Summer is the season of al fresco eating in New York, and the city has a number of seasonal outdoor venues where you can have your choice of some of the best cheap eats this city has to offer. We’ve helpfully narrowed them down to the top five outdoor food markets in New York and given you all the details necessary to consume away–including stands to look at for at each. If you want more outdoor eating action, check out our post on some of the city’s parks with great concessions.
The story: The food offerings at longtime flea market Brooklyn Flea became so popular that the organizers spun off an all-food market, called Smorgasburg, the largest gathering of its kind with up to 80 vendors each weekend.
What to eat: Anything and everything you can imagine. Look out for Jewish-inspired sandwiches from Scharf & Zoyer, noodles from Yuji Ramen and doughnuts from Dough.
When: 11am-6pm Saturday-Sunday; through November
Where: East River State Park (90 Kent Ave. at N. 7 Street), Williamsburg, Saturday; Tobacco Warehouse (30 Water St.), Dumbo, Sunday
More info: brooklynflea.com/markets/
The story: This year, Smorgasburg hopped the river to Manhattan’s South Street Seaport for a pared-down version of the Brooklyn market all week long.
What to eat: Hot dogs from Asia Dog, oysters from Brooklyn Oyster Party, pizza from Pizza Moto and lobster rolls from Red Hook Lobster Pound.
When: 11am-10pm Sunday-Thursday; 11am-11pm Friday-Saturday; through October
Where: Front Street (between Beekman and Fulton streets), Manhattan
More info: brooklynflea.com/markets/smorgasbar-at-south-st-seaport
HESTER STREET FAIR
The story: Held on the Lower East Side, whose streets were once home to a lively food trade, Hester Street Fair brings together specialty food producers and craftspeople too.
What to eat: Paletas (Mexican popsicles) from La Newyorkina, s’mores from S’Amore, Thai from Khao Man Gai, New Orleans-style sno-balls from Imperial Woodpecker.
When: 10am-6pm Saturday; through Oct. 26
Where: Hester and Essex Sts., Manhattan
More info: www.hesterstreetfair.com
The story: After gaining a following for its downtown market, Hester Street comes uptown with Hester Nights at the Eventi Hotel open-air plaza, with many of the same food vendors plus cocktails, film screenings and music performances.
What to eat: As above, La Newyorkina and Khao Man Gai are good bets.
When: 5pm-10pm Thursday; through Sept. 26
Where: Eventi Hotel, 851 6th Ave., Manhattan
More info: hesterstreetfair.com/#!hester-nights/c7h0
RED HOOK FOOD VENDORS
The story: When the weather warms up, soccer players descend on the ball fields at Red Hook Recreational Area–and food vendors set up shop to feed them. Well, that’s how it started; now they feed folks who come just for the great eats too. Vendors serve the cuisine of Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and more.
What to eat: Huaraches (like enormous tortillas) from Country Boys, pupusas from Solber Pupusas, cemitas and tacos from Piaztlan Authentic Mexican Food.
When: 9am–9pm Saturday-Sunday; through October
Where: Bay and Clinton streets, Red Hook, Brooklyn
More info: redhookfoodvendors.com
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