Smorgasburg is back for another outdoor season, this time with 25 new vendors. That means there are nearly 100 to choose from across the weekend locations in Williamsburg (Saturdays) and Prospect Park (Sundays). With stellar returning vendors like Dan & John’s Wings and Bolivian Llama Party, it’s even more daunting to sort through the newcomers.
So here’s a start. Each stand brings something unique to the massive market, but these are the five I’m most excited to enjoy this season.
Millers & Makers – Saturday only
A family-run Bushwick business milling its own flour with plans to open a small-batch mill in the city? Yeah, Edible Brooklyn fans will be there. The Culinary Institute of America–trained team sells a range of baked goods. Whether you want a baguette or purple corn polenta sourdough, Millers & Makers is almost worth the trip alone. Add in their chocolate-chip cookie made with their own rye flower, and it’s a no-brainer.
Nansense – Saturday & Sunday
Vendy Award–winning Afghan comfort food vendor Nansense debuted at Smorgasburg’s winter market, bringing down the house with its remarkably good mantu (a kind of dumpling). The masterfully made beef-filled bites pair perfectly with yogurt, and they are easily one of the most satisfying and memorable things I’ve eaten in the last year. There will be plenty of other dumplings at Smorgasburg, but that’s not all Nansense offers. It’d be a huge mistake to pass up on this one.
Smør – Saturday & Sunday
Maybe you’ve already tried one of the mouthwatering open-faced sandwiches from this new East Village shop. Say, the pickled herring with crème fraîche, shallots, capers and dill, or its curried counterpart with soft-boiled egg, radish and chives. These Nordic sandwiches made with organic sprouted rye bread from She Wolf Bakery are as distinctive as they are beautiful. If you’re still recovering from a late night at House of Yes or another Brooklyn dance hall, consider the “hangover sandwich” with thin-sliced roast beef with pickles and crispy onions.
Váyalo! Cocina – Saturday only
Run by three women who recently immigrated to Brooklyn from Venezuela, Váyalo! specializes in arepas and overstuffed hot dogs, two favorites from their homeland. The corn flour flatbread is split open and filled—not dissimilar to a gyro on pita—with vegetables, cheese or pernil (slow-roasted pork) in this case. If you’ve never had an arepa, this is a must. If you have, you don’t need convincing. The loaded hot dogs traditionally come with a wide array of items, including potato chips. In other words, I’m there.
Jing Fong – Saturday & Sunday
It’s hard to pick five stops you’re most excited about as a glutton with no dietary restrictions and when Smorgasburg is a food panacea. New vendors are making everything from Portuguese sandwiches to birria from Jalisco, Mexico, and I think I need both. There’s a former NFL player slinging vegan meatballs, and I’ll always be a sucker for a buttermilk-brined fried chicken sandwich. But in a city like New York, you can never eat everything. And that’s exactly why Jing Fong lands on the list. The Cantonese dim sum restaurant has been in Manhattan’s Chinatown longer than I’ve been alive (40-plus years), but I’ve never been. This season, Smorgasburg brings them into the fold. With their menu covering everything from steamed pork buns to Peking duck sandwiches, Jing Fong is a perfect match for a food festival where you want to switch up each bite.