The Best Thing at Every Stand at Smorgasburg
With 70+ vendors this year -- including a whole bunch of new ones -- Smorgasburg is bigger and badder than ever, to the point that navigating your way through it is a little intimidating.
Or at least it COULD'VE been, had you not read this: a vendor-by-vendor guide to the 76 best things to eat at the Brooklyn Flea spinoff.
Editor's Note: These are based on the Sunday Smorgasburg at Brooklyn Bridge Park, but they hold pretty true for Saturday in Williamsburg as well.
Finally, a vegan dessert that doesn’t suck: these wands are packed with ultra-smooth nut milk ice cream and gluten-free chocolate chip crumble. Giddy up.
Grilled bird, plum tomatoes, romaine lettuce, and red onions get rolled up in pita bread, then smothered in house-made tzatziki, like all things should be.
Panko breadcrumbs up the crunch factor of this corn-and-jalapeño-battered frank, which comes with a side of katsu mayo for dipping(/drinking when no one is looking).
Just like in Southeast Asia, this quintessential combo of coconut-sweetened sticky rice and mango arrives in fresh-cut bamboo.
Cupcakes have nothing on these bite-sized chocolate chip-studded treats from a banker-turned-baker-turned-savior of the human race.
This elevated biscuit sandwich features thick-cut Virginia ham, a slab of melty cheese, and zingy Jezebel sauce.
We’re not sure why it’s taken so long for San Diego-style burritos to infiltrate NYC, but rolling up French fries with carne asada, guacamole, and cheese is finally here.
Why settle for a regular cheese ball when you can get orbs of mozzarella stretched to order and injected with fresh pesto?
It doesn't have Champagne (:/), but we guarantee you’ll get the same happy feeling after a bite of this Nashville-inspired sandwich, which Chef Sarah Simmons amps up with a deviled-egg sauce, preserved lemon aioli, and dill pickles.
It's sorta like the donut burger, except this donut bun's filled with braised pork belly and cucumbers.
Creamy and decadent with a savory edge from fleur de sel, one scoop is never enough of this addictive fan favorite. Though honestly, one scoop of any ice cream is never really enough.
Fork-tender pork loin, crumbly quesillo cheese, and a Peruvian mint-garlic aioli's powers combine to form Captain Planet! (Or just this mouthwatering street-food specialty.)
Head-on -- or “Jersey Style” -- is the preferred method of chowing down on these briny, crunchy bad boys.
A tastier, better-for-you-probably take on Mickey D’s signature burger, minus the beef and plus the chicken.
You really can’t go wrong with any of the freshly shucked bivalves that rotate through this oyster stand.
The options change weekly, but this all-natural summer spritzer is a seasonal best-seller for a reason, and that reason is... it sells the best.
China meets Japan in these juicy umami bombs filled with pork and house-made miso soup.
Incredibly spongy injera flatbread serves as the base of this mini Ethiopian feast, featuring traditional specialties like sautéed collard greens and spicy lentils in berbere sauce. An extra injera roll comes on the side for all your dipping needs -- trust us, you’ll need it.
Yeah, it's a salad, but it's a delicious BURMESE salad that combines fermented green tea leaves with fresh cabbage, tomato, and various peas and beans. Trust.
The squid is loaded up with breadcrumbs, mint, and Sicilian capers, then grilled ‘til charred and juicy, then put into your mouth, repeatedly.
As if a massive grilled beef rib wasn’t good enough on its own, this one is brushed with BONE MARROW FAT and finished with a spring onion salsa verde.
Clocking in at 10 whole layers (including meat, avocado, queso Oaxaca, and pickled onions), this jaw-stretcher makes all other sandwiches feel self-conscious.
Okay, so it’s more of a quote marks “burger,” but the beet patty in this all-vegan joint is just as juicy as its beef counterpart, and gets an extra punch of flavor from pickled red onions, gooey Daiya cheddar, and a chipotle aioli.
If Smorgasburg handed out a triple cheese crown, these beer-battered fried curds topped with Parmesan and a cheesy truffle sauce would be Cheese Seabiscuit.
Get the wet-naps ready -- you’ll need them after a batch of deep-fried wings tossed in hot sauce and melted butter.
Get the flaky Indian crepes. Then get them again.
It’s hard to go wrong with any of Dough’s yeasty behemoths, but this one edges out the pack with its creamy coffee icing and crunchy cake crumbles.
Remember when everyone was gnawing on a turkey leg a few Smorgasburgs ago? Well, those same people are now going to be gnawing on(/Instagramming) this bone-in, duck fat-poached thigh in 2015.
Poke bowls, brimming with pineapple sticky rice, seaweed salad, and super-fresh tuna dressed in soy and sesame. Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.
A combination of cheesy, crunchy, and perfectly proportioned essentials (rojo verde, onions, pickles, peppers, and crema) make this probably Smorgasburg's best nacho plate.
These have everything a good Baja-style taco needs: beer-battered fried cod, crispy slaw, and an excellent hot sauce.
This platter of juicy chicken (marinated in jerk sauce for a whopping 36 hours), fried sweet plantains, cabbage slaw, and pigeon pea-studded rice is the move at Smorgasburg (and really, anywhere that this is an option).
Indian paratha -- a wonderfully flaky flatbread -- serves as the foundation for this taco filled with slow-cooked pork belly, pickled red cabbage, and chipotle mayo.
This hefty ice cream sandwich -- made from chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, vanilla ice cream, sea salt, and drizzled fudge -- is sorta like a Chipwich, if a Chipwich was way, way better.
