Queens foodie Joe DiStefano to host restaurant crawl through the ‘World’s Borough’

Photos courtesy of Joe DiStefano


Eat locally, dine globally and make your food fantasies come true in the “World’s Borough.”

If you’ve had those uncontrollable cravings for something different while sheltering in place, you can finally satisfy that hunger and enjoy a variety of mouth-watering eats, during an eagerly anticipated restaurant crawl set for next weekend.

Busy kitchens in a dozen Jackson Heights and Elmhurst eateries are abuzz, preparing and cooking authentic dishes from Thailand, Colombia, Indonesia, India, Mexico and China. Join other local foodies and don’t forget to social distance as everybody munches their way across those neighborhoods.

The eating fest starts at noon both on Saturday, July 11, and Sunday, July 12, when participants will gather at Diversity Plaza — located in the vicinity of 37th Road and 74th Street — before starting their journey.

Queens Tourism Council Official Foodie and tour guide Joe DiStefano, who is teaming up with the nonprofit advocacy agency Queens Together, will be leading the crawl and providing inside information about the eateries. He noted that while the only restaurants that have outdoor seating are The Queensboro and Arepa Lady, which are both located in Jackson Heights, there will  be plenty of benches to sit down for a quick bite along the way.

“I’m excited to showcase some of my very favorite restaurants in Elmhurst and Jackson Heights. Not only is the crawl a great way to sample an amazing array of international cuisines, it’s a great way to help Queens Together,” DiStefano shared.

The following is a sampling of his favorite dishes and restaurants:

• Arepa de choclo, Areperia Arepa Lady

• Taco de birria, Birrialandia (Jackson Heights)

• Rooh Afza cupcake, Farine Baking Company (Jackson Heights)

• Kanom jeem ngeaw, Lamoon (Elmhurst)

Don’t miss this unique “PYMWYMIQ (Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is Queens)” Adventure! You can get the “PYMWYMIQ” online adventure guide for $20 per person. Proceeds will help Queens Together’s efforts to nourish our restaurants and communities.

In DiStefano’s guide, the Queens-based culinary guru and food writer, who runs the local eats blog Chopsticks & Marrow, offers his suggestions for the crawl eateries’ best dishes. The guide will be sent at 11 a.m. on  July 11 to the email addresses of those who registered.

The fun also includes an Instagram food photo contest. The first place prize is a $100 gift certificate to the PYMWYMIQ restaurant of the winner’s choice. The runner-up gets a $50 certificate. The third place prize is a $25 certificate.

For the food guide and contest entry, please visit queenstogether.org/pym-where-your-mouth-is.

PYMWYMIQ benefits Queens Together, which was formed this spring to feed health care workers who were treating COVID-19 patients in local hospitals. It later became a nonprofit membership organization for the hospitality industry.

“This is a great way to enjoy the weekend in Queens. Stroll, eat, stroll and eat some more while checking out the most diverse of global neighborhoods,” said Queens Together Executive Director Jonathan Forgash. “Joe and I will be at Diversity Plaza to start things off. We look forward to meeting everyone!”

Let the face-stuffing begin!

This story first appeared on qns.com.