The 10 Best Bars in Long Island City
What pops into your mind when you hear "Long Island City"? Maybe you picture less of a neighborhood, more of a character-free yuppie warehouse, where overpaid dullards stack themselves in gleaming condos, sucking the life force from yet another community's jugular. But you'd be wrong. That nonsense is largely confined to the waterfront, which you can easily avoid. Scrape away that gentrified mold of luxury apartment towers, and you'll find a delectable drinking 'hood, where gem-like bars sparkle against the dark backdrop of industrial buildings and moody railyards. And if you drink too much and get lost in Queens' confusing mess of numbered streets and avenues? Just look up. You can always orient yourself with the Citigroup Building, the tallest structure in New York outside Manhattan, looming over everything like Sauron's Dark Banking Tower. This is our run-down of the 10 best spots to throw back a glass in Long Island City.
The Creek and the Cave's Facebook Page
10. Corner Bistro
Corner Bistro's Facebook page
47-18 Vernon Boulevard, 718.606.6500
The Queens offshoot of its infamous Manhattan namesake, Corner Bistro is where you go for $3 mugs of McSorely's Ale and a bacon cheeseburger so savagely delicious, you'll probably order two. This location hasn't quite captured the gloomy day-drunk charm of its West Village parent, but makes up for it with comfort and surprisingly cheerful service (none of that "who the fuck are you?" face the bartenders excel at in the city). It also has 19-33 Queens Lagrrr! (sic) produced by Astoria's Singlecut, the first microbrewery founded in the borough since Prohibition.
Alewife's Facebook page
5-14 51st Avenue, 718.937.7494
The slow legalization of weed presents a real challenge to the booze industry, but Alewife is prepared: their Happy Hour starts daily at 4.20pm, on the dot. It's a big place, with two large, full floors of seating. And with that scale, it should feel like one of those soulless midtown booze troughs we all hate going to after work. But somehow it doesn't feel like one. Cozy despite its size, it's a great spot for large groups, and its 28 drafts on tap should slake the thirst of even the douchiest of ale snobs. Plus they have a sweet deck for summer tippling. Word of warning: Saturdays and Sundays they offer a $25 brunch and all you can drink special from noon-3pm. If that's your kind of mess, have at it.
Woodbines' Facebook page
47-10 Vernon Boulevard, 718.361.8488
A bar without televisions? What a concept. If you crave a civilized drink without bloviating ex-sportsmen interrupting every sip, Woodbines is the place. It's a serious bar for serious drinkers, with 24 bourbons and ryes behind the rail. They even serve a whiskey flight menu, perfect for deepening your love affair with the beautiful brown liquor. In a sweet gesture to our poor, wheat-intolerant cousins, Woodbines features a gluten-free beer selection, including Portland's Omission Pale Ale and Belgium's Discovery Amber. All of its 12 draft beers can also be taken home in a growler.