by Nell Casey in Food on Apr 18, 2016 2:40 pm

We can once more leave our apartments with exposed flesh, meaning it’s time to take advantage of the city’s excellent outdoor food markets. Below, the best options for dining al fresco—and, probably, without a proper table or utensils—and taking advantage of the unique bounty of smaller food purveyors.

SMORGASBURG Without a doubt the city’s biggest and most well-known market, Smorgasburg’s back and bigger than ever this season, operating two large food-centric markets in addition to smaller, satellite operations popping up at sibling market the Brooklyn Flea. There are a batch of fantastic new vendors joining the lineup this year and slinging dishes like Italian beef sandwiches, chicken yakitori, mushroom coffee and mozzarella sticks.

The size of the market means a flavor for every palate—and a damn hard time deciding what to choose—but navigating the crowds during peak hours can be a drag, especially since there’s little in the way of shade (in Williamsburg) and lines for popular vendors (what’s up, Ramen Burger?) can be brutal. Pro-tip: show up close to opening time at 11 a.m. to be first in line, then watch the insanity from the safety of the accompanying beer gardens.

Smorgasburg is in Williamsburg’s Kent State Park on Saturdays and Prospect Park’s Breeze Hill on Sundays. The Brooklyn Flea will be in Fort Greene at 176 Lafayette Avenue on Saturdays, and DUMBO at the Manhattan Bridge Archway Plaza on Sundays.

Mad. Sq. Eats (courtesy Urbanspace)

URBANSPACE MARKETS Urbanspace runs a trio of popular outdoor food markets during the season: Garment District, Broadway Bites and Mad. Sq. Eats. At Garment District, nosh on deep dish pizza from Emmett’s and smoked meat tacos from Delicatessen Taco (both newcomers) along with Melt ice cream sandwiches and a dozen others. At Broadway Bites, it’s Arancini Bros., Takumi Tako and crepes from Bar Suzette in addition to truffle butter cheesesteaks and others. And finally, Mad. Sq. Eats has an on-trend Gotham Poke stand, frozen treats from Ice & Vice and Colombian food (including arepas!) from Palenque.

Beginning May 16th, Urbanspace Garment District operates daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Broadway between 39th and 41st Streets. Beginning April 30th, Mad. Sq. Eats operates daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Worth Square next to Madison Square Park. Beginning June 3rd, Broadway Bites operates daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Greeley Square on 34th Street.

(Clay Williams/Gothamist)

QUEENS NIGHT MARKET Following a successful rookie year, this weekly market in Flushing Meadows Corona Park returns for round two as one of the city’s only nighttime market options. New and returning vendors sell an eclectic mix of foodstuffs, from mac n cheese (House of Mac) to rice crispy treats (Brinkles), Peruvian fare (Inti Sumaq) to squid skewers (Mama Food), all priced under $5. Joining the food, non edible goods like crafts, vinyl and clothing, plus live music.

Beginning April 23rd, the market will operate Saturdays from 6 p.m. to midnight at the NY Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Corona Park

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