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Date Night on Ditmars Blvd - Astoria, NY
The family-friendly neighborhood of Ditmars has quietly become one of the hottest foodie destinations in the city.
Tucked away in a semi-suburban area of Astoria, Ditmars has everything you need for a memorable date night or romantic brunch experience; cozy restaurants, diverse cuisine, and lively bars. In the Spring, Summer, and Fall, Astoria Park and the scenic Manhattan skyline are just a short stroll from the scene of the action! What could be better?
Despite all of the hurdles and setbacks of the last two pandemic-dominated years, Ditmars has stood strong and then some. New businesses are opening on a regular basis
and the local economy is rebounding.
There are great places to check out all over the neighborhood. However, for now, we're going to focus on the hub of the community, Ditmars Blvd. This long strip of restaurants, bars, coffee houses and shimmering boutiques is definitely the straw that stirs the drink, so to speak.
There is so much to see, taste and sample; a couple could make a whole evening or day out of their trip to Ditmars. If you already just happen to live here then lucky you! Just walk out your door and enjoy.
So, let's get started!
KX Burger and Beyond - Astoria
If you crave a juicy burger with the perfect caramelized sear on it, then this should be one of your first stops when strolling the boulevard.
Their burgers are a mouthful, indeed. You get your money's worth here, for sure.
The inside has a nice, cozy rustic decor. But it's the outside seating that you should check out. During the nice weather, KX offers a very cool outdoor cafe-type set-up.
It's great for people watching and there's always a nice flow of fashionistas and families, local characters and wanna-be models and actors going to and fro.
Worry not, though. When the temps are freezing, KX Burger has got you covered, quite literally. You can enjoy your burger in comfort while dining inside their fully enclosed and heated colorful red tent. Situated right on the curb, this space is romantically lit and perfect for date night.
The restaurant's tagline is Xtra Kreative Burgers. They are NOT kidding around.
The menu is quite innovative and most of the luscious options are topped with healthy ingredients. However, make no mistake. The chef here knows how to whip up comfort food. Just try their classic mac and cheese topped hamburger.
Tempt your taste buds with the Bad Boy, which consists of a 16 oz. double beef patty, sharp cheddar, lettuce, onion rings and house-made BBQ sauce.
Another gotta-have is the Big Bang. Your burger is crowned with goodies such as
spicy Jack cheese, sauteed mushrooms, creamy avocado, and chipotle mayo.
Their showpiece is the popular Truffle Theory burger. Swiss cheese, Shrooms, caramelized onions, and red-leaf lettuce are topped with a generous dollop of white truffle mayo. Believe us when we say that this truffle-infused mayo is super addictive.
Should either you or your date be a vegetarian, you won't feel left out at all. Non-meat burger options include a Falafel patty topped with lettuce, beefsteak tomatoes, and Tahini sauce as well as a very flavorful veggie quinoa offering.
You can grab a crisp salad to complement your hamburger or a side of hand-cut fresh never frozen fries. They even have Cajun sweet potato fries.
Plan to wash it all down with a thick, old-school fountain-made milkshake.
Available flavors include chocolate, strawberry and vanilla.
Location and Hours
29-04 Ditmars Blvd.
Astoria, N.Y. 11105
Monday through Sunday 11:30 AM to 10 PM
Sakura - Astoria
This intimate and welcoming restaurant brings an authentic taste of Japan to Ditmars Blvd.
Together with your significant other, you will enjoy the food at Sakura any time of the day. But the ambiance is especially romantic when night falls with soft, candlelight casting a seductive glow on your table. The decor is modern and tasteful with none of the usual sushi house cliches.
There's an open kitchen at the rear of the establishment which makes for some compelling viewing not to mention conversation starters on what could be an awkward first date. During gaps in the usual "tell me about yourself" chit-chat, watch Sakura's master sushi chef work his magic.
The rolls that the chef artfully puts together are both colorful and delicious. Rest assured that everything is fresh as can be and only the highest quality ingredients are used.
That having been said, the prices are highly affordable which is great when you want to impress your date, but are on a limited budget.
At the moment the good folks at Sakura are offering a very special Dinner Box that is priced at only $17.50. The bountiful box includes your choice of two dinner items, a California roll, rice, a small miso soup plus a side salad. Now that's a ton of food for the money.
Choose from beef or salmon teriyaki, pork katsu, chicken negimaki, or shrimp and vegetable tempura from a long list of dinner items.
