Updated June 2021
What Does Smorgasburg Mean?
An urban take on the concept of a smorgasbord ( a buffet of a variety of foods and dishes), Smorgasburg is a popup festival each weekend with an array of unique food vendors serving their delicious, gourmet spin on global cuisines.
Sundays, 11 am – 6 pm.
Yes, Smorgasburg NYC reopened for the summer 2021 season in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park at Breeze Hill on June 13 with 35 vendors, a full bar, and plenty of shaded areas to spread out and share with friends.
Saturdays, 11 am – 6 pm.
July 26, the Williamsburg location will reopen at Marsha P. Johnson State Park at 90 Kent Avenue. There’s new seating, beautiful East River views, and grassy places for the little ones to run and play.
Fridays, 11 am – 7 pm.
Downtown at the World Trade Center (Fulton & Church St), a petit version of Smorgasburg will make every Friday special with summer-friendly menus.
What’s it Like at a Smorgasburg?
On a lazy summer Saturday, my sister Lisa and I subwayed our way to Brooklyn’s East River State Park in Williamsburg to check out Smorgasburg, a popular hipster-ish food market (there were a helluva lot of man buns walking around) I’d read about but never explored. It was part gourmet, open-air food market, part culinary crystal ball, and utterly delicious.
Smorgasburg boasts dozens of vendors selling their scrumptious dishes.
We arrived at noon and the parking lot the event occupied by the waterfront was already buzzing. Within an hour it would be wall-to-wall people and slightly difficult to navigate but it was the weekend and we were in no particular rush.
Looking across the asphalt, 60 small pop-up food tents beckoned to the hungry. We decided to do a little reconnaissance, to take an inventory of our options. Our heads spun from all the interesting choices. No run-of-the-mill hotdogs from this bunch.
Almost everything was homemade or created on-site. Half the fun was watching the food being prepared. Aesthetics were clearly a priority and each order was painstakingly presented as if chef Gordon Ramsey were looming over their shoulders.
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As the crowd grew, lines formed quickly. Waiting times lasted as long as 15 minutes but, surprisingly, patrons just grinned and nodded their heads in acceptance. When does that ever happen?
Sunday: Smorgasburg in Breeze Hill, Prospect Park
Two weeks later I returned to Smorgasburg, this time on Sunday and a different location: Breeze Hill in Prospect Park. Most of the vendors were the same (vendors can do one location or both at their discretion) and the natural setting was more serene than the frenetic energy of the scene in Williamsburg.
A few new dishes caught my eye. There was mofongo: a popular Puerto Rican dish made with mashed green plantains and garlic topped with chicken and a spicy sauce. I admit I didn’t try it. There was a long line (which says something positive) and I didn’t have time to wait.
There was South Philly Cheesesteaks (the real deal with melted cheese whiz) that looked delish. At Jianbing (pronounced Jen-bing) they served a Shanghai-inspired breakfast food by the same name. Reuben, one of the co-founders told me to think of it as a Chinese crepe. It’s made with a whole egg, sweet & savory sauce, scallions, cilantro, a homemade chili sauce and a thin piece of fried dough, (“the cracker”) to give it a crunch, wrapped together and cut into two mouth-watering pieces. If you wanted a little protein you could add chicken, bacon or tofu to the mix.
For anyone with a sweet tooth, the options were just as plenty. The donuts from Dough were the size of my head in tantalizing flavors such as Hibiscus, Passion Fruit and Salted Chocolate Carmel. Bite-sized gooey butter cakes at Gooey & Co (just love that name) drew a crowd. Customers could eat the nugget plain (sinful) or add a variety of toppings (sinful + 10).
Famous Foodies of the Future?
Walking around, I realized that many of the *kids* I saw working the booths were not just hired hands but the owners.
Everyone I spoke to was in their mid-twenties, or at the most an early thirty-something. All of them had big ideas, guts, and ambition. Aside from the fact that they were slinging ingredients instead of code, their confidence and savvy reminded me of the techie whiz kids I know who build apps and launch platforms.
