Traditional Japanese Ramen Street Festival Invades Astoria
The two-day Ramen Festival welcomed thousands of foodies to Steinway Street, between Broadway and 34th Avenue. NY1’s Jared Smith filed the following report.
There was plenty of ramen to go around on Sunday during the 2017 Ramen Contest & Japan Street Festival.
Attendees got the chance to sample and vote on some of the best ramen from both New York City and around the globe.
"There's a lot of demand for ramen, everybody loves ramen, everybody talks about ramen but we chose the best 11 ramen restaurants from the world to Astoria. I think Astoria is ramen capital of New York City,” said event organizer Masahiko Todoroki.
Of the over 10,000 ramen shops that operate in Japan, event organizers hand picked 3 to come to Astoria and take part in the competition.
"All of the vendors from Japan say they are very happy to be here, I think that is a part of the New York culture, fun competition,” added Todoroki.
Two of the ramen shops that took park have local ties to Astoria, including Shuya Ramen, which is located just 2 blocks from where the festival took place.
"It's a great opportunity to compete with the ramen restaurants from Japan, we can't do that normally. I don't care who is better, I'm just happy to be with them and be with the culture,” said Shuya Ramen, the owner of Shuya Miyawaki.
In its 5th year, the ramen festival has become one of the most authentic displays of Japanese culture the city has to offer.
Still, organizers believe there's still room for the event to grow.
"This is a New York version, we cannot buy any equipment. The equipment is different, that's why it's different but its close, I want to make it closer in the future,” said "Dragon", another event organizer.
The event will return to the neighborhood in the fall of 2017.
For more information visit, www.japanfes.com.