“Restaurants, food, and dining out are such an important part of the New York City experience, and so many cultures from around the world are represented through the city’s restaurants and neighborhoods,” said Michael Sinatra, vice president of Communications.
There were nearly 50 kiosks offering unique foods and activities. Razza offered wood-fired pizza pies from Jersey City, while Vietnamese restaurant Di An Di garnered a top spot on The Infatuation’s Best New Restaurants list in 2018.
“This event allowed us to experience the New York food culture in a unique, enjoyable way,” said Manhattan resident Michael Marconi, who attended with his wife and two friends. “My wife and I attended last year, and felt that the flow was better this year, since it seemed less crowded and the lines were not as long, perhaps because it was extended to two days.”
Defonte’s Sandwich Shop offered a 100-year-old tradition from Brooklyn, and The Infatuation wrote that Kichin, which offers Korean and Japanese-influenced tapas and Korean fried chicken, is so good poems will be written about it.
Bite Into Maine offered the Real McCoy in lobster rolls, and Sanguich De Miami sent the best Cuban sandwich up north.
“The food is just unbelievable,” said Danielle Rosen, who loved the Shake Shack-Uncle Boons mashup burger and Hattie B’s chicken sandwich. “It also opened my eyes to the amazing lineup of summer concerts at Forest Hills Stadium, so I’ll definitely plan to attend next year.”
Drinks were also diverse, with offerings in the Stella Artois kiosk, Captain Morgan Speakeasy Tiki Bar, Tequila Don Julio Agave & Eeeeeats, and Baileys Treat Bar.
In The Wine Room, guests relaxed with wine and learned about it first-hand with the faces behind Noble Rot and Parcelle Wine.
The Eeeeeatscon Photo Op gave guests the chance to ride blue pizza slices and random doodles, and they could also preorder the 40th anniversary edition of the Zagat 2020 Survey.
In the heavily attended Panel Tent, among the many highlights was “In The Mix,” which offered dialogue on music, food, and creativity, while food, culture, and technology was discussed in “Creating The Future.”
“Mixtape Potluck” featured a dialogue with Grammy-winning musician and best-selling author Questlove and author and entertainment icon Shep Gordon on food and friendship.
Lauren Gonzalez came from New Jersey with her brother Anthony looking for a new experience.
“Some highlights were the hot chicken sandwich from Hattie B’s and the BBQ butter chicken wings from Brigadiers,” she said. “Queens has always been a melting pot of people and flavors, and it’s known for the amazing food scene.”
She shared some suggestions for next year’s event.
“I would like to see more local artists and food venues from Queens, as there are so many low-key and delicious spots,” she said.
Native New Yorker Arielle Urvater attended with best friends from college and another from sleepaway camp.
“The Infatuation did an excellent job picking fan favorites among some more tucked-away gems,” she said. “I learned that Flushing has the best dumplings in New York, so I have to get out there more often. I would love to check out the food scene in Forest Hills, and maybe that’s something worth looking into for sponsorship next year.”
All the way from Caracas, Venezuela, were Eduardo Herdan and his cousin Bernardo Herdan. Eduardo said he enjoyed the lamb roti and other ethnic dishes he is not accustomed, such as Sri Lankan food.
“It was fun to be able to sit outside and share food with other people,” he said. “We even got to exchange some bites with people who happened to be sitting at our table.”
Sophie Schummer made the trek from Miami with a group of friends.
“We loved the festival’s vibe,” she said. “Hosting it in Forest Hills is a great way to get people to explore parts of the city other than Manhattan.”
Another first-time visitor to Forest Hills, Kimberly Melgar of West New York, New Jersey, joined friends who are a part of a foodie club. She enjoyed kiosks Tabasco Flavor Station and Twix Café.
“The performers were all awesome to watch, particularly the Resistance Choir,” she said. “The setup allowed for lots of areas to sit, relax and enjoy the entertainment.”