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Sunnyside, Queens: What to eat, see and more

For a diverse neighborhood that’s close to the subway — without Manhattan or Brooklyn prices — take a ride on the 7 to Sunnyside.

Go quickly though, as this Queens gem is no longer a secret, and demand for real estate here is growing.

The friendly neighborhood draws in visitors thanks to its mom-and-pop shops and kitschy eateries.

The area is known for its “Sunnyside” arch, a 25-foot-tall sign along the 46th Street shopping district, and Sunnyside Gardens — rows of one-to-three family houses built in the 1920s and arranged around small green spaces.

“It’s quite picturesque [and] people are very friendly and proud to be from Sunnyside,” said Pauline Reddington, 36, a resident and bartender at Venturo on Queens Boulevard.

In the early 1900s, the neighborhood was a landing point for Irish immigrants looking for factory work in New York. But in recent decades there has been an influx of other cultures, including immigrants from Latin American countries, Asia and the Middle East, along with millennial transplants from other parts of the city.

Those millennials are particularly drawn to Queens Boulevard’s strip of bars, such as Molly Bloom's and The Courtyard, and restaurants like Salt & Fat, which offers complimentary popcorn cooked in bacon fat and small dinner plates like Korean BBQ wraps.

Husband and wife Megan, 31, and Joe Incantalupo, 33, can attest to the great food in the area.

“My wife and I are foodies, and we love how the community has grown to include great new restaurants,” Joe Incantalupo said.

They’re particularly fond of the recently opened Dumplings & Things on 46th Street and Jack's Fire Department on Skillman Avenue.

“We support our friends who own restaurants and bars in the neighborhood, we attend community events like the Taste of Sunnyside,” said Megan Incantalupo, referring to an annual festival thrown by the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District that features various neighborhood eateries.

But even more than the restaurant scene, the Incantalupos love their neighbors.

“I grew up in suburban Massachusetts and I really love the feeling of community [here],” Megan Incantalupo said.

The great food and comfortable community are fueling Sunnyside’s increasingly hot real estate market.

In 2015, the median asking price for a one-bedroom in Sunnyside was $269,000 in the sales market and $1,850 per month for a rental, up from $245,000 and $1,750 in 2014, according to the real estate listings site StreetEasy.

Overall, the median sales price of homes jumped 20.4%, from $248,250 in 2014 to $299,000 in 2015, and the median monthly rental price rose 8.3%, from $1,800 in 2014 to $1,950 in 2015, according to the site.

“It’s not cheap around here,” said Irene Cook, 65, while running errands on 46th Street.

Her husband, Jim Cook, 72, agreed: “It’s become a lot more popular and prices in Sunnyside keep going up.”

Find it:

Sunnyside is bound by Skillman Avenue to the north, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to the south, Newtown Creek to the west and 52nd Street to the east, according to StreetEasy.

To eat

Chihuahua Mexican Restaurant & Cantina47-02 Greenpoint Ave.The Sunnyside
Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

Chihuahua Mexican Restaurant & Cantina

47-02 Greenpoint Ave.

The Sunnyside spot for an authentic Mexican meal. Tip: The enchiladas verdes and chorizo quesadillas pair nicely with the homemade tortillas and a margarita or two.


Dumplings & Things

45-26 46th St.

A modern Asian restaurant that has no wait staff. A $1 scoop of mochi is a must after a pork platter or braised beef noodle soup. Cash only.



43-24 Greenpoint Ave.

This restaurant is Sunnyside's Italian grandmother who makes sure you do not leave dinner hungry, thanks to dishes like stuffed focaccia bread with bresaola or prosciutto, parmigiano and mozzarella and Nutella pizza.

To shop

Stray Vintage48-09 Skillman Ave.A small, hip shop that
Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

Stray Vintage

48-09 Skillman Ave.

A small, hip shop that sells T-shirts that say "Queens," mirrors, framed pictures and all-things skulls. Its wall of records features everything from Pink Floyd to Neutral Milk Hotel.


Sunnyside Thrift Shop

45-12 Greenpoint Ave.

A wall of bookshelves lines the right-hand side of this thrift store. Shoppers can also browse racks of jeans, skirts, dresses, coats and shoes. Jewelry and accessories are up front near the cash register -- right across from a selection of $4 DVDs and $2 CDs.


Parrot Coffee

45-15 Queens Blvd.

Parrot taps into Sunnyside's diverse community by offering specialty European foods, with an emphasis on Mediterranean and Balkan dishes. Recipes for tasty treats like Bulgarian nut cake, baklava and Jagerschnitzel can be found on its website.

To party

Venturo Osteria & Wine Bar44-07 Queens Blvd.Venturo offers
Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

Venturo Osteria & Wine Bar

44-07 Queens Blvd.

