Queens Scene

Dulce Cultura


 

 

Life is a sweet fiesta at Dulce Cultura, which means Sweet Culture. You can spot this female-owned Mexican eatery from the colorful murals on the façade and festive picnic tables outside on 31st Avenue in Astoria. With superb tacos, quesadillas, cocktails, weekend brunch, homemade ice cream and churros, Dulce Cultura is the place to go for real Mexican street food and fun.

Dulce Cultura opened two years ago by owner Kallie Pappas and partner Juan Cortez and Kallie’s daughters Mia and Lena help with service at this busy spot. The indoor dining room is light and airy, and furnished with colorful banquettes and chairs below modern lighting. The picnic tables outside are ideal for families with kids and big groups.

Start with a refreshing watermelon mojito, tequila-based Paloma, or Noche Buena margarita with red hibiscus syrup and lime juice. Sip your margarita with a salt rim or “tajin” rim sprinkled with chili powder and sea salt. Sangria, micheladas, and cold beer are popular here, and Mimosas are also great at weekend brunch.

 

 

We were presented with a platter of warm tortilla chips around a bowl of fresh, creamy guacamole that had a little kick. All appetizers at Dulce Cultura are meant to be shared so dig in to nachos or cheesy Mexi fries alone or topped with chicken, chorizo, carnitas, braised pork, shrimp or vegetables. Tacos make a great first course too, with two to an order so you can share one with your buddy.

Dulce Cultura’s tacos are extra special, and you might want to make a whole meal of them. Chef Juan specializes in a secret recipe delicacy called “birria” which is slowly braised beef that is so tender and juicy, it melts in your mouth. We had birria tacos that were outrageously delicious and this succulent birria goes into many other menu items so don’t miss it. Next we shared a couple of fish tacos that were batter dipped and fried to a golden crunch served with crunchy chipotle slaw, mango pineapple sauce and cilantro. My friend’s pork belly taco was braised and grilled to crisp perfection, topped with chipotle slaw, onions, and cilantro. Carnitas is roasted pulled pork, mildly seasoned and piled into flour tortillas, quesadillas, and burritos. Tacos al pastor combine grilled pork with grilled pineapple for a sweet and savory treat.

 

 

Burritos are hearty tortillas full of your favorite meats or vegetables, rice and savory beans that make a satisfying lunch, dinner, or brunch. Quesadillas are made with two flour tortillas filled with cheese, vegetables, meat or shrimp. They are nicely presented on platters and served warm and melted with a trio of sour cream, guacamole, and salsa. Order a side dish of esquites grilled corn salad for the table.

Dulce Cultura has a fabulous brunch served Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 5pm where you can order sweet or savory items such as chicken and waffles, Isla Mujeres waffles with fresh fruit, salsa verde chilaquiles, breakfast burritos and more. Flavored Mimosas, sangria, and micheladas make a nice accompaniment and there’s even a Bottomless Brunch.

Homemade ice cream at Dulce Cultura is made daily by Kallie with crispy cinnamon-dusted churros. Ice cream flavors include Cookie Monster, mango, Reese’s, Oreo, Nutella Concha, and cinnamon churro, to name a few. Pair up a scoop with a cinnamon-dusted churro pastry, served warm, or try a stuffed churro filled with Nutella, dulce de leche, or cheesecake. Indulge in a churro split with ice cream, bananas, strawberries, Nutella, and whipped cream for the perfect ending to a delicious Mexican meal.

Check out delectable photos on Instagram and place your order by calling 914.829.8801 or through a delivery ser ice for fast orders and pick ups. Dulce Cultura is open Tuesday to Friday from 2-10 pm, Saturday from 11 am to 10 pm, and Sunday from 11 am to 8 pm. For excellent Mexican street food, tacos, birria, homemade ice cream and festive brunch, visit Dulce Culture and get your fiesta on!

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