Long Island City is overlooked as a dining destination. Yet the neighborhood abounds with special-occasion and casual eateries alike. Whether your tastes run to comfort-food classics (in which case is a must-visit) to fine dining with a waterfront view, LIC has a restaurant for you.
An izakaya is the Japanese equivalent of a tapas bar: a place to enjoy drinks and share small plates with friends. Knock Knock, which opened in March 2023, bills itself as an izakaya-style dim sum eatery, offering the best of multiple cultures. Pillowy bao buns, fried crab claws, dumplings galore (mushroom, shrimp, pan-fried pork…), and sweet pumpkin lava balls are among the options to accompany a variety of sakes, other wines, and cocktails.
Located behind LIC’s iconic Pepsi-Cola sign, this Italian restaurant makes all its pasta in house and prepares its cacio e pepe and tagliatelle with black truffle tableside. Beyond pasta there are fish dishes such as cod piccata, meat dishes including pork chop with sweet-and-sour peppers, and veal parmigiana for two with homemade mozzarella. As expected, the ever-changing wine list focuses on Italian varieties, including lesser-known offerings, and craft cocktails are available too.
You might not guess it from the low-key exterior, but this Mexican restaurant has been awarded a Michelin star every year since 2015. Even people who think they don’t like Mexican food are sure to find plenty to tickle their palate here, such as meatballs with a hard-boiled egg as a center served with chipotle tomato sauce, fried oysters with chili mayo, and roasted pork ribs marinated in guajillo chilies. Of course you can order enchiladas and tacos too, filled with the likes of slow-cooked brisket and beer-battered fish with avocado sauce. If you can’t decide which tasty dish looks best, go for the mole de Piaxtla, arguably Casa Enrique’s signature dish.
This French bistro serves all the classics you’d expect to savor at a sidewalk table in Le Marais: onion soup, escargots, moules et frites, beef Bourguignon. Brunch and lunch offer additional standbys, such as croque monsieur, fluffy omelets, and salad Nicoise. And be sure to end your meal on a sweet note with crème brulée or marquise au chocolat.
Along with its views of the East River and Manhattan, American Brass prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients. The smoked-trout croquettes or the salmon tartare with ponzu and puffed jasmine rice is a stellar way to start your meal. From there proceed to wild-mushroom tagliatelle or grilled pork chop with cherry preserves, New York strip steak with ramp butter or braised short rib cavatelli, before ending with strawberry-rhubarb crisp served with vanilla gelato or coconut layer cake with mango sorbet. Bonus: live jazz every Tuesday night.