Yesterday I took a mini-tour of Astoria - 28th and 30th Avenues, plus a little of Steinway. Had a fantastic burger and awesome fries at Sunset Pizza (28th Ave and 46th Street), checked out Gian Piero Bakery (30th Ave in the mid-40s), where I had a lovely slice of Italian-style cheesecake. It was made from ricotta rather than cream cheese, and I liked how light it was. I'd defintely go back again, and I hear the carrot cake is awfully good, too.
I had heard about a new cafe (you all call them "coffee shops" here in the east) called Esparks, located on Steinway just north of 31st Avenue, so I checked it out as well. It's a very nice space with tasty coffee. It looks very much like a Starbucks, and the baristas there readily fess up to the comparison. It's a comfortable space and quite spacious. They have free wifi, which is cool. People are even beginning to post "missed connections" from there. There isn't any other place like it in the area, and I think it fills a real need. Below are some pictures.