Bayside's restaurants cluster along Bell Boulevard. In this dense, middle class neighborhood in northeastern Queens, you will find more upscale choices. It may surpise you, however, how many hole-in-the-wall, but delicious, joints there are. Did I miss your picks? Please share below.
Italian Restaurants in Bayside
Let's start with one that's off-the-beaten-track (even for Bayside), but so worth the visit. Graziella Ristorante (3325 Francis Lewis Blvd, Bayside, NY 11358, 718-359-6788) serves delicious Italian food -- northern and southern -- in a small, but modern dining room. The service is professional and warm. Expect a bottle of anise to appear if you finish a meal with espresso.
The attached pizzeria is okay, but too heavy on the cheese. Don't let that attachment stop you from trying the real restaurant.
Asian and Thai Restaurants in Bayside
Erawan Thai Cuisine (4231 Bell Blvd, Bayside, NY 11361, 718-428-2112) is the fancy Thai place where the food is consistently good, not great, and the atmosphere is a big step up from casual Thai place. You can take a date for a fancy night out at Erawan and not worry. Even if your companion doesn't like spicy food or curries, there's always a tame Thai chicken bbq dish. The tables at Erawan are little too close, but that's nothing to keep you away. Prices -- it is a little expensive -- just might keep a visit to Erawan to once in a blue moon.
For a more afforable and casual -- and spicier -- Thai meal try BKNY Thai Restaurant (47-11 Francis Lewis Blvd, Bayside, NY 11361, 718-281-1900). BKNY is rightfully regarded as the best Thai restaurant in eastern Queens.
Sushi and Japanese Restaurants in Bayside
Skip the neighborhood's ho-hum Okinawa, but definitely try Mickey's Place (4017 Bell Blvd, Bayside, NY 11361, 718-224-8152), which relocated a couple years ago from Forest Hills. Mickey's serves some of the freshest fish in Bayside. I wouldn't bother with their teriyaki or other Japanese entrees, but stick to the sushi menu for the best meal of your week.
Korean Restaurants in Bayside
Northern Boulevard is home base for a string of Korean restaurants, stretching from Flushing Main Street all the way east into Nassau County. Hahm Ji Bachm (21022 Northern Blvd, Bayside, NY, 718-279-9289) is one of the best. Expect great table-side Korean bbq and plenty of banchan.
Steakhouses Restaurants in Bayside
Uncle Jack's Steakhouse (39-40 Bell Blvd, Bayside, NY 11361, 718-229-1100), a highly regarded steakhouse. Right on the busiest stretch of Bell, come to Uncle Jack's for dried prime meats, seafood, and a big glass (or bottle) of red wine. It's expensive, but such a better deal than any steakhouse in Manhattan. Uncle Jack's is the perfect way to end a full day session at the US Open.
Breakfast and Lunch in Bayside
Jackson Hole (35-01 Bell Blvd, Bayside, NY, 718-281-0330) is the go-to diner for the neighorhood. For breakfast, its fresh-squeezed juice and luscious potatoes stand out from the competition. At lunch try the burgers with taste and frosty milkshakes to take the heat and humidity out of a summer day in NYC.
Bakeries in Bayside
Got a sweet tooth? Pastries, cookies ...gelato. Maybe it's a good thing that I don't live within walking distance of D'Aquila Pastry Shop (33-31 Francis Lewis Blvd, Bayside, NY 11358, 718-886-4800), but every time I'm on Franny Lew, I try to pull over to pick up a couple Italian-style treats to bring home. In a borough of great bakeries, D'Aquila is at least in the top 10.
Butcher Shop in Bayside
I'm a big fan of Three Brothers Butcher Shop (40-21 Bell Blvd, Bayside, NY, 718-224-7753) -- great selection, great cuts, and butchers who really know their business. You might pay more than at the supermarket, but there's nothing like a real neighborhood butcher. I haven't tried their BBQ yet, but hope to remedy that problem soon.