor, Blackstar is practically Sweetleaf’s opposite with bright white walls and mosaic tabletops. I suggest getting the breakfast croissant with one of their chai lattes. You will not be disappointed.
Gantry Plaza State Park
Get ready for what is arguably the reason I wanted to move to this neighborhood, the unparalleled views of the Manhattan skyline! We moved in at the perfect time to enjoy summer along the waterfront and I can’t wait to have picnics outside and gaze out at the city. Definitely remember to snap a picture by the Pepsi Cola sign!
THis is kind of cheating since it’s technically also part of the waterfront but if at some point while it’s nice out you want to pop down and grab an iced coffee or a glass of wine, you can have it right on the waterfront and still take in the views and people watch without having to move. It’s the perfect place to spend a lazy Sunday.
East River Ferry
If you want to experience the city in an even more out-of-the-box way, take the East River Ferry from Hunter’s Point down to Williamsburg or even Dumbo! It costs the same as a subways swipe (you can get tickets from the ferry stop or on the Ferry app) and it definitely beats taking the subway. Did I mention you can purchase beer on here too?
Breakfast / Brunch
Closer to the heart of LIC is this cute little spot with lots of great options that you can grab and go or stay for a while. Most of the seating at Indie LIC is communal but you shouldn’t have a problem finding a spot to sit with your BFF.
Bricktown Bagel & Cafe
Okay I know that all New York City bagels are amazing and I don’t want to get ahead of myself here, but Bricktown’s are honestly some of the best bagels I’ve ever had. I’m partial to getting egg, cheese and avocado on their salt bagel but I’m sure anything you order will be good. Nothing beats this classic city breakfast.
You didn’t think I’d write a neighborhood guide without a bottomless brunch option did you? For two hours and an extra $15 at Bierocracy, you can get bottomless mimosas with your entreé and I suggest the croissant breakfast platter to accompany it. I’ve also heard good things about the chicken and waffles!
While Alewife does technically brew some of their own beers, this laid-back eatery definitely feels more like a restaurant. Come in and watch your favorite sports team play while sipping on some brews and eating the Mother Clucker chicken sandwich and some wings. You can thank me later.
Woodbine’s is one of our latest discoveries in the LIC area, and they’ve got a $13 burger and beer lunch special that you should try to take advantage of if you go on a weekday. It’s on the main stretch of Vernon Boulevard so you can also browse the area after you finish eating. They also offer brunch, which I’ll definitely have to go back for!
If southern-style dishes are your thing, look no further than Jackson’s. Start off with fried green tomatoes, grab some mussels or charred octopus for the table, and finish off with momma’s mac & cheese.
Can you tell that LIC is a great place to come if you like beer? The small, local breweries here are so much fun to spend an afternoon at and Fifth Hammer is probably they keystone bar to visit. They’ve got some awesome beers on tap and also lots of space to play games, but get there early on a weekend to snag a spot.
I think this is my personal favorite brewery because of their incredibly hoppy and flavorful IPA’s like their signature Rockaway Imperial Pale Ale. The spot seems small at first, but on a nice day they open up the brewing room and garage door for extra space.
Big aLICE is probably the smallest microbrewery in the area but their beers will still knock you out of the park. Be sure to chat with your bartender and ask questions about any of the brews you want to sample, they’ve got a ton of knowledge about what’s good and you can do a flight to try a few options.
Have you been to LIC? Drop your favorite spots in the comments below!