NYC Summer Grub Series: Smorgasburg
By Jonas Barnes
So last week, we ventured to Manhattan to showcase a Chelsea staple known as The Chelsea Market. This week, we’re traveling over the bridge and jumping beard first into Williamsburg.
I’ll say this, Brooklyn gets a lot of shit for the beards and hipsters and all that, but you can’t say it’s not a cool area to be in. This week, we bring you what the New York Times has called “The Woodstock Of Eating,” Smorgasburg.
Launched in 2011, Smorgasburg took over Williamsburg and now attracts 20,000-30,000 people a weekend. That’s both amazing and terrifying to me. I like large groups of people but I’m usually on a stage in front of them. I’m never in the middle of a multi-thousand person group, swirling with bodily noises after devouring tasty treats. 100 food vendors adorn the Williamsburg waterfront on Saturdays and Sundays in Prospect Park, serving up tourists and locals alike. Thank god this place is outdoors, by the way.
Thank god this place is outdoors. If it were inside, the farts alone would have caused it to shut down. My first experience with Smorgasburg was in 2016 when they were also set up at the South Seaport neighborhood of Manhattan. It was beautiful and fun and relatively small. And, while it was awesome, it was nothing like the proper one in Brooklyn.
I am a lover of food. I used to be a line cook and then a sous chef, so I know my way around a kitchen. Smorgasburg is a foodie’s heaven on earth. From the disgusting sounding (yet surprisingly tasty) Ramen Burger to some of the best vegan food I’ve ever had and abso-fucking-lutely good BBQ (a rarity in NYC), you’d be hard pressed to be left disappointed at this gastronomical paradise. 2017 offers some great vendors like John’s Juices (they make your juice INSIDE the skin/rind!), Mission Ceviche (Peruvian ceviche? Yes please), Monsieur Tartare (beef tartare served on a baguette is the best french thing ever) and The Westbury Inn (they serve fucking shark). That is a very small sampling of the deliciousness that you’ll find at Smorgasburg.
Smorgasburg is every Saturday in Williamsburg and Sunday in Prospect Park, but that’s not all. They just launched Smorgasburg LA for you west coast folks, along with a monthly showcase in Kingston, NY dubbed Smorgasburg Upstate. With no signs of slowing down, Smorgasburg looks like it’s here to stay.