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The Thirsty Koala

Astoria, New York, Queens

(828)

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About

The Thirsty Koala is an award winning Australian inspired eatery located in Astoria, New York. We were voted best Australian by the Village Voice, Best Eatery and Best Healthy Eatery by QNS.com. We've been featured on ABC Eyewitness News, ABC Eyewitness News' Neighborhood Eats, CBS News Dine on Demand, NY-1, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, NY Daily News and numerous other media outlets including Thrillist, Pure Wow, the Queens Courier and Boro Magazine.

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Reviews (828)

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4.5/5

828 customer reviews

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3 June 2019

This place is legit one of the places I need to go before I die. I've been coming here from when we still still lived in Jersey City since 2016. We travel an hour and a half for Thirsty Koala! It's that serious!Thirsty Koala has such a welcoming staff and owner! If you haven't tried kangaroo meat before, just know that Thirsty Koala serves it off menu. The burgers are huge but they do offer sliders if you're not ready to commit to a huge burger. ALSO, their Triple T dessert is heavenly. I would get on a plane for it and if they discontinue, (which please God, dont!) I'd protest! More...

Reviewed on Yelp

1 June 2019

Edit*** thank you KatherineFood was pretty solid. Place had a great atmosphere, but this was the worst service I've ever had. Took forever to get table cleaned, calamari was delicious but took a while cause the kitchen was "hopping."  I can get past that but it also took 20 minutes following finishing the calamari to get our entrees... seriously? All the while no apologies for the service, nothing comped even though we were clearly upset. To top it all off. She accidentally added something extra on the bill. Shan't be retuning. Solid house beer though Customer service made it right. Quality place! More...

Reviewed on Yelp

26 May 2019

The bread was fresh with a good tomato spread.  The beef meat pies and sausage rolls were both good but similar in taste profile and texture; the accompanying dips were also identical.  The lamb lollies were grilled well with sweet potatoes, salad, and pomegranate.  The hanger steak was a perfect medium well and already pre-cut, obviating any knife work.  The pork belly from another member of my party's entree was robustly meaty.  The desserts took quite some time to come but were worth it in taste and presentation; my lamington was comprised of light sponge surrounded by desiccated coconut.  Service was excellent as staff continually came by to inquire about our experience.  Payment was expeditious with the card scanner, permitting for an immediate electronic receipt. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

26 May 2019

We've lived on Ditmars for 5 years now and this has been the best, most consistently great restaurant from day 1. I am the type of person who finds something on a menu that I love and then order it every time. But this place has so many superb items, from appetizers, to entrees, to burgers, that I have such a hard time deciding what to get every time I go. The owner is so nice. She's always there, always talking to customers, always trying to improve the menu based on what the customers want. Oh, and if you are vegan, gluten free, vegetarian, you all have tons of options, and every item is clearly marked on the menu if it is gf, veg, dairy, whatever. It is no surprise that this place has thrived the whole time we've lived here while a hundred other restaurants have closed. More...

Reviewed on Google Maps

25 May 2019

Awesome place! Delicious food, gluten-free and healthy choices, great service and outdoor seating. Went with friends and we ate yummy food while feeling a nice breeze and we were treated so well! There were also yummy dessert choices, if you like fruit try the Pavlova. Highly recommend The Thirsty Koala for a perfectly enjoyable experience! More...

Reviewed on Yelp

25 May 2019

Fantastic food, great service and relaxed environment, give it a try when you're in the neighborhood.

Reviewed on Yelp

24 May 2019

Good place to get fresh food and good cocktails. Terrific happy hour specials. Good service as well.

