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Joe D.

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Queens-based food writer, culinary tour guide, and consultant  Joe DiStefano has been exploring the borough’s diverse global cuisines for more than a decade, and is widely recognized by such culinary luminaries as Andrew Zimmern, as a go-to source on the diverse Queens cuisine scene. He has long been a champion of the bustling Chinatown that is downtown Flushing and is fond of referring to it as “America’s Greatest Chinatown.” He is the founder and publisher of the Queenscentric food blog CHOPSTICKS & MARROW, and author of the best-selling guidebook "111 Places in Queens That You Must Not Miss." 

His work has appeared in The New York Times, Gourmet, Food Republic, and Serious Eats. His clients include Starbucks, the Boys Club of New York, Hormel, The Food Group, and Next Restaurant. 

Follow him on Twitter @JoeDiStefano and on Instagram @joedistefanoqns, just make sure to eat lunch beforehand!

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Reviews for Joe D.
Sheryl C.

What an awesome tour! Joe took us on a culinary and cultural adventure in our backyard. Native New Yorkers, we’d never explored queens like this. His knowledge of the Flushing food scene and the best eats in the best Chinatown is surpassed only by his pride in showing off all Queens has to offer. Whether it was about how to prepare the dish we were tasting, explaining religious rituals, or just sharing the history of the neighborhood, Joe has vast knowledge. There is a good amount of walking in between eating which gives the tour a great balance. He even gave my dad-who we took as a birthday celebration- a gift, which was above and beyond. We will definitely be joining joe for future food tours of Queens. Highly recommend!

Mara G.

This tour far exceeded any expectations I might have had. Joe is so knowledgeable about not only the food, but the neighborhood's history and culture, so the walk is peppered (sorry) with tasty bits (sorry again) of information and interesting sights. The places he took us were truly little gems, off the beaten path, and I had the best versions of some of my favorite Chinese dishes (steamed rice rolls, soup dumplings). This was such a treat and incredibly worth the time and money (I don't really think he charges enough, actually). Would recommend to anyone who enjoys Asian food (including Uzbeki and South Asian - its a really diverse eating experience) and wants to be guided by someone who's tried everything and can introduce you to the best spots.

David M.

Joe was a fabulous guide. Our family of four ( 2 adventurous teenage boys) enjoyed Joe's tour of Flushing's many fine eating establishments. Given the myriad of locations and cuisines, it would be difficult to do on your own. His expertise and easy going nature made it quite enjoyable. I highly recommend. You want be disappointed nor leave hungery.

Christa F.

Joe is so great! He has his own dry but charming sense of humor. It was quite fun to walk around the city with him and the group. If I wasn't in NYC, I would actually still take the tour just to try the foods! I would recommend it for visitors as well as residents which is cool. I look back on it now and I'm like wow, what a great life experience in general. I liked his approach, knowledge, and fun personality. What a great adventure! This might sound like one of those paid reviews I realize that, but I really am a fan and would recommend my friends to try this anytime. I even think I'd go back and do it again. Thanks so much Joe and best wishes!

Valerie Q.

Joe's Flushing Chinatown Food Tour was AWESOME. You'll taste a wide variety of dishes -- dishes you wouldn't know to order from stalls and shops you wouldn't know to order from. He's an expert and well-known in the area. You will NOT be hungry when you leave!

Patricia C.

Joe's tour with all the sights and tastes of Flushing's Chinese food courts, vegetable markets, and small shops stays with us. We want to get back to this remarkable American city, with some fine insights from Joe as well as lots and lots to eat, new food tastes, and some nice variations.

Karolina M.

Great. Delicious food

Docculd

Lots of fun and delicious food. Great adventure

Abby

I really enjoyed the Flushing Chinatown Food Tour with Joe. We were lucky to have a rather small group - just four of us in total, including Joe - so we were able to get around the narrow food halls and streets nimbly. Joe took time at the beginning to ask us about what foods we enjoyed, if there ere any specific regions of China we were interested in, and if there were any dishes that we hoped to sample. We tried ten different dishes which were all delicious. I was plenty full at the end, as were the other two people in the group. If you're looking for a guide to find unique and tasty dishes in Flushing, Joe's your guy!

Corinna A.

