Koliba - 31-11 23rd Ave. Astoria, NY 11105
N/W Train to Ditmars Blvd (last stop)
Koliba is my favorite Slovak restaurant in Astoria and I prefer it to Zlata Praha or the Bohemian Beer Garden (just the food, not the beer). Nostalgia automatically takes over when I'm here, bringing me back to my childhood in Slovakia. My family introduced me to Koliba years ago, when it was the venue of my aunt Alica's 50th birthday party. Since then, I’ve been here countless times for various festivities such as anniversaries, birthdays, casual lunches and dinners. My favorite dish to get here is the potato spaetzle (or dumplings) with sauerkraut and bacon. Also referred to as “haluski s kapustou” by Slovaks, this is a signature peasant dish. I love the way it’s made in Koliba—the dumplings are soft and hearty, the sauerkraut has a hint of sweetness and don't even get me started on the bacon. Instead of the thin American bacon, Slovak bacon is cut super thick, with flavor bursting at the seams. The fried cheese is also a delicious standby. It’s incredibly crispy, stringy and comes with homemade tartar sauce and yummy steak fries. Although I personally prefer the dumpling dishes here, the meat is also worth trying--I’d encourage the pork schnitzel and the beef goulash. Dessert is a maybe—not because it’s not good but because I’m always too full to get it. Koliba’s service can vary and while I hate to admit it, they’re usually nicer to Slovaks and Czechs than Americans. That’s not to say that you’ll get bad service, but bringing your Slovak or Czech friend along will only work to your advantage.