The Hester Street Fair kicked off Saturday with a solid turnout and an amazing selection of vendors. We got to the Lower East Side around noon, and though there was a crowd beginning to form, the area was definitely still navigable.
No worries if you missed out on the opening-day festivities. Located on the corner of Hester and Essex, the street fair will be here for New Yorkers until October 27. There’s a good mix of vintage antique stores and food vendors–but be warned, the foot traffic tends to gravitate toward the food.
Forgive us: We were tempted to try everything on tap, but our wallets and stomach simply did not permit it. We did try our best, though. Here’s a roundup on some of the food items.
Pies ‘n’ Thighs was one of the most popular stands at the market. On Saturday, it had two specials: the rhubarb pie, topped with a dollop of whipped cream, and the signature chicken biscuit, which was slathered with an amazing hot sauce over buttered biscuits.
It’s booze in cupcake form: Prohibition Bakery sells miniature cupcakes for $2 each. We had a tasting of the Pretzels & Beer (ingredients: pretzel, bass pale ale, Nutella, truffles), which was a one-bite wonder but a great combination of flavors. It’s sweet-meets-salty, and the pretzel on the top worked so well, we almost went back for seconds.
Luke’s Lobster had a solid selection of seafood rolls (crab, lobster, and shrimp). The shrimp, priced at $8 for a whole roll, was light and not at all overwhelming. The lobster is pricier at $15, but you can get the half-lobster for $8 if you just want a tasting. No regrets there.
The spinach-and-cheese quiche from Yona’s Gourmet Delights gave us the best bang for our buck. It wasn’t spectacular or mind-blowing by any means, but it was cheaper than most of the other stands there, and that alone makes it worth visiting.
Did not try this myself, but my friend looked sufficiently happy with it. Brooklyn Taco serves up classic Mexican fare from street corn to its signature guaco taco. Prices are around $4.
At this point, I was stuffed to the brim–but the smell of marinated beef was too enticing to pass up. We Rub You serves Korean-style sandwiches. The beef sandwich is exactly what it looks like: marinated beef slices stuffed in a soft roll. The flavors here were a bit surprising–there were slices of apple in the sandwich. But hey, it worked, and we’re not complaining.
Can’t leave without dessert, right? We finished with this $4 classic ice cream sandwich from Melt Bakery. It’s a huge heap of vanilla ice cream sandwiched in between two glorious pieces of chocolate-chip-walnut cookies. As we happily hit the streets with our sandwiches, we heard: “Ice cream sandwich? Where?!” from curious onlookers.
Hester Street Fair guys. Open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Do it.