Manhattan has the inspiring Empire State Building. Paris has the romantic Eiffel Tower. Queens has authentic, affordable and amazing restaurants. Lots of them. A culinary tour company that debuts this weekend, Local Finds: Queens Food Tours, hopes to bring taste-conscious tourists to as many borough establishments as possible. This two-person agency will organize weekly food sampling and cultural walking tours of Long Island City for now with hopes to expand to Flushing, Jamaica, Richmond Hill and the Rockaways as soon as possible. One of the company’s two founders, Queens native Sergey Kadinsky, will lead three-hour journeys every Sunday morning, starting at 11 am. Kadinsky, who also works for City Council Member Karen Koslowitz, will bring patrons to six local establishments, including a micro-brewery, a hip coffee shop and Manducatis Rustica (photo), where signature dishes will be awaiting. Plus, participants will receive a brochure with a neighborhood map, list of attractions, and recommendations for about 30 other great eateries in the area. 

“When it comes to good eats, Queens is the king of the boroughs,” stated Richard Mumith, the other founder and a former Council Member Koslowitz employee. “We are all about discovering, eating, and supporting…local.”

A list of other Queens food tour guides is on the jump page.


Chopsticks + Marrow, written by Joe DiStefano, covers food both inside and outside of Queens. He’ll be joining us here on QueensNYC each Thursday.

Which came first the chicken or the shredded omelet?

It’s hard to say which of the many, many bowls of samgyetang – Korean chicken ginseng soup – to be had in Flushing’s sprawling K-town is the best. The way I look at it is, the one that’s in front of me billowing chicken vapors toward my feverish brow while the broth still bubbles is the very best at that moment in time. This belief certainly held true at Bang Ga Ne a spot on Northern Boulevard where I stopped in for a $14.36 bowl of the medicinal soup on the recommendation of my friend Dian.


The No Pants Subway Ride is back

Now in its 12th year, the No Pants Subway Ride (courtesy of Improv Everywhere) is back to thrill participants and onlookers alike. Sunday is when all interested participants will meet up, at 3pm. There are two meeting points in Queens – Hoyt Playground in Astoria (near the Astoria Boulevard stop on the N/Q) and Flushing Meadows-Corona Park (that would be near the Mets-Willets Point stop on the 7). Also remember – the 7 train is not running between Times Square and Queensboro Plaza (where you might pick up the N/Q) this weekend. If you want to participate, bring a bag or backpack, a MetroCard, and normal winter clothes (hats, coats, gloves, pants). You’ll walk onto the subway car fully dressed, then take off your pants when you are aboard. More information about the Ride can be found here.

Holiday Lights at Kaufman Studios

The Queens Gazette tells us that the folks at Kaufman Studios in Astoria have installed “a new system of colored lights that illuminate 35th Avenue between 35th and 36th Streets, shining from a series of massive pillars outside the original entrance to the iconic studios.” The lights will change throughout the year in accordance with the seasons and holidays, very reminiscent of the Empire State Building.

Italian restaurants in Forest Hills – strong showing in both old and new spots

Anne Shisler-Hughes has put together a terrific post about the current Italian restaurant scene in Forest Hills, which is really impressive. Old timers include places like Villa Isabella (which used to be Sarabella – GMAP), Picola Italia (GMAP), and Alberto (GMAP). Another standout is Spolini’s (GMAP). A second wave of Italian restaurants include Nick’s (GMAP) and Dee’s (GMAP) – two brick oven pizza joints (and then some) – and La Vigne (GMAP). More recent spots include Tuscan Hills (GMAP), Il Poeta (GMAP), Queens’s single Michelin Star recipient, Danny Brown (GMAP). Many of thee restaurants are located on Metropolitan Avenue.

Queens native could end up as head of the United States Treasury Department

NY1 reports that President Obama may choose current chief of staff Jack Lew to head the US Treasury Department – “AP cites sources as saying Obama will choose Lew because of his wide variety of experience in both the government and private sector.” Lew is a Queens native and a graduate of Forest Hills High School.

Meet (meat?) Chopsticks + Marrow

Queens-based food blogger Joe DiStefano has a new blog, which also happens to be part of the Blankslate family – Chopsticks + Marrow. In it, you’ll find a lot of what Joe DiStefano is well-known for – writing about organ meats, raw meat (beef and seafood), as well as a variety of Asian food. And maybe hot dogs, dumplings, and sandwiches in between. Enjoy your gustatory adventure here!


We’d like to introduce you to a new food blog as part of the Blankslate family – Chopsticks + Marrow, written by Queens-based food blogger Joe DiStefano. You may have known him most recently from his work on World’s Fare, the blog associated with Edible Queens. There, you might have seen posts about dumplings, sandwiches, and unusual snacks found in the borough, among other things.