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A sunlit street with fluffy white clouds in a deep blue sky.
Steinway Street, seen from the outdoor patio of Little Morocco.

Eat Your Way Down Steinway Street

11 stellar spots for Egyptian seafood, Moroccan tagines, Sicilian slices, and (way) more

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Steinway Street, seen from the outdoor patio of Little Morocco.

There are many great grazing thoroughfares in Queens. Flushing’s Main Street comes to mind, and so does Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights and Corona, Hillside in Jamaica, and Ditmars in Astoria. Then, sticking up like a backbone in eastern Astoria, there’s the shopper’s — and eater’s — paradise otherwise known as Steinway Street.

Running north from the Steinway stop on the R, there’s a wonderland of eats to discover, including a long-running Greek and upcoming Mexican presence, pizzerias established decades ago, and lots of Egyptian, Lebanese, Moroccan, and other Middle Eastern and North African restaurants — all at reasonable prices. Here are some well worth a visit.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

This Palestinian fast-food establishment — renowned for its chicken shawarma, multiple permutations of hummus, and freshly fried falafels — supplements its roster of platters and sandwiches with wraps and modernistic bowls. Among the hummus options is one identified with Jerusalem, topped with hot favas and served with a choice of pocket or puffy pitas. Pick the latter, which are freshly baked.

A round serving of baba, with olive oil in the middle and sprinkles of red sumac and green parsley.
Duzan’s vaunted baba ghanoush.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Sabry's Seafood

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Sabry’s is a long-running Egyptian seafood joint, where a selection of very fresh fish (typically, sea bass, porgy, snappers, and mullets) can be had grilled, deep fried, or oven roasted. Grilled sardines are always a good choice, preceded perhaps by a plate of fried eggplant with tomato sauce, baba ghanoush, or a bowl of lobster bisque — and yes, the menu traipses into other regions of the Mediterranean, including things like shrimp scampi. This restaurant is a seafood lover’s paradise.

A bowl with shellfish and squid in a red broth.
Sabry’s “seafood mix soup,” a chef’s special.
Sabry’s

Little Morocco

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There are fancier Moroccan restaurants in Astoria, but Little Morocco is more like a diner, offering grilled meats, bread dips, coucouses, salads, and tagines in a modest and comfortable setting — with most of the seating outdoors, as if you were in Marrakech. The tagines are great one-dish meals: featuring a lamb shank, length of merguez sausage, crisp-skinned half chicken, or beef kofta cooked in the ceramic vessel served with a demi-baguette, picturesque and tasty.

A brown ceramic vessel with red sauce, meatballs, and poached eggs, with bread on the side.
Kofta tagine at Little Morocco.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Kabab Cafe

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This cluttered shoebox of a place run by Ali El Sayed has been extolled, first by Chowhound and then by Anthony Bourdain, as one of the best restaurants in Queens. No fixed menu to speak of, first make yourself at home and the chef will approach to discuss dining options. These are often in either an Egyptian or an Italian vein, and might include falafel, fava beans, a plate of grilled lamb chops, or gnocchi with pesto — much of it at Sayed’s whim. Cash only.

A striped round plate with all sorts of bread dips and vegetables, and apple slices to dip in them.
A vegetarian first course at Kabab Cafe.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Al Hanaa

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Al Hanaa is a compact store with a well-organized stock of Egyptian, Lebanese, Syrian, and Turkish groceries, with an emphasis on staples, snack foods, and canned goods — but go to the back of the store and find a grill offering sandwiches and platters. A chicken breast sandwich is particularly delicious, on a very long baguette, slathered with garlicy mayo and served with french fries and assorted pickles.

A sandwich on a baguette with fries and pickles.
Half a chicken breast sandwich from Al Hanaa, as the other half remains wrapped in white butcher paper.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Rizzo's Pizza

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Rizzo’s, founded in 1959 by Joe Rizzo, specializes in a type of pizza not seen elsewhere — a Sicilian square pie with the thinnest of crusts, which is the opposite of the usual focaccia-like Sicilian crust. The effect is stunning: the slices are rectangular with a slight crunch, and the tomato sauce on the sweet side, as Siciilan tomato sauces tend to be. Other toppings were added to the roster as the decades went by, but pick the plain cheese slice for maximum impact.

A rectangular slice on a white paper place with a spreading splotch of white cheese.
Rizzo’s grandma slice.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Franky's Souvlaki

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Franky’s bright blue truck has been parked at the corner of 31st Avenue and Steinway since the 1970s, according to owner Franky Englezos — and for 24 hours a day for most of that time. It is quite certainly the city’s most famous souvlaki truck, and two fragrant vertical spits display pork and chicken gyros. The pork is especially succulent, carved from the twirling cylinder just as it’s served, unrepentantly tasting of herbs and pork fat. Greek sausage and lamb kebabs (the latter referred to as “sticks”) also worth trying.

