The City’s Best Elote Can Be Found Steps From The 7 Train In Jackson Heights


Alongside Roosevelt Avenue in Queens, beneath the elevated 7 prepare tracks, you may discover among the metropolis’s most various avenue meals, and probably the greatest and oldest operations is conveniently positioned simply steps from the 82nd Road-Jackson Heights entrance. Right here you will discover elote and kebabs being grilled by sisters-in-law Celeste and Lucy (who requested to solely use their first names), who function their enterprise from a vivid orange procuring cart.

There are three issues on the menu right here — elote, hen kebab, and beef kebab — however the Mexican avenue corn is among the biggest within the metropolis (I do know, I have been consuming it recurrently for a decade). Charred, recent off the grill, slathered with mayonnaise, sprinkled with cojita cheese, and topped off with chili powder — it prices three {dollars} and, whereas they will pack it as much as go, I like to recommend consuming it close by and as quickly as doable. The kebabs value 4 {dollars} and are greatest served with barbecue sauce, if you wish to fill out your meal — both approach, the entire transaction will take only a few minutes.

“It’s fast,” says Celeste referring to why their clients all the time return, “the folks come after work, they need one thing to eat quick, in order that they determine to purchase one thing.”

Elote stand in Queens


Afia Eama / Gothamist

Celeste and Lucy got here to town from Mexico, and first began promoting the elote again in 2009 (their worth has solely gone up 50 cents since). Now their snacks have turn into a neighborhood staple.

Within the 12 years for the reason that ladies opened their cart, a number of others have adopted and serve related objects, however theirs stays essentially the most constant of the block — you’ll find all of them yr spherical, even within the winter, grilling their items.

“We like what we do. We do every little thing with love,” stated Celeste, smiling below her masks.

Celeste says they selected this explicit spot again in 2009 as a result of it was a handy location for them. However the space can also be house to many Mexicans, Colombians, and Ecuadorians who worth the cart — and it’s why they’ve by no means relocated or felt the necessity to take action. Nonetheless, regardless of their location at a busy intersection, simply steps from the prepare, enterprise has slowed down over the previous yr. And their buyer base, primarily residents of Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, have been among the hardest-hit by the pandemic.

In pre-pandemic days, they noticed too many shoppers to depend, in line with Celeste, however “coronavirus has modified every little thing… it’s extra sluggish now. Many individuals are scared concerning the virus, they don’t have work or cash,” she added. Currently, nonetheless, Celeste stated they’re slowly seeing their clients return as town has been reopening and vaccinations are on the rise.

Close by residents aren’t the one followers of the cart, folks from all around the metropolis hop on the 7 prepare to strive their elote, and new employees to the world are drawn to it.

“I’ve been coming right here twice every week over the past month, it’s nice,” stated Freddie Salmon, who commutes from Flatbush to his building job within the space.

Celeste and Lucy’s cart could be discovered steps from the 82nd Road-Jackson Heights 7 prepare station, seven days every week (often)—they open round midday and shut round sundown, although have operated as late as 9 p.m.