If Queens weren’t a borough of New York City, it would be the most ethnically diverse city in the United States – and the nation’s fourth largest city in terms of population (interestingly, NYC would still top that list even without Queens). And one of the most diverse and popular neighborhoods in Queens is Astoria.
Astoria has long been associated with great food. Originally it was the Greeks, and then Spanish and Italian immigrants started to open up spots. And these days you can find more variety than the United Nations – on a single block.
One little gem I just discovered is Pao de Queijo, a hole-in-the-wall joint on 30th Street just north of Broadway (about two blocks from the Broadway stop on the N/R). There are plenty of eateries nearby, including a few others that specialize in Brazilian cuisine. But what drew me to this modest spot is their namesake, pao de queijo, which is a delicious cheesebread from Brazil. And at $3 for a serving of seven of these glorious little bread balls, it was well worth it. They even travel well, as you can quickly reheat them in the oven at home. But next time I might just dine-in because they have an interesting menu of Brazilian-American fare.