A foodie’s paradise: Sample dishes from dozens of Sunnyside restaurants at annual crawl

Sunnyside food
Photo courtesy of Sunnyside Shines.

Calling all foodies! The annual Taste of Sunnyside Restaurant Crawl returns on Oct. 16 to showcase the diversity of western Queens with treats that satisfy all sweet and savory cravings.

“One can try Italian food, take two steps, and taste Ecuadorian food, then turn around and taste the beer made in-house from a Sunnyside brewery,” said Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District Director Dirk McCall.

Taste of Sunnyside is Sunnyside Shines’ biggest event of the year, typically drawing 700 to 750 attendees. Now in its 12th year running, the 2022 event is expected to attract 800 people.

This year, attendees will be able to sample food from more than 36 restaurants representing over 15 countries, including Salvadorian food from Ricas Pupusas y Mas, Peruvian dishes from Riko Peruvian, Filipino desserts from The Boiis Co and Romanian eats from Danubius.

“Sunnyside is special and one of a kind because it is rich in diversity, culture and flavor,” said McCall, noting that the neighborhood has “every region of the world represented in its food choices. Taste of Sunnyside is the event to treat your palate to some amazing flavors that you won’t try anywhere else.”

The event is especially important to the community given the pandemic’s effects on the restaurant industry. The crawl highlights neighborhood eateries’ offerings to locals and outsiders alike, “bringing people right to their door” so that they can have a taste and discover restaurants that they’ll return to later, McCall explained.

“Not only will you taste amazing food but also meet the passionate business owners and staff behind it all,” he said.

Prior to COVID-19, the event was held under the 7 train in a party tent, but it has since been transformed to a crawl to allow for more ventilation. The crawl begins by the 40th Street – Lowery Plaza 7 train stop, where attendees will check in and receive their lanyard, wristlet, maps and beverages before sampling the food.

General admission tickets are $50. Meanwhile, the VIP pass for $75 includes early entrance, allows the participant to skip lines (it gets crowded!) and comes with a Sunnyside swag bag. Guests over 21 will be allowed to sample alcoholic beverages, and ID is required. Visit sunnysideshines.org or @sunnysideshines on Instagram or Twitter for more information and tickets.