ASTORIA, QUEENS — Spring is in the air in Astoria, and besides cherry blossoms and daffodils, people may catch a whiff of sizzling carnitas or fresh-baked tortillas.
At least four different Mexican restaurants are in the works around the neighborhood, from a burrito spot on 30th Avenue to a sleek cafe near Kaufman Astoria Studios.
Here’s what we know about each spot.
Citrico Cafe (32-90 36th St.)
The only one of the four to have already opened, Citrico opened its doors in recent days on the corner of 36th Street and 34th Avenue, right across from Kaufman Studios.
Describing itself as a “Mexican Cafe & Agaveria Bar,” its menu features raw bar items like oysters and ceviche; L.A.-style street tacos with fillings like al pastor and pork belly; and entrées including cabbage asada and adobo chicken.
Outfitted with black-and-white tiles and backlit shelves of bottles, Citrico’s space was formerly home to Monika’s Cafe Bar, which closed in 2020 after 20 years in business.
Burrito Blvd. (36-20 30th Ave.)
This burrito spot will open April 23 on the southwest corner of 30th Avenue and 36th Street, in the former Shenny’s Fine Jewelers storefront.
It will be the third location for a small chain with existing locations in Middle Village and Mineola, Long Island, according to its website. Owners describe Burrito Blvd. as “a crave-able new restaurant offering homemade street style food,” with a focus on naturally-raised ingredients.
Menu items include tacos, quesadillas, bowls and salads, and, obviously, burritos.
Mayahuel (32-07 34th Ave.)
There aren’t many details available about this new business opening up in the former Maizal Restaurant & Tequila Bar space, on 34th Avenue between 32nd and 33rd streets.
But signage appeared recently advertising the forthcoming “Mayahuel Restaurant,” described in its Instagram bio as a “Family Owned Mexican Restaurant & Agaveria Coming Soon To Astoria.”
The business was registered with the state in February, according to public records.
Taco Brasserie (34-01 36th Ave.)
There likewise isn’t much information about this upcoming eatery on the corner of 36th Avenue and 34th Street.
Signage advertising the restaurant’s name appeared over the storefront in recent weeks, borrowing the French word that refers to a casual restaurant that serves hearty food. Records show the business was first registered in March 2021.
The long-vacant storefront was most recently home to Cava Wine & Spirits.