Best Seafood Restaurant in New York City? Astoria Seafood, Long Island City

Best Seafood Restaurant in NYC?

Astoria Seafood

37-10 33rd Street

Long Island City, NY 11101

Phone: (718) 392-2680


Hours:  Please call for hours.

Reservations:  Sorry.  Not that kind of place.

Parking:  Find your own.  No Valet Service here. Again, not that kind of place.

Public Transportation:  E, M, R to 36th Street.  Click here to plan your visit via New York City Transit.

Drinks: BYOB

History:  Astoria Seafood is a family-owned business which opened as a Wholesale Fish Market in 2003. In 2012, the market expanded into a restaurant.  Mr. Spyro Christakos is the Owner and Manager of this 3rd generation business.

We found it!  Drop what you’re doing and head over to Astoria Seafood!  Well, not literally, but you know what I mean.  This place is that good!  It is unlike any other Seafood Restaurant you have been to.  We dare to say it is the best seafood we’ve had in New York City.  Check out my review below and perhaps it will inspire you to visit and give them a try.

As self-proclaimed foodies, my wife and I are always trying different restaurants.  Our mantra is to try everything at least once.  So when my friend Sam Rivera (no relation) and fellow foodie told me about Astoria Seafood we were all in.  He had been there several times with his girlfriend and said the Seafood was AMAZING!  “You and your wife have to try it,” he said.  I could tell by the way he was talking that it was really good.  Either that or he was a secret affiliate.  Ha! Ha!  With that, we immediately put it on our calendar.

A few weeks after that conversation, Sam and his girlfriend picked us up at our home.  I scored on several levels that night!  Double date on a Saturday night AND I didn’t have to drive.  (Thanks, Sam!)  Since the restaurant is BYOB, I grabbed a bottle of white, a bottle of red, and made a pit stop for beer.  All adult beverages went into an insulated cooler like this one sold on Amazon.


We arrived at about 4 P.M. for early dinner and were lucky to find a parking spot out front.  That’s my pal Sam in the inner doorway with a baseball cap and blue jeans, and his girlfriend Olga.

The first thing to do when entering this restaurant is to go straight to the back.  There you will grab a few clear bags and pick out the seafood you want to eat.  Since we were newbies, we let Sam guide us through the process.

After picking out your seafood, you go to the register where it’s weighed and the price is tallied.  They ask how you want your seafood cooked.  Grilled or Fried?  We had fried Smelt but everything else was grilled.  They take your name and you wait for a table.  We waited outside for about 30 minutes before being seated.  While waiting the ladies enjoyed a little wine and us guys some beer.

Once you are seated, your seafood is brought out to you.  I heard there are times your food may come out haphazardly.  However, we got lucky and all of our dishes came out just about the same time.  We started out with a large Greek Salad.  It was very good and more than enough for the four of us.

Pictured above are lemon potatoes (Yum!), grilled octopus, and butterflied and grilled Branzino Bass.  The octopus was so tender and I wish we had ordered more of it.  But that’s okay, this just means we’ll have to be back for more real soon.  The fish was well seasoned and flaky.  It all arrived hot off the grill and cooked to perfection.

I’m not usually a potato eater but these right here!  OMG!  Best I ever had.

The fried smelt was a pleasant surprise for my wife and I.  They were lighted fried and are definitely a must try when you go.  They will be on our order again next visit.

Grilled scallops were amazing.  Nice grill marks and also seasoned to perfection!

Here are a few things to keep in mind when visiting Astoria Seafood:

  • Diners don’t come here for the ambiance or personalized service (although “Baby”,  one of the longtime waitresses at the place, will definitely make you feel right at home.)
  • It’s not a romantic place and the music can be loud.
  • We were fortunate to only wait for about a half hour, but folks have been known to wait 1-2 hours for a table. You can see the wait in our pic above.
  • If you want octopus it needs to be ordered at the register when you pay for your seafood.
  • Go for the fresh seafood and fun experience.

In all, we were embarrassed because in all our years living in Queens we didn’t know this place existed.  Especially, since it’s about a 15-20 minute drive from home.  So close!  How could we have missed this spot?  Oh well,  we have to make up for lost time. We had lots of fun and enjoyed the different experience.

Most importantly the seafood was fresh, well seasoned, and tasted great.  The total bill was only $80.00 for the four of us!  Not bad at all considering all the seafood we had.  We most definitely could have spent twice as much, if not more, at other seafood restaurants.

Almost forgot to mention the garlic bread, which is also apparently very good.  We kept asking for it and were told it was coming.  It never came as they had run out but didn’t tell us until our 3rd request.  It’s like going to Red Lobster and not getting their biscuits or eating at Olive Garden without the breadsticks.

Thanks, Sam and Olga for introducing us to the best seafood spot in New York City.  We are looking forward to eating here again soon.

If you’re into grilling seafood at home, here are some tools to help you do so. 🙂

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