30-09 34th St.
With Sweet Afton, the owners of Wilfie & Nell have transported some downtown glam to Astoria. From the liquors infused in-house to the foods highlighting local suppliers to the shockingly friendly recycled-industrial interior, the place is charmingly well thought-out. Yet there’s still a real, authentic neighborhood vibe here—the lack of flat screens makes the whole place attractively analog, and the honest emphasis on all things handmade and local makes the bar feel bigger than the sum of its parts. A great beer selection with local brews complements a menu with helpings of mac and cheese, sides of local bacon, a beautiful burger, and beer-battered, deep-fried McClure’s pickles (the kitchen is open until 1am). Even every scrap of furniture—from the light fixtures to the rafters—has some ridiculous provenance (the bar is made out of old shipping crates, some with stamps sill blazed on the side). There are a few heirloom cocktails, like a Cucumber Collins and Moscow Mule, as well as some modern takes like the Dirty Pickle Martini.