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Best Cocktail Bars - Astoria, NY

Best Cocktail Bars - Astoria, NY

Astoria is coming on strong as a home of some of the best bars in Queens. Each one has its own, distinctive personality with young, talented mixologists who know how to make a memorable cocktail.

The Ditty -  Astoria 

More than ever before, Ditmars Blvd. is giving 30th Avenue some real competition when it comes to being the home of some amazing bars, cafes and restaurants. And that's a good thing. Astoria residents like to go out a lot and they love trying new places. The more choices, the better.
 
Over the past couple of years, The Ditty has been developing a loyal following, not only with folks in the immediate neighborhood but with cocktail fans all over Astoria. This friendly bar is worth taking a short ride on the N or W train.
 
The Ditty's motto is, "Food made with love. Tasty drinks and fun times". Truer words were never spoken. The barkeeps and servers at the Ditty know how to host a party and make your evening extra special.
 
There's a great date vibe going on here. There are no TVs, so you and your significant other can sit back and enjoy each other's company. Ladies; be assured that your guy will not be distracted by any baseball, basketball or football games going on that evening. The Ditty is all about socializing, even if you are with friends on girl's night out or you are getting together with a few co-workers.
TheDirty
They have some cool board games that you can play. Every Tuesday night, at 8:30 PM, you can venture out to their charming backyard patio and watch a classic movie.
 
The ambiance is laid back and intimate. You have got to see the bar area, after dusk falls, however. Light bulbs are strategically placed throughout the room, making for one heck of a special effect.
 
The bartenders here take a back seat to no one as far as crafting a nice cocktail. They have game and then some.
You'll know what we're talking about when you take your first sip of their Root Beer Old Fashioned. A generous pour of Bourbon takes center stage in your glass together with orange blossom, bitters and house made root beer.
 
Another thirst quenching option is the Night Owl, comprised of rye whiskey, amaro cio ciaro, Licor 43 and Angostura. One of their most popular drinks is the Effie, which consists of gin, pineapple gomme, combier, lemon and basil.
 
Locals have voted the Safe Word as one of the best cocktails in Astoria. When you taste this intoxicating blend of vodka, bitters, lime juice and ginger beer with a ginger cordial, you'll know why this drink is so popular with people who know their spirits. 

Location and Hours 

35-03 Ditmars Blvd.
Astoria, NY 11105
(347) 617-1747
www.thedittybar.com
 
Hours
 
Monday to Friday     4 PM to 4 AM
Saturday and Sunday  12 PM to 4 AM 

Gastroteca  -  Astoria 

After sunset,  this Italian style gastro pub turns into one of the most romantic date night spots in Astoria. There's not a bad table in the house.  With high ceilings and huge picture windows, the interior has a contemporary hip vibe.
 
But try to score a table outdoors at their sidewalk patio. This stretch of 34th avenue is relatively quiet compared to the hustle and bustle over on Broadway or Steinway street. Trees line the sidewalks and the ambiance is very chill.
 
Chef and owner John Parlatore has been receiving rave reviews for his delicious food here at Gastroteca. His take on traditional Italian cuisine is both inventive and approachable.
 
Not so well-known, however, is the tasty and creative cocktail list that John and his team of mixologists have come up with.
Whether Brunch or dinner is on your schedule, be sure to accompany your meal with a cocktail from the bar. It will only enhance an already wonderful culinary experience.
 
Huge Mason jars filled with all sorts of garnishes like maraschino cherries, lemon and lime wedges, decorate the bar. Be assured that all of these items will be put to good use in creating your cocktail of choice.
 
Naturally, at a place with a name like Gastroteca, most of the drinks have a chic Italian theme.
 
The stylishly named Vespa consists of Hennesy, Cointreau, limoncello and orange bitters. You really will feel like you're on a Roman Holiday when you sip this delicious cocktail which is comprised of Hendrick's gin, Campari, strawberries and sweet vermouth.
Gastroteca
Go on a tasty adventure with the Italian Explorer, a blend of spiced rum, Liquor 43, pineapple juice and espresso. You would think that the addition of espresso strikes a jarring note but the ingredients actually go well together.

