The ULTIMATE Guide to Living in Long Island City vs. Astoria

A side-by-side comparison of the most popular neighborhoods in Queens

With median rents in Brooklyn and Manhattan continuing to rise, Queens is quickly becoming one of the most in-demand boroughs in New York City. According to a recent study by StreetEasy, listing inquiries in Queens have increased by 133% compared to 2019.

Long Island City and Astoria are the two neighborhoods driving the most demand due to their proximity to Manhattan and unique culture. Although both neighborhoods have a lot in common, they offer distinct advantages that appeal to different types of residents. To help you decide which neighborhood is right for you, here is an in depth look at living in Astoria vs. Long Island City.

 View of the East River from Astoria Park
View of the East River from Astoria Park

What's It Like Living in Astoria?

Astoria is a bustling and diverse neighborhood full of life and culture. Located in the top northwest corner of the borough of Queens, the Astoria neighborhood is situated on the banks of the East River directly across from the Upper East Side, north of Long Island City.

Living in Astoria, NY, offers a residential atmosphere with all the excitement of a big city. It features a healthy mix of large, brick apartment buildings, detached single-family homes, luxury condo developments, and townhomes. Apartments tend to be spacious and more affordable than other popular parts of NYC. It's also a very walkable neighborhood with tree-lined blocks and a calmer pace of life compared to Manhattan.

Astoria is a good place to live for anyone who wants a quiet, community-oriented atmosphere with an easy commute to Manhattan. So, if you want diversity, culture, and spacious homes, you'll love living in Astoria, NYC.

Pros and Cons of Living in Astoria, Queens


  • Easy commute into Midtown Manhattan
  • Spacious homes and a variety of property types
  • Great restaurants and local businesses
  • Limited subway access in some parts of the neighborhood (especially further north)
  • Difficult commute to Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan
  • Not as many live music venues, theaters and other cultural attractions

Long Island City boardwalk
Long Island City boardwalk

What's It Like Living in Long Island City

Long Island City is a chic and modern neighborhood full of life and culture. Located on the western tip of Queens across the East River from Midtown East, the LIC neighborhood is situated south of Astoria and north of the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Long Island City has a grittier atmosphere than other parts of Queens. It's a former industrial area full of old warehouses converted into luxury apartment buildings offering an interesting vibe and breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline. It's full of young professionals who want the serenity of a suburb combined with the aesthetic of a city.

You'll find an assortment of breweries, coffee shops, wine bars, museums, art galleries, and restaurants that serve everything from Mexican cuisine to Thai street food. It's also a very diverse neighborhood with a melting-pot culture that attracts residents from all walks of life.

It's very centrally located and offers easy access to Manhattan, Brooklyn, and other parts of Queens via the subway, I-495, and the Queens-Midtown Tunnel. Plus, it's a very walkable neighborhood with plenty of parks, playgrounds, and sports fields.

It isn't the most lively or fast-paced neighborhood, and you won't find as much nightlife as in other trendy New York neighborhoods. However, those who want a new building in a quiet area with easy access to the rest of New York should seriously consider living in Long Island City.

Living in Long Island City Pros and Cons

  • Centrally located in the middle of Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens
  • An abundance of small restaurants and cafes
  • A quiet neighborhood with parks and outdoor recreation
  • Nightlife is minimal, with more casual bars than clubs
  • Limited options for shopping
  • Lacks a unique neighborhood identity

Long Island City vs. Astoria: Which is Better?

So now that you understand the advantages and disadvantages of living in each neighborhood, let's look at a side-by-side comparison of Astoria vs Long Island City.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Long Island City, New York tends to be higher than in Astoria. says the median home price in Long Island City is $1.2 million, while in Astoria, it's just under $700,000. Rentcafe also indicates that the average rent in Long Island City is $4,137, while in Astoria, it's $3,137. Long Island City is the most expensive neighborhood in Queens. However, the cost of living in Astoria, Queens, is not far behind. 