Reviewed on Google Maps

22 May 2019

I really appreciate that the menu was so clear about what is gluten free. With that, they had so many options. I felt like I wasn't restricted at all. However, I sample my friend's dishes, as well as eating my own and they were definitely hit or miss. The Salmon is delicious but takes 25 min to cook. The kale side salad is bland AF. The kangaroo burger is bland as well. When asked beforehand what it tastes like the waitress said "it tastes like meat". Yeah, super helpful description. I did enjoy the soup of the day. I'd make that at home if I had the recipe. Truffle fries were pretty good. I'll add that the hostess was super kind and I really appreciated her patience and help. I'd try it again if I lived in the area but Astoria is quite the trek from BK. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

19 May 2019

This place is amazing. Thank you for being so allergen aware, the fact I can go there and fried calamari and fried chicken as a gluten free, dairy free, soy free individual is something I do not take for granted. I was in comfort food heaven! I cannot wait to go back for the fish and chips! The bartender also made me a delicious dirty martini, they actual understood what dirty means and you could not see through the glass!The staff is also so nice, the female hostess on Saturday nights is just the best and all servers were super friendly for it being such a busy night. It does get pretty loud as everyone is clearly enjoying themselves so not the place for an intimate evening, but nevertheless a guaranteed a good time. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

13 May 2019

Good food. Fish tacos are great. Nice salad options. My kid liked the sliders. Nice concept and a local favorite for my family for lazy night in delivery.

Reviewed on Yelp

12 May 2019

I like how kid-friendly The Thirsty Koala is. They have high chairs and a changing table in the bathroom. A very nice staff member (I'm assuming she was the manager) gave my 2. 5 year old a Boogie Board Scribble n' Play to draw on with while we waited for our food to come. At the end of our meal she even gave my daughter a complimentary vanilla ice cream with sprinkles :) More...

Reviewed on Yelp

12 May 2019

Had a 5pm reservation which we got there early they let us know that at 7pm they will be busy as they have a lot of reservations. So we were like are you going to kick us out? They were like no but just letting you know. We got the hint. The servers always checked on us.Buttermilk chicken was too salty in my opinion and the kangaroo burger was decent.The pork belly was goodI dont think i will come back but wasnt a bad experience More...

Reviewed on Yelp

9 May 2019

Thirsty Koala is simply a wonderful place- especially for those with dietary restrictions. As someone who has been strictly GF for 20 years- it is one of those restaurants that gives immediate comfort and assurance. GF beer? You got it. FRIED calamari- Yup. GF Beer battered Fish and Chips. Yes!  Not to mention every item menu notes if gluten, dairy free, soy free,  etc. Helpful and friendly service and a great menu with plenty of variety. I will not lie- for many first dates I have "happened" to suggest TK because it knocks it out of the park every time. Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Dessert.  You can not go wrong! My favorite is the Roasted Acorn Squash- so delish and filling! More...

Reviewed on Yelp

8 May 2019

the food was good but i ate a kangaroo via kangaroo burger and i hate myself for it because kangaroos are cute and i hate myself even more because our waiter was also hella cute and he was wearing a wedding ring so basically i took a lot of L's that day

Reviewed on Yelp

8 May 2019

The food here is always great as well as their service. Today was no different. There was a small error on my bill which I noticed after, but I received a quick response indicating it would be taken care of. There are great vegan options and happy hour drinks are awesome. Tried their Thirsty Koala beer for the first time today as well as their Earth Chili bowl. It was delicious. More...

Reviewed on Google Maps

1 May 2019

Came here for dinner last night with a friend after we found this place on Yelp & we were not disappointed. The restaurant itself is very cute with its decor, it looked great and they play up the Koala bear theme enough to do their name justice, but not so much that it's tacky or too kitschy. The service was great, our waitress was attentive without being there too often (restaurant was pretty slow when we arrived at 6:15) and the food was so good. We started with the lamb lollies and I got the roasted bbq pork belly which was so tender and so flavorful full, I'm honestly still thinking of them 24 hours later. I'm in East Elmhurst somewhat frequently for work, so I'll definitely be back during my next visit. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