Venturo offers a trendy take on Italian cuisine with a modern ambiance, vibrant music and a menu with fun items like the "Hangover Pizza," which includes potatoes, pancetta, sausage, fried eggs and spicy tomato sauce. "There are like three dozen Italian restaurants in this neighborhood, and this one has a different feel," said brunch-goer Mike Madden, 24.

Molly Blooms

43-13 Queens Blvd.

Molly Blooms is a Queens Boulevard pub with Victorian-era inspiration. Bar-goers can have a glass of craft beer or a Bloody Mary while listening to folk tunes. Patrons can enjoy their spirits in the garden during warmer months.

Courtyard Ale House

40-18 Queens Blvd.

The spot known for its craft-beer selection and covered patio offers everything from college football games to live music, comedy shows and an annual Halloween party.

To do

Apollonia Gallery and Cafe48-14 Skillman Ave.There's a little
Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

Apollonia Gallery and Cafe

48-14 Skillman Ave.

There's a little bit of everything at Apollonia: vintage furniture, oil paintings, a cafe and art classes. Come to shop, munch or create.

Thalia Spanish Theatre

41-17 Greenpoint Ave.

This theater taps into Spanish and Latin American culture with a variety of dances, plays and musicals. Thalia also offers theater and dance workshops, acting and producing classes and more.

Sunnyside Gardens Park

Barnett Avenue between 48th and 50th streets

Take a walk through the park's community garden, play tennis or attend seasonal events like the holiday boutique and Memorial Day Fair.

The basics

TransportationTrains:7 to 33rd Street, 40th Street-Lowery Street, 46th
Photo Credit: Linda Rosier



7 to 33rd Street, 40th Street-Lowery Street, 46th Street-Bliss Street, 52nd Street


B24, Q24, Q32, Q39, Q60, Q67, Q104


Sunnyside is one of three neighborhoods -- in addition to Long Island City and Woodside -- covered by the 108th Precinct at 5-47 50th Ave. The precinct reported one robbery and two burglaries in the week of Feb. 15-21, according to its CompStat report. It reported one murder and three rapes in all of 2015.

In the movies

Lights, camera, action! Movies that have filmed in Sunnyside include the Kate Hudson chick-flick "Raising Helen" and the Tobey Maguire "Spider-Man" series, as well as "The Believer," "Sleepers" and "The Back-up Plan."

Market data

Median sales price: $299,000 Number of units on
Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

Median sales price: $299,000

Number of units on the market: 122

Median rental price: $1,950

Number of rentals on the market: 1,323

(Source: StreetEasy)

The buzz

You don't have to leave New York to
Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

You don't have to leave New York to see the world -- you just have to watch some indie films.

From March 15-20, film buffs are in for a treat with the Queens World Film Festival, which will screen 143 films from 23 countries across the borough, with a bit of Sunnyside in the mix.

This is the first time that the six-year-old festival will hold screenings in Sunnyside.

"I love how welcoming the neighborhood is," Katha Cato, executive director of the festival, said of Sunnyside. "I like how it epitomizes the world's borough."

All Saints' Episcopal Church on 46th Street will offer an intimate setting and seat roughly 100 people for screenings of films such as "Hanka's Tattoo," a story of a New York City doctor who gets the same tattoo his mother received at Auschwitz.

The venue isn't the only bit of Sunnyside featured in the festival; the film "Saving Jamaica Bay" was produced by Sunnyside resident Daniel Hendrick.

Q&A with Choi Fairbanks, director of Sunnyside String School

Sunnyside String School, at 43-12 46th St., has
Photo Credit: Mayan Abecasis

Sunnyside String School, at 43-12 46th St., has been offering programs in music, theater, science and other arts to neighborhood youth since 2008. Founder and director Choi Fairbanks, 41, gave us the Sunnyside scoop.

Why did you open this school in Sunnyside?

[Sunnyside is] a very art-oriented place. Parents were looking for art enrichment for their kids and they would bring them to Manhattan, and that's a hassle. There's no need -- this neighborhood has a lot of resources.

How would you describe the people here?

We're a very friendly, old New York City neighborhood [and] a very close community. Everyone is from everywhere. We are very open-minded [toward] other cultures.

If you were to compare Sunnyside to a fictional movie, show or book, what would it be?

It's like [the TV show] "Friends" because everyone knows everyone. You call friends after the kids go to sleep and you [hang] out. The rent is expensive, so you have to share [living space] a lot.

What would you do if it was your last day in the nabe?

I would go to Sik Gaek [at 49-11 Roosevelt Ave.]. It's a Korean restaurant and they have live octopus that they cook in front of you.


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