As more and more people leave Manhattan and Brooklyn due to soaring rental prices, Queens has become highly sought after, especially by the city’s most creative communities. The famously diverse borough – located on Long Island, across the East River from Manhattan – has something for everyone.
Each neighborhood offers something unique, from amazing (and cheap!) food to quick transit. If you’re moving to NYC, don’t sleep on this underappreciated borough. Here are three of the very best neighborhoods in Queens.
Home to Hispanic, Latinx, Polish, Asian, and Italian populations, Queens county remains the single most ethnically diverse urban area in the world. These cultures come into full fruition in Ridgewood. Not only can you try tons of different cuisines, but you can have rich experiences of the arts and enjoy a strong sense of community.
Ridgewood has grown noticeably over the last few years thanks to its prime location on the Brooklyn border. Hip Brooklyn neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Crown Heights have seen huge rent spikes, leaving many residents moving to the borough next door. With its vibrant independent businesses, relatively low crime rate, abundant single-family homes, and easy commute to lower Manhattan, Ridgewood has become a truly sought-after destination in its own right.
Not to mention, Ridgewood comprises of 10 National Historic Districts and three renowned landmark districts. You’ll never complain about being bored! Ridgewood has also gradually added hip cafes, restaurants, and shops to its directory, drawing more people to the neighborhood. Some of our favorites include the local pastry shop, Rudy’s Bakery and Cafe, and Topos Bookstore.
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With its incredible green spaces and bustling street life, Astoria perfectly captures the urbanized beauty of the city. The area has an ideal blend of residential buildings, schools, gardens, and businesses. Astoria Park in particular has one of the best views of the great concrete jungle, looking out over upper Manhattan and the Queensboro Bridge. It’s also fully equipped with playgrounds, tennis courts, and a public pool.
And if you’re feeling hungry in Astoria, we have good news. There’s a wealth of incredible Greek restaurants throughout the neighborhood – many of which are family-owned, generations-old businesses. While NYC doesn’t officially have a ‘little Greece’, Astoria comes pretty close. In other words, you’ll never run out of spanakopita options. Don’t forget to wash it all down with a pint from the Beer Garden at Bohemian Hall! And if you’re looking for an arts scene, there’s plenty to see – especially at the world-class Museum of the Moving Image.
Astoria’s location is also a huge benefit to residents. While the neighborhood feels far from the hubbub of Manhattan, it can take as little as 15 minutes to get there via public transportation, thanks to the N and W subway lines.
Long Island City
Long Island City recently became a household name when Amazon considered building a second headquarters there. But for longtime residents of LIC (as the area is affectionately called), Amazon’s interest was no surprise. The often-overlooked neighborhood offers everything – from cutting-edge cultural interests to beautiful green spaces and swanky restaurants.
If you’re a fan of the arts, check out MoMA PS1 – the Museum of Modern Art’s satellite chapter in LIC. Or drop in on the Chocolate Factory, an award-winning local theater. Long Island City is also one of the best places to live if you’re looking for green spaces. The Gantry Park State Plaza is a 12-acre boardwalk with beautiful views of Manhattan and the East River, as well as plenty of top-notch picnic spots.
Being such a short commute away from Manhattan, LIC gets the best of both worlds. It takes just 12 minutes to zip into the city via the 7 train. And while the average rent is rising in Long Island City, apartments are still affordable, and newly-arrived young professionals live alongside lifelong residents.
Putting the Pieces Together
When considering food, attractions, and general vibes, these three come out at top as the best neighborhoods in Queens. We love Ridgewood, the location of several of our beautiful coliving homes in New York. Take a free tour, and see for yourself.
Of course, no matter how well-prepared you are, moving to a new city can be stressful. For many people, hunting down a place to live is a full-time job. And if you already have a full-time job (or you’re looking for one), the task can feel overwhelming. Plus, you have to figure out how public transportation works, build your social life, and learn the basics (where to eat, shop, do laundry, etc.). And if your destination is a notoriously fast-paced city like New York, finding an affordable place you love might seem like a pipe dream.
That’s why Common exists. Coliving with Common allows you to reap all the benefits of group residences – lower rent, beautiful shared spaces, and friendly faces – without any of the hassle. You get a fully-furnished private room in a sunlit building with free amenities like professional cleaning and included kitchen basics. We take care of all the details so you can focus on more important things – whether that means finding a new gig or just finding the city’s best Baklava.
Learn more about coliving in New York City.