As the largest borough by area in New York City, Queens is also the most diverse. From Long Island City, with its high-rises, waterfront location and proximity to Manhattan to more quaint, suburban neighborhoods like Middle Village, Queens has a little something for everyone. The borough has long been a popular landing place for immigrants leading to the development of a vibrant cultural, culinary and entertainment scene. As with much of NYC, recent decades have brought about a real estate boom in Queens that has led to an influx of new residents and businesses.
The Best Neighborhoods in Queens NY
Take a look at the best places to live in Queens. Explore various areas and discover the coolest, safest and nicest neighborhoods in Queens.
Astoria’s reasonable real estate prices combined with its close proximity to Manhattan have helped make it one of the hottest neighborhoods in Queens, attracting an influx of new residents who appreciate the neighborhood’s residential feel as well its great location which provides convenient commutes and easy access to all parts of the city. Named for John Jacob Astor, the neighborhood has a rich history and was one of America's earliest filmmaking centers for much of the early 20th century, with film industry legends like the Marx Brothers shooting multiple movies in the neighborhood. Astoria is also known as the Greek capital of New York City, but is nonetheless home to an incredibly diverse population, making it a haven for foodies who enjoy the neighborhood's bevy of great ethnic restaurants. Astoria Park, a picturesque riverfront, and museums such as the Noguchi Museum and Socrates Sculpture Park are other popular destinations in this thriving New York City neighborhood.
Corona in Queens is a diverse, middle-class neighborhood of approximately 109,000 that lies between Flushing and Jackson Heights. The area can best be regarded as up-and-coming and has experienced a lot of new development combined with sharply rising real estate prices in recent times. Corona is well connected to the rest of the city, with plenty of public transport options. The neighborhood is also home to Flushing Meadows, the largest park in NYC.
The area is relatively affordable, although real estate prices have risen dramatically in recent times. The most common housing in Corona is two-bedroom homes, with prices on such properties averaging $369,833 today, up from approximately $210,000 in 2015. Rents in Corona are also affordable.
With a storied history dating back to the 1640s, Flushing is one of the oldest communities in Queens and was one of just five original towns to be part of Queens County back in the 17th century. Nowadays, Flushing is known as one of New York City's melting pots and for its large Chinese and immigrant communities, with approximately two-thirds of residents in the neighborhood being foreign-born. Flushing Chinatown is one of the largest and fastest growing in the world and rivals Manhattan's Chinatown in size, importance, and cultural influence. As you might imagine this has made the neighborhood a foodies paradise, with restaurant goers making the trek to Flushing from all over the city. When it comes to real estate, prices in Flushing pale in comparison to other neighborhoods, making it popular for those looking for great value. The tradeoff, however, is a longer commute as it can take 45 minutes to an hour train ride to get into Midtown Manhattan, and even longer to make it to Downtown Brooklyn.
Forest Hills in Queens is a unique neighborhood that offers residents a mix of tranquil suburban living combined with easy access to all the perks of urban New York City living. This has made Forest Hills highly desirable among families as well as anyone who prefers to come home and escape the urban jungle all while remaining just a short subway ride from the heart of the city. The neighborhood is consistently rated as one of the best places to live in NYC thanks to a combination of good public schools, low crime, and excellent public transportation, thanks to its location in central Queens. In recent years a number of new condos and apartment complexes have been built in the neighborhood, but overall the real estate market is mostly comprised of single-family homes and co-ops. While real estate prices in Forest Hills have been on the rise, apartments and houses in the neighborhood still remain well-priced compared to NYC’s other popular nabes.
Jackson Heights is a residential neighborhood in central Queens that has seen an increase in popularity in recent years thanks to its attractive real estate prices and central location, which offers residents a quick and easy 25-minute commute to midtown Manhattan. Many of the neighborhood's newer residents have been priced out of Brooklyn (long gone are the days when those priced out of Manhattan could look to Brooklyn for affordable housing) and are interested in Jackson Heights' unique housing stock, which includes Tudor architecture and pre-war coops, many of which have private gardens. Unsurprisingly, this has driven real estate prices up in recent years, but the neighborhood still remains a great value and has maintained its welcoming vibe avoiding the large scale new development other parts of Queens and Brooklyn have experienced. Jackson Heights also appeals to those who want to live in one of NYC's most diverse neighborhoods (over 50% of residents are foreign-born and there are over 150 languages spoken in the neighborhood). This, of course, means the area has a vibrant food scene, with some of the best ethnic restaurants in the entire city. Nightlife, however, is more subdued, making Jackson Heights ideal for families.
Long Island City
Located on the westernmost end of Queens, just across from Midtown Manhattan and Roosevelt Island, Long Island City (often shortened to LIC) has long been considered to be one of New York City’s most exciting up-and-coming neighborhoods. Those days are over as we can confidently say that Long Island City has already arrived, and can now be considered to be amongst NYC’s most desirable residential neighborhoods. Long Island City provides residents easy access to Manhattan and a convenient commute while also offering a colorful and exciting cultural and entertainment scene. A fantastic array of locally owned boutiques, art galleries, and shops, as well as many hip bars, lounges, and restaurants, can be found throughout LIC. The neighborhood’s incredible riverfront location combined with stunning views of the midtown skyline, and attractive real estate prices at its many luxurious, new development apartment buildings and condos are what helped Long Island City boom, but nowadays the neighborhood’s hip and artistic vibe is just as responsible for charming residents and visitors alike.
Middle Village is a neighborhood that is best described as a village within a city. While it is close to the geographic center of Queens, the area is actually quite isolated, with little public transportation, making it feel very suburban. Most residents get around by car, and many New Yorkers would have a hard time pointing to the neighborhood on a map. To many, however, it’s one of the city's best-kept secrets- a verdant residential neighborhood that’s only a 30-minute drive from Manhattan. This has made it popular with families with children. When it comes to the real estate market in Middle Village, you can expect to find moderately priced properties, and most of the inventory is single-family homes. There are also some multi-family properties and condos, but they can be harder to come by.
If you’re looking for some “real good” living and real estate you might as well head to Rego Park, Queens, a neighborhood that got its moniker from the Real Good Construction Company, which built many houses in the area back in the 1920s and 1930s. Nowadays, this centrally located neighborhood is best described as up-and-coming with many new commercial and residential developments being built including a number of luxury apartment and condo buildings. Rego Park is an ethnically diverse neighborhood, home to large Latin American, Jewish, Eastern European, and Asian communities. Parts of the neighborhood maintain a quaint, small-town vibe, but overall Rego Park offers its residents some of the best dining and shopping in Queens. If you're looking for nightlife and entertainment, you'll likely be disappointed, but the rest of the city is never far away thanks to Rego Park’s central location and excellent transportation. The neighborhood is served by multiple subway lines and is only a half an hour ride from Manhattan.