The primary factor driving up the price is the proximity to Manhattan. Long Island City is more centrally located and offers more direct access to Manhattan and Brooklyn. Luxury apartment buildings also dominate LIC, while Astoria features more of a mix of more affordable housing options.

Shopping, Attractions and Restaurants

Both Astoria and LIC offer unique attractions, restaurants, and shopping options, although the vibe and variety are slightly different. Astoria is more known for its ethnic restaurants serving everything from Greek food to Egyptian cuisine. 

You’ll find plenty of shops and local businesses along Steinway Street or Ditmars Boulevard. If you venture further into Queens toward Woodside, you'll also find plenty of major chains such as Home Depot, Best Buy and Marshalls.

In terms of art and recreation, there are a few interesting museums in Astoria, Queens, including the Museum of Moving Image and the Noguchi Museum. Plus, the massive Astoria Park is a great place to spend a weekend and features tennis courts, a swimming pool, playgrounds, a running track, and more. 

Long Island City also has plenty of fantastic restaurants along Vernon Boulevard and Jackson Avenue.  It's known for its Asian cuisine with notable standouts, including San San Ramen. Casa Enrique, a Michelin-star-rated Mexican restaurant, is also in LIC.

You'll find a few grocery stores and supermarkets scattered around Northern Boulevard, although chain stores and shopping malls are limited. MoMa PS1 and Gantry Plaza State Park are other notable attractions in the neighborhood.

Transportation and Commuting

Long Island City tends to offer more transportation options. Residents can catch the 7, N, or W trains at the Queensboro Plaza Stop or the 7, G, E, or M at Court Square.

The N and W trains run along the north and western sides of Astoria, making stops between Broadway and Astoria Blvd, and the M and R trains serve the south and eastern sides of the neighborhood between 36th Street and Northern Blvd. However, certain portions of the community are a bit isolated from subway stops, especially in the northeastern quadrant.

The drive from Long Island City to Manhattan is only about 3 miles and takes about 24 minutes, while Astoria is about 5 miles away or a 45-minute drive.

Economy and Job Opportunities

Long Island City is home to more startups and corporate headquarters. JetBlue, iTellio, and HealthRhythms are all notable companies headquartered in Long Island City. Brooks Brothers tie manufacturing factory is also located in LIC, as is Wonton Food, the largest producer of fortune cookies in the US.

Astoria is home to Kaufman Studios, a movie studio where famous shows like Sesame Street and Orange is the New Black were filmed. However, it tends to be more residential and home to more local businesses than major corporations.

Neighborhood Culture and Vibe

Astoria tends to have a more distinct character and local culture than Long Island City. It's a true melting pot with dozens of different communities from cultures all around the world.

You can walk down a single block and hear multiple different languages being spoken and find authentic restaurants offering food from around the globe. Unique attractions like Socrates Sculpture Park and the Museum of Moving Image help give it a hip, artistic vibe, and you'll find many artists and creatives living in Astoria, New York.

Long Island City, by comparison, is newer and more modern. Being a former industrial center, it has a much more dense urban aesthetic, yet it's also more sparsely populated. Residents tend to be more young professionals and commuters looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Manhattan than families and artists. However, you'll find no shortage of trendy bars and delicious restaurants.

View of Manhattan from Long Island City park
View of Manhattan from Long Island City park

Where Are You Moving: Astoria or Long Island City?

Now that you understand the ins and outs of LIC and Astoria, you can decide which neighborhood is right for you. Living in Long Island City, NY, offers newer buildings and more transportation options. However, it tends to be a bit more expensive and has less of a community-oriented vibe.

On the other hand, Astoria is a diverse melting pot with spacious homes and authentic restaurants. However, subway access can be limited, depending on where you live, and you won't find as many modern high-rise buildings or employment opportunities.

Need help finding the perfect home in one of these fantastic neighborhoods? Reach out to our team at Undivided and let us know what you’re looking for. By building personal relationships with our clients and taking the time to understand your needs, we take the guesswork out of buying homes in NYC. Get in touch today to start your journey toward finding the perfect home.

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