Street fairs may suck, and the Greenpoint Food Market may have closed in the face of threats from the killjoys at the health department, but the summer months are rife with plenty of other markets where vendors hawk painstakingly sourced, earnestly handcrafted vittles. The New Amsterdam Market returns next Sunday, June 27, and of course the Hester Street Fair and the Brooklyn Flea lure the food-obsessed as much as those in search of “reclaimed” Eames chairs and silk-screened onesies.
The food at these markets caters to everyone from hardcore carnivores to vegans with a sweet tooth, but the common thread running through it all is the proclaimed dedication of its purveyors to all of those buzzwords — “local,” “sustainable,” et al — that make homegrown markets both a welcome rebuke to generic fried dough vendors and a niche marketer’s wet dream. That’s all well and good, but our chief criteria for this list is, of course, whether the food actually tastes good.
As always, a small list culled from dozens of possibilities is sure to have missed some deserving candidates (particularly where lobster rolls are concerned), so feel free to weigh in in the comments.
After the jump, winners 10 through six …
10. Boomtown Bakery’s Oreo mint cookie: Vegan, gluten-free, and damn fine. (Hester Street Fair)
9. Oysters from Stella restaurant: A briny taste of the sea on South Street. (New Amsterdam Market)
8. La Newyorkina’s avocado pop: More or less a frozen mass of avocado, but adulterated with just the right amount of sugar. (Hester Street Fair)
7. Salvatore Bklyn’s ricotta: Simple, unassuming, and luscious and creamy enough to curl your toes. (Brooklyn Flea)
6. The Red Hook Lobster Pound’s lobster roll: Impeccably fresh meat, a toasted, buttery bun, and just enough mayo to make it all hold together. (Brooklyn Flea)
Next, winners five through one …
5. People’s Pops’ popsicles: Yes, there are two popsicle companies on this list. But we’d be hard-pressed to ignore the considerable charms of these pops, whose fantastically fresh fruit and herbs are one of the highlights of summer. (Brooklyn Flea, New Amsterdam Market)
4. Asia Dog’s Sidney dog: Relish, mango, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, crushed peanuts, and fish sauce add up to one of the city’s most creative and exuberantly flavored wieners. (Brooklyn Flea)
3. Huaraches from the Martinez family: Shredded, spicy pork holds ecstatic congress with lettuce, onions, cilantro, tomatoes, queso fresco, and crema, and may make you weep hot, fat tears of joy. (Brooklyn Flea)
2. Porchetta’s porchetta sandwich: The redoubtable Sara Jenkins’ signature pork sandwich is a classic whether it’s served on East 7th Street or underneath the FDR Drive. (New Amsterdam Market)
1. The Bent Spoon’s ice cream: The Bent Spoon is located in Princeton, New Jersey, but if there’s any justice in the world, its silken, gleefully inspired concoctions (roasted pumpkin with cacao nibs, chocolate-rosemary) will one day find their way to the freezer sections of New York’s grocery stores. (New Amsterdam Market)