Queens Chamber of Commerce launches competition to crown best empanada in borough


When Rocco’s of Roc Beach was declared the winner of the first-ever Queens’ Best Pizza Competition organized by the Queens Chamber of Commerce in February, the competition proved to be so popular, the borough’s oldest and largest business association decided to launch a follow-up challenge.

The Queens Chamber of Commerce is now accepting nominations for the inaugural Queens’ Best Empanada Competition in which members of the public are able to submit and vote for their favorite eatery to settle the debate over who in Queens serves up the most delicious doughy pastries.

“Small businesses, particularly restaurants, help us showcase the unique diversity of Queens through food and flavor,” Queens Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Grech said. “Queens undoubtedly has some of the best Latin American cuisine in the world, with various eateries throughout the borough serving up delicious stuffed treats.”

Empanadas are breaded pastries stuffed with spicy ground beef, ham or chicken that are either baked or fried. The chamber began accepting nominations on National Empanada Day on Saturday, April 8, and members of the public can nominate their favorite empanada emporium here through Sunday, April 30.

Following the nominating process, public voting will start on Thursday, May 4, through Sunday, May 14, and the winner will be crowned with the Queens’ Best Empanada title on Monday, May 22.

“The chamber is excited to crown the inaugural winner of the Queens’ Best Empanada Competition,” Grech said. “I look forward to visiting the winning restaurant and trying some of the offerings.”

Like Rocco’s of Roc Beach, located at 115-10 Rockaway Beach Blvd., just around the corner from the Beach 116th Street commercial corridor in Rockaway Park, the winning eatery in the Queens’ Best Empanada Competition will receive bragging rights, along with a complimentary membership to the Queens Chamber of Commerce, which represents more than 1,400 businesses and more than 150,000 Queens-based employees.