In each of its years taking over Madison Square Park, the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party has been one of summer's most popular outdoor eating pop-ups, and this 14th celebration coming up in June will likely be no different. Today, the meaty party released their FastPass and VIP tickets to the public, in addition to announcing this year's lineup of pitmasters. While the event is technically free to enter, the crazy congestion can make spending the few extra dollars a worthwhile investment of time and money.
The FastPass tickets ($125) offer access to the express lanes at each pit stop for two people, plus $100 to spend towards food, beverages and any swag you wanna pick up. The "Big Wig VIP Pass offers those same benefits plus a "VIP Tent: shade-filled respite, open bar & bites." All in all, not a terrible deal, as plates from each stand cost $10—and that's after you've waited on line for an hour.
See below for this year's lineup of master meat manipulators, then read our advice for surviving with (or without) a fancy pass. Bottom line: get there early to avoid lines and sellouts; second, aim for the ribs, which are always exceptional; and don't be distracted by the big names and lines, as good 'cue is to be found at all the stands.
The Big Apple Barbecue Block Party comes to Madison Square Park on June 11th and 12th from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.