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Taste of Sunnyside restaurant crawl marks another successful culinary journey

Attendees of the Taste of Sunnyside include Gerry Lederman, board member of Sunnyside Shines. Pictured here having a ‘taste’ at Chakra Cafe located at 44-01 Queens Blvd. (Photo by: Daniel Fictum)

Oct. 18, 2023 By Czarinna Andres

The vibrant and culturally diverse neighborhood of Sunnyside, Queens, was ablaze with flavor and festivity on Oct. 15, as the 13th annual “Taste of Sunnyside Restaurant Crawl” took center stage.

The restaurant crawl format was introduced in 2021 and has been a big hit ever since. Sunnyside Shines, the neighborhood BID that organizes the event each year, aims to spotlight the culinary gems that make this neighborhood a food lover’s paradise.

Dirk McCall de Palomá, executive director for Sunnyside Shines, said he was truly delighted with the smooth operation of this year’s event.

“The new website designed by The Blaque Resource Network was key in how well the day ran,” McCall de Palomá said.

Sunnyside Shines Executive Director Dirk McCall de Palomá (r.) pictured with Taste of Sunnyside attendee Assemblymember Steven Raga. (Photo by: Daniel Fictum)

Check-in for the event was a breeze, with two convenient locations for guests. The heart of the action could be found at Lowery Plaza, situated at 40th Street and Queens Boulevard, as well as 46th Street and Queens Boulevard.

Ticket holders received their event wristbands and were provided with recommended routes to fully immerse themselves in each delectable “taste” along the crawl. Navigating this culinary journey was made even more convenient with two trollies and an ADA-compliant bus available for those who preferred transportation along the event route. This ensured that all attendees, regardless of mobility, could participate at this event.

More than 50 local restaurants and breweries participated in this year’s event. The heart of the celebration was a lively block party on 46th Street, situated between Queens Boulevard and Greenpoint Avenue. Several music performers were situated along the route and activated the streets into a lively, food lover’s haven.

The event offered a myriad of international cuisines, including Latin, Italian, Filipino, Korean, Middle Eastern and more. Each participating restaurant crafted exclusive food and drink samples for ticket holders, allowing attendees to savor the neighborhood’s diverse flavors in one epicurean adventure.

Taste of Sunnyside attendees flocking to Bajeko Sekuwa, located at 43-16 Queens Blvd. (Photo By: Daniel Fictum)

Among the standout restaurants that tantalized taste buds were Bajeko Sekuwa, known for its exotic Indian and Nepalese flavors; Danubius, which offered a taste of authentic Hungarian cuisine; De Mole, a Mexican gem; Elio’s Ice Cream, satisfying dessert cravings; and Riko Peruvian, serving up delectable Peruvian dishes.

McCall de Palomá said he is grateful to all the bars and restaurants that participated and he hopes that everyone returns to these establishments and patronizes them.

Taste of Sunnyside was a sold-out event that drew close to 1,000 attendees, with almost 100 more who tried to get same-day tickets. The event not only served as a culinary showcase, but also as a testament to the neighborhood’s resilience and vibrant spirit.

In a time when communities needed to come together, the Taste of Sunnyside Restaurant Crawl did just that, celebrating the local businesses that make Sunnyside unique and providing a sense of joy and connection for all who attended.

Musical performers along the route activated the streets, including Fogo Azul, an all-women marching drum band. (Photo by: Daniel Fictum)

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