A flat pita with grilled pork, lettuce, and purple onions piles high with white sauce.
Pork gyro at Franky’s Souvlaki.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Steinway Pizza

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Astoria is dotted with excellent neighborhood pizza parlors, and this is one of the best. The number of pizzas offered by the slice is modest, the dining room comfortable, and the usual pastas, pizza rolls, party trays, hero sandwiches, and Greek salads offered as accessories. The plain cheese slice and white slices are favorites, with a thin undercrust, modest circumferential crust, and cheese a notch better than others and notably profuse.

A white wedge with yellowish cheese and dabs of whitish ricotta on top.
The white slice at Steinway Pizza.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Birria NYC

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As NYC’s birria trend continues to rise, it was inevitable that a restaurant would open up with a laser focus on the dish and all its expanding usages. This former pizzeria right around the corner on Broadway does just that, and you can get enchiladas, ramen, burgers, and nachos, in addition to tacos, but the place where the rubber meets the road is the birria pizza. The density of meat and richness of the consomme suggests no one can eat more than one slice.

A pizza with white cheese and stringy dark red meat, with soup and green guac on the side.
Behold — birria pizza! At Birria NYC.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

New York City Bagel & Coffee House

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How far can a bagel shop go in its pursuit of becoming a full restaurant? The number of bagel types and flavors of cream cheese — plus the salads like tuna or whitefish to be spread over the tops — is either thrilling or discouraging, depending on whether you’re a bagel purist or not. The bagels here tend to be big and doughy, making for very filling sandwiches. The coffee is good, and the seating ample inside and out, which is why many enjoy lingering here.

A counter with bagels in bins and chalkboard above the counter, as several patrons look on.
The number of choices at NYC Bagel can be bewildering.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Thonglor Thai

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Thonglor is named after a Bangkok neighborhood and distinguishes itself from other Astorian Thai restaurants — of which there are many — by offering premium ingredients in familiar recipes. There are separate sections of salmon filet, whole red snapper, and duck. The version of duck panang curry (a yellow curry) is particularly good, with a sauce that packs a bit of heat, a half duck bursting with roasted flavor, and ripe avocado fanned out and laid beside the amphibious bird.

A browned duck leg sticks straight up out of a yellow sauce, with a cone of rice in the background.
One of several duck curries available at Thonglor.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Duzan

A round serving of baba, with olive oil in the middle and sprinkles of red sumac and green parsley.
Duzan’s vaunted baba ghanoush.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This Palestinian fast-food establishment — renowned for its chicken shawarma, multiple permutations of hummus, and freshly fried falafels — supplements its roster of platters and sandwiches with wraps and modernistic bowls. Among the hummus options is one identified with Jerusalem, topped with hot favas and served with a choice of pocket or puffy pitas. Pick the latter, which are freshly baked.

A round serving of baba, with olive oil in the middle and sprinkles of red sumac and green parsley.
Duzan’s vaunted baba ghanoush.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Sabry's Seafood

A bowl with shellfish and squid in a red broth.
Sabry’s “seafood mix soup,” a chef’s special.
Sabry’s

Sabry’s is a long-running Egyptian seafood joint, where a selection of very fresh fish (typically, sea bass, porgy, snappers, and mullets) can be had grilled, deep fried, or oven roasted. Grilled sardines are always a good choice, preceded perhaps by a plate of fried eggplant with tomato sauce, baba ghanoush, or a bowl of lobster bisque — and yes, the menu traipses into other regions of the Mediterranean, including things like shrimp scampi. This restaurant is a seafood lover’s paradise.

A bowl with shellfish and squid in a red broth.
Sabry’s “seafood mix soup,” a chef’s special.
Sabry’s

Little Morocco

A brown ceramic vessel with red sauce, meatballs, and poached eggs, with bread on the side.
Kofta tagine at Little Morocco.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

There are fancier Moroccan restaurants in Astoria, but Little Morocco is more like a diner, offering grilled meats, bread dips, coucouses, salads, and tagines in a modest and comfortable setting — with most of the seating outdoors, as if you were in Marrakech. The tagines are great one-dish meals: featuring a lamb shank, length of merguez sausage, crisp-skinned half chicken, or beef kofta cooked in the ceramic vessel served with a demi-baguette, picturesque and tasty.

A brown ceramic vessel with red sauce, meatballs, and poached eggs, with bread on the side.
Kofta tagine at Little Morocco.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Kabab Cafe

A striped round plate with all sorts of bread dips and vegetables, and apple slices to dip in them.
A vegetarian first course at Kabab Cafe.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This cluttered shoebox of a place run by Ali El Sayed has been extolled, first by Chowhound and then by Anthony Bourdain, as one of the best restaurants in Queens. No fixed menu to speak of, first make yourself at home and the chef will approach to discuss dining options. These are often in either an Egyptian or an Italian vein, and might include falafel, fava beans, a plate of grilled lamb chops, or gnocchi with pesto — much of it at Sayed’s whim. Cash only.

