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Jackson Heights Stores and Restaurants Showcased in Festival

By Katie Honan | November 14, 2013 9:53am
 The Yelp tour highlights businesses and restaurants around the diverse neighborhood. 
The Yelp tour highlights businesses and restaurants around the diverse neighborhood.    
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Jando Shum/Yelp

JACKSON HEIGHTS — It's a passport to deliciousness.

Eat, save and even learn to cook like a local with a weeklong festival that hopes to celebrate the diverse local restaurant scene and businesses right off the 7 train.

The Passport to Jackson Heights, which is organized by Yelp users, starts Nov. 18 and runs through the week, with tours and discounts highlighting the neighborhood's long list of stores and restaurants. 

“Yelp's mantra is simply connecting people to great local businesses,” said Jando Shum, Yelp’s Queens community manager.

The site has held similar events on the Upper East Side and in Downtown Brooklyn, but the spotlight on Jackson Heights is the first in Queens.

Shum, who lives in Long Island City, said Jackson Heights was selected for its diverse selection of restaurants — from Indian, to Tibetan, to Korean.

“It brings together what I think is best about Queens,” he said.

The events, which were all crafted by Yelp users, include a momo-making class, guided by local expert Jeff Orlick and taught by the husband and wife chef team at Little Tibet.

Attendees will first learn how to cook the popular Tibetan dumplings, and then they’ll be treated to a meal selected by the chefs.

There’s also a guide to Korean fried chicken and craft beer, a wine tasting and a taco fest at Taqueria Coatzingo.

And while much of the focus is on food, local businesses are getting in on the action, too.

Mimi’s Yoga is offering a $10 class on Saturday, and other businesses are offering discounts inside their stores.

Shum's hope is for locals and non-locals alike to celebrate and try out everything Jackson Heights has to offer.

“It’s really a neighborhood for everyone, and that's what Queens is about, too,” he said. “It's a borough for everyone.”

Yelp's Passport to Jackson Heights starts Nov. 18 and runs through Nov. 25. For more information, email Queens@Yelp.com or visit the Yelp site.