Scenes from Viva La Comida!: Gorditas, Lamb Kebabs, Pupusas, and Beyond

[Photographs: Sara Markel-Gonzalez]

Friday night was the first ever Viva La Comida! festival in Elmhurst, Queens, and there was a great turnout. That meant a few long lines, but when local food vendors make their specialties to order, it takes time, and the food is worth the wait.

Vendors came from near (Jackson Heights and Corona) and far (The Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan) to feed the festive crowd. People sat at colorful tables, chatting, sharing their food, and listening to the program of local musicians, which included everything from a harp player to a jazz trio to a Selena imitator. Whether people came out to support the neighborhood or just to have some food, It was a great night with a great vibe.

Aside from the mobile food, restaurants surrounding the triangle, including Louie's Pizza and Limoncello Italian Restaurant, were on hand selling their specialties on the sidewalk. If you'd like to support any of these vendors without the lines, here's where you can find them during their normal hours:

  • Xin Jiang Prosperity Kebabs can be found under the Manhattan bridge in Chinatown
  • Check The Chipper Truck's Facebook page for up to date info
  • Morocho is usually in Union Square, but for updates, follow them on Twitter
  • You can find Solber Pupusas at the Red Hook Ball Fields and Smorgasburg; check out their website
  • The Arepa lady comes out late night; follow her on Twitter
  • Tortas Neza is normally parked on 111th Street and Roosevelt Avenue in Corona
  • Louie's Pizzeria and Restaurant: 81-34 Baxter Avenue Elmhurst, NY 11373; 718-440-9346
  • Limoncello Italian Restaurant: 40-39B 82nd Street, Elmhurst, NY 11373; 718-205-2343

Take a look at some bites from the evening ยป