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NYC FOOD TOUR: MEET JACKSON HEIGHTS, QUEENS
Papri chaat in Jackson Heights. Photo: Sam Kolich
Eat Your World founders Laura and Scott have proudly called Jackson Heights, Queens, their home base for the past eight years. They have long loved the incredible diversity of the neighborhood, with many first- and second-generation immigrants hailing from South Asia and South America, and, not surprisingly, the food that has followed. (They’re not alone—right before they moved, The New York Times published a piece by Seth Kugel about moving to Jackson Heights “for the food.”) Now they want to share it with EYW readers!
Photo: Sam Kolich
For years now, we have taken our friends, and friends of friends, on an informal food tour of Jackson Heights and nearby Elmhurst that offers tastes from many of the countries represented here: India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Tibet, Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador, Thailand, China. It’s all been for the love of the food and the love of the neighborhood, but now we’re making the tour publicly available for any hard-core food traveler who comes to New York City and finds it on this website or our social networks (we’re not advertising the tour elsewhere). If you want to get off the beaten path for a truly local perspective of a decidedly non-trendy, super diverse part of Queens—a slice of authentic New York City, if you ask us—then you’ve come to the right place!
What: A three-hour food tour of Jackson Heights and parts of Elmhurst, Queens. During the tour we’ll hit up anywhere from eight to 10 of our favorite local spots that best represent the neighborhoods’ unique diversity. Think papri chaat (India), arepas and obleas (Colombia), momos and sel roti (Tibet and Nepal), and much more.
Where: Jackson Heights is easy to get to from midtown Manhattan via the E, F, 7, R, or M train (stop is 74th St./Roosevelt Ave.). It’s about a 15-minute ride from midtown. Detailed directions will be provided.
When: Weekends only. Please email for availability.
Cost: $60 per person; six-person minimum (includes the cost of food). We have comfortably accommodated up to 10 adults. Private tours for smaller groups are also possible; please email to inquire.
Good to know: Most dietary restrictions can be accommodated. Children are welcome! (In fact, we have done tours for school groups, focusing on the interplay of food and culture in the neighborhood.)
Please email [email protected] to book.
“Thank you for taking us to eat different kinds of food. We all appreciate how much you helped us. You inspired me to try new things. You opened our eyes and now I'm never afraid to try new things." —Ethan, age 9 (Oct. 2015)
“Scott and Laura treated a group of friends and me to a unique, delicious, and, most of all, fun food tour of the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens. The selection of foods was impeccable and ranged from Indian-inspired street food to Thai desserts and so much in between. They brought an authenticity and a passion to the experience that we never could have captured with a self-guided tour. In addition, their personalities were such that we felt like we were spending the day with friends (admittedly, really cool, well-traveled, funny, and hospitable friends) as opposed to taking a tour with formal guides. I am already planning to take another group of friends back to visit Scott and Laura and try even more of the awesome food in their neighborhood.” —Anastasia (June 2015)
“What an incredible experience in Queens! Laura and Scott were informative, passionate, and enthusiastic tour guides. I would never have known about these cultural hidden gems in Jackson Heights if it were not for them. The food was insanely good and the perfect portions per stop. We never felt overstuffed, and the cuisine was downright delicious. I would recommend this tour to anyone visiting NYC because it's like transporting to a different country. I've already set up my second tour with these two, and I am salivating with anticipation! 5 stars." —Nicole (May 2015)
Digging into momos and just-made paratha. Photo: Sam Kolich
Henan-style lamb dumplings
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