Everyone knows New York City is a hub for food purveyors, great restaurants and unique eats. But, you may not know that some of the best specialty food items are made locally, right here in Queens. Check out this list and you may find a hidden gem right in your own backyard.
Located in Corona, Tortilleria Nixtamal uses the ancient process of nixtamalization, which was first developed in Mesoamerica by the Aztecs, to treat their corn. This process results in greater health benefits from their tortillas and masa. They are also committed to using only non-genetically modified and non-transgenic corn, no preservatives or lard. They supply select restaurants around the NY area, but you can drop in to this Queens location for affordable eat-in or take-out. Serving food Mon-Thurs 11am-6pm, Fri-Sun 11am-9pm; Tortillas available for purchase from 7am-4pm
104-05 47th Ave, Corona
Kesso is an amazing high-quality Greek yogurt made in a tiny Mom+Pop shop on a tree-lined street in the part of East Elmhurst sometimes referred to as “Astoria Heights” (the neighborhood where Astoria, Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst meet). It’s sold in a few local stores, as well as Whole Foods and at their SoHo location. I live a few blocks away and will often drop in to pick up some. The best part might be that when the owners (a sweet older couple) ring up my order, they always ask if I’d like some of their homemade preserved fruit (figs, cherries, etc.), nuts or honey added to my yogurt cup.
77-20 21st Ave, East Elmhurst
The Alps Provisions Co.
Located on a quiet street in Astoria, this supplier to some of NYC’s top rated restaurants and chefs has been churning out artisanal-made sausages, salumi, and a variety of cured meats for over 70 years. The Alps Provisions Co. is one of few domestic producers that still traditionally hand-stuffs and hand-ties their pork products in natural casing. Their gourmet items can be purchased in bulk at wholesale prices, or found (reasonably priced) at neighborhood food shops and (not-so-reasonably-priced) at high-end retailers throughout the city.
22-70 45th Street (at 23rd Ave), Astoria
BAO Fresh Kombucha
The recipe for this naturally fermented beverage is said to have originated in Manchuria over 2,300 years ago. Now produced and packed in BAO Fresh Kombucha’s energy efficient facility in Long Island City, you can get this vitamin and probiotic-rich drink freshly brewed. Purchase a bottle at your local health food store, or have it delivered to your door by the case or keg. BAO is committed to serving their local community and donates all compostable byproducts to local co-ops and gardeners.
For delivery or more info visit drinkbao.com
Cassinelli Food Products Inc.
It’s easy to walk right past Cassinelli and not notice the constant stream of little Italian grandmas filing in and out. They know it’s the place in Astoria to pick up delicate, fresh pasta made on premises. Visit their shop early in the day to choose from a variety of 30 different styles of pasta including fettuccine, ravioli and cappelletti made daily in the small factory behind the storefront. Open Tues-Sat, 7 am-3:30pm
31-12 23rd Avenue, Astoria