‘We don’t have to get over a bridge or under a tunnel to get great food’: Dine the Boroughs features some of the best bites from Queens

Photo by Jenna Bagcal/QNS

More than 100 Queens restaurants are revving up for the first ever Dine the Boroughs event, which will feature some of the best bites from the outer boroughs.

From March 18 to 29, guests will be invited to sample $28 three-course, prix-fixe menus from over 200 restaurants in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx. On March 12, Queens Borough Hall in Kew Gardens played host to a preview leading up to the main event next week.

According to Joshua Schneps, the CEO of Schneps Media and one of the event organizers, the two-week culinary display fills the void created by New York City’s ever-popular restaurant week, which features a myriad Manhattan’s best eateries but only a few options from the outer boroughs.

“This is really an opportunity to promote the diverse food offerings found in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx,” said Schneps. “We want to drive traffic to each of the boroughs because, as we all know, great food is a destination.”

At the preview event, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said that the “international borough” features residents from 190 countries who speak 200 languages. She added that Dine the Boroughs would allow people to get the authentic tastes of the participating cultures.

“The fact that we have food from all over the world really makes us a borough of great cuisines,” said Katz. “To have events like this and show off the types of food that we have served here and which countries they’re from and all the expertise we have in the culinary arts is extremely important for the tourism of the borough, but it’s also extremely important for the businesses of our borough. It’s great to show the rest of the city that we don’t have to get over a bridge or under a tunnel to get great food. We can get great food right here.”

One of the featured restaurants is Guantanamera, which specializes in Cuban food and has locations in Manhattan and Forest Hills. According to manager Angelo Sanchez, authentic Cuban food from the 16-year-old restaurant has been featured at the annual World’s Fare at Citi Field.

Sanchez said that their newer Forest Hills location has only been opened for about a year, so events like Dine the Boroughs is important to “introduce a little Cuban taste to the neighborhood.”

The restaurant manager added that the venue features live Cuban music and complimentary, hand-rolled cigars on Fridays and Saturdays.

Dine the Boroughs begins on Monday, March 18, and ends on Friday, March 29. For more information and to see a list of participating Queens restaurants, visit dinetheboroughs.com or itsinqueens.com. Follow the event on social media via #dinetheboros.