Yiming Hiu, one of three partners at Wowfulls, grinned from ear to ear when he spoke of their plans to open a store in lower Manhattan before the year’s out. I assumed that meant they’d graduate from Smorgasburg but the team intends to stay. He said the intimate setting provides an invaluable connection to a range of customers to try new ideas and get instant feedback. That’s above and beyond the benefits they get from the exposure, social media and word of mouth.
All I knew is I would be back.
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109 thoughts on “Make Smorgasburg NYC Your Next Foodie Adventure”
All sounds so amazing, great pics and post.
Your blog would be vastly more useful if you dated your blog entries.
As for the outdoor food market, I can’t stand that stuff. Someone realized that at least for the moment if you take a bunch of mediocre food choices and put it all together in an outdoor food court (excuse me a “Smorgasburg”) the dumbass hipsters will all show up.
PS, I hope you had your measles shots if you are going to ride the L.
I love Smorgasburg. Glad that you included that they are starting to do this near the oculus on Fridays. The L train shutdown on the weekends is going to make Williamsburg harder to get to.
Great point. When does the L train shut down?
How have I never heard of this market before? It looks delish, and it’s going on my bucket list for the next time we go to New York!
You’ll love it. Promise. 🙂
Such an interesting read. Pictures are great, too!
Thank you, I’m really glad you enjoyed it. 🙂
My sisters and I are from SC and we were talking about traveling to try different foods n different cities and states..The pic shots that you’ve taken are AWESOME!The food looks amazingly good and I’m excited for my sisters and in to start our foodie journey! Again you photography work is terrific!
What a wonderful adventure!! Are you definitely going? Thanks so much for your kind words!
Its like watching a movie but its so authentic. I love the journey!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. I hope you return!
I m hungry after looked your photos
I couldn’t ask for more. I’m glad you found the images delish! 🙂
Have to check this out!
It’s delish and a lot of fun. 😀
I’m full!!! Wowza!!!
Wow! I really like food… and those pictures just look too good!
Me too! All the food was delicious. 🙂
That wowful looks so good! Wish I was near Brooklyn! 🙂
It was A-MAZING.. LOL
Its amazing how some people have no idea these delicious treats exist. Got hungry just reading the blog!
We had the best time eating our way around Smorgasburg a few years ago – we’re heading back to New York in October, so I’m stoked to see its still going strong! Can’t wait to get back now – that fried chicken looks amaaazing!!
So good. Was there yesterday. Charli wasn’t there this time but hope that’s only a one-time thing and not permanent. Had Rocklette instead. It was SO good.
Enjoyed your post! Great pics of yummy food too!
I am in awe of your blog page just like some of these food I am seeing on this post.
So happy you enjoyed it!
Keep putting people minds in awe:D
wow my mouth started watering when i seen those photos
Yay! That’s what I was aiming for 😜. Glad you liked it
my best friend was in NY from FL and went …..said it was amazing!
That’s great. Where did she hear about it?
He heard about it on Facebook I think lol
Thank you for the great tip, I will definitely check it out on my next travel to NY ..looks super tasty!
The Wowful looks…well…WOW! Just from looking at the picture of it, I am hungry! This weekend foodie retreat is definitely on my bucket list now!
It’s pretty darn tasty!
It’s early in the morning and now DiRossi’s is very very hungry! 🙂
Good article !
Looking forward to the next time we are in NYC such a amazing place! Loved this post!
I think you’ll really enjoy it. Just make sure not to eat beforehand. You’ll want to save as much room as possible for all the goodies. 🙂
Wow, sml for food. If I could only go there at NYC atm.
i wish i was there, but unfortunately not, haha, the food looks delicious
It was.. and is! Dangerous though. If I go every weekend, which would be fun, I’d be 400 lbs.
Wooow! Looks so good! And how you captured the moment is amazing! I wish I could be there….
It truly was. If you come to NYC, you have to go!
Loved the article and the way you’ve captured the photographs. Infinite Love! <3
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Great photos! Everything looks so yummy
Thank you! I’m glad you think so. 🙂
I am about to go out to dinner and feel sad that I am not in NY…amazing food. thanks for posting.