29 April 2019

It is surprisingly difficult to locate a good "fancy" burger in NYC, but fortunately, The Thirsty Koala exists. This small bar/restaurant on Ditmars has a reasonable selection of food options. Some of our favorites are: 1) The Lot Beef Burger, which is just a big burger with a ton of protein, 2) Fish and Chips, which is made with flaky cod, 3) Fish Tacos, which is made with the same flaky cod found in the Fish and Chips. The Heaps Good salad is a good choice to accompany all that protein, and we find that adding a side Charred Kale is the only way to get enough green for the meal. Clearly Australians compete with Americans in the "who can consume the least amount of greens in a meal" contest. Food can arrive slightly slow, so having either the Halloumi Fries or a side of Fries is a good way to munch of something while waiting for the food to arrive. Service feels slightly disorganized, but we always seem to be able to get sufficient attention throughout the meal. More...

Reviewed on Google Maps

29 April 2019

Loved it. Great food, terrific service, and wonderful company. Can't wait to go back!

Reviewed on Google Maps

29 April 2019

Place gets super packed! Make a reservation if you can. We had the meat pies, meatballs, hanger steak tacos, Australian sausage, and kangaroo burger. Everything was delicious, but the meat pies and sausage were my fave. Its super casual and gets pretty loud, so if you're looking for a lively night with great food and drinks, this is the perfect place. More...

Reviewed on Google Maps

15 April 2019

I stopped in The Thirsty Koala during happy hour when I stayed in Astoria and it was a pretty good experience. The happy hour drink prices are really good, but my drink was just okay. I got the dingo, which was a bourbon cocktail, but they used a pretty low quality bourbon and there wasn't anything super special about the drink. I'd probably just stick to the draft list next time. I got some halloumi "fries" for food, which were absolutely delicious. I'm a big halloumi fan, but never had it like this and the honey and mint really worked with the cheese! The price point for the portion size was a little high, but that was my only complaint with the food. Overall, I liked the Thirsty Koala, but would make a different drink choice if there's a next time! More...

Reviewed on Yelp

14 April 2019

It would be ideal to make a reservation,  but the wait time without was less than 10mins. The food was similar to any restuarant on the strip,  really didn't find anything special worth mentioning. The service was great. Waiter was attentive to our needs and food didn't take forever to come out.The Mini Australian Pastured Beef Pies and Fries could do with a different dipping sauce,  pretty bland dish. TheGrilled Australian Herb and Wattle Seed Crusted Lamb Lollies was ok.  The sweet potato salad is delicious, but the lamb is probably better well done. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

12 April 2019

Genuinely so impressed with dining at The Thirsty Koala. I'd ordered online before, but the service when visiting was FANTASTIC. Management was cordial but not overly attentive, our server was lovely and offered great recommendations. The place was super busy, but we still felt we were given the amount of attention we deserved. The food was DELICIOUS. I walk by this a lot when dining on Ditmars, but I'm so glad we went in and dined. Will be popping by again soon! More...

Reviewed on Yelp

11 April 2019

I love this restaurant. Inside is warm and very inviting. The lighting is perfect for a date or reading a book. The food is of EXCELLENT. This is one of the best places in Astoria for food and drinks. If you're considering stopping in- just do it. You won't be sorry! More...

Reviewed on Yelp

8 April 2019

Visited the Koala with my friend her 3 kiddies for Sunday Brunch. Great service, great food, great outdoor seating accommodation. Lots of food and interesting drink choices. Looking forward to going back to try more items. Best Bloody Mary in town!!See you soon:) More...

