The largest of New York City’s five boroughs, Queens delights in its cultural and culinary diversity, density and panache. With Manhattan only 14 miles west and the hipsters and artisanal pickles of Brooklyn nearby, Queens residents enjoy the amenities of a world-class cultural and financial mecca while retaining a local, culture-clashing, ethnic-food-loving charm.
Forest Hills provides a bit of a respite from all this glorious grit with its affluent, garden-inspired neighborhoods and Tudor houses, right next to Queens’ best outdoor spaces, Flushing Meadows Corona and Forest Park. Go for a jog, let the dog run off-leash, play a round of golf or visit an art museum. Forest Hills has it all.
Restaurants & Nightlife
Forest Hills residents enjoy the diversity of local restaurants that proudly reflect Queens' multiculturalism and character while having a slew of world-class dining options in nearby Brooklyn and 14 miles away in Manhattan.
Locals love Wafa's on Metropolitan Avenue for its extraordinary customer service and the freshest, authentic Mediterranean/Lebanese food in town. Savor the shish tawook, grilled chicken breast marinated in garlic, lemon and olive oil, with a glass of refreshing homemade mint iced tea. Vegetarians love the delectable falafel and baba ganoush – cooked eggplant with onions, tomatoes and olive oil.
Beer hall and whiskey den, Forest Hills Station House serves its own creative takes on international comfort food, such as the short rib kimchi empanadas and the pickled pepper wings dressed with barbeque sauce. Wash it all down with one of the local and international craft brews on tap. For the ultimate night out, save room for the deep-fried apple pie with dulce de leche.
Residents who want fresh, reasonably priced sushi go to Sushi Time, a tiny gem of a restaurant perfect for takeout after a long day at work. This sushi bar features specialty rolls, such as the sweet shrimp roll and crab lovers roll, and pre-made salads. Simply stop in, pick your rolls and salad, and be on your way. It's quick, easy and convenient.
Banter Irish Bar and Kitchen strives to create a traditional pub with a modern menu, featuring playful twists on Irish classics, such as the bubble and squeak dumplings stuffed with corned beef, cabbage and carrots, and the Irish breakfast pizza – sausage, bacon, black and white pudding, beans and fried eggs on an Irish brown sauce thin crust. With 20 brews on tap and an exclusive cocktail list, Banter Irish Bar tops the list of local favorites for a friendly, low-key night out.
Queens' premier performing arts venue, Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, showcases a diverse range of performances and events that foster cultural awareness and appreciation. Performances have included Ballet Hispanico – a fusion of Latin dance and contemporary and classic techniques, comedy nights, magic shows and a kid-friendly production of Charlotte's Web.
Seven days a week, Terraza 7 features live jazz, folk and experimental music, literary events and film screenings for the curious and community-minded. As a hub for local art and expression, Terraza 7 strives to broaden our understanding of human complexity and cultural diversity. Locals love the dark, quirky and low-key atmosphere and happy hour, every day from 4-8 p.m.
History & Culture
In 1906, Cord Meyer, an affluent Brooklyn attorney, bought the farmland adjacent to Forest Park, naming it Forest Hills. Modeled after garden communities in England, Forest Hills features many elegant Tudor and Colonial-style homes.
In Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the Queens Museum presents high-quality visual arts and educational programming that relates to the diverse urban life of its local audience. In addition to contemporary events and exhibitions year-round, the museum displays much of its permanent collection, which includes Tiffany glass and Raymond Lester’s architectural panoramic model of New York.
The twice-annual, family-friendly Forest Hills Festival of the Arts on Austin Street showcases vendors of all types of goods, from artisanal food to clothing and jewelry, arts and crafts exhibitors and children’s programming.
Locals get around by taking advantage of excellent public transportation systems as well as biking and walking in a pedestrian-friendly environment. Multiple lines service the area’s two subway stops, Forest Hills-71st Avenue and 75th Avenue. Locals can catch the Long Island Rail Road at the Forest Hills and Kew Gardens stations. Forest Hills residents also have access to several Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus routes.
Forest Hills has some biking infrastructure, but residents choose to run many or most of their errands on foot. Residents can also easily hail a cab or use Uber.
Car ownership, as in most of the New York metropolitan area, can be prohibitively expensive, with limited parking options and high insurance costs. Residents who choose to drive a car have easy access to Grand Central Parkway and 678 and 495 Expressways.
With a median one-bedroom rental rate of $1,803, the cost of living in Forest Hills is about 4 percent less than the New York average. Taking the subway to Manhattan costs $2.50. A typical price for beer at a local pub runs around $5 to $6. Locals pay almost 12 percent above the national average cost for gas.
Forest Hills features a multitude of chain shopping options. Locals head to nearby Astoria and Brooklyn for a bevy of outstanding boutiques.
Astoria’s premier lifestyle store, Lockwood showcases chic housewares, clothing and accessories, modern furniture, cards, books and gifts with friendly service in an adorable, local-centric shop. Residents love to show off their Queens pride with cute “I (heart) Queens” tees and canvas bags. Walk out with understated, chunky gemstone earrings or Loch Ness monster knee-high socks as a gift for yourself or someone else.
Bushwick’s Human Relations features an unbelievable collection of top-quality used books in every genre from literary to sci-fi. Spend an hour or two browsing in this small bibliophile’s retreat. Locals not sure about what to read next love to ask one of the knowledgeable booksellers for a recommendation.
Forest Hills residents have many chain markets to choose from, but have access to smaller, more specialized food stores as well. Cheese of the World on Austin Street has delightfully knowledgeable cheesemongers who can recommend the perfect grana padano and petite basque to go with olives and a glass of wine. Sakura Ya Japanese Market carries an excellent selection of Japanese staples, beverages and treats, such as riceballs with shrimp tempura, fruit jelly drinks and green tea rolls.
For fresh, organic produce, locals love the year-round Forest Hills Greenmarket on Sundays, which also features cooking demonstrations and kids activities in a friendly, jovial environment.
Forest Hills residents enjoy living close to two impressively sized outdoor spaces, Flushing Meadows Corona Park and Forest Park. The largest park in Queens at 1,255 acres, Flushing Meadows Corona Park draws locals with its baseball and soccer fields, tennis courts, six playgrounds, a promenade and even a place to launch model airplanes. With something for everyone, the park also has a zoo, two museums and a botanical garden.
International fans flock to the annual U.S. Open in late August and early September at Flushing Meadows Corona Park’s USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center for world-class, hold-your-breath action.
With over 500 acres, Forest Park features gorgeous hiking trails and bridle paths, baseball fields, tennis and handball courts and a par 67 golf course. The George Sueffert, Sr. Bandshell hosts free concerts in the summer. The dog run provides plenty of room for dogs, small and large, to run off-leash.