Lunch date plans? No problem. You can take advantage of Sakura's $9.50 lunch special which is served with soup and rice.
Entree options include tofu teriyaki, chicken katsu and salmon teriyaki.
Should you be looking to eat light but still want to warm up on a cold Winter's day, then order one of their pleasing soups such as BBQ pork ramen, seafood ramen, or tempura udon noodle.
There is nothing quite like the taste of meat or seafood that's cooked over a Hibachi. The burning wood or charcoal imparts a divine flavor. An important facet of traditional Japanese cuisine, the method of cooking over a hibachi goes back hundreds upon hundreds of years. The chef at Sakura has hibachi mastered down to a science.
Whether you opt for succulent steak, chicken, shrimp or scallops all hibachi
favorites come with a clear soup along with veggie fried rice.
Put the perfect finishing touch on your date by ordering one of their sublime desserts. With sweet treats like cheesecake, mochi, fried bananas and fried ice cream (red bean, green tea, or chocolate), on the menu, you'll have a little bit of trouble making up your mind which one to share. So, why not order two different ones?
Location and Hours
35-15 Ditmars Blvd.
Astoria, N.Y. 11105
Monday to Sunday 11:30 AM to 10 PM
Acento Latin Kitchen and Bar - Astoria
Having opened its doors in January of 2019, Acento Latin Kitchen and Bar has become something of a local legend as far as being THE go-to place for authentic Latin cuisine as well as some serious cocktail mixing magic.
What better time to celebrate the love of your life, or even meet your future significant other, than during Happy Hour.
Happy Hour puts a smile on everyone's face and Acento has one of the best in town.
Taking place from Monday through Thursday, 2 PM until 7 PM; Happy Hour offerings at the bar include $6 glasses of wine and beer for just five bucks.
Seven dollars will get you a nice glass of Sangria or a beautifully made Mojito
or Margarita. Their Caipirinha is so good it would be the envy of bartenders back in Brazil,
the home of this marvelous elixir.
The ambiance at Acento works for a romantic evening out. It's a totally cool place to take your wife and wine and dine with your partner, while the babysitter takes care of the kiddies.
Outside, they have a nicely-lit, heated semi-enclosed space where you can feast on a selection of dishes from all over Latin America.
The restaurant is a tribute to the owners family, honoring the comfort cooking of
their abuelita (grandmother).
Abuelita always wanted to make sure that her children and grandkids were full, so count on receiving generous portions. Like with their abuelita, the owners make sure that every dish is prepared with tender loving care.
Make no mistake, though; this is elevated Latin cuisine. Each and every dish is Instagram-worthy. The culinary team adds their own contemporary twists to abuelita's home-cooking masterpieces.
One of the kitchen's most popular dishes is the Ropa Vieja. Tasty and beyond filling, this plate consists of Cuban-style seasoned shredded beef, yellow rice, sweet plantains, and black beans.
You'll also want to try, (but NOT on the same day!), the equally filling Alambre,
which has a huge portion of grilled beef topped with peppers and onions, accompanied by rice and guacamole.
You might want to check out their selection of Arepas, which are fried corn cakes. The Mafalda is a very interesting choice. Your corn cake is topped up with ham, Spanish cheese and pineapple.
Seafood options include paella Acento style, which is meant for sharing and the delightful tuna del Carmen which is a tuna steak covered in a special sauce.
The sauce is Abuelita's secret concoction. No one but the chef knows exactly what's in it. But it is GOOD!
Location and Hours
33-06 Ditmars Blvd.
Astoria, N.Y. 11105
Monday to Thursday 11 AM to 10 PM
Friday to Sunday 11 AM to 2 AM
Hamido Seafood - Astoria
The family that owns this cute, intimate restaurant likes to say that they " See seafood differently". And, indeed, they do.
Originally from Alexandria, Egypt, the owners give their valued customers a rather unique and delectable spin on a wide variety of treasures from the ocean. From the tasty but never overdone seasoning that adorns your fish to a plethora of veggie-centric sides, you will relish every bite!
One can never go wrong on a date when bringing your love to a seafood restaurant. Especially one such as Hamido. Here you will be pampered by the servers and it's a fun atmosphere. The decor theme is nautical yet hip and contemporary at the same time.
After you have been seated, you will be directed to the refrigerated fish counter where you and your date can choose your entree from a wide array of freshly caught fish. That's how they do things at the finest seafood restaurants in the Mediterranean region. Plan to immerse yourself in the experience. You are in full control of what you will be eating.