Ha! I’m glad you liked the piece enough to that your stomach was inspired!
This is a great article on food and the places you have visited. Looks delicious!
Thank you! The food was great. You have to check it out. 🙂
Yummy foods. Wodderfull photos.
Very yummy! I’m glad you liked it. Thank you.
I’ve been enjoying your travels and amazing photographs! Thank you for sharing:)
Thank you! So glad that you liked it.
WOW! I´m sooo hungry right now! Nice blog, my friend. I invited you to visit mine, is about beauty themes. I hope you like it! I will continue visiting your page for sure!
Best regards from Spain
Lol… I hope you’re able to eat something good! I’ll definitely check out your site😉
Wonderful photos and commentary! Thanks for sharing.
As always loving your blog
Looks so delicious!!! I should try them next time when I visit NYC.
I’ve lived in NYC for 20 years and rarely feel like I’ve missed something. But the fact that it took me this long to get to Smorgasburg is embarrassing.. It’s soooo tasty. And it’s a real “New Yorky” thing to do. Plus, great reason to visit Brooklyn and then walk around a bit.
Thank you for the great recommendation, Susan!
Great photo! everything look so dilicious.. I’m hungry now lol
LOL.. I know I get hungry every time I look at them too. Next week is the last outdoor Smorgasburg and I’ve got it on my calendar. 🙂
Great post ! Love it … but now I’m hungry haha 🙂
Ha! I know, I look at the photos and start to salivate. 😜
I love Smorgasborg being a Brooklyn resident 😀👍
I bet. I’ve lived in Manhattan a long time and I’m annoyed I didn’t go sooner
Wow, looks all delicious. Thanks for the tips, Smorgasbord will be in my bucket list :))
If you come to NYC, I highly recommend it.
Thank you!!! I like it!!
Great post, Susan. Thanks!
Thanks a million Robin!
Great photos! Everything looks so yummy 🙂
Hi Julia! I’m glad you think so. I don’t do a lot of food photography but this was fun. You’re kind words have inspired me to consider doing more. 🙂
In your conversations with these young people, did you get the impression they will vote in this year’s Presidential election?
We did not discuss it. My questions were focused on their food, the event and their aspirations, not politics. I was taking time from their customers so the conversations were not long, though even if not, I doubt I would have brought up the elections.
Now my wife and I have to visit Smorgåsburg When We Come to America next year.
We are living in Sweden, so I know what a smörgåsbord is.
Thanks a lot for the ship
You will like it. It’s a real “New York” event. 👍
In italian language pleas, You can traslate It
I’m so sorry. I don’t speak Italian. 🙁
We are from Singapore and we are also food enthusiasts. We would like to see more food that is a mixture of both Asian & Western as we believe there are many viewers out there not only consist of Westerners but also Easterners. We hope that doesn’t offend anybody.
I totally agree. I think there are many people who are creating fusion dishes of the two.. The Jianbing and the Wowfulls as well as a few others were certainly embracing it. 🙂
It really is!
Nice post! Thanks !
Thank you very much!!
,literally made me hungry & wanting to fly to NY to sample ,, your flicks are amazing
I couldn’t ask for more really… that someone got hungry looking at this piece! Thank you so much for the kind words. 🙂
Wow! Everything looks so delicious it makes me hungry–and I just had dinner!
I adore NY food in general and street food in particular. So creative. So amazing. All about the flavor, not the decor. After all, you don’t eat decor.
It really was yummy. I needed to have three stomachs lol
paylaşımlarınız harika… sizi takip etmekten mutlu oluyorum…
Have you tried the LIC Flea and Food yet? So much more chill than Smorgasburg. I did a vlog on it.
I haven’t. Is the food gourmet pop-up or something else?
OK, now I’m hungry! I have to ask – favorite item from the day?
On the savory side, definitely the fried chicken, though the snacks, I really liked the home fries.. On the sweet side, the Wowfull was pretty fabulous. A lot. But fabulous.
Haha so everything! Looked like an amazing day, your photos are beautiful.