This summer, Queens plays host to a number of outdoor fleas old and new, all of which boast bold international dishes from vendors based in the multicultural borough. Pack a Queens food crawl into an afternoon by sampling everything from chicharrón to okonomiyaki in one location — here’s our roundup of five great outdoor food markets happening in Queens in the coming months.
LIC Flea, 5-25 46th Avenue, Queens
LIC Flea, which launched in 2013 with a handful of vendors, returns this summer to its scenic spot alongside the East River with an expanded lineup. Each Saturday and Sunday, the waterfront bazaar hosts stalls from local restaurants like Astoria’s Bao Shoppe, which serves Taiwanese-inspired buns like the Baogulgi (beef, kimchi, daikon, pickles), and pop-up shop Chuta Madre, a specialist in Ecuadorian sandwiches, like pork topped with “ecuaonions” and chicharrón. New to the Flea this year is the Queens Beer Garden, which takes advantage of the borough’s expanding crop of breweries and offers drafts from Rockaway Brewery, Singlecut, and more.
Astoria Flea, 34-12 36th Street, Queens
If you’re planning to visit the Museum of the Moving Image this summer, swing by this small flea, now prepping for its second year, on the Kaufman Studios backlot. Last summer, the market ran for eight weekends, and visitors tried Japanese snacks from Oconomi, lemonade from Frittering Away, and barbecue from Butcher Bar. In 2015, Astoria Flea will function as a pop-up, appearing on various dates. The organizers are seeking new vendors.
Queens Night Market, New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Queens
John Wang, who launched this brand-new bazaar in Corona on April 25, had dreamed of bringing it to Queens for some time. A former lawyer, Wang grew up visiting his family’s native Taiwan, where such evening markets are common, and thought that multiethnic Queens should have one of its own. Still growing, the Queens Night Market debuted to tremendous response, and now plays host to vendors dishing out globe-spanning cuisine, from bubble tea to French crêpes to Hawaiian Spam musubi to Chinese buns. The market is scheduled to run each Saturday, from 6 p.m. to midnight, through October.
Smorgasburg LIC, 43-29 Crescent Street, Queens
The folks behind the Smorgasburg behemoth have set their sights on Queens, and will open a new branch in Long Island City this July. This expansion of the wildly popular flea will feature more Queens-based vendors than its Brooklyn brethren, including Elmhurst’s Plant Love House, which has been praised for its authentic and super-spicy Thai, as well as arepas from the woman who may be the most beloved chef in all of Queens, The Arepa Lady.
Indonesian Food Bazaar, Masjid Al-Hikmah, 48-01 31st Avenue, Queens
Dave Cook of Eating in Translation confirms that this once-in-a-blue moon event will return on Sunday, June 7. Folks turn out in droves to sample homemade Indonesian fare like satays, noodle soups, banana-leaf-wrapped chicken, and more. The bazaar is held in the back parking lot of Masjid Al-Hikmah, and proceeds support the mosque’s activities.