The Sophia Loren is a tribute to one of Italy's most venerable icons. This cocktail, made with Aperol, bourbon and lemon juice, certainly does this amazing actress justice.
Claudia Cardinale also gets in the picture at  Gastroteca, with a potent cocktail that's comprised of gin, Aperol, St. Germain and champagne. 

Location and Hours 

33-02 34th Avenue
Astoria, NY 11106
(718) 729-9080
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Hours
 
Monday through Friday               11:30 AM to 11 PM
Saturday and Sunday                  10:30 AM to 11 PM

The Last Word  -  Astoria 

When they first opened for business, The Last Word received a lot of buzz over their rather unique entrance. This speakeasy themed bar was situated behind the facade of a hardware store. In order to gain entrance into the lounge, one had to ring a bell inside the hardware area and wait for a doorman to escort you in.
 
Thankfully, the owners have disposed of this attention-getting gimmick, which, honestly, only served as an unnecessary distraction from the delicious drinks that are being served here.
 
After a few days of renovations, though, the hardware store front has been completely removed and the lounge area 's been extended. But the gorgeous roaring twenties ambiance remains.
Exposed brick and an ornate gold ceiling frame soft, cushy banquette seating and red drapes that give a little privacy to the tables along one of the walls. Those one of a kind, vintage mirrors still decorate the premises, as well.

Now, you can grab a table near the front of the bar and do a little people watching on Ditmars Blvd. as you sip your craft beer or cocktail.
 
The Last Word's drink list is divided up into several helpful sections, so that everyone, from the cocktail novitiate to those seasoned drinkers among us, can zero in on their cocktail of choice.
 
Everyone seems to love the Easy Drinking portion of the menu. It's easy to see why. There are so many delicious options being offered. And the cocktail's names are pretty entertaining, too!
 
The Rakish and Jaunty certainly lives up to its' name with a blend of gin, Pimm's #1, chai, pink peppercorn, lemon juice and soda water.
Get your party started with the Rabble Rouser. Raspberry juice, lemon juice and soda water pair well with elevated and intriguing ingredients such as rhubarb infused dolin blanc vermouth and Rhum Clement canne agricole.
 
If you are Feeling Adventurous, then this portion of the menu has your name all over it.
 
The bar's signature drink is the Cascade Julep. At first glance, the list of ingredients may be a bit perplexing, but this elixir works on so many levels. The mix of Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac, Clear Creek pear brandy, a touch of mint, Demerara and Hamilton pot still Jamaican is a genuine mood-changer.
 
Spice up your night with The Vagabond. Pueblo Viejo Tequila Reposado, Brennivin quavit, honey, sage lime and Reagan's orange bitters will do the trick if you've had a stressful kind of day.
 
If you're feeling the Classics, then try the Last Word's version of a Mai Tai. You won't be disappointed. The last section of the menu is called Know Your Spirits, which the bartenders here clearly do. 

Location and Hours 

31-30 Ditmars Blvd.
Astoria, NY 11105
(718) 440-3378
www.tlwastoria.com
 
Hours
 
Monday                          5 PM to 1 AM
Tuesday to Thursday      5 PM to 2 AM
Friday and Saturday       5 PM to 3 AM
Sunday                           5 PM to 1 AM  

William Hallet  -  Astoria 

Despite all of the competition for the consumer's dollar on the 30th avenue bar and pub scene, William Hallet has stood the test of time by offering up a simple, but effective, formula of friendly service, well above average food and cocktails that never, ever go out of fashion.
 
William Hallet has a hip, very cool, Colonial tavern atmosphere going for it. You almost expect Alexander Hamilton himself to walk in and order a drink. Speaking of which, if you're coming home from seeing Hamilton, or any other play for that matter, in the city; be sure to stop by William Hallet for a sip and a bite.
 
