Manhattan may have the famed cronut, Williamsburg may be rapidly catching up with the newly hyped ramen burger, but Queens has its own fare. Loukoumades have already been dubbed the unofficial donut of Queens.
She doesn’t call it the Gronut, but Katarina Davoultzis makes her own version of loukoumades—a traditional Greek donut — every single day from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and she has rapidly developed a following of loyal patrons. While Café Boulis stays open until 8 or 9 p.m. most evenings, Davoultzis is just as much a part of the draw as her famous donuts.
“We make everything fresh,” she boasts with a proud smile. “You want a frappe, it’s going to take a minute,” she explains, “because I am going to get the milk straight from the cow.”
She’s part chef, part matron, part emcee, and every bit as sweet as her pastries.
It is rumored that in ancient Greece, these fried dough treats were presented to winners of the Olympics as “honey tokens.” At Café Boulis, the rings of homemade dough are shaped and fried to order using a special machine rarely found outside of Greece, then served with any variety of toppings, ranging from Nutella to chocolate syrup and sesame seeds. The best way to order them, however, is “all the way”—drizzled with Greek honey, and lightly dusted with cinnamon and powdered sugar.
These mini golden rings come six to an order for just $4 and fit in the palm of your hand. They sell boxes and large trays as well.
Café Boulis also serves an array of paninis, salads, wraps, and other traditional Greek desserts, along with several coffees. Baguettes are stuffed with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. Phylo sheets are wrapped around spinach and cheeses, before being baked into golden brown pies.
A dessert shelf encompasses every potential desire for the sweet tooth, from cookies and pastries to traditional Greek sweets. The baklava and galaktoboureko are certainly worthy of note.
But it is undeniably the loukoumades that keeps drawing in the crowds. Crispy on the outside, warm and soft spongey cake inside, the version at Café Boulis is really unparalleled, and makes the perfect morning, midday or afternoon treat.
What goes better with donuts than coffee? The java selection at Boulis is also some of the best around, with everything from Greek coffee to caramel macchiato, frappes to iced cappuccinos.
Whether stopping by for a morning coffee and pastry, light lunch, or evening nosh, Café Boulis is best enjoyed seated at is sidewalk café, amidst the sailboats on the mural of the Aegean Sea.
30-15 31st Avenue, Astoria
Monday-Thursday 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday-Saturday 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sunday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
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