Thanks to The Daily Meal, my family and I had the pleasure of experiencing a recent food tour of Long Island City, Queens. Our group ranged from Queens natives to New Yorkers from “other boroughs” to tourists from Germany, all of whom were equally entertained, not to mention well fed. A few of us may have even had our eyes opened.
By “a few of us” I mean “me.” I fall into the “New Yorker from Other Boroughs” category and I must admit to coming to Queens with some preconceived notions. In my defense, though, what would a New Yorker be without preconceived notions? How else can we possibly know everything about everything? We have reputations to uphold!
Embarrassingly, it took a press assignment to get me over the bridge into the borough of Queens to experience it for myself. I guess I was expecting something somewhere between All in the Family and an industrial wasteland. I’ve heard people talking about Queens as the “next frontier” for years. But I’ve always been like, “Yeah, right. ‘Next frontier’ for whom?”
Well, definitely not me. Unfortunately. Because I already can’t afford it.
Queens is nice, people! Really nice. They’ve got hip coffee shops, festive flea markets, craft breweries, and beautifully maintained waterfront parks that aren’t overrun by people. Although plenty of people call Long Island City home, somehow it’s not nearly as congested as Manhattan or Brooklyn.
The transition away from its blue collar roots toward a position of affluence isn’t a welcome change for some longtime Queens residents. Many are experiencing a loss of that “neighborhood” feeling, as well as those knock-out views of Manhattan.
But Queens Food Tours strives to keep old-school Long Island City alive and well by sharing food and drink from locally-owned shops and restaurants with its clients. Owned and operated by Richard Mumith, a proud Queens-born-and-bred food lover, these tours are a great way to spend a day in a borough you may not know as well as you think.