What to Eat + Drink at Smorgasburg 2019, Brooklyn's Favorite Food Festival
Picture this: you’ve got a mad craving for some dumplings, but you also think you kinda might want some tacos. Or a lobster roll. Or something sweet. Or maybe a Cuban sandwich…
What’s a foodie to do? Head to Smorgasburg in Williamsburg, of course!
Each Saturday from April through November, Smorgasburg opens up on the East River State Park’s Williamsburg Waterfront. Music & Mojitos was on the scene on a brilliantly sunny Saturday in May, and we have the scoop on the best eats at this year’s iconic food festival.
With so many amazing vendors and a highly-competitive vendor selection process, its hard to go wrong at Smorgasburg. All of the delicious smells emanating from the booths will make your mouth water. But if you’ve got limited time, are overwhelmed by the score of vendors, or just want to take the advice of seasoned foodies and avid Smorgasburg goers, Music & Mojitos has you covered with our list of what to eat at Smorgasburg 2019.
Cuban Sandwich | Captain Cubano
Captain Cubano’s delicious monster of a sandwich is stuffed to the brim with roasted pork, ham, cheese, pickles, and mustard. In Classic Cuban style, the fillings are pressed down between two slices of hot and crusty Cuban bread. We loved Captain Cubano for crafting a Cuban sandwich delicious in its simplicity, and for its ability to nail a culinary classic without adding any superfluous “improvements.” THIS is a Cuban sandwich.
Prickly Pear Cactus Lemonade | Zia Green Chile Company
The alluring electric pink color of Zia Green Chile’s Prickly Pear Cactus Lemonade drew us in, but the refreshing taste kept us fighting over who got the last sip. Neither too sweet nor too tart, with the perfect balance of flavor between classic lemon and prickly pear, this prickly pear cactus lemonade is sure to quench your thirst (and light up your Instagram feed) on a warm summer day at Smorgasburg.
Afghan Comfort Food | Nansense
Our favorite vendor award for Smorgasburg 2019 goes to festival newcomer, Nansense. Marketing themselves as Afghan Comfort Food, Nansense was founded by Mo Rahmati, an Uber-driver-turned-food-truck-operator and now one of the most unique vendors at Smorgasburg. We ordered the Bolani, a crispy fried pastry dough lightly stuffed with leeks and other greens and served with a yogurt chutney dipping sauce. Traditionally served as an Afghan snack, Music & Mojitos thinks that bolani should be served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s that good.
The charismatic vendor at also convinced us to try their famous “Bloody Nansense” drink, a classic upselling tactic which we do not regret in the slightest because the Bloody Nansense was DELICIOUS. It’s essentially a colorful mixture of limeade, mint, and rose, and it was one of the best things I tasted at Smorgasburg 2019. We will absolutely be coming back before the season is out to try out some of Nansense’s other offerings.
Kombucha & Fruit Pop | The Better Pop
You’ve probably been hearing about all of the benefits of kombucha lately, and how this fizzy, fermented tea drink works wonders for the digestive systems and promotes a healthy gut balance. Now, you can have your probiotics and eat them, too—in the form of this delicious Kombucha & Fruit Pop from The Better Pop! One hundred percent plant-based and with no added sugar, kombucha popsicles might be the healthiest thing at Smorgasburg, so we say fill up and keep that immune system on track.
Truffles Fries | Home Frite
Despite the fact that the line for Home Frite extends behind the booth and into the back patio, we return for the truffle fries year after year. This is obviously in large part due to their delicious taste, but also because we can’t quite figure out how they get their fries so damn crispy. Covered in Parmesan cheese, lightly truffled, and served piping hot and crispy with a lemon garlic aioli dipping sauce, Home Frite Truffle French Fries are truly the belle of the ball at Smorgasburg.
Ice Cream with Torched Italian Merengue | Bona Bona
You can’t leave a food festival on a gloriously warm Spring afternoon without getting some ice cream on your way out. Out of the many mouthwatering desserts at Smorgasburg, Music & Mojitos saved our favorite one for last: Ice Cream Cones with Torched Italian meringue from Bona Bona. Besides the fact that the meringue was smoothy, creamy, and lent that perfectly golden "campfire marshmallow” taste to its cones, the ice cream flavors themselves were outta this world. We opted for the cool and refreshing Backyard Mint Chip, which tasted as if pure mint leaves had been crushed into a powder and used to flavor the creamy base. It was light and delicious and completely lacking the artificial flavor that so many mint-flavored foods tend to have.
The star of the ice cream flavors, however, was Italian Rainbow Cookie, which was not only beautifully colored a light pastel purple, but also choc-full of delicious rainbow cookie chunks. This dessert got absolutely everything right, and we think that Bona Bona is going to become our new must-eat booth at Smorgasburg.
While we visited Smorgasburg’s flagship location in Williamsburg, there are several other locations throughout the city. You can visit Smorgasburg on Sundays in Prospect Park, on Friday at the World Trade Center, and, most recently, on Tuesdays + Wednesdays in Hudson Yards.
Have you been to Smorgasburg 2019 yet? Who was your favorite vendor? Let us know in the comments!