Chic new cafe opens in Forest Hills

Forest Cafe wants to be an ‘oasis’ for locals

By Jessica Meditz

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Forest Cafe’s attractive storefront.

All coffee lovers of Forest Hills and its surrounding communities now have a brand new cafe to add to their lists.

Forest Cafe, located at 68-04 Burns Street, celebrated its grand opening last Saturday, inviting the community into their spacious, bright and comfortable location.

The cafe is powered by the family-run staff of sisters, Julie and Nina Fung, and Nina’s fiancé, Paul Shim.

The trio has been residents of Forest Hills for about a decade, and are proud to serve their neighbors and the community they call home.

Forest Cafe’s three-person team (L to R): Nina Fung, Paul Shim and Julie Fung.

“Since we’ve been residents of Forest Hills for such a long time, we’ve always wanted a cozy cafe in the neighborhood to be able to study and work,” Julie Fung said. “Earlier this year, we saw this place and we just had a very clear vision of what we wanted it to be.”

The space, decorated in a trendy, minimalist style with pops of green both in the form of plants and the canopy exterior, offers a peaceful and cozy atmosphere for patrons.

Photo courtesy of Julie Fung.

Fung describes the cafe’s interior as a combination of Japanese and Scandinavian influences, and a mixture of all their decorative tastes.

There is ample seating for guests, including booth-style tables, stool seats, window benches and two cushioned chairs situated by a coffee table.

Also a plus is the complimentary Wi-Fi offered to patrons, as well as outlets to charge electronic devices.

Photo courtesy of Julie Fung.

“We really hope this place becomes an oasis for the Forest Hills community, for our friends, family or really just anyone who’s looking to stop by,” Fung said. “We wanted to make our cafe as peaceful as possible, which is also why we love this location so much. It’s tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Austin Street, while still being in the heart of Forest Hills.”

Forest Cafe offers a variety of drinks, including classic espresso drinks, such as Americanos, macchiatos, cortados, cappuccinos and lattes.

The drinks are made with Project X Coffee beans, which are inspired by Japan, grown in Brazil and roasted in Chicago.

They’re also excited to share some signature drinks, including their Forest latte, iced shakerato, ube latte, matcha latte, hojicha latte and a homemade iced tea.

The cafe’s namesake beverage is their signature latte that’s made with organic maple syrup, a hint of cinnamon and can be served hot or iced.

As for food, they serve croffles, which is a hybrid of a croissant and a waffle. They explained that the croffles are made fresh daily, and come in the flavors of plain, pistachio, Nutella or s’mores.

The team hopes to expand their menu soon, hopefully to include more savory items, as well as possibly obtaining a liquor license to experiment with drinks in the future.

“We make a lot of drinks at home that we’ve never been able to share publicly, or they’re hard to find. We have our own twist on these drinks, so that’s also what we wanted to provide,” Shim said.

“We enjoy seeing people drinking these drinks and enjoying it, and if it can get any better, we’d love to work on it,” he continued. “We all just love food, drinks and sharing it with others. It’s a love language.”

Living in the neighborhood for some time, all three team members love the beauty and the friendly, community atmosphere Forest Hills has to offer.

“I actually wouldn’t mind staying here for the rest of my life, to be honest,” Fung said. “I might wander here and there, but I think I’ll always want to come back to Forest Hills.”

“Our goal for this cafe is to become a staple in this neighborhood, a landmark. For example, if you’re in Forest Hills, you know about Forest Hills Stadium,” she added. “That’s how big we want to grow this place to be.”

Forest Cafe is open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information, visit @forestcafenyc on Instagram, or stop by Forest Cafe to welcome the business to the neighborhood.

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