With spring in full bloom and summer around the corner, many of NYC’s staple outdoor experiences have returned—or will soon. Among them are the many open-air markets that dot the City; whether you’re looking for a tasty bite or a one-of-a-kind item, you’ll find it at one of these events. They mostly happen Fridays through Sundays, and you shouldn’t have to venture too far from home—or wherever you happen to be staying in town—to find what you seek. Read on to find five of the best spots for discoveries new and old.
When: Fridays, 11am to 7pm
Where: Westfield World Trade Center, 185 Greenwich St., Lower Manhattan (also Saturdays at Marsha P. Johnson State Park in Williamsburg and Sundays at Prospect Park’s Breeze Hill, both in Brooklyn)
There’s no shortage of food options to choose from at the popular Smorgasburg food market. Grab a bite on your travels to or near the World Trade Center’s Oculus. Whether you have a taste for a cheesesteak, empanadas, tacos, dumplings, shish kebabs, fried chicken, barbecue, wings or tasty vegan ribs from Monk’s Vegan Smokehouse, you’ll find it here. Depending on your timing, you might score a seat on one of the Oculus’ many windowsills to enjoy your meal, people-watch and maybe even make a new friend.
When: Last Saturday of the month, 1–7pm
Where: 1 Fordham Plaza, Belmont, Bronx
The Bronx Night Market provides an uplifting atmosphere thanks to its mix of live entertainment and friendly vendors. In addition to finding works from local visual artists and designers, visitors can expect a lineup of the cultural food options that the borough is most known for, including Latin and Italian, as well as soul food and Caribbean options. Its location, directly across from Metro North’s Fordham station stop (and not far from the B or D subway train, which stops at Fordham Road), make it easily accessible from other boroughs—it’s just a 20-minute ride from Grand Central Station on the Harlem and New Haven lines. The event takes place monthly through November.
When: Saturdays, 5pm to midnight
Where: Behind the New York Hall of Science, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
Bringing together bites from all over the Queens—the most diverse borough in the City—this market’s unrivaled variety of affordable international cuisine is a foodie’s paradise and what it’s most known for, but the event is also a party in the making. The spacious layout and the good vibes created by the DJ’s selection of nostalgia-inducing hits from the 1990s and early 2000s mean it’s just a matter of time before a celebration ensues. Visitors will also find a selection of unusual crafts, including dreamcatchers and henna body painting. Located on the campus of the New York Hall of Science, the market is a 10- to 15-minute walk from the 111th Street stop on the 7 train.
When: Saturdays and Sundays, 10am–5pm
Where: 80 Pearl St., Dumbo, Brooklyn (another weekend location in Chelsea, Manhattan)
Beneath the archway of the Manhattan Bridge lies a prime destination for thrift-shop devotees. Offerings include antique furniture, vintage cameras and an extensive assortment of leather and jean jackets. The Flea also features an array of black-and-white photography and a rainbow of art, tapestries and handmade accessories. Vendor Tony’s Chocolonely has been known to give away sample-sized (wrapped) candy to passersby, but if you’re looking for a little more sustenance before or after shopping, head to Time Out Market or one of the many restaurants nearby.
When: Sundays, 10am–5pm
Where: 100 W. 77th St., Upper West Side, Manhattan
This long-running market—around in some form since 1985—has an assortment of home decor, vintage dresses, handcrafted art, children’s books, framed photography and handmade (and wonderfully scented) skin-care products; a distinctive collection of flavored pickles; a photo-worthy display of tea and spices; and an impressive spread of food from around the world. The fried squid from Taiwanese Yummy, a market regular, is not to be missed, nor is the perfect snack for perusing: mini doughnuts from Bite. Considering all of the Grand Bazaar NYC’s offerings, you likely won’t need to go anywhere else for a good time. Still, its location, just a short walk from Central Park and the Museum of Natural History, makes it a great stop on a walking tour of Manhattan’s Upper West Side.