Five Boroughs, Five Minutes: Smorgasburg

A Food Lover’s Haven in Brooklyn

Destinee Scott, Contributing Writer

You may remember scrolling through your Instagram or Twitter feeds and seeing pictures of half-carved out pineapples with food inside or burgers with buns made of ramen. Smorgasburg, or as The New York Times describes it, “The Woodstock of Eating,” is the place where all those aesthetically pleasing photos of food come from.

Every Saturday and Sunday, thousands of people from around the world gather at Smorgasburg, one of the largest food markets in America, which hosts more than 100 unique local vendors in Brooklyn’s very own East River State Park.

The Smorgasburg experience is like no other. While enjoying the amazing food, you can mix and mingle with other visitors, sit and admire the beautiful skyline across the river or take a walk around the Williamsburg area and explore some of the best thrift stores.

Smorgasburg originally launched in May 2011 as a spinoff of the Brooklyn Flea, founded in 2008.

Since then, the open-air food market has featured hundreds of small businesses and has attracted millions of visitors, bringing in 20,000-30,000 people each weekend, according to the Smorgasburg website.

Whether you like fries, duck, exotic fruits, frozen hot chocolate or even ramen burgers, there’s always a place for you at Smorgasburg.

This year the outdoor food festival added 14 new vendors to their lineup, including Big Mozz x Dō, whose Smorgasburg-exclusive fried cookie dough balls were said to be the hottest collaboration of the summer.

Other vendors include Bonsai Kakigor, specializing in traditional Japanese shaved ice, Mr. Frico’s, specializing in traditional Italian frico (described as being a cheesy potato pancake) and Lobsterdamus, specializing in anything from whole lobsters to nachos and fries.

Entry into the food festival is free, but food and drinks can range from anywhere from $1 to $20. As college students, most of us are balling on a budget, but with more than 100 vendors to choose from it is definitely possible to spend under $20.

If you decide to visit Smorgasburg, it is recommended that you bring cash because many of the vendors do not accept cards. There are ATMs available on site, however, they do charge a $2.50 transaction fee.

The best way to get to Smorgasburg is by public transportation.

It does tend to get crowded so if you don’t like eating while standing, it’s also recommended that you bring a picnic blanket to sit anywhere along the State Park.

Smorgasburg is open every Saturday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. in East River State Park in Williamsburg. They are also found every Sunday in Prospect Park from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.