The East River International Food Festival is coming soon.

Organizers say it’s really a celebration of food, culture. It’s also a comeback from COVID for dozens of Queens restaurants, including Nepali Bhanchha Ghar on Roosevelt Avenue. The small business, owned by Yamuna Shrestha, is beloved in the Nepalese community.

She is well known in her neighborhood for her momos.  They are Nepali dumplings, filled with meat or vegetables. Shrestha learned from her mother how to make them. She says they are a favorite of her regular customers.  Each one is packed with a delicious taste of spices and home for the Nepalese community.

Shrestha doesnt like to brag, but she has won the Queens Momo Crawl four years in a row. Shrestha, like so many restaurant owners, closed during the pandemic and now she’s back and stronger. She says her Nepalese neighbors kept her going.  

“She loves her community and they love her back,” said Jonathon Forgash, the founder and executive director of nonprofit Queens Together.  

Her restaurant is one of 20 taking part in the first ever East River International Food Festival at the Anable Basin on Long Island city’s waterfront. 

Forgash organized the festival.  Many of these restaurants were on the front lines helping feed their communities.  It’s been rough few years for these restaurants and now it’s time to celebrate. 

The East River International Food Festival is on Sunday, May 22.