By Safell Sigüeñas
“Start your day at the end of the line, ” they said, so I embarked on the N train all the way to its last stop. I walked down the stairs, and right across the exit, there it was… an aesthetic building with big letters that read QWNS CAFE. The cafe has been opened for only five months and, with no advertisements at all, it already has an ever-growing amount of customers and 4 big stars on Yelp — plus they were all over my Instagram feed.
I come in and the cashiers welcome me with a big smile. I need to make a small queue, but I get distracted as soon as my eyes spot delicious-looking pastries lying next to the cashier section. Muffins, croissants, cookies — they all look so fresh and delicious.
It’s my turn, and I had already planned my order. After seeing several mouth-watering pictures on Instagram of the Chickpea Frittata, which comes inside a croissant, I knew I had to have it. And, I also went for a vegan Strawberry Shortbread Cookie and a vegan Oreo that were calling my name.
The owner, Tim Pappas, sat down to chat with me as I waited for my order. He has been in the industry for 20 years, managing upscale restaurants and businesses and he has lived in Astoria his whole life. That is why he wanted to give the community something new. QWNS Cafe has a fast casual concept, and it offers everything for everyone. From celiac to vegan. Being into health and fitness himself, the cafe uses no processed sugars or flours. Every single thing is made in-house and from scratch, daily. It is the only cafe of its kind in the area. Moreover, every ingredient is organic and, as possible, locally sourced (for instance, avocado).
Honestly, what else could you ask for?.
The menu really has an incredible variety. Sandwiches, açai bowls, coffee, wraps, salads, toast, beer and wine — and don’t worry, their vegan and gluten-free options are not your average salad. Tim and the executive chef, Michael Romano, have come up with really tasty options. They also offer kombucha on tap, and you are going to fall in love with the Peach flavor like I did.
My all-vegan order is ready and I will let the pictures speak for themselves.
Qwns Cafe is located in Queens at the end of the subway lines W and N, hence the name “qWNs.” Hence, their slogan “start your day at the end of the line,” because “QWNS cafe is located at the end of the line, but you will start your day here,”says an excited Tim on how they came out with such catchy phrase for the place.
I take the last bite of my crunchy and soft-in-the-inside croissant, as it melts in my mouth I could not be happier I started my day in Qwns Cafe.
Photography by Safell Sigüeñas
QWNS Cafe is located at 22-35 31st Street, Long Island City, NY 11105