Queens has long been celebrated for its eclectic food offerings, and one food and music festival in Jackson Heights will allow food lovers to try bites from a smorgasbord of countries.
Viva la Comida, now in its sixth year, will take place in Jackson Heights along 82nd Street between Roosevelt and Baxter Avenues. Attendees will be treated to a mix of Vendy Award-winning street vendors and restaurants. Music from jazz, Afro-Cuban Salsa and Cumbia will fill the streets.
The festival, hosted by 82nd Street Partnership, will take place on Sept. 16 from noon to 7 p.m. Vendors will offer up traditional dishes from North and South America, the Caribbean and Asia.
Options will include Jackson Heights’ own Arepa Lady; D’Angelo’s Italian Sausage Truck (usually found on Woodhaven Boulevard); Oscar’s Chuzos & Corn, a popular food truck on Roosevelt Avenue; and newcomers like Mom’s Momo, which serves up Himalayan momos; Chef Troy, offering Jamaica Jerk chicken and fish; and Kopi Kopi dishing out Indonesian Ramen, shrimp buns and spring rolls.
Restaurant options will include Delicias Colombianas, which will serve morcillas (blood sausages) and the traditional Bandeja Paisa; Sunnyside’s Sabor Ecuatoriano, where attendees can pick up traditional Yaguarlocro, a dish cooked with lamb tripe from the Andean region of Ambato in Ecuador; and Mama’s Empanada, which has 54 different types of corn and wheat empanadas.
“During Viva la Comida, our communities come together to honor diversity and unity through the sharing of food, music and art,” said Leslie A. Ramos, executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership. “Over the last couple of years, the festival has evolved to become a platform for local artists and entrepreneurs to showcase their talents regardless of ethnic or cultural background.”
Los Hacheros will perform their mix of Afro-Cuban salsa, Puerto Rican Bomba and jazz.
New York jazz legend Ed Polcer and his son, Ben, will perform with The Ed and Ben Polcer Swingtet.
Centro Cultural Barco de Papel and Intercultural Cartonera will create a literature garden, where participants can build their own cardboard book or collaborate on a community book sculpture, and explore books from Latin-American writers and artists. Local artists will display their work at Dunningham Triangle Park.
Paul VanDeCarr, a local puppeteer, and artist Melissa Villalobos will provide activities for children like a puppet-making session and henna tattoos.
For more information, visit www.vivalacomida.com.