Every New Yorker’s favorite food market has arrived in Queens—and with it, a whole new crop of fare to sample.
By Michaela Rollings
Earlier this month, Smorgasburg opened up an outpost of its famed food market in Long Island City—for the uninitiated Manhattanite, just a short train ride from Midtown in Queens. One of the first things you’ll notice when you walk into the market is that it’s considerably smaller and less populated than its Brooklyn counterparts. While to some that translates to fewer food options for visitors, there’s considerably more space to breathe, replete with minimal lines. There’s also a sheltered indoor space fashioned from what appears to be an old garage, delivering a welcomed break from the blazing summer heat.
Vendors dole out some of the more familiar eats with dishes like Arepa Lady’s Arepa de Queso, an incredible gooey corn cake topped with lots of cheese, Free Bread’s cashew butter and blackberry jam sandwich (think elevated PB&J, and gluten free), and Alchemy Creamery’s vanilla almond vegan ice cream. Cult classic Ramen Shack (of Ramen Burger fame) also finds a home at Smorgasburg Queens, doling out traditional bowls of ramen from a small, private dining shack.
While the market boasts elevated takes on modern classics, it also features quite the array of strange, eccentric dishes. KULU, an exotic dessert bar, serves pureed durian, a creamy fruit that hardly tastes sweet. Marani Georgian offers meat-filled dumplings, topped with a tomato-based sauce. Papa’s Kitchen, a home-style Filipino restaurant, serves up both a stingray sandwich and a fertilized duck egg.
A departure from its Williamsburg counterpart, Smorgasburg Queens is more of a cultural experience and immersion—a chance to force yourself out of your comfort zone and into a whole new culinary stratosphere.
Smorgasburg in Queens is open on Saturdays from 11 AM — 6 PM, at 43-29 Crescent St in Long Island City.