To accompany your seafood entree, choose from side offerings that will tempt your palate and tantalize your eyes. On the menu, you'll find Greek-style lemon potatoes, seasoned rice, tahini, beet salad, veggie moussaka, babaganoush, and beet salad.
Right now, Hamido is offering a sensational $16.99 lunch special. Available Monday through Saturday from 12 PM to 4 PM choose from fried tilapia with Mediterranean fries, grilled Bronzini with olive oil and garlic, linguini, shrimp and scallops in a light garlic sauce, a lovely salmon burger on pita bread and so much more! A must-try is their signature seafood pizza.
Hungry patrons will also find clams and lobster are available for both lunch and dinner.
If you're at all familiar with Astoria, you'll know that there are a ton of seafood places in the neighborhood. They all have something good to offer. But, Hamido does its own thing and, as far as discerning foodies and critics are concerned; that's more than enough!
Location and Hours :
3308 Ditmars Blvd.
Astoria, N.Y. 11105
Monday to Sunday: 12 PM to 10 PM
The Ditty - Astoria
No article about Ditmars' nightlife would be complete without mentioning at least
one bar. We've got a great one for you; The Ditty.
The Ditty has been around for a few years now and this place only seems to get better with age. Just like a fine wine, one might say and they've got plenty of that delicious liquid ready to pour. You'll not be going thirsty here.
The atmosphere is mellow. True, the decor is nothing fancy, but the lights set a mood so romance and relationships do tend to bloom here on date night. The Ditty just has that effect on you.
There's always something intriguing happening here. During the warmer months, The Ditty is proud to host Movie Tuesdays at 8:30 PM. They have a nice little backyard where you can catch all manner of classic flicks.
All year-round, though, it's Happy Hour time, Monday through Friday between 4 and 7 PM. Bring your cash, plastic, or whatever, and treat yourself and those you love to a classic cocktail for only $8. Fancy an Old Fashioned? They've got it. How about a Daiquiri, Negroni, or a Vodka Collins? The barkeeps will be delighted to mix one up for you.
A mere six dollars will get you your choice of spirits, (gin, rum, tequila and whiskey), with any mixer.
Not through yet, by the way. A nice glass of white, red rose, or sparkling wine can be yours for that aforementioned $6. Select beers such as a Radeburger Pilsner are yours for five bucks.
Some of The Ditty's signature cocktails include the time to party Head Hancho, a buzzy blend of Silver Tequila, mezcal, ancho chili, hibiscus and lime.
Their Coconut Coffee Martini will most definitely make a move on your senses. You will savor every sip of this drink which contains coconut Clement rum, Mr. Black's Coffee Liqueur along Mighty Oak cold brew.
Do NOT ignore Steady Freddy, a devilishly potent mix of rye whiskey, Amaro CIO Cairo, Benedictine, and Rosemary.
When drinking, it is always a wise idea to have a round of water, every now and then, as well as a little food. Don't want to get drunk and embarrass oneself in front of the date, now, do we?
Lucky for us all, then, that The Ditty's fine kitchen turns out some elevated bar bites. Their menu takes you round and round the world from Korea and New Orleans to Mexico.
The Redneck Korean Sandwich features Korean-style fried chicken, a garlic-soy marinade, Gochujang aioli and pickles on a sesame seed bun.
You'll almost feel that it's Mardi Gras time when you sink your teeth into the Shrimp Po'Boy which has a generous portion of Old Bay shrimp, spicy cabbage slaw, a touch of cilantro and a splash of lime.
Not feeling carnivorous tonight? No worries. Try the kitchen's tasty charred Mexican street corn, complete with Cotija cheese, cilantro, and outrageous lime cream. You will ask for MORE!
If the first date was a rousing success then why not set up an encore for brunch?
The Ditty has all of your favorite brunch cocktails and a pretty nifty menu to boot. The thick-cut Brioche French Toast with grilled peaches and Bourbon maple syrup is always a hit, as is the hearty breakfast burrito, stuffed with scrambled eggs, bacon cheddar cheese and a dollop of spicy mayo.
Two other brunch delights are the shrimp and polenta with charred tomatoes and Shakshuka, which is eggs poached in tomato sauce accompanied by goat cheese and grilled sourdough bread.
Location and Hours :
3503 Ditmars Blvd.
Astoria, N.Y. 11105
Monday to Thursday 4 PM to 4 AM
Saturday and Sunday 12 PM to 4 AM