Reviewed on Yelp

7 April 2019

A wonderful, fun and delicious brunch. As someone with serious food allergies, eating out can feel like a dangerous challenge, but their menu is fresh interesting and inviting, and deliciously executed. They take good care of people with individual needs. Waitress Ursula took great care of us and made sure the meal was safe and special. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

4 April 2019

Wow! The place itself is scream come in and join the crowd.  Friendly and welcoming! We sat at the bar to dine and drink, and socialize.  The bartender immediately greeted us, and ask if we'd like water.  I appreciated this because he gave us time to settle,  view the cocktail specials and make a selection with out feeling pressured.  The menu to short and simple with detailed explanations of each item.  I got the lamb chops and my friend order a burger.  The presentation of our plates were very appealing,  as we were looking for a homestyle restaurant,  with good food.  The Thirsty Koala, had everything we craved. The lamb was pefectky medium rare, flavorful and filling.  The burger/sandwich had just enough kick to it to get us back.  The ambiance was friendly and fun. And the servers kept a smile on their face.  Many customers were regulars, as I noticed they were referred to by name, a hug and their usual drink. Very good, super delicious food choices, I recommend everyone a visit there and certainly try the lamb chops. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

30 March 2019

I have never felt so welcomed and well treated. Every single team member had a smile on their face. The food is flavorful and amazing. The portions are great and the quality is out of this world. We ordered the wild sesame salmon served on Bok choy with a delicious sauce with a side of garlic mash potatoes, the lamb chop lollies that were paired with a maple pumpkin, arugula and pomegranate salad and lastly the calamari. I am soooo impressed with the service and quality of the food. I am coming back for sure. A great excuse to meet babe up from work! Thank you to the owner Kathy for our drinks on the house and delicious recommendations, thank you to Alexa, Ursula and the tall handsome man on the floor. Thank you to the bartenders you made delicioussssss drinks. I am in love. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

30 March 2019

Had a really great dinner here. Thank you to Ursula our waitress and Christine the owner for making our time here amazing. Food was tasty and our party got most of the appetizers to share. I really liked the varied menu, with many gluten free and vegan options. More...

Reviewed on Google Maps

29 March 2019

Bringing Australia to Astoria, the food at The Thirty Koala is excellent, intriguing; always on-time and it's always delicious! They are quick to help customers with kindness and more than willing to meal individually specified dining preferences. I'd highly recommend this joint. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

29 March 2019

So good!!! I've came here once for brunch and enjoyed everything I ordered.  I decided to stop by for happy hour one night and I'm hooked.  Bartenders Matt, & Victoria are the best of the best drink mixologists, and chef Kathy does a wonderful job with the menu.  I love the soups, lentil soup so good.  The salmon plate---amazing and the salads are so yummy, add salmon as your protein.  As for appetizers, I love the Thea meatballs and if you're extra hungry to for the meat pie appetizer--sooooo good.  I'm hooked.  The drinks. Check.  The food check!!!! More...

Reviewed on Yelp

29 March 2019

This is my favorite spot in Astoria! The food is delicious to perfection! Great people and great food.The soup, salmon, veg chili and Thea's meatballs are the best. Bartender Matt and Victoria are awesome!!!! More...

Reviewed on Yelp

25 March 2019

I came here with a large group for a new and expectant moms brunch, and for the crowd we brought, the Thirsty Koala held up nicely. It was my first time here, however, so I was more focused on the food. Service was great - especially given our group size.But food seemed to be a bit cool by the time it came out so it was cold fairly quickly. This might be due to being such a large group but if the restaurant was packed with normal diners, then it would have been just as busy. It's location puts it on the other end of the neighborhood but I definitely want to try it again. I got the steak and eggs - everything was cooked as I wanted, but with how fast it got cold, the steak was difficult to eat and ultimately, I didn't finish it.Overall, the food *was* good, but if the food is cold when it's busy (and I get the sense this place is OFTEN busy for brunch), then that's a definite bummer. Coffee was good, too. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

24 March 2019

I have lived in this neighborhood for over six years and I'm so sad this was my first time here. This place is awesome. Lovely atmosphere, great service and the food was delicious. We had the Lamb Loin Appetizer, the Heaps Good Quinoa, their Burger with the Lot and for dessert the Koala Chocolate Truffle. Everything had great flavors and all was cooked to perfection. Our server Ursula was top notch, undoubtedly the best service I have had in years. She was attentive, helpful with our questions and very funny. We will definitely be back soon! More...

