How to do Smorgasburg the right way


@smorgasburg on Instagram

Zoe Poulis, Features Editor

As life in the city begins to defrost with rising temperatures, New Yorkers are on the hunt for ways to spend more time outside. If you’re a foodie who enjoys spending time in Downtown Manhattan or is willing to make the trip, Smorgasburg is the perfect place for you.

Typically running until the end of October, Smorgasburg is a weekly food festival that gathers right outside of the Oculus every Friday, complete with nearly 30 vendors to choose from. According to the food festival’s website, it was initially launched as a spin-off of Brooklyn Flea and has grown to be the “largest open-air food market in America.” There are three locations of Smorgasburg: World Trade Center, Williamsburg and Prospect Park. For students who live on campus or near the University, you won’t want to miss out on what the WTC location has to offer, and since there are so many options, The Pace Press has narrowed it down so you know how to do Smorgasburg the right way. 

Best Entrée: Carlitos Barbecue Taqueria 

Start off with a bang and head over to Carlitos, one of the most popular stands at the festival and the one that keeps me coming back year after year. If you tend to steer clear of NYC’s Mexican food options but can’t fight the cravings, these tacos might just be your saving grace—more specifically: the quesatacos. A quesataco is the love child of a taco and a quesadilla and a specialty of Carlitos. For meat lovers, they serve pulled pork, brisket, chicken and carne asada and while you really can’t go wrong with any of them, the brisket is out of this world. 

Don’t worry, vegetarians and pescatarians, Carlitos has not forgotten you–the sweet plantain or crispy fish quesatacos are also menu features. All of these options are street-size, so if you’re having trouble making up your mind, just order them all! The line is usually pretty long, and rightfully so, but it goes quickly and gives you time to watch them hand-make the tortillas, which is arguably the most important part of the quesataco. 

Best Desserts: Bona Bona or Petisco Brazuca 

While there is a plethora of dessert vendors to choose from, ice cream is typically the best option for a hot summer day. Bona Bona is a combination of Italian gelato and American ice cream, hand-crafted by Chef Nick Di Bona in small batches, making each flavor totally unique and of the highest quality. From classic flavors like an animal cracker to key lime pie and plenty of vegan options, there is something here for everyone! All scoops are topped with their signature Italian meringue which resembles a toasted marshmallow in both taste and appearance. 

If you don’t want ice cream but still feel the urge for something sweet, Petisco Brazuca is a Brazilian snack shop that serves mini churros with either Dulce de Leche or Nutella inside. The food there is also quite good, but if you only saved room for dessert, an order of churros is the perfect sweet treat to end your day.  

Best Drink: Last Call Mixology 

To wash all of that down, you’ll definitely need a drink. There are so many specialty options that it’s almost impossible to recommend just one especially when several vendors make their own fresh-squeezed juices which are an absolute must for a humid day in the city. These can change weekly but are certainly worth trying. However, for any readers who are over 21 and looking to spice up their day, be sure to check out Last Call Mixology, which uses “fresh, locally sourced, in-season ingredients” to make for a refreshing blend of spirits. They also make non-alcoholic juices if there’s a specific flavor that you’re dying to try. Either way, stay hydrated–we all know how brutal the NYC heat can get!