Papri chaat: a tour favorite [photo: Sam Kolich]
For years now, Scott and I have taken our friends, and friends of friends, on an informal food tour of our deliciously diverse neck of Queens: Jackson Heights and Elmhurst. Here is a 12-block or so radius that encompasses restaurants, cafes, and street vendors from at least as many countries, including but not limited to India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Tibet, Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador, Korea, Thailand, and China. The food is not only fun and educational to try; walking around here provides the rare opportunity to cross continents, to interact with immigrants from around the globe, in the space of just a few hours. It’s the New York City melting pot of 2014—and it’s just a 15-minute express-train ride from midtown Manhattan.
The tours we’ve done since moving to the area in 2008 have simply been for the love of the food and the love of the ’hood—a chance to show off our favorite everyday places—but now we’re making the tour, which includes about 8-10 stops, publicly available for any hard-core food fan in New York City who finds it on this website or via our social networks (we’re not advertising it elsewhere). In the past we’ve guided both international visitors and longtime New Yorkers; both find it equally eye-opening. Delve into authentic New York City, learn about other cultures via food—and you may just find yourself inspired to book a trip to Colombia or Nepal by tour’s end (it’s happened before!).
More details are up on our new Food Tour page. Tours are by appointment only, so let us know when you’re in town!