Asian inspired hot dogs, Ramen Noodle Burgers and “coffee on shrooms” are just a few of the mouth watering, photogenic, yet questionable foods that consume the streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. You can find these delicious foods during the weekends of the annual Smorgasburg food market.
Leave it to the hipsters of Williamsburg to turn a grimy garage into a “chill” restaurant spot, by simply hanging up lines of Christmas lights and painting a mural of colorful blocks.
It’s simple, it’s chic, it’s Williamsburg; all you really need are wooden benches, lights and of course, your phone – to share your exotic foods on Instagram. But Smorgasburg changed the game.
This is where traditional African energy drinks, Shanghai-inspired street food and Japanese stimulated tacos are only the beginning of a diverse food selection. Smorgasburg brings together the world into a small lot just seconds from Bedford Ave and minutes from Manhattan.
Launched in May 2011, Smorgasburg is a popular flea market that runs every Saturday and Sunday from April through November in various locations around New York. The market offers more than 100 local and regional food vendors and sees the faces of around 10,000 visitors.
The choices are limitless and the scene is vibrant. With a panoramic view of the city and local restaurants providing space for conversation and eating, the setting is comfortably filled with just the right amount of people and just the right amount of essence.
Other international foods included a traditional African drink sold by Ginjan. The drink – a ginger juice – is made organically and simply, with only ginger, pineapple, lemon, vanilla and yeast. This drink is greatly valued in Western Africa – where it originates.
“It’s a well-respected area,” said Rahim Diallo, one of the Ginjan Brothers that produces the drink, about Smorgasburg.
Showcased also were traditional foods from Mexico with Chamayadas – a combination of sweet, spicy and salty, all in one. It is a frozen drink that brings together a chili sauce and a candy stick creating the ultimate sense teaser, attracting many flavors in just one bite. Chamayadas, served by La Newyorinka had fruit ice that quickly attracted attendees with its multilayered taste
Another popular and fresh product was distributed by Four Sigmatic and their “coffee on ‘shrooms.” Made with a traditional Chinese supplement for medication, Chaga, the brand promoted herbalism and self-medication through simple ways with its mixtures. “It was pretty cool, some girl came by earlier and said she used [Chaga] to reverse her breast-cancer. She was pretty ecstatic about it,” said one of the #funguys promoting the product, James Peach.
Four Sigmatic sells a number of drink mixtures, hot chocolates and coffees, that all serve different purposes. “When your brain needs a hug,” especially focused on neural movement and cognition, while “the liquid yoga” helps improve energy levels and balance.
The energy at the market was vivid and pleasurable, travelers from Sweden, Katrina Lek and Alex Jerlung, came to the market while touring the States and causally looking for a flea market. “We came here because of her love for flea markets,” said Jerlung, “and stayed because of his love of food.” added Lek.
“We love the diversity. It’s a great crowd, and we love that. The locals, food vendors and people are just so diverse,” concluded Jerlung.
Smorgasburg is all about diversity, community and, of course, food. With a view of the water and city it satisfies the sense of sight and its aromatic blend of smells excite your nostrils. Music and laughs of the crowd consume your ears and, most importantly, foods explode your taste buds.
Open until November in Williamsburg every weekend, there is no reason not to visit.