New York City's First Ever Chinese Food Festival Is Debuting This Summer

Chinatown has been woven into the fabric of New York City since the mid-nineteenth century, so it probably comes as a surprise to hear that it has never before hosted a festival celebrating Chinese food and culture. That changes on June 24th with the debut of Dragon Fest, a series of events set to take place over four days throughout the summer.

Dragon Fest is the brainchild of Biubiu Xu, who founded the egg-themed pop-up The Egg House. "There is a surge in the interest and love for Chinese food and culture, and we noticed that it's hard to find a dedicated platform in New York City to celebrate this," says Xu. "That's why Dragon Fest was created. It's intended to be an experiential festival, where people can taste authentic Chinese cuisine and immerse themselves in the rich culture and traditions. I'm thrilled to invite everyone to what will be the largest celebration of Chinese food and culture in NYC."

Each Dragon Fest day will run from 10 AM to 6 PM, and it kicks off on June 24 at the head of Washington Square Park between Washington North and 5th Ave. Festivities will continue for the entire last weekend in August on the 12th and 13th St. block of Broadway, and once more on September 17 on 6th Ave. between 29th and 30th St.

Food, culture, and connections

Dragon Fest, whose visitors will include "gastronomic enthusiasts, art lovers, and the culturally curious," will feature, according to a release sent to Tasting Table, "over 100 varieties of traditional, popular, and rare Chinese foods." These include xiaolongbao, AKA soup dumplings, spicy dan dan noodles, the iconic red, candied hawthorn sticks, fermented stinky tofu, and steamed bowl pudding cake, to name just a few. There will also be "Han-style clothing and Miao embroidery and jewelry on display."

But Dragon Fest is not merely an opportunity to grab tasty bites from vendors like Peking House and Nan Xiang, it is a cultural showcase designed to bring people and cultures together in a celebration of our shared love for food, art, and music. Dragon Fest also aims to elevate the vendors and sponsors, including HungryPanda and Fly By Jing, through events and campaigns that create personal, meaningful connections by fostering community appreciation and awareness.

And Dragon Fest already has growth on its agenda; Boston, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. are a few of the cities the festival organizers envision spreading to, with a possibility of 12 to 18 total Dragon Fests nationwide. 

Tickets to the event are free through Eventbrite, and you can see the organizers and participants ramp up to the big days on the event's Instagram page