Reviewed on Yelp

22 March 2019

I came here with my family recently and the food was absolutely incredible. I would have pictures of the food if it weren't for the fact that we ate it all so quick! The Executive Chef Kathy came right over to our table and she was so friendly and knowledgeable about the food. She suggested for us to try the Lamb Lollies and I've literally never had lamb so flavorful... we had to order two.I would definitely suggest coming here with your family! The atmosphere and the staff are fantastic. The bartenders Fahad and Victoria really know how to make a cocktail. P.S.- Definitely try out their specials and desserts. So many vegan options for the vegan friend or family member that they won't even know what to do! More...

Reviewed on Yelp

22 March 2019

Always a great fun time at The Thirsty Koala!! Been coming here for years. Chief Kathy and her professional staff are phenomenal! ! Food is fantastic. Drinks are delicious. No better place to be for an evening out on Ditmars. Actually here right now lol drinking with Matty and other patrons. Cheers!!! More...

Reviewed on Yelp

17 March 2019

We've been coming here since 2015 and it's by far our favourite restaurant in NYC hands down! I swear I always feel a little bit more Aussie every time I leave. The food is always delicious and fresh (my personal favourite is the hanger steak btw) and you will always be welcomed by their friendly staff. The menu is extensive and offers many vegan and gluten free options. Also, shoutout to the bartenders who are always killing it with the signature cocktails, absolutely phenomenal. Definitely check this place! More...

Reviewed on Yelp

17 March 2019

Awesome food, awesome drinks, awesome service. Get the Gingeroo and fritters. Very cozy and lovely decor

Reviewed on Yelp

16 March 2019

I don't know what else to say about this place but "heaven"! Anything you order is amazing. I have had their chicken and their "bug tails". The bug tails are legit lobster and shrimp. The owner engulfs herself into the service. Many owners (ok lets be real.....no owners) will ever be a part of the service! Me, having been part of the service industry have soooo much respect for the owner simply because she inserts herself as staff. No other place is THIS amazing! Not just for the food but also for the staff, management, and environment. This is my new home More...

Reviewed on Yelp

16 March 2019

Great place with amazing service. The food is to die for and the service is impeccable. I highly recommend the chicken Marsala or the meatball appetizer. Such a great spot to hangout and have a good time. The bartenders are amazing !!! More...

Reviewed on Yelp

16 March 2019

This is my FAVORITE restaurant! The food is fresh, service is always amazing and the owners always come to say hi with updates on the new menu. We always feel like family when we come in. The Meatballs and Salmon are ALWAYS a must!!! Literally eating them as I write this review.....hoping to get them to 1K in reviews!! More...

Reviewed on Yelp

8 March 2019

An incredibly amazing restaurant that feels like home thanks to an incredibly warm staff and the best bartender in the world, Matt. In terms of food, the lamb lollipops are to die for and the eggplant parmigiana is my favorite. Best of all, it's incredibly alluring whether you are with friends or on a date. It's eclectic take on worldly cuisine should be gratifying to all foodies. An enjoyable experience... More...

Reviewed on Yelp

5 March 2019

The service was great and the food was delicious. The steak with maple glazed pumpkin on the side. I wish I lived closer but I will return and I am going to recommend to all my Astoria friends.

Reviewed on Yelp

28 February 2019

Amazing food and really friendly staff! There was a delay in receiving our food, but they handled it really well. Our appetizer was on the house and they made sure we were taken care of/satisfied.

Reviewed on Google Maps

27 February 2019

The place has great vibes and the food is inimitable. It's the perfect place to bring your friends or a date. Oh, and the bartender has big feet.

Reviewed on Yelp

26 February 2019

This place is amazing. Considerate to food allergies, gluten free friendly, and an excellent chill atmosphere all around. Sometimes there is live music . Always an adventure at the Koala. Also, the head bartender has REALLY LARGE HANDS More...

Reviewed on Yelp