The quaint wallpaper, low lights, brick walls and sturdy wood floors add to the ambiance as do the paintings of  Colonial era ladies and gentlemen dressed up in their finery.
 
But, George Washington and his crew never drank anything like the cocktails that are available at the Hallet.
Back at his Monticello estate, Thomas Jefferson would have loved to chase away the hot Summertime Blues, with this super refreshing cocktail composed of Roquesante rose', fresh blueberry puree', lemon juice, simple syrup and club soda. But it's available for you right here, right now, in 2017.
 
Drop It Like It's Hot when you sip this potent concoction of mezcal, watermelon juice, jalapenos, lime juice and simple syrup.
You will delight in every sip of the Give Me Liberty, which features Liberator barrel aged gin, Plymouth sloe gin, lemon juice and house-made syrup.
Always stay true to the one you love and there will never be any Grounds For Divorce. Unless, of course, you order this signature cocktail, comprised of scotch, Tamarind liqueur, maple syrup, lemon juice and bitters.
WilliamHallet
Brunch is always a great time to sample new cocktails or enjoy the comfort of old favorites.
 
The Hallet has an unlimited boozy brunch deal for an additional charge of only twenty dollars. This entitles you to generous rounds of selected brunch cocktails and draft or canned beers. There is a one-hour time limit at the table. But, the good news is that you can continue drinking at the bar until 4 PM when brunch ends.
 
If you would prefer to do brunch a la carte, that's not a problem.  All entrees' come with either a Bloody Mary, Mimosa or orange juice.
 
Hallet's brunch menu contains all of the traditional brunch dishes that you know and love. But the one item that you simply have to try is their luscious and satisfying griddle cake sandwich. Complete with scrambled eggs, bacon, cheese, home fries and maple syrup, this is a sandwich worthy of its name. And it just so happens to be one of the best sandwiches you can get on the avenue. 

Location and Hours 

36-10 30th Avenue
Astoria, NY 11105
(718)269-3443
www.williamhallet.com
 
Hours
 
Monday                      Closed
Tuesday to Friday       4 PM to 4 AM
Saturday and Sunday   11 AM to 4 AM

Sek' end Sun  -  Astoria 

Pronounced " second son", this vibrant  bar is located on Broadway, in the heart of Astoria. The community had been waiting for an eclectic bar like this for some time and Sek' end Sun delivers what's expected in more ways than one.
 
The creation of a couple of young guys who actually are second sons in their respective families, this cocktail-forward establishment also offers a thirst-quenching line up of craft beers and wine.
Derek Vernon and Jay Zimmerman  believe that a bar is a place where you go to relax and chill out. There's no pretentious nonsense going on here, where the bar tenders try to strut their stuff and show their knowledge off to the customer.
Here, if you're looking a little down, the barkeep is more likely to take your " temperature"  and suggest a couple of options that might just lift your spirits.
 
Art-Deco  furnishings and fixtures, reclaimed wood and a drink list that pushes the envelope all contribute to the  personality of Sek' end Sun.  This is a bar that suits the multi-cultural vibrancy of Astoria.
 
Two of their most popular cocktails are the Germain Squeeze, (sparkling rose', elder flower, grapefruit juice and orange bitters) and the very sexy Brazilian Bikini , which consists of Brazilian rum, ancho pepper, honey and a splash of lemon juice.
 
In the classic film, only The Shadow Knows  what the secret of the plots'mystery is. But, you'll know right away just which ingredients are inside this unbelievably tasty cocktail after you take a sip. The shot of tequila pairs well with red wine, lemon juice and ginger.
 
Now, don't get wasted too soon or you won't be able to enjoy The Wasteland, a nice blend of vodka, sage, grapefruit and lemon juice, as well as Reychaud's bitters.
 
Derek and Jay have some pretty cool bar snacks available for when hunger arrives on the scene.  The dirty martini olive plate with sun-dried tomatoes and garlic is a big winner as are the  sweet potato fritters. Other customer favorites are the hot toddy caramel popcorn and the very tasty cinnamon whiskey toasted  almonds. The kitchen also turns out a very well put together plate of mac and cheese. 

