An ethnojunket is a food-focused walking tour through one of New York City’s many ethnic enclaves; my mission is to introduce you to some delicious, accessible, international treats that you’ve never tasted but soon will never be able to live without.
As a Sightseeing Guide licensed by the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs, I’ve covered most of the five boroughs at one time or another; we’ve eaten our way through Flushing’s Chinatown and sampled Filipino, Indian, Bangladeshi, and South American treats in Jackson Heights and Woodside, prowled around Staten Island’s Sri Lankan area, and picnicked on Russian delicacies in Brighton Beach’s Little Odessa – to name but a few.
I’ve even guided people through Midwood, Brooklyn – not a neighbohood one generally thinks of as a mecca for foodies – and we’ve enjoyed delights from Russia and Ukraine (like manti, chebureki, kutaby, tarkhun and chocolate covered cheese sweets), Indian namkeen, mithai and kulfi, Israeli chocolate covered cornflakes, Hungarian kakaós, exotic fruits like rambutan, a bewildering array of kosher pickles, and of course, Di Fara’s Pizza.
Tours typically run about 3½ – 4 hours (depending upon the neighborhood) and we’ll sample delectable indulgences from a hand-picked selection of restaurants, bakeries, and street vendors. If you’re into cooking, these tours are for you: we always hit a market or two where I’ll be happy to answer your questions about all that unusual produce and the contents of those intriguing jars and cans and packages wrapped in seemingly indecipherable labels written in some foreign tongue.
Please note: While I generally have a pretty good idea of what ingredients go into whatever we’re consuming, I can’t vouch for salt or sugar or gluten or so many other clandestine buzz killers. If you have any dietary restrictions or food allergies, please be mindful of that and take responsibility for them just as you would if you were dining under any other circumstances. (I’m a foodie, not a doctor!) By the same token, if something troublesome happens to you along the way, I can’t take the liability for that any more than if you were just walking along the street or in a shop by yourself. (I’m a writer, not a lawyer!) In other words, when you join one of my ethnojunkets, you are taking complete responsibility for your own welfare and safety.
What I can do is bring you a few hours of entertaining, educational, and delicious fun!
Book a tour at your convenience!
Simply send me a note in the “Leave a Reply” section below (or write to me directly at rich[at]ethnojunkie[dot]com) and tell me when you’d like to experience a food adventure and which ethnojunket you’re interested in – I’ll bet we can find a mutually convenient time!
Watch this space to check if there’s a scheduled ethnojunket that still has a few openings. Hope you can join in the fun!
Little Odessa in Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach
In this ethnojunket, we’ll sample the delights of Russian and Former Soviet Union cuisine along Brighton Beach Avenue. We’ll share Georgian cheese bread as well as Turkish and Russian sweets and treats along with amazing dumplings, authentic ethnic dishes, and so much more. The cost is $70 per person (cash only, please) and includes a veritable cornucopia of food so bring your appetite! You won’t leave hungry, and you will leave happy!
The photos below show a few of the delicacies we’ll taste. And for a sneak preview of just one part of the tour, check out my post about the amazing Gourmanoff. Is it a market or a theater? Join me and see for yourself!
For more information and to sign up, send me a note in the “Leave a Reply” section below (or write to me directly at rich[at]ethnojunkie[dot]com).
Exploring Flushing’s Chinese Food Courts, Queens
So many stalls, so little time! This tour is always a bit different each time I do it because sometimes one vendor will have disappeared and another will have materialized to take its place – but everything we taste is consistently delicious. We’ll go to the big three in the heart of Flushing’s Chinatown, the New World Mall Food Court, the New York Food Court, and Super Hong Kong Food Court where we’ll choose from a seemingly endless collection of authentic regional delights from all over China: Central (Henan), Southern (Guangzhou), Southwestern (Sichuan), Northwestern (Shaanxi), Eastern (Shanghai), and Taiwan as well. And as if that weren’t enough, we’ll finish with some amazingly rich Chinese influenced American ice cream! There will be some side visits too and if you’re into cooking, we can check out JMart, a sprawling Asian supermarket. All this within four blocks!
The photos below show a few of the delights we’ve tasted on past ethnojunkets to the Flushing Food Courts. For more information and to sign up, send me a note in the “Leave a Reply” section below (or write to me directly at rich[at]ethnojunkie[dot]com).
Elementary Elmhurst, Queens
It is said that Queens is the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world. Its Elmhurst neighborhood reflects that characteristic in its own microcosm of Latinx and Asian populations, and on this tour, we’ll zoom in still further for a look at the sheer diversity of its Asian community and their culinary treasures.
On this Elmhurst 101 adventure, we’ll savor goodies from Thailand, Malaysia, Tibet, Bangladesh, Taiwan, and elsewhere in Southeast Asia and parts of China. And if you’re into cooking, we can explore a large Pan-Asian supermarket along the way.
The photos below show a few items we’ve enjoyed on past ethnojunkets to Elmhurst. For more information and to sign up, send me a note in the “Leave a Reply” section below (or write to me directly at rich[at]ethnojunkie[dot]com).
Little Levant in Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge
Did you know that Bay Ridge and Beirut are cognates? Just kidding.
My Bay Ridge ethnojunket hits the culinary high notes of Brooklyn’s Middle Eastern neighborhood on 5th Avenue (which probably should have earned the moniker “Little Levant”, but didn’t) plus a bit of 3rd Avenue to boot. It’ll be an entertaining, educational, and delicious tour during which we’ll sample Middle Eastern, Greek, Turkish, Polish, Scandinavian, and even Mexican fare.
The photos below show a few of the dishes we’ve tasted on past ethnojunkets to Bay Ridge. For more information and to sign up, send me a note in the “Leave a Reply” section below (or write to me directly at rich[at]ethnojunkie[dot]com).
New York City boasts at least six Chinatowns and perhaps a few more depending upon your definition of what constitutes a Chinatown! This tour takes us through Manhattan’s original Chinese enclave with a focus on food as always and explores not only some of China’s many regional cuisines but also Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Thai, and more. And yes, the Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory is on the itinerary!
The photos below show a few of the many ethnic treats from our Manhattan Chinatown tour. For more information and to sign up, send me a note in the “Leave a Reply” section below (or write to me directly at rich[at]ethnojunkie[dot]com).
Midwood, Brooklyn (no longer offered)
For many years, I hosted annual spring and fall ethnojunkets through Brooklyn’s Midwood neighborhood on behalf of the Midwood Development Corporation and the Midwood Merchants Association; we explored Russian, Ukrainian, Indian, Pakistani, and Israeli treats and lots more. Even sweeter, MDC provided this experience at a fraction of the customary cost. (Not to mention that this may be your only opportunity to snare a slice of DiFara’s pizza without standing in line! Just sayin’.)
Coming soon: Polish Greenpoint. Drop me a line if you’d like a sneak preview!
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Questions? Feel free to write to me directly at rich[at]ethnojunkie[dot]com.