Crowds of hungry New Yorkers flocked to East River State Park in Williamsburg on Saturday to welcome back Brooklyn Flea’s Smorgasburg for its third outdoor season.
This year, nearly 100 returning and new local food vendors occupy the space overlooking the East River.
Vendors are serving everything from fried anchovies to pulled pork sandwiches to s’mores to French macarons. Some vendors are offering products to take home, like The 3 Nuts’ gourmet nut butters, such as salted caramel peanut butter, and MOMO, which sells Japanese-style salad dressings.
According to Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg co-founder Eric Demby, the SmorgasBar, which debuted last year, will be making its return around Memorial Day with Brooklyn-made beer, wine and spirits.
Competition for a spot at the market is tough, so visitors know that the vendors are Brooklyn’s best.
“Folks apply, we try their food at our office,” Demby said. “And if they’re good, they get in.”
Passing the Smorgasburg team’s taste test is no easy feat. Some sellers have applied each year since the market began and have been rejected every time.
One of the new entrepreneurs at Smorgasburg is Kalypso Greek Yogurt, which offers traditional, creamy Greek-style yogurt in a variety of flavors, like fig and chocolate. The yogurt is packaged in individual terra-cotta containers — “Just like [the yogurt] back home,” owner Nikolas Trastelis said.
“[Smorgasburg] features a mix of different cuisines, new entrepreneurs and well-known companies,” said Steinhardt freshman Annamaria Louloudis, who visited Smorgasburg on its opening day. “People of all ages coming together to experience the best of New York City.”
The Brooklyn-based food market is a perfect weekend trip for students — from Union Square, it’s only about a 10-minute subway ride to Bedford Street and less than a five-minute walk to East River State Park. The food is also fairly priced, and many vendors offer free samples. It’s best to arrive early, though. On opening day, demand was so high that a few vendors were sold out by early afternoon.
The food market is open at the East River location on Saturdays and at the Tobacco Warehouse in DUMBO on Sundays. Both locations are open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. until November.
A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Apr. 10 print edition. Caitlin Schnack is a contributing writer. Email her at [email protected]