Jackson Heights, Street Food
Oct 31, 2017

Get Your Fill of Dumplings at the Annual Momo Crawl This Weekend

Get ready to stuff yourself with delicious dumplings at this weekend’s Momo Crawl in Jackson Heights.

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Over the years, Jackson Heights has become the place for folks from Nepal, Tibet, and the Himalayas area to settle in NYC—in fact, one of the more recent nicknames for the neighborhood is “Himalaya Heights.” It’s common in immigrant communities for the newcomers to bring their food traditions with them, and this group of people is no exception. One of the most visible identifiers of this global cuisine is the momo, a kind of dumpling. And they are delicious.

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One of the momos I ate a few years back at the Momo Crawl—and yes, it was delicious. 

The Sixth Annual Momo Crawl celebrates this wonderful food, and the event has grown significantly from its humble beginnings of about 30 people gathering together to try out different momos in the neighborhood (momos are said to be the most popular dish in Queens). It originally was held in the spring/summer (for the second annual crawl, I remember it being quite hot that day) but these days it happens when it’s cooler. This year it’s on Sunday, November 5 from 2-5pm and starts just east of Diversity Plaza in Jackson Heights [map].

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And while the main focus of the event is to go through the neighborhood and eat momos, there are other enjoyable things happening at the same time at Diversity Plaza—live music, dance, real tattoos as well as henna, games, and a parade to the winner by the end of the event. The organizers have also reserved two vintage trolleys from NY Trolley Company to take you around the perimeter of the crawl. Additionally, Saturday hails the release of the I Love Momos app.

The founder and one of the organizers, Jeff Orlick, explains how the Momo Crawl will end: “At the closing ceremonies starting at 4:30pm, Orlick and the entire Students for a Free Tibet organization will arm wrestle for control over the Momo Crawl in a loser-leaves-town match.” It will be interesting to see how that goes. Also, the new Momo Championship Belt made of yak hide will be awarded to the winner of the Momo Crawl (determined by a balloted popular vote).

To participate in the crawl, you purchase a $10 passport to take with you as you go through the crawl, which includes over 20 restaurants selling momos for $1 each. Proceeds form the event go to Students for a Free Tibet. Here’s a list of the participating restaurants:

Amdo Kitchen
Bhutanese Ema Datsi
Friends Corner Cafe
Gang Chen Bod Kyi Momo Cart
Hamro Bhim’s Cafe
Himalaya Restaurant
Himalayan Yak
K2 Delights Cafe (Bombay Chat)
Kanchanjunga
Lali Guras
Lhasa Fast Food
Little Tibet
Merit Kabab Palace
Mom’s Momos
Momo Bros
Momo Delight
Mustang Thakali Kitchen
Nepali Chancha Ghar
Phayul
Potala Fresh Food
Potala Restaurant
Tawa Roti
Wasabi Point
Woodside Cafe

It’s a terrific event and one that shows us some of the best that Queens can offer. We hope you can make it!

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

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