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‘Taste of Sunnyside’ restaurant crawl returns next month, early-bird tickets selling fast

(Photos provided)

The Taste of Sunnyside, an annual event that aims to showcase the diverse restaurant mix of the neighborhood, will take place next month—and early bird tickets are now on sale. (Photos provided)

Sep. 21, 2023 By Michael Dorgan

The Taste of Sunnyside, an annual event that aims to showcase the diverse restaurant mix of the neighborhood, will take place next month — and early bird tickets are now on sale.

The event will see hundreds of attendees go door-to-door to sample food and beverages offered by more than 40 participating local bars and restaurants. The bars and restaurants will be setting up stands in front of their establishments for ticketholders to sample their cuisine.

This year’s crawl will take place from 2 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 15.

The event is now in its 13th year, and organizers say it will be the biggest one yet with live music, a local artists’ exhibition and a block party under the Sunnyside Arch for the first time. A live DJ will play music throughout the day while attendees can also capture the moment at a photo booth at the location.

The Taste of Sunnyside aims to promote the district as a restaurant destination and bring people together. The popular event is organized by the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District (BID), and it is the organization’s most popular event.

Last year’s gathering was sold out, with more than 800 people taking part, up from 500 in 2021. This year, organizers are hoping to get close to 1,000 participants.

The event was changed to a crawl format in 2021 due to safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and to allow attendees to better engage with the restaurants/bars — since ticketholders visit stands outside the participating establishments.

Dirk McCall de Palomá, the executive director of Sunnyside Shines, said the change has proven to be a big hit with the community.

“Event goers will get to visit each participating restaurant, which is great for small business owners to make direct connections with their neighbors,” McCall de Palomá said. “Attendees will be treated to a wide variety of tastes of local signature dishes and brews as ticket holders travel between participating restaurants and bars.”

Participants enjoying last year’s event (Photos provided)

Taste of Sunnyside

Taste of Sunnyside poster

McCall de Palomá said that this year’s event aims to give the local restaurant/bar industry a timely boost given bars/restaurants have faced unprecedented challenges over the last few years with COVID-19, inflation, and the rising costs of utility bills. Some local businesses were also hit hard by Hurricane Ida.

Forty-one restaurants/bars have signed up to take part in the event already, with more expected to be added in the coming days.

Establishments participating in the Taste of Sunnyside will serve a variety of cuisines, including Italian, Japanese, Peruvian, Filipino, Indian, Turkish, Mexican, Colombian, Romanian and Thai.

Some of the participating establishments include regular favorites like Senso Unico, Sotto le Stelle, Riko Peruvian, Tito Rad’s Grill, Elio’s Ice Cream and 43 Bar & Grill.

There will be many newcomers too, including Limena Pisco Bar, a Peruvian joint that opened at 47-14 Greenpoint Ave. earlier this year, City Tamale, a Mexican restaurant located at 40-05 Skillman Ave., and Kaprichos, a Colombian fast food eatery located at 42-18 43rd Ave.

Evelyn Chango, the deputy director of Sunnyside Shines, said tickets are selling fast given the success of previous years.

“Get them now before they’re gone!” Chango said. “Get ready to indulge in the ultimate culinary experience … with so much to see, do and taste, you won’t want to miss out on the ultimate foodie celebration of the year!”

Attendees can snag a $5 discount by purchasing early bird tickets online by using the promo code “Earlybird23.” Early bird tickets are available through Sep. 27 and cost $50.

Ticket holders will be required to check in for the event at either Lowery Plaza, located at 40th Street and Queens Boulevard, or at 46th Street and Queens Boulevard. Both locations are situated under the elevated 7 subway train and workers will provide ticketholders with a map containing recommended routes to follow on the crawl.

There will also be two trollies available to bus all attendees to the establishments. One of the trollies is ADA-accessible and can transport anyone in a wheelchair.

Tickets can be bought online here.

Meanwhile, there will also be a launch party on Oct. 5, from 6 to 8 p.m., at QBK Sports, located at 41-20 39th St.

Last year’s entertainment at the event (Photos provided)

A list of participating Taste of Sunnyside restaurants/bars is listed below:

  • • 43rd Bar & Grill (sports bar)
    • Arcobaleno Gelateria NYC (Italian)
    • Ariyoshi (Japanese)
    • Blended Smoothies (smoothy bar)
    • Bliss 46 Bistro (French bistro)
    • BK Dim Sum (Chinese Fusion)
    • Bolivian Llama Party (Bolivian)
    • Brookside Market
    • Cardamom Indian Cuisine (Indian)
    • Chakra Café (Turkish)
    • City Tamale (Mexican)
    • Cool Beans (cafe)
    • Danubius (Romanian)
    • De Mole (Mexican)
    • Elio’s Ice Cream (Ice cream shop)
    • Empire Shop (Sandwiches, acai bowls, and smoothies)
    • Jack’s Fire Department (American restaurant)
    • Kaprichos (Colombian)
    • La Adelita (Mexican)
    • La Pollera de Mario (Colombian)
    • La Vienesa Bakery (Colombian Bakery)
    • Limena Pisco Bar (Peruvian)
    • Maison De Gateaux (French)
    • Mad For Chicken (Korean)
    • Moa Coffee (coffee, sweets, and more!)
    • Mr. Buncha (bubble teas)
    • Makina Café (Ethiopian)
    • Pete’s Grill
    • QNSY (sparkling cocktails)
    • Ricas Pupusas and Mas (El Salvadorian)
    • Riko Peruvian (Peruvian)
    • Sanger Hall (American bar/restaurant)
    • Single Cut Brewery (brewery)
    • Senso Unico (Italian)
    • SoleLuna (Italian)
    • Sotto le Stelle (Neapolitan Pizza)
    • Spicy Nepal (Nepalese)
    • Sweet Avenue (bar/taproom)
    • The Spot Café (Craft sandwiches and Burgers)
    • The Globe Tavern (American bar)
    • Tito Rad’s (Filipino)
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