For me, Smorgasburg opening weekend is all about the new vendors, small business owners who have been working their asses off all winter (and for years before, some of them) chasing the dream of making the hordes happy with their food. Here are six personal favorites to check out:
A caramel sticky bun from King St Kitchen (Scott Lynch / Gothamist)
King Street Kitchen
, from former Eleven Madison Park baker Christina Guidera, served comically huge and extremely delicious $8 sticky buns, dripping with cream cheese icing or thick caramel sauce. They cost $8, and can feed about twenty people.
504 HN Market's Honduran Baleadas (Scott Lynch / Gothamist)
504 HN Market didn't get their tent ready in time, but Giselle Mejia still killed it with her Honduran Baleadas, which are beautifully presented open-faced, but best devoured like a burrito. Get the $9 "Wild" with egg, chorizo, beans, cheese, and avocado.
Bonsai Kakigori (Scott Lynch / Gothamist)
Bonsai Kakigori currently makes one of the best versions of this trending Japanese dessert in town: The finely-shaved ice is ethereal and refreshing and the syrups and toppings (and hidden crunchy bits) are balanced with aplomb. This $8 treat will really hit the spot come July and August.
Rice noodles from Ya Ya Noodz (Scott Lynch / Gothamist)
Rice noodles are so hot right now, and Ya Ya Noodz, a spinoff of sorts from the great Bon Chovie, are steaming up some excellent rice rolls here. They're gluten free of course, and generously stuffed — I got mine with tender and juicy Char Sui Pork Confit, doused in black vinegar. Also available: Garlic Shrimp, and Ginger Sesame Roast Squash, and each is only $8 for a "single," which is plenty.
Deep-fried cookie dough balls! (Scott Lynch / Gothamist)
The great Big Mozz and the insanely popular DO have teamed up for, obviously, deep-fried balls of cookie dough this year. You get a sixer of hot and gooey, two-bite balls for $12, two each of chocolate chip, rainbow cake, and brownie batter, served on a cute little pink tray. They are crazy rich and sweet and decadent and pretty much a sure-fire Smorgasburg hit.
Will you be my lobster? (Scott Lynch / Gothamist)
Lobsterdamus is a hit at Smorg LA, and this summer Francis Reyes brings his roasted lobster dishes to our coast. My Lobster Nest platter (whole crustacean on a bed of garlic noodles) was perfectly cooked and plenty meaty, but for $35 it's definitely a once-a-season splurge.
Smorgasburg is open Saturdays in Williamsburg at 90 Kent Street and Sundays at Breeze Hill in Prospect Park, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. It's also a "zero-waste" event, which means all dishes, cups, and utensils are compostables and no bottled water or beverages are sold site. There are free filtered-water stations at both venues, so bring your water bottles!
This was previously published on the Gothamist newsletter on April 19, 2018. Don't miss stories—sign up for our newsletter here.