By Michelle Tompkins
Foodies, rejoice: the Taste of Sunnyside food festival is back for its ninth go-round, with more than 20 local restaurants scheduled to represent diverse and delicious cuisines from all over the world.
The festival will take place on Tuesday, May 21, with doors opening at 7 p.m. in the parking lot of P.C. Richard & Son at 50-02 Queens Blvd.Jaime Cho in Sunnyside.
Sunnyside Shines, the neighborhood’s business improvement district that helps to boost the approximately 300 businesses in the area, organizes the festival each year.
“The goal is two-pronged. The first is to help promote the neighborhood businesses in and around Sunnyside … The second is to create a community event to bring people together in and around the neighborhood,” Jaime Cho, program manager Sunnyside Shines, told the Eagle about the Taste of Sunnyside.
“Digital marketing is very important, but live events are just as important,” Cho continued, highlighting how the festival can be an important marketing tool for local businesses. She said that although Sunnyside Shines does not keep official numbers on how much money the festival generates, participating businesses have said that they have seen festival-goers at their businesses afterwards.
Yelp users also found the event to be fun and filling.
“The food offerings were a showcase of the best of cultures from all over the world. There were also a number of beverage sponsors. I was trying to pace myself with trying food, but there was still so much being offered that I didn't get to taste everything,” wrote Yelper Sierra B. about a past iteration of the Taste of Sunnyside.
VIP tickets are $70 and provide access an hour early at 6 p.m. for those who want to get a head start eating and drinking their way around the festival. Regular admission prices start at $40.
Participating restaurants and eateries include: 43 Bar & Grill, Arriba Arriba, Bantry Bay Publick House, Bliss 46 Bistro, Cardamom, Chakra Café, Corazon de Mexico, Cumbia y Sabor, Dazies Restaurant , De Mole, Firefly Café, Jack's Fire Department, La Vienesa Bakery, Lion City Coffee, Los Verdes, Mangal Kebab, Ottomanelli Burgers and Belgian Fries, Rincon Melania, Sanger Hall, Senso Unico, SoleLuna, The Skillman, Tito Rad's and The Lowery Bar & Kitchen.
While there will be plenty of non-alcohol options, guests over 21 who want more spirited libations can get beverages from Big aLICe Brewing, Brooklyn Brewery, Green Valley Marketplace, ICONYC Brewing, LIC Beer Project, Lowery Wines & Liquor, Manhattan Beer Distributors, Palm Bay Trading Company, Queens Brewery, Rockaway Brewing, Singlecut Beersmiths, Solid State and Two Roads Brewing.
Besides the Taste of Sunnyside, Sunnyside Shines will host a number of free events from now onward through the summer, including movie screenings, performances and free dance lessons.
For more information, visit sunnysideshines.org.