First off, I need to tell you all that it is criminal that I have never been to Smorgasburg. This weekly food event is basically the star of summer in New York City, and I don’t know why I hadn’t dragged myself over to Williamsburg to partake until now.
Smorgasburg is the “largest weekly open-air food market in America,” and it was first launched back in 2011 as a spinoff of Brooklyn Flea. Each weekend, about 20,000-30,000 people head to Brooklyn to eat from 100 different local vendors.
First up on the “need to know”: Smorgasburg is held on the Williamsburg waterfront on Saturdays and in Prospect Park on Sundays from April until October. The creators just launched a SoHo version at Varick and Canal Streets on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. For this trip, my friend Kris and I went to Williamsburg to take advantage of the views.
One cool thing about Smorgasburg is that everything is local. Each year, 100 vendors put their best food and drink on display. Because everything is from the area, you can count on it all being hipster and unique and the epitome of Brooklyn. There is a good amount of creativity that goes into all of the food, and it shows. Some of the popular dishes in past years include a ramen burger, truffle fries, burritos stuffed with fries, and plenty of vegan and gluten-free creations. The “what is that?” dish of this year is the spaghetti donut, available in a few different varieties.
Smorgasburg is mostly cash only, but there is an ATM available with a super long line. Fortunately, I stopped for cash before catching the bus over. Now I just had to decide what to eat. Smorgasburg is crazy popular, so be prepared for lots of people when you go.
I stumbled onto the Parish stand and saw there wasn’t much of a wait. Since I was starving from running at Summer Streets, I decided this would be perfect.
Crawfish mac and cheese sounded like the best option. I ordered, paid, and waited a few minutes. All of the food at Smorgasburg is freshly made, but you never wait that long at any of the stands.
Food with a view! The mac and cheese was spicy and delicious. Was it worth $10? I suppose so - it was comparably priced to everything else, so I think it was worth the cost.
We stopped at another stand so Kris could get Vermont maple lemonade, which he said was amazing.
Of course, you can’t do Smorgasburg without stopping for dessert. There was a really long line at Wowfulls (they make those crazy looking egg-waffle ice cream cones you’ve probably seen on social media), but then I remembered reading about Dulcinea, the “must-have” churro stand.
Peanut butter churro ice cream sandwich! If I had more cash on me I probably would have ordered and eaten this again, because it was that good.
Smorgasburg is a highlight of summer in New York City, and I finally see why. There are so many vendors to check out that you could probably come here every weekend and not get to try something from all of them. I highly recommend going…just make sure you go hungry!
Interested in more bucket list adventures in New York City? Follow along on Instagram at @fiveboroughbucketlist!