Brooklyn bars steal all the attention when it comes to the outer borough drinking experience, but as Queens neighborhoods attract a younger crowd, the cocktail scene there is coming into its own. The next time you’re in the County of Queens, check out these cocktail bars. By Selena Ricks-Good.

(credit: Kills Bar)

Dutch Kills

27-24 Jackson Ave.
Long Island City, NY
(718) 383-2724

Inside an otherwise drab exterior on an industrial strip in Long Island City, stumble into a dark wood scene recalling the days before Prohibition. Settle into a booth or pull up a stool at the bar in back and try classic-inspired drinks like the Horse Tonic (dark rum, Cruzan Black Strap Rum, Velvet Falernum, ginger syrup, lemon juice and egg white). On Monday nights, a ragtime piano player brings the old-time atmosphere to life.


The Astor Room

34-12 36th St.
Astoria, NY
(718) 255-1947

Formerly a private club at the historic Kaufman Astoria Studios, this restaurant’s mahogany “Beaver Bar” features a drink menu designed by Lynnette Marrero and Jim Kearns. Cocktails such as The Fairbanks (London dry gin, dry vermouth, apricot brandy liqueur, grenadine and lemon juice) harken back to Astoria’s heyday as a hub of Old Hollywood glamour. Look for a regular rotation of silent movies and live music to keep things interesting.

(credit: Afton)

Sweet Afton

30-09 34th St.
Astoria, NY
(718) 777-2570

The team behind the West Village’s Wilfie and Nell opened this rustic Astoria cocktail bar in 2009, bringing the neighborhood a drinking alternative to its popular beer gardens. Sporting reclaimed wood and Edison bulbs, the gastropub offers a cozy vibe and a list of classic and house cocktails. Try the Rye Root Beer (Rye whiskey, homemade root beer and vanilla) or the Dirty Pickle Martini (vodka, McClure’s pickle juice and McClure’s pickles) and you’ll feel like a local in no time.

For the latest on NYC’s bar and nightlife scene, follow us on Twitter!Selena Ricks-Good writes about drinks and produces events as The Dizzy Fizz.