First US Kosher Food Crawl Held in Brooklyn

A Taste of Crown Heights: This spicy tuna salad on a pretzel bread bun was to die for. (Photo provided to Kings County Politics)

Some 350 participants turned out for the first kosher food crawl in the U.S., far exceeding the expectations of its organizers. Among them was Steven Davidson, who wrote about the Kingston Avenue event in a Forward article, and a Kings County Politics reporter.

Neighborhood locals Shmuly Wolff, co-founder and CEO of JMenu, an app for ordering from kosher restaurants, and J.J. Hecht, director of the Brooklyn-based Toys for Hospitalized Children, organized “A Taste of Crown Heights.” Wolff spoke to The Forward about how the kosher food scene has grown in recent years.

“When I was a kid, there was one pizza shop, a burger shop, and a cafe,” said Wolff. “Now, we have 20 vendors [participating in the crawl] and we haven’t even included everyone.”

Davidson writes:

Alongside modern-day perfections of traditional foods like shawarma and deli meats, vendors offered kosher takes on cuisine ranging from sushi to ice cream and beer. The melding of disparate influences with Crown Heights’ Orthodox identity was distinctly Brooklyn in its own unique, surprisingly hip way.

Go to his full story to get a taste of some of the dishes – like “juicy, old-fashioned burgers with an eclectic array of condiments like truffle aoli and bondi sauce” – and what prompted Davidson’s brother, who he took along, to exclaim “How is that kosher?! It’s too good to be kosher!”

A Kings County Politics reporter also attended the kosher food crawl, and noted that the location, Kingston Avenue, is the “main thoroughfare and headquarters of the Lubavitch Jewish sect and the purveyors of the worldwide Chabad movement.”

The event also drew public officials:

Among those enjoying the kosher delicacies were New York State Senator Jesse Hamilton, Assemblywoman Diana Richardson and Matthew Pitt, Director of Constituent Affairs for City Council Member Laurie Cumbo. They joined the food crawl on foot and tasted the spread at each location.

See a list of the vendors and what some of them offered, at Kings County Politics.

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