A striped round plate with all sorts of bread dips and vegetables, and apple slices to dip in them.
A vegetarian first course at Kabab Cafe.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Al Hanaa

A sandwich on a baguette with fries and pickles.
Half a chicken breast sandwich from Al Hanaa, as the other half remains wrapped in white butcher paper.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Al Hanaa is a compact store with a well-organized stock of Egyptian, Lebanese, Syrian, and Turkish groceries, with an emphasis on staples, snack foods, and canned goods — but go to the back of the store and find a grill offering sandwiches and platters. A chicken breast sandwich is particularly delicious, on a very long baguette, slathered with garlicy mayo and served with french fries and assorted pickles.

A sandwich on a baguette with fries and pickles.
Half a chicken breast sandwich from Al Hanaa, as the other half remains wrapped in white butcher paper.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Rizzo's Pizza

A rectangular slice on a white paper place with a spreading splotch of white cheese.
Rizzo’s grandma slice.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Rizzo’s, founded in 1959 by Joe Rizzo, specializes in a type of pizza not seen elsewhere — a Sicilian square pie with the thinnest of crusts, which is the opposite of the usual focaccia-like Sicilian crust. The effect is stunning: the slices are rectangular with a slight crunch, and the tomato sauce on the sweet side, as Siciilan tomato sauces tend to be. Other toppings were added to the roster as the decades went by, but pick the plain cheese slice for maximum impact.

A rectangular slice on a white paper place with a spreading splotch of white cheese.
Rizzo’s grandma slice.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Franky's Souvlaki

A flat pita with grilled pork, lettuce, and purple onions piles high with white sauce.
Pork gyro at Franky’s Souvlaki.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Franky’s bright blue truck has been parked at the corner of 31st Avenue and Steinway since the 1970s, according to owner Franky Englezos — and for 24 hours a day for most of that time. It is quite certainly the city’s most famous souvlaki truck, and two fragrant vertical spits display pork and chicken gyros. The pork is especially succulent, carved from the twirling cylinder just as it’s served, unrepentantly tasting of herbs and pork fat. Greek sausage and lamb kebabs (the latter referred to as “sticks”) also worth trying.

A flat pita with grilled pork, lettuce, and purple onions piles high with white sauce.
Pork gyro at Franky’s Souvlaki.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Steinway Pizza

A white wedge with yellowish cheese and dabs of whitish ricotta on top.
The white slice at Steinway Pizza.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Astoria is dotted with excellent neighborhood pizza parlors, and this is one of the best. The number of pizzas offered by the slice is modest, the dining room comfortable, and the usual pastas, pizza rolls, party trays, hero sandwiches, and Greek salads offered as accessories. The plain cheese slice and white slices are favorites, with a thin undercrust, modest circumferential crust, and cheese a notch better than others and notably profuse.

A white wedge with yellowish cheese and dabs of whitish ricotta on top.
The white slice at Steinway Pizza.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Birria NYC

A pizza with white cheese and stringy dark red meat, with soup and green guac on the side.
Behold — birria pizza! At Birria NYC.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

As NYC’s birria trend continues to rise, it was inevitable that a restaurant would open up with a laser focus on the dish and all its expanding usages. This former pizzeria right around the corner on Broadway does just that, and you can get enchiladas, ramen, burgers, and nachos, in addition to tacos, but the place where the rubber meets the road is the birria pizza. The density of meat and richness of the consomme suggests no one can eat more than one slice.

A pizza with white cheese and stringy dark red meat, with soup and green guac on the side.
Behold — birria pizza! At Birria NYC.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

New York City Bagel & Coffee House

A counter with bagels in bins and chalkboard above the counter, as several patrons look on.
The number of choices at NYC Bagel can be bewildering.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

How far can a bagel shop go in its pursuit of becoming a full restaurant? The number of bagel types and flavors of cream cheese — plus the salads like tuna or whitefish to be spread over the tops — is either thrilling or discouraging, depending on whether you’re a bagel purist or not. The bagels here tend to be big and doughy, making for very filling sandwiches. The coffee is good, and the seating ample inside and out, which is why many enjoy lingering here.

A counter with bagels in bins and chalkboard above the counter, as several patrons look on.
The number of choices at NYC Bagel can be bewildering.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Thonglor Thai

A browned duck leg sticks straight up out of a yellow sauce, with a cone of rice in the background.
One of several duck curries available at Thonglor.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Thonglor is named after a Bangkok neighborhood and distinguishes itself from other Astorian Thai restaurants — of which there are many — by offering premium ingredients in familiar recipes. There are separate sections of salmon filet, whole red snapper, and duck. The version of duck panang curry (a yellow curry) is particularly good, with a sauce that packs a bit of heat, a half duck bursting with roasted flavor, and ripe avocado fanned out and laid beside the amphibious bird.

A browned duck leg sticks straight up out of a yellow sauce, with a cone of rice in the background.
One of several duck curries available at Thonglor.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

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