The Harlem Food Truck Rally had a slow start this season—blame it on the rain—but now they're going strong and launching Harlem Eats this Saturday, a hybrid food truck lot and food market with local eats from the neighborhood. Vendors include mobile trucks like Gorilla Grilled Cheese and Takumi Taco plus pop-up eateries like Brazilian barbecue from Carnaval. There's usually some music to enliven the scene plus local luminaries stopping by for handshakes. Harlem Eats will run at Fredrick Douglas Boulevard between 117th and 118th Streets every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through November 1st; food and drinks are $1 to $10 and cash only.
The Manhattan Cocktail Classic kicks off its weekend of debauchery tonight with its flamboyant gala; GA tickets are sold out, but you can still drop $295 on VIP tickets if that's how hard you ball. If not, there are still plenty more events a little easier on the wallet, like a Cognac Throwdown ($25), a Chocolate/Cocktail pairing ($45), and the World's Largest Caipirinha ($45), which happens to be at the swanky Mondrian Soho Penthouse. Check out more events for the weekend and beyond; hangovers are free.
This Sunday Japan Day returns to Central Park with an afternoon's worth of events centered around culture, cuisine and the arts of Japan. From 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Central Park Bandshell, take in performances like jazz music, karate and fashion design; or cheer on the athletes at the Japan Run. For a more leisurely Sunday, check out the activity and food tents, where you can work on your origami or calligraphy or stuff your face with gyoza, miso soup, ramen and other tasty Japanese snacks.
Folks have a lot to say about food these days, especially at Edible Manhattan's Edible Institute, a two-day symposium for food writers, farmers, chefs and foodies to discuss current trends, issues and passions. On Saturday and Sunday, the faithful will head to the New School’s Tishman Auditorium, where they'll listen to headliner Mark Bittman address the topic of "Whither the Food Movement?" about the current culinary climate and where we're headed next.
Other standouts of the weekend: how small fisheries can save the seafood industry, whether independent food journalism matters and a talk on how fermentation can "rebuild our food culture." Tickets are $125 for a one day pass and $175 to attend both days.