Sunnyside Restaurant Week is back for the eighth consecutive year with COVID-friendly options

sunnyside shines
Chef of Senso Unico Vincenzo Garofolo (Photo courtesy of Sunnyside Shines BID)

The Sunnyside Restaurant Week is in full swing for its eight consecutive year, showcasing the diverse and delicious cuisine from 46 restaurants in Sunnyside and Woodside — with some COVID-friendly options.

The restaurant week, organized by Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District, will take place from Oct. 21 to Oct. 28. Each participating restaurant will offer a special $25, three-course dinner menu, with some establishments also offering lunch specials or other iterations on $25 meal deals.

A dinning map and menus will be posted as they are received on the Sunnyside Shines website.

The listings will note which eateries have outdoor dining available and whether the specials are available via delivery and/or takeout, as restaurants are still operating with indoor dining at 25 percent capacity. Delivery and takeout ordering instructions for each restaurant are also listed.

Whether ordering takeout or dining curbside, community members can travel the world during Restaurant Week right in their neighborhood. Some of the global cuisines represented in this year’s lineup include Italian, Japanese, Peruvian, Ecuadorian, Indian, Turkish, Mexican, Irish, Colombian, Tibetan, Seasonal American and Thai.

Punda Tibetan Restaurant (Photo courtesy of Sunnyside Shines BID)

Sunnyside Shines Executive Director Jaime-Faye Bean notes that the organization is encouraging diners to order directly from restaurants, if possible.

“The delivery apps like Grubhub and Seamless take large commissions from restaurants, and even with the temporary fee cap that has been imposed on these services, they still extract revenue from restaurants at a time that they are fighting for survival,” said Bean. “Most restaurants prefer that diners order directly through them, so we are hoping to build more consumer awareness around this issue and encourage patrons to develop some new habits for ordering from their favorite spots.”

With an increased emphasis on no-contact promotions, Sunnyside Shines is moving their Restaurant Week contests online, including a contest for a $250 gift certificate to the participating restaurant of choice. Diners are encouraged to follow Sunnyside Shines on Facebook and Instagram (@sunnysideshines) to ensure they don’t miss out.

Sushi spread at Takesushi Restaurant (Photo courtesy of Sunnyside Shines BID)

Bean emphasized the importance of the Sunnyside Restaurant Week for the local economy.

“Sunnyside Restaurant Week has always been a great opportunity to sample a lot of cuisines from all around the globe at a great price, but this year we’re asking people to really dig a little deeper to support our restaurants. Dine or take out an extra night that week, tip your server extra generously,” she said. “These businesses have struggled to stay open and to be there for us under some extraordinary circumstances — Sunnyside Restaurant Week is a great time to give back and show our neighborhood establishments how much we appreciate them, and to support the neighborhood we know and love.”

In addition to the Restaurant Week, Sunnyside Shines is also hosting an outdoor pop up market on Oct. 25 in Bliss Plaza on 446th Street at Queens Boulevard. The market is a relaunch of Sunnyside Shines’ past Plaza Pop Up Market programming, and will feature socially distanced, low-contact shopping with local artisans and vendors.

For more information on the Sunnyside Restaurant Week, visit www.sunnysideshines.org/sunnysiderestaurantweek.