Smorgasburg at the Brooklyn Flea Market

By Marsha Clarke

If you are walking through the Brooklyn Bridge Park on a Sunday afternoon minding your own business, secretly judging hipsters and you see a congregation of people at food tents….Run!  And you should run right into that place called Smorgasburg.  This operation of Brooklyn Flea, which is the biggest organizer of flea markets around the five boroughs, is a food haven.  If you wanted to eat the jelly of a coconut, drink a slushy, eat a Maine style lobster roll and top that off with a Ramen burger then you absolutely could.  Yes, you may have a case of “I can’t make it to work on time because I was stuck in the house” the next day but you would be an eating champion.

Brooklyn has been the home of two Smorgasburg’s.  The first was opened in Williamsburg in 2011 and the second in the Brooklyn Bridge Park in 2012 and since then has done an excellent job of igniting the taste buds of Brooklynites in the form of 75 to 100 food vendor booths.  By now you would have thought the novelty would have worn off but Smorgasbord knows how to keep you coming back.  In January and February when Smorgasburg has its open call for food vendors, they review applicants and are searching for newcomers as well as the ‘Yelped’ famous.  If there is a restaurant that serves your favorite food or something you really like but you’re a person who just doesn’t believe in leaving tax and tip because you think it’s a product of a money hungry society, you should encourage those restaurants to be a part of the vendor application process. 

Walking and eating on a bright sunny day or a sad rainy day (yes, Smorgasburg is open rain or shine) sounds like the perfect cure for a long week but if you think that it’s not the best use of your time I have some suggestions for you.

Here are five ways to make the most out of Smorgasburg:

  1. Bring a friend who’s never been to Smorgasburg and tell them that it’s a wholesale food convention so that whatever they decided to eat they must purchase items in bulk (never knock free food.)
  2. Play the open your mouth and close your eyes game…..actually adults really shouldn’t play that game. As a matter of fact no one over the age of 5 should play that game.
  3. Take your friend who is a self proclaimed “professional Foodie” and take notes on all of the jerkish comments made.  Upon leaving Smorgasburg repeat the comments back to the “foodie” in their own voice.  This will provide clarity.  (Note to Foodies everywhere: eat your damn food and stop talking!! No, I don’t care about how red the cabbage is).
  4. Take that special someone who you’ve been seeing for a few months and tell them that while you love having them around, you need space to see other people who have more money.  (Public places are usually safer for these conversations I think).  And sometimes you need to be alone and just eat….
  5. Bring a group of children.  Before you get there tell everyone you are taking them to Disneyland and that Smorgasburg is just the entrance to get tickets.   Get in the beer garden line and tell them that it’s to get tickets.  Sit down, drink your beer and instagram the moment they realize that life isn’t a game. 

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