The working-class neighborhood of Corona, Queens, is jam-packed with tasty eats and attractions. Corona borders Flushing Meadows Park, the site of both the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs, and is still home to the New York State Pavilion and Unisphere that you might recognize from the movie “Men in Black.” The park also houses the Queens Museum, the Queens Zoo, the New York Hall of Science, Citi Field and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center: It’s a great place to kick off your Corona adventure.
What to Do in Corona
Before you go to Corona, make sure you check the Mets home schedule, because a ball game at Citi Field (123-01 Roosevelt Ave.) is an experience you won’t want to miss. Mets fans, myself included, are used to playing second fiddle in this town, but the tide has turned lately (e.g., last season’s World Series run), and nowadays we can even claim the superior baseball stadium, which has its very own Shake Shack. Not into sports? No problem. Head to the New York Hall of Science (47-01 111th St.,) to take part in its hundreds of interactive exhibits to delight kids and adults alike. Finally, don’t leave without a visit to the Queens Museum (New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park). On display, you will find a collection of Tiffany lamps (the Tiffany glass studios were located in Corona until they shuttered in the 1930s), as well as the Panorama, a scale model of New York City featuring all 895,000 buildings constructed before 1992, that took more than 100 people three years to build.
Loads of famous musicians called Corona home at some point, from Dizzy Gillespie to Madonna. The great Louis Armstrong lived here until his death in 1971. Fans of Satchmo can pay homage to the man and also learn a great deal about jazz at his former residence, the Louis Armstrong House Museum (34-56 107th St.).
Where to Eat in Corona
Corona is a patchwork of ethnicity, reflected through its first-class eateries. For one of the best Cubano sandwiches you can find north of Miami, check out Rincon Criollo (40-09 Junction Blvd.). Nearby Colombian joint Empanadas Café (56-27 Van Doren St.) serves delicious empanadas in about 30 flavor varieties. Tortilleria Nixtamal (104-05 47th Ave.) is a great Mexican spot that makes its own corn tortillas daily in-house, and Leo’s Latticini (46-02 104th St.), which the locals refer to as “Mama’s,” is the place to go for Italian subs. A stop at the family-run Lemon Ice King of Corona (52-02 108th St.) is a must—they’ve been making some three dozen flavors of Italian ice for over 60 years. The adjacent William F. Moore Park (“Spaghetti Park,“ to the locals) is the perfect place to enjoy your icy treat while taking in a late- afternoon boccie game.