Neighborhood Spotlight: Forest Hills
A Charming, Fairy-tale-like Neighborhood in Queens
Queens is blooming back to life this Spring with all the charm and delight this borough offers. One historic neighborhood, in particular, promises a laidback lifestyle of comfort and fun. Forest Hills is a picturesque, residential neighborhood nestled in the heart of Queens. You'll be charmed by its terraced high-rises, Tudor-style homes, and tree-lined streets.
The neighborhood of Forest Hills has been around for more than 100 years--and that's clear in its brick-lined streets and rustic fare. Despite being over a century old, Forest Hills is incredibly diverse in all aspects. There are wealthy neighborhoods, such as Forest Hills Gardens, where you can rent entire colonial-style homes for nearly $8,000 a month. Then, there are more reasonable ones, where you can find something like a three bed, 2.5 bath for only $3,800 a month. The incredible upside about living outside the city is that you often get more bang for your buck. Compared to boroughs like Manhattan and Brooklyn, Queens' cost of living is significantly lower.
You'll also find a variety of local places and cuisines to eat. There are various options for authentic Latin Cuisine, such as Cabana and Mojo, and iconic Italian spots such as Portofino Ristorante and Tuscan Hills. Then, not to mention all of the Asian, Mediterranean, and even vegan food options in between! The small-town vibes of Forest Hills continue with places like Eddie's Sweet Shop, where you can grab ice cream on a hot summer day, and delis that feel like they haven’t changed since the 1920s.
Forest Hills is also known for its authentic shopping experience. Austin Street is a mile-long commercial hub of restaurants, boutiques, and stores that cut right through the neighborhood. The strip is also known for hosting fairs and festivals, such as the Forest Hills' Street Fair, where vendors, performers, and locals all come together to enjoy good music, food, and company. The Spring fair just passed–but the summer festival is happening on June 12th, 2022. Then, the Forest Hills Fall Fair will happen on September 18th, 2022. While these festivals are hosted every few months, The Forest Hills Greenmarket occurs every Sunday between Queens Boulevard and 70th avenue. The market is a neighborhood staple and advertises a variety of locally grown fruits and vegetables.
While there are many places to hang out in Forest Hills, like catching a movie at the Midway movie theater or seeing a live show at Forest Hills Stadium, sometimes you’ll want to get out of the local area. Forest Hills can quickly and easily get you to other parts of the city. The Q23 cuts right through a large part of Queens, starting at Forest Hills and ending in East Elmhurst, with neighborhoods like Corona, Flushing, and Jackson Heights all in between. The E, F, M, or R trains at 21st and Continental can easily take you into Manhattan in less than 30 minutes. Or, you can skip the Penn Station madness and hop on the LIRR into Long Island.
I worked in this neighborhood for two years, and I still visit it today. I always find what I need here, whether it's a quick lunch from the Halal cart, or a quick stroll before hopping on the train to the city. Forest Hills has the feel of being its own unique neighborhood that isn't overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of New York City. In this town, you can keep the cozy feeling of being in the suburbs, and also get convenient access to things that make you feel like a true New Yorker. If you’re considering moving, add this enchanting neighborhood to your list!