Like the idea of going to a weekend flea and food market in New York City but hate the lines at Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Flea? The Long Island City Flea and Food, which opened for the season on April 5, might be for you. It resembles the city’s other highly popular weekend markets but is much less crowded and open both Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm. Street food aficionados, in particular, will appreciate specialties you won’t find in Brooklyn. Here are five food stalls you shouldn’t miss when you go.
This stand serves delicious oconomiyaki, a Japanese vegetable and egg pancake (a favorite late-night post-bar snack in Japan), available with just veggies, or with decadent thinly sliced pork. Best part? You can stick with the traditional white sauce topping, or try the stand’s creative toppings like spicy ketchup and honey wasabi. For a few extra dollars, add yakitori noodles with shittake mushrooms and pickled veggies. myoconomi.com
Butcher Bar: Astoria based Butcher Bar, winner of Brisket King’s “Best Innovative Brisket” award, in 2013 brings in a smoker the day before the flea opens and smoke their meat overnight. The brisket sandwiches are the standout, but the pulled pork is worth a bite as well. The sustainable butcher and restaurant’s stand also has brisket, pulled pork and ribs available by the pound. butcherbar.com
Traki Astoria Pizza: A newcomer to Astoria, this Mediterranean pizza shop’s flea stand turns out personal pizzas from a woodfired oven on a trailer they bring to the flea every weekend. The organic pizzas are a kid-friendly crowd pleaser with a thin, crispy crust. facebook.com/trakia.astoria
Robicelli’s Bakery: Bay Ridge bakers Allison and Matt Robicelli are selling their inventive baked goods at the flea, including their oatmeal Surprise cookie (spoiler alert: it’s marshmallows and caramelized bacon!) and beer caramel pretzel bar (layered of chocolate chip cookie, vanilla porter caramel and brownie, studded with pretzels and topped with a dark chocolate ganache and sea salt). The Beer Bar sets the bar high, balancing savory and sweet just about perfectly (buy extra and nibble on them all week). You can also pre-order pies, cakes and cookies and pick them up the next weekend. robicellis.tumblr.com
Go-Go Pops: If you’ve stuffed yourself silly but still want something sweet, Go-Go Pops all-natural organic fruit pops are a great finisher. With more than 80 rotating flavors, both “juicy” and “creamy,” the Cold Spring-based vendor has flavors to appeal to all tastes, including sour cherry, eggnog and raspberry lemon. facebook.com/pages/Go-Go-Pops
LIC Flea and Food, helmed by Schneps Communications, launched in 2013 and just got the green light to offer beer and wine. Expect a 90-person seating area with a bar in the next few weeks. Be sure to bring cash, as many of the vendors aren’t set up to accept credit cards (there is a Duane Reade with an ATM nearby). The site itself is near Gantry State Park and is easily accessible via the East River Ferry and the 7, E, M or G trains. The LIC Flea will be open through fall as weather permits.
LIC Flea and Food
5-25 46th Ave.
Long Island City