Cafe Muscat is a dairy all-day cafe, located in Queens, NY. The Kosher Cactus visited and reviewed Cafe Muscat in May of 2021.
Where is Cafe Muscat located? What is the best way to get there?
Cafe Muscat is located at 178-07 Union Turnpike, in Queens. It is one of the many Kosher restaurants lining this street in Fresh Meadows.
The easiest way to get to Cafe Muscat is by car, as there are no nearby subway stations.
Cafe Muscat is just a 20 minute drive from Kennedy International Airport, and has become a family favorite for a quick bite coming into or going out of New York City.
There is usually parking available on 178th or 179th street, which are the closest cross-streets on the Turnpike.
Do I need to dress up to visit?
Although you don’t have to dress up fancy, most people come to Cafe Muscat at night for the ambience, which is beautiful and upscale.
When we visited, most of the patrons were dressed up, and so were we- it was a date night! That being said, during the day, most guests are dressed far more simply.
What kinds of dishes does the Cafe serve?
Cafe Muscat serves Israeli style cuisine, with strong Italian influences. The restaurant is dairy, and there are many pasta, ciabatta and oregenatto options, as well as the more traditional Israeli breakfasts, salads, sandwiches and fish dishes.
There’s the standard Regular Fries on the menu, but its closely followed by Bulgarian Eggplant. In case you were wondering, that’s half an eggplant, baked with a cream sauce, and mushrooms, olives, purple onion and parmigiano cheese.
What I’m saying is, there’s a pretty wide variety of dishes.
What is on the menu at Cafe Muscat?
The menu at Cafe Muscat is extensive. They could take about 20 items off their list, and there would still be an abundance of options. It’s a little daunting, but here are a few of my favorite dishes:
Pear Salad. An absolute winner every time, this delicious salad is made of mixed greens, sugared walnuts, red onions and pears and topped with feta cheese. It is garnished with an olive oil and lemon dressing, and it just hits the spot. It’s light, it’s filling, and it’s refreshing.
Muscat Salad. This house salad has haloumi cheese! Cafe Muscat was my first experience with haloumi cheese, and I was not disappointed. They have perfected the gently fried outside, the sweet creamy inside… and the bed of salad that it lies on (with cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, roasted yams and eggplant) is just magnificent.
Spider Roll. A sushi roll without peer. It is light-years ahead of anything else I’ve tasted.
Muscat Ciabatta. It’s a sandwich made with Italy’s answer to sourdough bread. Layered in between thick slices is tuna, hard-boiled egg, roasted eggplant, pickled lemon, seared tomatoes and harissa spice. This is the sandwich to beat them all. It has seven flavours in one sandwich and it is incredible.
What else is on the menu?
- Breakfast (served all day)
- Israeli style dishes
- Stir Fry
- Hot Beverages
- Cold Beverages
Is Cafe Muscat wheelchair-accessible?
Cafe Muscat is wheelchair-accessible, and there is a large restroom in the back of the restaurant.
If the space is full, it may be a little tight navigating between the full tables, but when it is emptier there certainly would not be any issues.
What Hashgacha is Cafe Muscat?
Cafe Muscat is under the Kosher supervision of the Vaad Harabanim of Queens. All food is Chalav Yisrael. Breads are Pas Yisroel and Kemach Yashan.
Is Cafe Muscat kid-friendly?
Yes, the Cafe is kid-friendly!
As well as readily available high-chairs for tots, there are also plenty of options on the menu for little kids. There’s dishes like Fish and Chips, Mac n Cheese or Grilled Cheese, plus plenty more.
Most of the pasta dishes- especially Baked Ziti- are also pretty kid-friendly.
Does the Cafe have vegetarian options?
Cafe Muscat is entirely meat-free. There are also plenty of vegan options at the restaurant.
Some of the favorites are the Oregenatto options- salads that have stir-fried vegetables included. You can also order any of the salads without dairy or fish, and if you are looking for a drink (not just for Vegans) I’d strongly recommend the Slushy Limonana.
Do I need to make a reservation to visit?
Although you can call ahead to make a reservation, you can just walk in and there are usually tables available. If you come in at peak-hour, you may have to wait a few minutes, but the turnover rate is very high, so it should not be long.
If you are planning a visit with a crown (more than 8 people) you should definitely call ahead.
Do they sell drinks?
Cafe Muscat has a wide variety of hot and cold drinks.
There’s the Slushy Limonana (really, really good), all the sodas you could dream of, Iced Coffees in any style you want, and milkshakes that kids fantasize about.
There’s also any type of hot coffee (with an in-house barista), and Hot Chocolate. Get the Hot Chocolate. Make sure they are generous with the whipped cream. You are so, so welcome.
What is the service like at Cafe Muscat?
When we visited, Cafe Muscat was busy.
The place was jam-packed, and we had to wait about 5 minutes for our table. I will say that it was cleared and re-set extremely quickly and efficiently, considering how hectic it was. We were given water right away, and we didn’t have to wait too long for the waiter to come collect our orders.
It did take us a few minutes longer than average to decide what we wanted- as mentioned, the menu is very big.
The wait for our food took about 20 minutes, but we had rolls and butter to keep us company, and as I said, the place was packed.
We did have to flag down waiters once or twice- water spilled, one of our dishes didn’t make it, a fork fell- but the waiters were great under pressure.
Cafe Muscat was bustling for a reason. It has become known in the last few years as a consistently good place to eat. The food is great, the location is perfect, the staff is quick, and the cost is reasonable.
I, for one, plan on returning.