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May 13, 2007 04:20 PM

2007 9th avenue international food festival-any recommedations,suggestions,and info?

Next weekend, saturday may 19th and sunday may 20th is the annual 9th avenue food festival. I have not been to it in many years.

I am seeking information. Has anyone been to it in recent years? Any suggestions or recommendations on bakeries,restaurants,etc would be greatly appreciated. I do remember that many restaurants also have street stands. I remember eating alligator and shark, and a sandwich with meat from a pig on a stick- yum :)

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    1. I went last year and it was lots of fun. Great, relaxed atmosphere and generally very low prices. You won't necessarily need a specific game plan, as it's only eighteen blocks or so, and you can do a lap before committing to anything.

      Avoid the professional street fair carts (serving generic kielbasas and funnel cakes and the like) and head to the real 9th ave restos' street stands. Standouts from last year: Amy's Bread (probably the best bakery in HK) had many tasty items for $1, Wondee Siam had their amazing steamed vegetable dumplings (basically garlic and peanut dumplings) for a coupla bucks, and Rice 'n' Beans had some interesting off-the-menu snacks.

      1 Reply
      1. re: D...DF

        i want to thank you for all this information. i did go yesterday sunday may 20th. it was my first time since 2004 and i noticed a few things right away:

        the fair goes from 39th street to 57th street. there seemed to be many more non-food vendors selling socks,cheap jewelry,etc than previously. also many more professional street fair carts than i remember.It kills me to see "tourists" eating $3 ears of corn and or grilled turkey legs at this kind of event.there were also many empty spaces than i remembered;it used to be wall to wall vendors.

        but i took your advice and started out- from the south,made my way to 57th street,then turn around and do the route again. ok..first stop was the sea breeze market for the alligator and shark,only to be told,"were not offering those this year" so i settled for some was tasty. i dont remember what i paid-but most of the prices are reasonable.

        had vegetable dumlings and some dish with crab at the siam grill ( $1 each).
        bread pudding and key lime pie from the little pie bakery. they undercharged me i only paid $2 for both items.

        next stops were at amy's bread for a black olive and a parmesan bread twists ( $1 each). Then to the poseidon bakery for some fabulous spanakopita and tirapita ($3.50 each).

        After taking a brief break- it was time to get that alligator. delta grill had tasty alligatior sandwiches for $5.

        Uncle Nicks Greek did have pig on a stick but we were told to come back at 4 pm. So we had a gyro in the meantime.($5)

        I would say that the highlight for me was getting the chorizos ($3) and some outrageous paella ($7) from costa del sol. i plan on going back there when i get a chance.there was also belly dancing on a stage somewhere near the south end of the fair. i think they would be better off having it north of 42nd street,if possible.

        the weather was great,there was a nice breeze and the rain held off till 530 pm but stopped after about 10-15 minutes.

        I have some words of advice for those who are interested in attending next years festival:

        Dont drive there;parking is a fortune: traffic is a horror because 9th avenue is closed for two full days;take a bus or subway instead.

        2 get there early- it starts at 930 am shuts down at 630-7 pm.
        3- wear comfortable shoes,loose fitting clothing and something that you dont mind getting stained.
        4 there are no portable toilets and most of the restaurants have " restrooms for customers only" signs but most will let you use their facilities if you make a purchase at their street stands.the nearby bus terminal also has public facilities that were quite clean.

        5-seating at the street stands is quite limited. Also alcohol can only be consumed at the stands- you cant walk around with it anymore.

        6- Go to worldiwide plaza park on west 49-50 streets between 8th and 9th avenues. It has plenty of tables and chairs,and is a good way to take a break from the fair.The fountain splashed cool water on us.and..the office part of the complex also has restroom facilities- just ask the security people.

        I had a blast and plan on going back to some of the restaurants whose wares i enjoyed so much. Alas my date only had the lamb gyro,a mozzareppa,pierogis and the parmesan bread from amy's -but she still had a good time.