On the last weekend of April, across the vast expanse of Queens asphalt that is the Citi Field parking lot, more than 100 different food vendors will play host to thousands of people in the mood for feasting and partying. The mega-event is called the World's Fare, both for its proximity to the 1964 Fair grounds in Flushing Meadows Park, and for its emphasis on "diversity through cuisine", as the website puts it, with an international lineup of restaurants "from over 100 cultures."
In addition to all the food, there will also be plenty of international beer for sale at the World's Fare, as well as live music from the likes of Mariachi Local, Funky Dawgs Brass Band, and DJ Boro; a Sumo Wrestling demonstration starring Yama, a sumo champion; and Instagram-friendly "interactive murals".
Earlier this month in Grand Central Terminal, the World's Fare organizers offered a small preview of the culinary riches they have planned for the weekend-long festival, and everything was very good. The most exciting dish was the West African Chicken Yasa from the remarkable Brownsville Community Culinary Center, the lively pulled chicken topped with mango chutney and pickled vegetables and served with a crispy-on-the-outside, buttery-on-the-inside jalapeño cheddar biscuit.
The press preview was held in the terminal's Nordic-themed food hall curated by chef Claus Meyer, who founded The Melting Pot foundation, which operates the BCCC. One dollar of every ticket sold for The World's Fare will be given to the BCCC.
Other highlights from the gut-busting sneak peek included an Indonesian Coconut Pancake, Steamed Casava, and Steamed Pandan Cake from Queens Night Market favorite Moon Man; the Eritrean-Ethiopian street food from the Makina food truck folks, featuring some first-rate Beef and Lentil Sambusas; the wonderfully flavorful and fiery Al Pastor and Pollo Guisado tacos from Oaxaca Taqueria; and Falansai's pair of Vietnamese Rice Crepes, one stuffed with beets, mushrooms, and garbanzo bean paste, the other with spinach, potato and leeks.
The World's Fare, which expects to attract some 5,000 people each day, will be held on April 28 and 29. General admission tickets start at $32 on Saturday and $22 on Sunday (neither price includes any food or drink, just admittance to the grounds; more expensive tickets include different levels of beer garden access and beer tastings).
This was previously published on the Gothamist newsletter on April 19, 2018. Don't miss stories—sign up for our newsletter here.