Smorgasburg, a weekly food festival with locations in Prospect Park and Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is one of New York’s most flocked-to gastronomic attractions, boasting more than 100 local and regional vendors and drawing upwards of 10,000 visitors daily. Launched in 2011 by the folks behind the popular market Brooklyn Flea, Smorgasburg has become the launch pad for a handful of Instagram-famous snacks, like the notorious Ramen Burger. So it’s no surprise that, only two weeks into its 2016 season, Smorgasburg’s new offerings are already making waves on the internet. Case in point: the Raindrop Cake, a gelatinous creation meant to mimic an enormous—you guessed it—drop of rain.
But there are other additions to this year’s posse of purveyors that should not go unnoticed. “Each year, the newest members elevate the level of professionalism,” says Eric Demby, co-founder of Smorgasburg. “People apply everyday… We interview them Shark Tank-style, we ask about their experience, how they do what they do,” he explains. And although the team tries to avoid any vendor overlap, they ultimately “pick based on who we love,” says Demby, who noted an increase of Asian cuisine this season. Below, a handful of the Demby’s—and Instagram’s—favorite newcomers.
The aforementioned “cake”—a combination of natural spring water and agar (a vegan substitute for gelatin) served with a dark, sweet syrup and roasted soy flour—was dreamed up by Darren Wong, who was inspired by a similar dessert he discovered in Japan. The playful dish is already making a name for itself in N.Y.C. and beyond.
“They’re so sweet,” Demby says of the mother-son duo serving up small batch kimchi at this year’s market. Kate Kook uses recipes dating back to her grandfather’s rice wine brewery in Korea to make delicious jarred kimchi, kimchi mung bean pancakes, and kimchi dumplings.
The three Brooklynites behind Wowfulls are serving up one of their favorite childhood treats: 1950’s-style Hong Kong egg waffles (known as Gai Dàn Jai), filled with ice cream and a variety of fun toppings. Try the Matcha and White Chocolate Chip, which comes sprinkled with chewy mochi bites and green tea sticks.
Yes, its grilled meat skewers are delicious (the Japanese word "yakitori" translates to “grilled chicken”), but Yakitori Tatsu is also selling yakitori fondue, and if you’ve never tried dipping Kobe beef into hot, bubbling cheese, now is your chance.