This mini sundae features legitimately gooey brown butter banana cake, Blue Marble vanilla ice cream, fresh strawberries, and chocolate sauce.
Filets are fried-to-order and slapped between two slices of massive Texas toast along with cooling coleslaw.
Home Frite dusts these Belgian-style pommes in hickory-smoked sea salt and malt vinegar powder. Plus, there’s a malt aioli made from Brooklyn Brewery beer for dipping.
The best thing it's got: Lamb merguez Scotch egg
The locally sourced egg is wrapped in merguez lamb and finished with a hickory-smoked yogurt.
A refreshing blend of Kelvin’s tea and citrus slushies spiked with a sweet peach mix-in. (And hopefully a little something else you brought from home.)
Brain freeze is a foregone conclusion with this slushie-like concoction flavored with pickled plum juice, salted chile, and a tamarind candy straw.
And it's covered in maple syrup and a top-secret spice blend. Yuuuuuuuuup.
A tangy BBQ sauce made from brisket drippings gives this towering smoky sandwich an extra-meaty punch, while homemade dill pickles lend crunch.
These refreshing rolls roll deep with tofu, mushrooms, vermicelli noodles, and veg.
A drizzle of black truffle aioli finishes these golden-brown rolls packed with adobo-braised mushrooms.
The belly-warming Malaysian stew comes with amazingly tender hunks of spicy beef.
Inspired by the founding couple’s Midwest and Jamaican heritages, this tropical salsa-topped link is the kind of fusion we can all get behind.
The lines may not be as epic as they once were, but the smoky, beefy sandwich is still as good as ever.
What’s better than a regular grilled cheese sandwich? A not-regular grilled cheese with thick-cut bacon and TWO types of the gooey good stuff.
Doughy shrimp-filled balls topped with teriyaki sauce, mayo, tempura flakes, and almonds.
Garlicky mashed plantains form a bowl for Creole chicken, diced tomatoes, cilantro, and pork crackalacklings.
If we didn't tell you this was an all-vegan combo of bulgogi seitan and house-made ramp kimchi, you honestly probably wouldn't even notice it was.
This Barbadian dish is essentially a savory beignet filled with salted cod. It's also essentially delicious.
Mouth-numbing pork sauce? Check. Spring egg noodles? Check. Cold drink to wash down this spicy bowl? No check! Get on it!
If the Mediterranean and Mexico had a food baby, it would probably look something this taco mash-up with roasted lamb, smoky eggplant puree, and garlic feta crema.
In a genius, easy-to-eat move, this stand wraps up tender slices of beef along with cucumbers, cilantro and tangy sauce inside flaky scallion pancakes.
In a modern twist, the arepas here resemble mini-pizzas topped with your choice of meat (choose shrimp!!!), arugula, cheese, chipotle mayo, and cilantro salsa.
This Indian roti is served hot off the griddle with a spiced aloo (boiled potato) filling and accoutrements like cucumber raita, cilantro, mint chutney, and mango pickles.
The sweet peach popsicle is laced with fresh blueberries and hints of jasmine -- call it summer on a stick, or don’t, whatever, just eat it.
Intensely moist Southern cake from a crew that trained under the legendary Cake Man Raven. Ya huh.
Pork, pork, and more pork -- including crispy bits of crackling skin -- are jammed into this stand’s eponymous roll, and, very soon after, your mouth.
The juicy Thai kebabs are good on their own and even better when dipped into the spicy tamarind sauce, and then slightly less when double-dipped into the spice tamarind sauce, because, bro, not cool.
If for some reason you haven’t heard of this yet, it’s a burger in between two ramen buns.
Staying true to the New England classic, they let lobster do the heavy lifting, and add just a touch of house-made mayo.
Soy-and-peppercorn-cured bacon + Chinese sausage + egg + a toasted potato bun = alllllllll the yeses.
Fact: eating your vegetables would feel a lot less like a chore if they all came in delicious donut form.
Along with layer after layer of vegetables, this robust sandwich gets a schmear of toasted walnut and lentil pâté.
Contrary to its name, this sandwich of pork loin schnitzel layered with greens, pickled cherries, and Gorgonzola spread is perfectly pleasant.
How do you make shakshuka even better? By adding homemade hummus to the mix, that's how.
These cheesy Salvadoran tortillas are EXACTLY like the ones in Red Hook, except they're at the way-easier-to-get-to Smorgasburg.
Get your Swiss-style sausage fix here, served alongside crusty bread and mustard.
Sure, you could get the fragrant, slow-simmered sauce over pasta like everyone else, orrrrr you could have it spooned onto chicken in a slider bun. Totally your call.
In a brilliant move, this stand turns gyoza wrappers into fried shells and stuffs them with spicy raw tuna and all your usual taco fixins.
A tropical infusion of coconut makes this taro tea a standout in a city full of tapioca-slingers.
It does one thing only and it does it well: grilled ears of corn smothered in mayo, grated cheese, and red chili powder.
The French cookie specialist goes beyond the typical vanilla and pistachio with a boozy filling of rum-infused chocolate ganache and tropical fruit.
A decadent, grown-up version of the childhood treat. Very nice.
A hearty meal of garlic mushrooms, okra, and ginger-stewed onions layered on West African polenta.
Sign up here for our daily NYC email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun New York has to offer.
Patty Lee is a reporter and editor who has written for Zagat, Time Out New York, New York Daily News, and Cooking Channel. At all other times: an eater of desserts, aspiring world traveler, and proud Brooklynite. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.