Location and Hours 

32-11 Broadway
Astoria, NY 11106
(917) 832-6414
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Hours
 
Monday to Friday                 5 PM to 2 AM
Saturday                              11 AM to 4 AM
Sunday                                 11 AM to 2 AM

Two Lizards  -  Astoria 

This relative newcomer to the Ditmars dining scene is renowned for its' delicious guacamole, which is prepared table side.
 
With a flourish, your waiter uses premium avocados as he whips up a guacamole that , some critics and foodies have proclaimed, as being the best in the city. While that bit of  praise may be up for debate, there's no argument that Two Lizards knows how to prepare a memorable serving of guacamole.
 
Served inside of a volcanic, stone "molcajete", the guacamole is accompanied by crispy, house made corn chips. Whether you order the guac or a burrito, specialty taco or enchilada, you are assured of having an authentic Mexican dining experience.
 
The interior of the restaurant is quite colorful with pinatas hanging from the dining room ceiling. A couple of old horse drawn wagon wheels are displayed at the back of the bar.  Subdued neon yellow, blue and red lights illuminate the bar, as well.
 
When the weather is nice, the staff removes the glass windows from the front and side of the restaurant, transforming a portion of Two Lizards into an outdoor cafe.
 
Usually, however, when the talk turns to Mexican restaurants, cocktails tend to take a back seat. Sure, you can order them at most establishments, but that's not the primary reason why you make a reservation at a  Mexican bistro or restaurant. It is, though, at Two Lizards.
 
Cocktails make a very loud statement here. In fact, one might go as far as to say that a meal at Two Lizards is not complete unless accompanied by one of their superb elixirs.
 
The signature drink is the Green Lizard, which is made with Riazul Plata tequila, Triple Sec, muddled avocados and fresh squeezed lime juice.
Another delectable sip is the Mango Piquin. The highlight of this drink is fresh mango puree together with triple sec, tequila and lime juice. A spiced chile tajin salted rim is the finishing touch.
 
The  Two Lizards mojito consists of house rum, club soda, mint leaves and muddled limes. You can see why most regulars order a cocktail just as soon as they sit down.
You can order your Margarita straight up, on the rocks or frozen. All Margaritas are made with 100% blue agave tequila blanco.
If you are with a group of friends, there 's no better way to quench your thirst than with a pitcher of red or white sangria. And, unlike some places, the bartenders  here don't water their sangria down.
 
They have a fantastic brunch deal , so be sure to take advantage of it.For $25 per person, the special includes your choice of entree plus one pitcher  for every two brunch entrees, of Sangria, Mimosa, tequila sunrise or a Bloody Mary.
With a deal like that, you'll want to do brunch, at least, a couple of times a month at Two Lizards. 

Location and Hours 

35-02 Ditmars Blvd.
Astoria, NY 11105
(917) 745-0500
www.twolizardsnyc.com
 
Hours
 
Monday to Friday                  12 PM to 12 AM
Saturday                                11 AM to 12 AM
Sunday                                  11 AM to 11 PM

Mars  -  Astoria

Is there life on Mars? That's the question that  scientists have been debating for years, ever since NASA launched the space program back in the days of the Kennedy Administration.
    
But, while we may never know if any tangible life forms exist on the red planet, one thing's for certain; there's plenty of life  happening over at the Mars oyster bar, located here on planet earth.
 
Conde' Nast Traveler voted Mars as one of the most romantic bars in New York. It's dark, intimate and cozy with a beautiful vintage curved bar. The decor evokes the glamour of the 1920's.
Mars has a spacious sidewalk cafe , shaded by nearby trees. Whether you choose to drink and dine inside or on the patio, you'll be treated to the sounds of live jazz, several nights per week.
 
