There's nothing quite like Smorgasburg, an open-air food festival held on Saturdays and Sundays in Brooklyn's hippest neighborhood, Williamsburg.
The word itself is a portmanteau of the neighborhood itself combined with “smorgasbord”, and it could not be a more accurate title. Hundreds of restaurants set up tents close to the water along Kent Avenue, and New Yorkers from near and far flock to the area to get a taste of the newest and tastiest foodie trends. Here's a look at a few of our favorite concoctions.
Raindrop Cake by Darren Wong
Chances are you've seen pictures of this creation and your interest is already piqued. Originating in Japan, this dessert will please your eyes just as much as your tastebuds. Some say the Raindrop Cake, which was brought to New York from Japan by Darren Wong and is found exclusively at Smorgasburg, is meant to emulate the beauty of fresh rainfall. We'd be hard-pressed to disagree. The cake itself is made of water, sugar, and a thickening agent, and is adorned with a Japanese sugar syrup and roasted soybean flour. The cake's virtually zero calories, but it still effectively satisfies one's sweet tooth. Best of all, not only is it delicious, it's quite photogenic—we'd be willing to bet the picture you took of your own Raindrop Cake will be your most-liked Instagram post this week!
Jianbing Company Breakfast Crepes
The crepe is a very versatile French culinary staple that's continuing to gain a small but mighty following here in the United States. Jianbing, a Chinese street food vendor, has put their own spin on crepes to create their signature breakfast varieties, which are hearty enough to satisfy your appetite, but light enough to not make you feel like it's nap time immediately after. Their original combinations, like soy-lemon chicken or honey-tofu, are jam-packed with protein and tasty, healthy ingredients that are sure to get your busy day in Williamsburg started on the right foot. Even better, with flavors from China, France, and the United States, you've got a culinary trifecta in your mouth with each bite.
Yakitori Tatsu Meat Skewers
When considering Japanese cuisine, there's the natural inclination to think of their raw offerings first and foremost—specifically, yes, sushi, which has long become a popular food transplant here in American cuisine. But Japan is also known for its delicious meat skewers, which consist of offerings like kobe beef and seasoned chicken, and cooked over an open flame. Yakitori takes these to the next level, though. What has the ability to make anything better? Why, cheese of course! You simply cannot leave Smorgasborg without having a kobe beef skewer dipped in hot, bubbling cheesy goodness.
Kimchi Kooks Dumplings
Between the tacos, the dumplings, and the jars of the stuff itself, kimchi is most definitely having a moment. The fermented Korean cabbage is a tangy and delicious complement to almost any dish, and is equally tasty on its own. The experimental heads at Kimchi Kooks have come up with a way to incorporate kimchi into yet another delicious existing item: the pancake. They take a light, airy cake and then cold it lengthwise, taco-style, and stuff it with kimchi and seared meat—our favorite is the spicy pork. Make sure you have a cold drink to go with it, because this thing is spicy!
#Baonanas Banana Pudding
That's no typo—there's an actual hashtag on #Baonanas' name. Call it a move to align themselves with the 21st Century, but hey, if there foreign thinking is going to lead to more creations like their innovative banana pudding, we aren't complaining. #Baonanas' banana pudding alternates layers of wafers, bananas, and their house-made pudding, which is as light and airy as it gets—and has certainly been made with lots of love. If you're limiting yourself to one dessert at Smorgasburg, it's hard to find a better option that this banana pudding—and, as we've mentioned, the Raindrop Cake has nearly zero calories, so you're totally fine getting both of these!
Summer is almost here, so there's no excuse for you to not head to Smorgasburg next weekend. As this list accurately points out, you're really going to regret it if you don't. And just think: there are literally hundreds and hundreds of other options. Somewhere along Kent Avenue, you just may find your next culinary addiction.