77° Good Evening
77° Good Evening
Things to Do

What to do and eat in Sunnyside, Queens

Though it is called Sunnyside, this Queens neighborhood tends to get overshadowed by more popular outer-borough destinations nearby like Long Island City and Astoria. But if you’re the kind of explorer who likes to travel off the beaten path, you’ll find that Sunnyside has its own share of eclectic shops, ethnic eateries, and even iconic landmarks to immerse yourself in.

From your first cup of coffee in the morning to an evening show, we’ve got a full day of activities for your trip to Sunnyside. Hop on the 7 train to 46th Street and Queens Boulevard to get started.

Energize your body and mind at Coffee Tossy

Start your day with a Colombian cup o'
Photo Credit: Coffee Tossy

Start your day with a Colombian cup o' joe at Coffee Tossy, a beautifully decorated coffee shop on Greenpoint Avenue that serves up South American delicacies and more. Owner and longtime Sunnyside resident William Chaca opened it last year after noticing a scarcity of traditional, sit-down coffee shops in the area. Now it's the place for locals looking to avoid the fast-food taste and noisy ambience of Starbucks and other chain stores. Coffee Tossy also offers a variety of soups, salads, sandwiches and delicious pastries to go with your drink. There's also WiFi for those hoping to get some work done while they eat. (42-14 Greenpoint Ave, 929-522-0944)

Go bargain hunting at Sunnyside Thrift Shop

From old VHS tapes to designer dresses for
Photo Credit: Christa Lopez

From old VHS tapes to designer dresses for $10 a pop, there's something for everyone at this local favorite among Queens bargain hunters. Looking to fill your bookcase? The shop offers a huge selection of well-thumbed fiction and nonfiction titles. Moving into a new home? Decorate the place with an antique dining table or a mahogany chest of drawers. The shop can get overwhelming, like many messy thrift stores, but the staff is pleasant and always willing to help. Spend a few hours here after breakfast parsing through the collection; with savings this big, you won't want to walk out empty-handed. (45-14 Greenpoint Ave., 718-786-7780)

Eat your fill at I Love Paraguay

There are few restaurants in New York that
Photo Credit: I Love Paraguay

There are few restaurants in New York that offer Paraguayan cuisine. After trying the food at I Love Paraguay you'll wonder why there aren't more.

Husband-and-wife team Nancy and Carlos Ojeda run this cozy South American joint together, cooking up sweet and savory recipes from their homeland. The most popular dishes are rich in flavor, like the chipa guazu, a traditional creamy corn cake; the palmito empanadas, pastries filled with cheese and hearts of palm; and the chilean empanadas (pictured), which are stuffed with beef and egg. Dessert options are just as extensive, from arroz con leche (rice pudding) to passion fruit mousse. With food this heavy in calories, you're sure to leave the restaurant feeling full and satisfied. (4316 Greenpoint Ave., 718-786-5534,

Stock up on fresh java at Baruir's Coffee

Why buy Dunkin' Donuts blend when you can
Photo Credit: Baruir's Coffee

Why buy Dunkin' Donuts blend when you can stock up on freshly ground coffee from a local business steeped in tradition? Baruir's Coffee has been a neighborhood mainstay since 1966, the year that owner Mike Nersesian's parents emigrated from Romania to Sunnyside with their coffee roasting business. Today, Nersesian and his wife run the shop. Watch in awe as your coffee beans are make their way through the massive grinder by the entrance -- a machine as much part of the store decor's as its menu. Buy a pound for later or order a fresh cup at the counter. Baruir's offers hot and iced versions (with coffee ice cubes), as well as cappuccinos and lattes. (40-07 Queens Blvd., 718-784-0842)

Marvel at the iconic Sunnyside Arch

New Yorkers aren't very prone to looking up
Photo Credit: Esha Ray

New Yorkers aren't very prone to looking up while they walk, but the Sunnyside Arch on 46th Street and the south side of Queens Boulevard might give you an excuse to raise your eyes to the skies. This 25-foot, Art Deco-style landmark is a relic of the 1980s. On a sunny day, the bright blue sign and silver arches can be seen from a block away; at night, the arch lights up the sky with the help of hundreds of tiny light bulbs. Two years ago, 46th Street was renamed "Luke Adams Way" to honor the man who helped build the neighborhood icon. With a landmark this old, there's always something that needs to be repaired to help keep the arch in tip-top shape. But year after year, it remains standing tall, a testament to the close-knit community.

Buy a last-minute gift at Stray Vintage

If you're looking for a unique gift idea,
Photo Credit: Stray Vintage

If you're looking for a unique gift idea, Stray Vintage is the place to be. This quirky little gem on Skillman Avenue looks like the inside of a rich, old grandmother's living room on the Upper East Side. Fortunately, the prices here are nowhere near that expensive. From vintage jewelry to decorative wall art to mid-century furniture, you'll find it here. The shop also offers an extensive collection of old and new vinyl -- a big attraction for record collectors. Walking down Skillman Avenue, the tiny storefront is easy to miss among the brick facades, but once you spot it, the cute, handwritten sign will be enough to draw you in. (4809 Skillman Ave., 718-779-7795)

Get cultured at Thalia Hispanic Theatre

Thalia prides itself on being the
Photo Credit: Pablo Quinonez

Thalia prides itself on being the "first and only bilingual Hispanic theater in Queens," producing full-scale Spanish and English musicals, mariachi concerts and flamenco dance programs, just to name a few. The shows here aren't just colorful and entertaining; they're also award-winning, most recently earning the 2009 Mayor's Award for Arts and Culture.

Ticket prices range from $30 to $40, and the theater also holds arts and education workshops for young children. (41-17 Greenpoint Ave., Queens, 718-729-3880,


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

Things to Do Photos & Videos