Smorgasburg Season officially begins on Saturday, April 6th, when 100 small business vendors roll into Williamsburg's East River State Park to kick off the ninth year of what has become "America's largest, weekly open-air food market." As has been the case since 2015, Sunday's Smorgasburg will once again be at Breeze Hill in Prospect Park. And new this year will be a smaller, 25-vendor version set up near the Oculus at the World Trade Center, which will happen every Friday starting on April 12th.
So get ready, there's a lot of eating to be done in the near future, and this week the Smorg team hosted a special preview of this year's new vendors, a freshman class that, no exaggeration, is the strongest and most exciting I can ever remember. There were standouts everywhere, but a few personal top favorites include:
Creme Brulée Soufflé Pancakes, at Fluffy's. (Scott Lynch / Gothamist)
- Japanese Soufflé Pancakes at Fluffies Yup, those alluring, jiggly, line-inducing supertall pancakes will be at Smorgasburg this year, in flavors like Blueberry Cheesecake, Creme Brulée (torched to order, of course), Rainbow Unicorn, and Original, with butter and maple syrup. Expect to wait for these stacked-high beauties. But the good news is that the John's Juice crew is behind the new venture, and if anyone knows how to keep a line moving, it's them.
- Waygu Sushi at Tojo's Kitchen Devoted to the wonderfully marbled and intense Japanese Miyazaki black waygu beef, Tojo drapes a generous slice across a mound of sticky rice and then, amazingly, smokes the whole thing right there, for a decadent piece of "Sushi." Or get your meaty fix in Sando format, with a breaded and deep-fried slab of cow stuffed between soft milk bread.
- Dumplings at Jing Fong Somehow Smorgasburg landed the legendary Chinatown dim sum palace, and they'll be out all there weekend slinging three types of their exceptional Dumplings, as well as Pork Buns and an extravagant Lobster Sticky Rice platter.
Rye Chocolate Chip Cookies, at Millers and Makers. (Scott Lynch / Gothamist)
- Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls at Millers and Makers From out of nowhere (the baking duo joined the market just last week, and it's their first-ever professional venture) comes what is instantly one of the city's best Cinnamon Rolls AND one of the best Chocolate Chip Cookies. The former are made with sweet potato, and they're incredibly rich, sticky, and slathered with cream cheese frosting. The latter use only home-milled whole grain rye, but taste less like a healthy snack and far more like a decadent dessert. Millers and Makers will also be selling fresh baked loaves of bread, which are also delicious. An amazing find. Saturdays only, for now.
- Mantu at Nansense The Vendy Award-winning truck will have a booth in Williamsburg and Prospect Park, selling superb Afghan comfort food like Chicken Korma (a hearty, heavily-seasoned stew poured atop basmati rice), aromatic Mashawa soup, and a trio of oversized Mantu dumplings, steamed, filled with beef, and served with garlic yogurt.
Pina Colada Kombucha Popsicle, at The Better Pop. (Scott Lynch / Gothamist)
- Kombucha Popsicles at The Better Pop The waffle-like design of these refreshing treats is actually patented (it makes biting and sharing easy), and the frozen kombucha, mixed with fruit, no sugar added, both satisfies and makes you feel good about your choices, at least for a moment.
- Meatball Sandwich at Amazeballs These monster heroes are a full meal, with fat, juicy meatballs, a scoop of ricotta cheese, potato chips for some crunch, your choice of sauces (get the habanero one), and arugula. Fun fact: your chef here is former NFL linebacker Derrell Smith.
- Nordic Hangover Sandwich at Smør The Smør all-day cafe just opened in the East Village, but now you also can get their bracing Curried Herring Smørrebrod and their hefty Roast Beef Hangover Sandwich in Brooklyn, too.
There are a lot more new goodies in store, including egg sandwiches at Crack'd, Nashville hot chicken at The Blue Chicken, Birria tacos at Chofi Familia, crazy-looking Vietnamese sundaes at Kochin, Venezuelan hot dogs at Vayalo Cocina, and German dumplings stuffed inside pretzel rolls at Muzzles. Plus all the returning favorites, which we'll have more about in our opening weekend report.
Once again Smorgasburg will be a zero-waste event, with a strict ban on plastic, glass, and cans. Compostable cups and free water-filling stations will be provided for guests at both weekend locations.
Smorgasburg Williamsburg is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every Saturday beginning April 6th, and is located at 90 Kent Avenue in East River State Park. Smorgasburg Prospect Park is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every Sunday beginning April 7th, and is located at Breeze Hill near East Drive and Lincoln Road. The smaller Smorgasburg WTC is open 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. every Friday starting April 12th, and is located at the Oculus Plaza.