Want to make your home in the Big Apple? Discover the best neighborhoods in Queens
If you’re planning to move to New York City, you’ll need to decide which borough to call home. While places like Manhattan and Brooklyn often come to mind first, many people decide to settle in Queens. This borough is popular because it offers diversity, more affordable housing, old-school charm, and plenty to do. Once you decide to make your way to Queens, the next decision is selecting the best Queens neighborhood for you.
This selection process can be a little overwhelming at first because Queens contains more than 90 different neighborhoods. This is more than any other part of NYC. To help you find your new home, we’ve created a guide to the best neighborhoods in Queens. Read on to determine whether you want to live in Astoria or Sunnyside.
Astoria is one of the best neighborhoods in Queens for young professionals
If you need to commute to Manhattan for work, Astoria could be the neighborhood for you. At just a 20-minute subway ride to the city, getting to work in places like Midtown Manhattan is quick and easy from Astoria. As for housing, private apartments and coliving spaces are available in this western Queens neighborhood for less than many other parts of the city.
When it comes to passing the time in Astoria, there’s plenty to do. If you enjoy spending time outside, you can make your way to the beautiful and historic Astoria Park. This outdoor space features amazing views because it sits on the East River right near the Hell Gate Bridge. In addition to the views, Astoria Park also offers trails, basketball courts, tennis courts, and playgrounds. It’s also famous for having the oldest and largest pool in the city.
Astoria Park isn’t the only place that stands out in Astoria, though. You can also find upscale restaurants like Trattoria L’incontro and Christos Steak House. The neighborhood’s diversity means that you can find eateries that feature food from around the world. This Queens neighborhood also boasts beer gardens like Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden as well as a vibrant nightlife scene that rivals areas like Williamsburg and Bushwick.
Forest Hills is one of the best places to live in Queens, NY
This eastern Queens neighborhood is famous for offering a suburban feel while still being a convenient subway-ride away from Lower and Upper Manhattan. You’ll find everything from row houses with manicured lawns on tree-lined streets to cool high-rises for people looking for apartment living.
Forest Hills also has a reputation for offering some of the best green spaces in the Queens Borough. Two of the most popular parks include Forest Park to the south and Flushing Meadows Park to the north. Forest Park brings together the best of natural beauty like hiking trails, bridle paths, and man-made delights that include everything from a golf course to playgrounds. As for Flushing Meadows Park, it offers a great combination of sports, nature and history. It even served as the site of two World’s Fairs.
This neighborhood is also a great place to shop and grab a bite to eat. The farmer’s market at Forest Hills Greenmarket is always a hit, as are the boutiques on Austin Street. When it comes to eateries, there’s something for just about everyone, from Cuban food at Cabana to formal Italian dining at Portofino Ristorante. Finally, if you’re a music lover, you can visit Forest Hills Stadium to enjoy a concert.
Jamaica Estates is part of the “capital city” of the Queens Borough
Newcomers to Queens may confuse Jamaica and Jamaica Estates, due to their similar names. However, Jamaica itself is mostly a retail and commercial area. In contrast, Jamaica Estates is more residential. As one of the best neighborhoods in Queens, Jamaica Estates tends to be quieter and feel more suburban. People in the area tend to live in classic single-family homes that provide easy access to Manhattan and great schools.
One of the benefits of living in this south-central Queens neighborhood is that it’s so close to all the fun and interesting shops, restaurants and activities in Jamaica. Along Jamaica Avenue, you’ll discover everything from bargain shops that are a deal hunter’s paradise to trendy shops like Jimmy Jazz, which specializes in hip hop and urban apparel. For entertainment, you can stop by the 400-seat Jamaica Performing Arts Center.
As for food, you won’t be disappointed. One of the most popular restaurants in Jamaica is Sybil’s Bakery NYC, which specializes in Caribbean, specifically Guyanese, cuisine. If Spanish and Portuguese food is more your style, O Lavrador has been serving it up in Jamaica Queens for four decades. If you’re looking for a drink, you can find everything from Irish pubs like Maloney’s to sports bars like PreGame Sports Bar & Lounge.
Long Island City has emerged as one of the best neighborhoods in Queens
More people have been flocking to the Long Island City neighborhood lately, which has helped the area become one to rival even the hottest destinations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Located in western Queens, Long Island City offers diverse art galleries, award-winning restaurants, fun bars and breweries, and a nightlife scene that can please anyone. Check out our Long Island City Brewery Guide for the best spots to visit during a night out. You can find housing options that range from apartments and condos to small single-family homes.
Long Island City offers something for everyone when it comes to activities. Film buffs can visit the Museum of the Moving Image, which is famous for offering interactive exhibits that provide a hands-on approach to learning about filmmaking. People who love rock-climbing will be happy to learn that The Cliffs offers both daily climbing passes and memberships.
Finding Long Island City restaurants is never a challenge because there’s so much variety. There’s Beija Flor, which serves up Brazilian cuisine, and there’s SHI, which offers Asian fusion dishes and enticing views of the Manhattan skyline. Speaking of Manhattan, if you do decide to venture outside of Long Island City, you can use the subway and be in Midtown Manhattan in just a matter of minutes.
Ridgewood offers beautiful diversity and a proud history
More of a residential neighborhood, Ridgewood features a combination of affordable apartments and single-family homes in Queens. When you move into this area, you can expect a quieter, neighborhood vibe where you get to know the people around you. Part of the beauty of Ridgewood is its diversity. The two largest ethnic groups are Hispanic and Polish, but everyone from Asian to Egyptian descent call Ridgewood home.
Foodies tend to love Ridgewood because it’s full of delicious eateries. You can find cuisine from all around the world, which means you can enjoy Himalayan momos one day and mouthwatering Korean delights the next. Some of the most popular places to grab a bite to eat include Ltauha for upscale American eats, Antica Trattoria for Italian dishes and Rosa’s Pizza for a slice.
This Queens neighborhood is also famous for its history. In fact, it’s home to 10 National Historic Districts and three NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission Landmark Districts. Some notable landmarks in Ridgewood include the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House (built in 1661) and the Ridgewood Theater Building.
Sunnyside is a Queens neighborhood that’s just as lovely as its name suggests
No list of the best neighborhoods in Queens would be complete without mentioning Sunnyside. This area overlooks the East River and provides easy access to Manhattan via the subway. Although this neighborhood is convenient to the heart of the Big Apple, it still offers a suburban, middle-class vibe. You can find apartments, coliving spaces, and condos, and many of the residents come together to hang out in a private community garden.
The beautiful diversity of the Queens Borough really shines through in the cuisine of Sunnyside. Popular eateries include Bolivian Llama Party for South American delights, Bajeko Sekuwa for mouthwatering momos or dumplings, and Cardamon Indian Cuisine for traditional Indian fare. You can also grab a tasty burger and beer when you visit Donovan’s Pub.
In addition to eating and drinking, there are plenty of other things to do in Sunnyside Queens. If you enjoy finding a bargain, you won’t want to miss visiting Sunnyside Thrift Shop, which offers a true thrifting experience. You may also want to consider the members-only park called Sunnyside Gardens Park, which offers sports, biking, skating, and special events.
Let us help you find your home in the best places to live in Queens, NY
Now that you’ve decided to make your home in one of the best neighborhoods in Queens, let us help you get settled. We offer fully furnished coliving spaces at ALTA by Common. You can enjoy city living for an attainable price by renting a private room in a fully-furnished and all-inclusive shared suite. We also offer studios as well as one- and two-bedroom apartments in popular cities around the United States. Explore our apartments to find your perfect home today!