No matter how tired you may be from your workday and commute, Mars is more than convenient for  Astoria residents. The bar is located just a couple of blocks from the Steinway Street R and M station. And it's only a five minute walk or so, from the Broadway N and W stop.
 
"Honest food and a place to gather" is Mars' mission statement. These words are real, not just a tag line. You will feel more than welcome when you walk through the door.
Mars1One of the most popular brunch spots in Astoria or Long Island City, for that matter, Mars weekend menu features  treats like scrambled eggs with feta, delicious pancakes as well as polenta with eggs.
 
The Mars' Mimosa will really get your engines started. Sparkling wine, blood orange juice, dry curacao and grated ginger are the magical ingredients.
You can also get an excellent Bloody Mary here. Choose either vodka or tequila to accompany the tomato juice and horseradish.
 
Oysters rule at Mars ! You can order several different varieties of these jewels of the sea. And they are as fresh as can be. Mars takes their oysters very seriously.
 
Accompany your oysters or dinner fare with one of the bars' classic cocktails. Go a little exotic with the Boutonniere', a game-changing mix of bourbon, creme de cacao, rose water, bitters and cappelletti.
The Blood Moon pairs  tequila, cassis, lemon juice and bitters with ginger beer.
 
The bartenders at Mars really make the place. They are interesting conversationalists yet, they also know just when to back off and leave you alone to enjoy your drink. One never feels rushed here. That's so important when you want to unwind and just blend into the scenery. 

Location and Hours

34-21 34th Avenue
Astoria, NY 11106
(718) 685-2480
www.lifeatmars.com
 
Hours
 
Monday to Friday            4 PM to 2 AM
Saturday and Sunday     11 AM to 2 AM

Sweet Afton  -  Astoria

No article about the Astoria bar and cocktail scene would be complete without mentioning Sweet Afton.
This  charming pub has been making local residents happy for quite awhile now and it only seems to keep getting better with age.
 
The management recently renovated their beautiful backyard garden, turning it into a year-round space. They added a glass roof and introduced a variety of plants throughout the  garden area. The Glass House, as it is called, is reminiscent of those gorgeous indoor Victorian-era gardens.
With a retractable roof, the garden becomes a magical al fresco space in which to relax, during the Spring, Summer and early Fall. The Glass House is available for private parties, wedding rehearsal dinners and corporate receptions, at a very reasonable price. Be sure to inquire when it's time for your next celebration. Your guests will be beyond impressed by their surroundings.
 
While Mondays are usually a rather slow time for most bars and pubs, the first work day of the week is when things really start to pop at Sweet Afton.
Why? Well, it's live music night! Each and every Monday, from 9 to 11 PM, you'll be entertained by local performers such as J.D.Patch, the John Carl Gordon Project and Ol' Time Glory. The music ranges from bluegrass and folk to rock, so there's something for everyone.
 
The bar has a fine selection of local whiskeys for your drinking pleasure including Hudson Baby Bourbon. This is New York State's first locally produced bourbon, distilled with 100% corn from area farms.
 
Sweet Afton has a very nice cocktail list. You'll have fun, trying out the various options. However, there are three selections that merit your immediate attention.
SweetAfton
It's impossible to have just one glass of their signature Afton Punch. It's that good. With a blend of pisco, rum, aperol, orange juice, cinnamon, pineapple juice and Lapsang Souchong tea, this adult beverage is both potent and refreshing.
 
They are also known for their dirty pickle martini, a blend of Tito's vodka and McClure's pickles.
The Pirate's Republic consists of Denizen rum blanc, vermouth, creole shrub, salers and Clement mahina coco.
 
Stopping by after a late night out ? Satisfy your hunger with their late night taco festival. Served nightly, from Midnight to 3:30 in the morning, you can enjoy chorizo, seared steak or veggie tacos for just five bucks each. 

Location and Hours

30-09 34th Street
Astoria, NY 11103
(718) 777-2570
www.sweetaftonbar.com
 
Hours
 
Monday to Friday                 3 PM to 4 AM
Saturday and Sunday           10:30 AM to 4 AM

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