Ninth Avenue Food Festival Offers Taste of Neighborhood's Best Restaurants

By Mathew Katz on May 18, 2012 3:42pm 

Organizers expect the biggest turnout yet at this year's Ninth Avenue International Food Festival.
Organizers expect the biggest turnout yet at this year's Ninth Avenue International Food Festival.
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Ninth Avenue Association

HELL'S KITCHEN — Ninth Avenue will become one of the city's hippest culinary hotspots this weekend with the largest-ever Ninth Avenue International Food Festival.

Running on both Saturday and Sunday, the entirety of the avenue from West 42nd Street to West 57th Street will offers choice eats from dozens of restaurants. Between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m., visitors can wander up and down the block tasting the best of the neighborhood's culinary fare, from tacos to barbecue.

Festival coordinator Maribel Liberti said that the event has grown substantially as the neighborhood has become a Manhattan hub for new restaurants.

"It's always a huge event, but this year it's going to be as big as ever because of that" she said. "We've got 10 new restaurants this year, some of which are in the midst of opening."

New additions include Southern Hospitality, Patron Mexican Grill, and gay cowboy bar Flaming Saddles.

The fair will also see the addition of food trucks for the first time, including the Pitmaster BBQ Truck and Valaducci's Pizza Truck.

There will also be over 200 vendors selling arts and crafts, music, and clothing, along with a children's pavillion — complete with inflatable rides and water-gun fights — between West 53rd and West 54th Streets.

A live stage at West 55th Street will offer a variety of music and andace performances from both local and international performers.

Profits from the Festival will go back to the Ninth Avenue Association, which will spend the cash on neighboorhood community programs, scholarships, holiday giveaways to needy families, and activities for children and seniors.

A full listing of food vendors at the festival can be found at its website.

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