This family-friendly Queens neighborhood can feel like a throwback, with old-school seafood joints and sweets shops near a red-brick train station that looks remarkably unchanged since Teddy Roosevelt delivered his unification speech there in 1917.
If only the soda fountain, homemade ice cream and 1920s cash register at Eddie's Sweet Shop could speak, they might narrate the area's history; the corner store has been a Forest Hills cornerstone since 1925. Classic American and Italian fare mingles with more adventurous cuisine from more ethnic offerings in the neighborhood including family-run eatery London Lennies offering freshly caught fish specials and Katsuno, from award-winning chef Katsuyuki Seo (also of Seo in Midtown East) offers traditional Japanese cuisine, with some of the fish flown in from Tokyo and specials like sea urchin egg tofu.
Forest Hills is packed with chains, boutiques and hard-to-ﬁnd items that make the F-train trip out of Manhattan worthwhile. Take the day to explore the diverse mix of homegrown boutiques that pepper the borough‘s main shopping district on Austin Street and Metropolitan Avenue. Italian grocery store Mr. Vino‘s Cucina has an extensive beer selection and top-quality cheeses and meats. The very knowledgeable staff are more than happy to recommend perfect pairings. Superhero lovers should make a stop inside Royal Collectibles the neighborhood's friendly comic-book shop with sports collectibles and figurines. But if you’re a real lover of cheese, don’t miss the 60-year-old local shop, Cheese of the World with more than 250 cheeses.
Tudor and Victorian-style homes line the curved streets of Forest Hills, that's also well known for its array of longtime restaurants. Although the borough is quieter than most, it’s just as famous for its lively night scene with bars and taverns open late. Forest Hills Station House gastropub offers craft brews and lots of whiskey options, plus an upscale bar menu and weekend brunch. If you want a legit Irish experience, look no further than The Irish Cottage; the longtime family-run watering hole serves traditional Irish food and drinks in a homey setting. Though the menu is extensive, the shepherd's pie and corned beef sandwich are crowd favorites. For those looking for a relaxed wine bar stroll into Keuka Kafe (named after the Finger Lakes wine region); the comfy joint serves light seafood fare, bar bites, sandwiches and an exotic wine program.
For those looking to escape the city, Forest Hills is perfect. Just a 30-minute subway ride from Midtown, and you can have a laid-back adventure with the entire family. Forest Hills Stadium has hosted legendary bands like The Rolling Stone and The Beatles as well as diverse musical acts like Portugal, The Man and Jamiroquai. Savor the season’s harvest at Forest Hills Greenmarket boasting sustainably-sourced, organically grown products. Need a reason to buy a pair of those knee-high equestrian boots? GallopNYC offers riding lessons, pony parties and horse education for adults and kids.