Celebrate the 5th annual Viva La Comida on September 17, 2016

The 82nd Street Partnership presents its 5th annual food and music festival, Viva la Comida!  The festival brings together some of NYC’s best street food vendors with local restaurants to showcase the variety of delicious ethnic foods found not only in Queens, but throughout the city. The festival will be held on Saturday, September 17, 2016 from noon to 7:00 pm along 82nd Street, between Roosevelt and Baxter Avenues.

“This year, Viva La Comida 2016 will focus on cultural exchange and expression, creating a bridge between the East and West cultures that surround 82nd Street.” - Leslie A. Ramos, Executive Director 82nd Street Partnership.



This year’s participants will serve traditional foods from the Americas and Asia. The festival will be anchored by several Jackson Heights’ favorite Street Food Vendors:  El Sabroso de Aracataca (Colombian Arepas), Potala Fresh Momo (Tibetian), Ricas Botanas (Churros), and Oscar’s Chuzos & Elotes (Mexican).  They will be joined by returning vendorsSolber Pupusas, a 2011 Vendy Award Winner and 2014 finalist and Mama Food, who will serve her delicious Xinjiang-style grilled squid and lamb skewers.

New comers include:  Jhal NYC, a social entrepreneurial venture to help empower the Bengali community; The Malaysian Project; and Food Therapy by T. Pierce, representingUSA’s soul food/comfort food with a menu of deep fried chicken, BBQ pulled pork, seafood steamers, and their special cornbread. 

Local restaurants serving a broader range of Ecuadorian, Mexican, and Colombian foods will also be participating in the festival. At Sabor Ecuatoriano event attendees will find traditional Yaguarlocro, a dish cooked with lamb tripe from the Andean region of Ambato in Ecuador.  Casa Rivera, an old-style butcher, market and restaurant will serve traditional South America foods and treats—this market has an exceptional variety of hard-to find Latin American products. Tulcingo Bakery & Restaurant and Tacos Coatzingo NY offer a variety of typical Mexican dishes. Las Americas Bakery specialties are Colombian delights, including pan de bono with cafecito.  Mama Empanada serves 54 different types of corn and wheat empanadas.



The festival’s diversity will be on full display at the stage with a lively set of bands presenting music from Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, and Cuba.

Infusing indigenous and traditional music with their own New York style LA Cumbiamba eNeye will be capturing the spirit of the outdoor parties that take place in Colombia, known as cumbiambas. Their rhythms include cumbia, porro, gaita, puya, currulao, and abosao. 

Versatile Latin Jazz percussionist, Arturo Stable brings us Yuka Seca, a trio that features Pablo Moya on guitar and vocals, and Rudick Vidal on bass. Performing the most traditional songs and rhythms of the Cuban repertoire, this trio will also deliver all the excitement of the improvisation or descarga, and a sound that is both universal and irresistible to the body and feet.  

Combining traditional Brazilian rhythms (samba, baiao, bossa nova, and frevo) with English lyrics,

OsClavelitos is an “American Samba” band based in New York City, who creates original music with band members from Brazil, Japan, and the U.S. 

La Huerta is a NYC-based trio with members from Texas, Ecuador and El Salvador. They play latin “cortavenas” (love songs) and danzantes.

By popular demand, Yailin Garcia once more will sing classic Mariachis songs. This young artist delivery and voice capture her passion for traditional Mexican music.



This year will feature several art projects.  We will be honored with a calligraphic demonstration and poetry reading by Chinese civil rights activist and Nobel Prize in Literature nomineeHuang Xiang

To commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month, artist Mark Salinas (7TrainMurals) will lead the creation of a series of murals throughout the event.  While Cultural Center Barco de Papel will host the painting of various household items in their “Cultural Identity Through Everyday Objects” art exhibit. The public can participate in the creation of these art projects. In addition, various local artists will exhibit their work at Dunnigham Triangle.

"Viva La Comida captures the exciting cultural diversity found in Jackson Heights, Elmhurst and Corona and seemed to be the perfect venue for us to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month though the live painting of several canvased works which we will be distributing at no charge to decorate local community organizations." - Mark Salinas, Founder, 7Train Murals.

“I look forward to Viva La Comida every year.  I get to travel the world through authentic food, lively music, and creative art- all within one block.  No doubt this festival brings together the best of Queens and NYC” said Alfonso Quiroz, a Jackson Heights resident and festival goer. 

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