My husband and I have been talking for years about checking out the Flushing food scene but were hesitant to go because we had no idea which places to check out or what to eat. The food tour with Joe was really fun and a real eye opener to the amazing culinary options. After having Joe show us around, we can't wait to go back and explore Flushing on our own. Joe clearly knows the area and can easily navigate its labyrinth of food stalls and restaurants. And the food he introduced us to was delicious. We highly recommend Joe and this tour for New Yorkers and tourists alike who want to see a whole different, wonderful world.

Noor A.

This tour was the ultimate treat for my palate!! Joe is extremely knowledgeable and funny,with the slightest touch of sarcastic humor at just the right times. I enjoyed being guided through the nooks and crannies of Flushing experiencing the most enjoyable flavors from places I would NEVER had thought to go in myself. Joe knows exactly what to get from where and I promise, the sight, smell and tastes will be lingering on your tongue long enough to bring you back and have second go! If you love food and want to discover new tastes, go exploring with Joe, he'll take you on the best ride of you life!!

Neta W.

It was not great. I know and love Chinese cuisine, and was really excited about this opportunity. I agree with the others who wrote that this may be a good tour for people with no knowledge of this cuisine or no travel experience - for people who have been places and feel comfortable just wondering around and trying new things this tour just does not add enough value. The stories, information, and knowledge just did not flow the way I would expect them to in such a tour. I would have had more fun, I think, wondering in Flushing on my own.

Stephen W.

Brought a large group of 11 people on this tour -- probably larger than Joe is accustomed to. To be honest, this tour fell short of expectations, especially after reading all of the positive reviews. For the money, I would have expected a lot more food. My entire group grabbed another meal shortly after the tour. Highlights: Flushing is a truly great place to explore. If you haven't been, you should definitely check it out. Joe took us to some places I had never been before & a couple of dishes were truly unique/spectacular (the Tofu window was truly a great find). Negatives: Very little discussion, information, commentary was provided. The tour did not seem very organized. Again, for the amount of money paid, there were surprisingly few dishes: We tried approximately 9 separate dishes (very small portions...usually a bite or 2 of each) at 6 to 7 places. I had been to Flushing many times, and my group had all traveled or lived in China previously, so maybe our expectations were too high. However, the orders were just too small and we passed too many delicious items that were not ordered.

Albert C.

According to the reviews, this looks like a food tour I'd love to go on. I like the fact you get to try a variety of authentic items and that you go to places off of the beaten path. Joe is a nice, easy-going guy as well, so many props to him!

Charles (.

My wife and I had great time with Joe. He took us to places we would never found on our own and the foods he recommended were only the best of the best. We toured restaurants, food markets and even visited a Hindu Temple which was beautiful including having Indian food in the basement of the Temple. The knowledge Joe provided only comes from experience. We travel to NYC usually twice a year and over all the visits this was one of the most amazing and satisfing experiences we have had. Thanks again Joe. The Brewers

Rocky

Joe's jaunt through Flushing Chinatown (the best Chinatown in NYC) is the gold standard in food tours ... totally knowledgeable of the area and where to find the best dishes. We did plenty of eating (you won't go hungry) and walking, and Joe was ready with answers for all our questions. It was a totally fun and satisfying three hours. Book this tour and you won't be disappointed.

Scott S.

Joe DiStefano really knows food and he shares what he knows on this food tour. I would never have visited any of the Asian restaurants we went to on my own. He takes you to the truely authentic Chinese were there is no English menu or English spoken and guides you to the best dishes that each place makes. This tour has opened an entire new world of food for me and I can now go to the China towns of Queens, Manhattan, SanFrancisico, or any othe city and explore the food with the knowledge that I learned from Joe. This tour was really worth every penny for what I learned and the food was phenomenal. Every place we went to was a new food I had never had before and each dish was amazing. Joe also takes you through the Chinese markets and tells you what all of those exotic looking ingredients are and what dishes they are used in and then when you are at the next eatery he gives you the choice of having a dish with some of those those new found ingredients. I highly recommend that you get out of Manhattan and explore the food in the other boroughs with Joe. There is a whole new world out there to eat and you are missing it.

Rebecca R.

Amazing food at tiny little hole-in-the-wall places we never would have found ourselves in a million years. Lots of fun!