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Local Food Guru Leads Restaurant Tour Through Elmhurst and Jackson Heights to Benefit Charity

Foodie Joe DiStefano and the nonprofit advocacy group Queens Together will be offering a tour of local restaurants in Elmhurst and Jackson Heights this weekend (Photo by Joe DiStefano of an offering at the Arepa Lady)

July 8, 2020 By Allie Griffin

A local food guru will lead a restaurant tour through Elmhurst and Jackson Heights this weekend to benefit a charity launched in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Joe DiStefano, a Queens-based food writer and culinary tour guide, will guide participating foodies in an international cuisine crawl through the two neighborhoods on Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 12.

Proceeds from the crawl tickets will benefit Queens Together, a restaurant advocacy group that supports local eateries and feeds residents in need. The group was founded in response to the pandemic and was originally called Astoria Together.

Registration for the crawl costs $20, which provides participants with an extensive guide to Elmhurst and Jackson Heights eateries curated by DiStefano. The guide, titled “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is Queens,” features a globetrotting roster of dishes from a dozen restaurants.

A sampling of cuisines includes Thai, Indonesian, India, Colombian, Mexican and Chinese.

The tour begins at noon on both Saturday and Sunday at Diversity Plaza, located near 37th Road and 74th Street. The full guide will be e-mailed to ticket-holders an hour before the crawl starts on Saturday.

“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,” says Jonathan Forgash, Executive Director of Queens Together. “Joe and I will be at Diversity Plaza to start things off. We look forward to meeting everyone!”

Restaurant-goers can also participate in an Instagram food photo contest. A first place winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to the restaurant of his or her choice from the guide. Second place gets a $50 gift certificate and third place gets a $25 gift certificate.

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