A vastly well-liked meals market in Brooklyn is ready to take over Navy Yard this summer time
A pop-up outdoor food market that has drawn hordes of hungry people to crowded events in New York and Los Angeles is expanding to DC next month.
From Saturday, June 15th, Smorgasburg will be building a miniature tent city at Tingey Plaza in Navy Yard with well-known DC vendors hurling yakitori skewers, wood-fired pizzas, Japanese-Hawaiian rice balls, and much more. The markets will run on the meadow every Saturday until at least October from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free.
Smorgasburg wants to connect established talent with innovative chefs who deserve a bigger platform. To ensure a stacked field in DC, Smorgasburg has selected Sophia Florendo-Stevens to be its store manager. According to the company, she has worked for Daikaya and Maketto with Woodberry Kitchen and A Rake’s Progress, both of which are led by James Beard Award winner Spike Gjerde.
The DC version has already confirmed to 23 out of 30 vendors the commitments of local stars like Kevin Tien, the Himitsu chef who will bring Sichuan chicken from Hot Lola’s, and Chef Nobu Yamazaki, the chef at Sushi Taro, who will be with a Michelin-starred, announce a skewer cabin called Skew’d. Timber Pizza is also invited to the party.
Smorgasburg began in 2011 as a result of the Brooklyn Flea that surfaced in 2008. The company says Brooklyn Smorgasburg is the largest weekly open-air food market in America, and claims that 100 to 30,000 people meet 100 vendors in Prospect Park. Smorgasburg expanded to LA in 2016.
The Brooklyn Flea spawned a short-lived DC Flea in Shaw that came in 2013 and left a year later. Co-founder Eric Demby told Eater that the company wanted to find a way back to DC because of its booming food scene and the steady supply of visitors to town.
New York’s Smorgasburg has become so popular that it has generated its own backlash. A headline for a (rather curious) comment published a few years ago in Eater, NY, said, “Smorgasburg embodies everything that is wrong with eating in NYC right now.”
The premise was that the crowd was a pain, people were mainly there to feed their Instagram accounts, and the market was no substitute for a dining experience. Or, as Greg Morabito put it eloquently, Smorgasburg embodied “a cultural shift away from eating towards purchasing food”.
For those who are still keen to purchase these groceries, here is a list of confirmed vendors for DC as of May 16:
- Balo Kitchen and Pho Wheels (Southeast Asian Street Food)
- Bun’d Up (Korean Bao)
- Chaia (vegetarian Mexican)
- Cracked (breakfast rolls)
- Ekiben (Asian-American fusion from Baltimore)
- Hilana falafel
- Hot Lola (Sichuan Hot Chicken)
- Lei Musubi (Japanese-Hawaiian rice balls)
- Lost Sock Roasters (coffee)
- Milk cult (ice cream sandwiches)
- New standard sandwich ((by Reverie and Columbia Room (alum Adam Zerhouni)
- Pinch of dumplings
- Rebel taco
- Ruby Scoops (ice cream)
- Seylou (bread, pastries and tartines)
- Skew’d (skewers)
- Sloppy mommy’s BBQ
- Spot of Tea (Boba tea and Vietnamese coffee)
- Swizzler (spiral cut hot dogs)
- The Berliners (sausages, kebabs, pretzels)
- Wooden pizza
- Uzu 9 (Japanese home cooking)
- Z & Z Za’atar (manoushe)
Smorgasburg DC, 200 Tingey Street SE on New Jersey Avenue