Things to Do Astoria-Ditmars, Queens: What to do, eat and drink in the neighborhood By Dana Reszutek email@example.com Updated May 17, 2017 3:59 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email There's something about Astoria's Ditmars neighborhood that truly feels like a community. Strolling down 31st Street, you may feel like you're in Manhattan, with chains like Artichoke Pizza popping up along the bustling road. But local spots still reign, with restaurants, shops and more owned and operated for decades by Queens residents. Hop on the N or W and take it to Astoria-Ditmars north of Hoyt Avenue for a true neighborhood experience. Here's where to go while you're there. Order your go-to at Neptune Diner Photo Credit: Dana Reszutek Neptune Diner, at 3105 Astoria Blvd. S., is one of the few true diners left in New York. The restaurant is located just under the Astoria Boulevard N and W subway stop -- you can feel the rumbling of the trains at your table. Its 24/7 hours are ideal for locals seeking a late-night snack or travelers heading to LaGuardia Airport. Grab a coffee to go -- or order your go-to diner meal -- before you venture into Ditmars. Stroll through Astoria Park with your coffee Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner With a takeout cup of diner coffee in hand, make your way to Astoria Park, about a 15-minute walk west of Neptune Diner, along 19 Street between Astoria Park South and Ditmars Boulevard. Head to the park's playgrounds, walking trails, basketball courts or its massive public pool (weather permitting). The waterfront park boasts Instagram-worthy views of the East River, as well as the Triborough and Hell Gate bridges. (Hell Gate, pictured, turned 100 in 2017.) Grab a seat on a bench and soak in the scenery. Slurp on authentic ramen at HinoMaru Photo Credit: HinoMaru If you're looking to carbo-load after your walk or run in the park, HinoMaru, located at 33-18 Ditmars Blvd., will do the trick. The ramen eatery serves up an authentic take on the Japanese meal, offering classic noodle dishes by region, served in either a traditional tonkotsu (pork bone), vegetable or chicken broth. Hit The Brass Owl and local thrift shops Photo Credit: The Brass Owl You don't need to rely on Fifth Avenue in Manhattanfor quality shopping. Local boutique The Brass Owl, at 36-19 Ditmars Blvd., is relatively new to the area -- it opened in 2014. It offers a variety of shoes and jewelry and is a great place to find unique gifts -- or pick up something for yourself. The Brass Owl works with Queens brands and other jewelry designers to host pop-ups and other events at the store (Check its Facebook page for more information.) Astoria-Ditmars also has a strong thrift store scene; second-hand shops include Ditmars Thrift, at 31-20 Ditmars Blvd., and Buffalo Exchange, at 29-16 Ditmars Blvd. Nosh on better-than-bar food at The Ditty Photo Credit: Dana Reszutek Head to The Ditty, at 35-03 Ditmars Blvd., a bar with a neighborhood vibe that's stocked with board games, from Scrabble to Candy Land. Be sure to try the bar's most raved-about dishes: Buffalo cauliflower ($8) and fried chicken ($15). And try one (or more) of its unique cocktails, like the Head Hancho ($11), pictured, made with tequila, Mezcal, chili hibiscus and lime. It's one of the cocktails that have remained on the menu since The Ditty's 2015 opening. While most mixed drinks are made the old-fashioned way, the bar has one rotating cocktail on tap. Also on tap: a nice selection of beer and wine. Insider tip: You can catch a weekly free flick Photo Credit: Dana Reszutek Check out the back room of The Ditty Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. for a weekly free movie screening that always brings a crowd. The atrium's glass ceiling acts as a retractable roof, and it's opened during the summer months. Head to Lefkos Pirgos Café for an authentic Greek treat Photo Credit: Dana Reszutek A historically Greek neighborhood, Astoria boasts an impressive variety of eateries and bakeries offering a taste of Greece. And just down the street from your fried chicken and drinks destination lies a great option for dessert. Lefkos Pirgos Café, at 33-02 Ditmars Blvd., offers a variety of authentic eats, bringing in Greek locals and American dessert lovers alike. Though Lefkos Pirgos has been a Ditmars establishment for more than 30 years, it recently reopened in a new location, just blocks from where the original bakery stood (now a Time Warner Cable store). The bakery's Greek owner works the shop most days -- the extensive hours are 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. -- making sure all of the dessert cases are kept filled. Embrace your creativity at Q.E.D. Photo Credit: Kambri Crews Whether you're looking for a free comedy show or to try something new, Q.E.D., located at 27-16 23rd Ave., is a unique spot to check out. With the motto "an after-school space for grown-ups," Q.E.D. likes to bring the creative side out of everyone, offering a variety of classes, from origami to improv. The venue also serves as a bar and a performance space, with a show schedule ranging from standup to storytelling. The small stage has seen the likes of big names, including Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, so you never know what level of laughs you'll get at the venue's comedy nights. Nightcap at... a hardware store? Photo Credit: Dana Reszutek You may accidentally walk past this craft cocktail bar a few times before finding the door. Hidden behind a front of a very convincing hardware store -- it actually smells like your neighborhood Ace Hardware -- is one of the newest high-end bars. Not even a full year in business, having opening in August 2016, The Last Word, located at 31-30 Ditmars Blvd., has already established itself as a go-to place for unique drinks. Snag yourself a reservation -- this place gets packed on weekends -- and try a cocktail from its extensive menu. By Dana Reszutek firstname.lastname@example.org Share on Facebook Share on Twitter More on this topic Explore 34 new-to-you neighborhoodsCheck out Bushwick, Morningside Heights, LIC & more neighborhoods. Explore Jackson Heights: What to do when you get thereChow down, stock up on South Asian groceries and dance the night away. Your ultimate guide to SunnysideHop on the 7 train to 46th Street and Queens Boulevard to get started. Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.