SUNNYSIDE — A food festival that showcases the best eats in Sunnyside is taking its dining al fresco this year — setting up shop under the 7 train tracks despite long-running problems there with pigeon droppings.
The Taste of Sunnyside will take place outdoors for the first time on May 20, when more than two dozen local restaurants will offer up samples of their food beneath a tent on Queens Boulevard, under the elevated 7 line between 45th and 46th streets.
Tickets for the event went on sale this week.
This is the fourth Taste of Sunnyside but the first time it's being held outdoors, according to Rachel Thieme of the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District, which is hosting the event with foodie magazine Edible Queens.
Thieme said the group chose the location because of its prominence in the neighborhood.
"It's just such a visible space," she said. "It's right in the middle of the neighborhood, everybody walks past the space as they get off the train. We just thought the event would have the most impact there."
The 46th Street station was one of three in Queens that received a high-tech pigeon mitigation system last year after a slew of complaints from residents about bird poo.
But Thieme says the pigeon problems aren't a concern for the event, where all the festivities will take place under one large tent being set up for the occasion.
All food will be served according to Health Department regulations, she said, and the space will be cleaned beforehand. There will be adequate garbage cans on-site.
Thieme said the food fest will be the first large-scale event to take place under the elevated train line, where more than 25 neighborhood eateries will offer their wares.
"We have an incredible array of restaurants participating this year, and it promises to be a really fun and delicious event," she said in a statement.
Food samples will include lobster mac and cheese, Colombian kernel corn, Romanian hors d'oeuvres, smoked meatballs and seitan with vegan mole poblano, according to organizers.
The food and drink offerings are included with the purchase of a ticket, which is $30 for two-hour general admission or $60 for VIPs, which gets you an extra hour of tasting.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Sunnyside Shines website.