Welcoming KC hosted this year’s KC International Food Tour in Historic Northeast, a day of celebration of all things food and culture. The tour took place via trolley that included 12 stops along Independence Avenue, in which tour-goers could enjoy the food of various cultures.
The stops ranged from butter cookies at Elvira’s Cakes to sambusa from Hawar Weyne at the Somali Mall. Food is at the center of many cultures, and Welcoming KC wishes to share that culture and diversity with all of Kansas City.
“Today is a part of our celebration of World Refugee Day,” said Greg Valdovino, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. “We want to make Kansas City more welcoming and open to immigrants.”
The Northeast community is known for having a variety of international markets and restaurants, and this food tour allowed for all communities to come together and celebrate the one thing that brings humans together: food.
“The Northeast Kansas City Chamber is always promoting the international marketplace that lives here in our community,” said Bobbi Baker-Hughes, President of the Northeast Chamber of Commerce. “This World Food Tour really kicks it up another notch to celebrate the differences that we all come together for, and that’s food.”
People from all communities and parts of the Kansas City metro came out to enjoy the food and take part in the celebration.
The event had just under 100 people in attendance, which comes close to matching last year’s similarly fashioned KC Taco Trail.
“I love different types of cultures,” visitor Kathy Trabue said. “I am very excited about this venture today. I like diversity and I miss diversity where I currently live, and this event is very good for me. Feeds my soul and feeds my stomach.”
This is Welcoming KC’s first year hosting the KC International Food Tour and the organization is seeking to provide a sense of comfort for immigrants and refugees in the neighborhood through the celebration of the various cultures, while also providing education and an experience to those who may not find this anywhere else.
“We want to introduce people to immigrant restaurants that they normally wouldn’t visit on their own,” Valdovino said. “So today’s event is to introduce those who are looking for international cuisine. We want to introduce them to new cultures and environments.”
Restaurants that participated in the food tour included: Carniceria El Torito III, Core Coffee & Eatery, San Antonio Market, Eleos Coffee, El Paso Del Norte, Frutopia, Elvira’s Cakes, Charritos Taquería, El Taco, Taqueria Mexico #2, and Hawar Weyne Restaurant.
This event was sponsored by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, and Kansas City University.