Summer in New York City is a unique experience. You might be safe to assume that most people escape the heat and head to the Hamptons, or the beaches of the Jersey Shore, or a country house in Connecticut. And you’re not wrong. But this past Saturday, I discovered where everyone else who stays in the city goes – Smorgasburg. The enormous Brooklyn pop-up food market with over a hundred different vendors, is no doubt every foodie’s fantasy. With a myriad of choices like the infamous ramen burger, ice cream cookie sandwiches the size of your head, lobster rolls, BIG mozz sticks, and parmesan truffle fries, you could end up eating yourself into oblivion. Luckily, Smorgasburg has some pretty great healthy/healthy-ish options. Whether you have special dietary restrictions or you just want to eat some lighter fare, there is plenty of food to explore guilt-free.
Four friends from Ciudad Juárez in Mexico have brought their hometown burritos to Brooklyn. Quite different from a typical “American” burrito, there is absolutely no rice involved. The handmade flour tortillas are made fresh to order and filled with from-scratch ingredients. Topped with an organic refried bean spread choose from a choice of fillings, such as organic chicken in a green tomatillo sauce or organic brisket in a guajillo chile sauce. The final product is wonderfully soft, warm, full of flavor, and most importantly for the outdoor food market – easy to walk around with and snack on.
If you’ve jumped on board the Paleo wagon, Carnal should be your first stop at Smorgasburg. You have two full-on meat options: 48-hour pork shoulder or beef short rib and bone marrow, both slow cooked over charcoal and served with seasonal relish. For this year’s summer season, fresh takes on pineapple and peach are included in their seasonal relish topping. Talk about a high-protein diet!
Chickpea and Olive
Chickpea & Olive “recreates soul comforting food but with a healthy twist.” Serving 100% plant based, vegan fare, the Brooklyn-based eatery is most notable for its “Phatty Beet Burgers” and creative toppings. Some other unique healthy options include: avocado toast, chipotle cheddar mushroom melt, pulled BBQ jackfruit sandwich, and blood orange hibiscus tea. Gluten-free bread available.
Coastal Craft Kombucha
Quench your thirst between meals with a kombucha tea. Komucha is a fermented tea that offers natural probiotics and other health benefits. Long Island’s only kombucha brewery, Coastal Craft Kombucha offers organic, raw kombucha in flavors like: berry hibiscus, cold brew coffee, ginger, Hawaiian Fire (hints of pineapple and cayenne), and lemon earl grey.
Hands down the longest line in this weekend’s 95 degree weather, was at John’s Juice. The owners of the organic juice shop use a special machine to blend raw fruit juice right in the shell of the actual fruit. Refreshing, organic, and environmentally friendly – it’s a win for all. They offer fruit juice in coconut, dragon fruit, orange, pineapple, watermelon, and more.
Refreshing and light, ceviche is summer staple for many. This Peruvian eatery serves fresh seafood alongside locally sourced vegetables like red onion, micro cilantro, sweet corn, and orange glazed sweet potato.
Self-described “healthy-ish,” Ube Kitchen offers Filipino desserts and snacks. Most recognizable at the ‘burg is the rainbow halo halo bowls, made with homemade ube ice cream, coconut flakes, dragon fruit slices, all served up in a dragon fruit bowl. (100% instagram worthy)!
Another extra-long line on an insanely hot summer day is at Vaquero. Offering super sweet and golden mangoes on a stick (and carved to look like a flower), sprinkled with chili powder and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Equally sweet and spicy and super juicy, this is sure to be a satisfying treat.
Vermont Lemonade Stand
With mainly local restaurants represented at Smorgasburg, it was awesome to see a true farm at this foodie’s ‘farmers market.’ All the way from Starksboro, VT is the Vermont Lemonade Stand. Offering three flavors of lemonade, sweetened with all-natural maple syrup, this is another refreshing stop in between eats. They also sell BUTTERNUT SQUASH DONUTS. Yes, they are as delicious as they sound. Similar to an apple cider or pumpkin donut, their donuts were a just sweet enough treat to end a day of fantastic food finds.
Once you’ve eaten all you can, walk it off by exploring the incredibly cool town of Williamsburg
(Saturday location) or Prospect Park (Sunday location).
happy eating little clementines!