What to Feast on at Smorgasburg NYC: Vegan Tacos, Bao Buns, and So Much More

If you have a worldly palate and know where to look, New York City is full of vegan cuisine that’ll hit the spot, from the rich flavors of Nepali food served in thali to the aromatic spiced vegetables and legumes of Ethiopian dishes over injera. However, sampling the cuisines throughout the city usually means that you’ll spend a lot of time in the subway or on a bus. If you’d prefer to sample a wide range of vegan delights all in one place, swing by Smorgasburg New York, an outdoor food market that runs from April through October.

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Here, we’ve gathered all of our favorite vendors to try. But first, what actually is Smorgasburg? And where can you find it? (Hint: It’s not just in NYC!)

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What is Smorgasburg?

Smorgasburg is a play on the Swedish word “smörgåsbord,” which means a buffet of bites to eat. It is the self-proclaimed “largest open-air food market in America.” And that claim tracks. The event’s New York, Los Angeles, and Miami markets attract more than 2 million diners every year.

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Smorgasburg is also where a lot of foods, like the raindrop cake (which was popular in Japan first), ramen burgers, and spaghetti donuts first went viral.

When and where does Smorgasburg take place?

In New York, Smorgasburg starts around late March/early April and usually runs until late October in a few locations, including Brooklyn and Manhattan. Not every vendor attends every market day, so take note if you’re seeking one particular option.

But the event isn’t exclusive to New York City at all. Special shoutouts to Smorgasburg Los Angeles, which has its own plant-based gems such as VegNews Veggie Award-winning tacos from Cena Vegan and rainbow-colored, Philadelphia-style water ice from Happy Ice. There are also Smorgasburg events in Miami and Jersey City.

Vegan food near me at Smorgasburg 

With so many vendors, there are plenty of plant-based bites at Smorgasburg NYC to tempt your taste buds. Here’s what you should check out.

VegNews.veganfoodatsmorgasburg.2girlsandacookshop2 Girls & a Cookshop

1 2 Girls & a Cookshop

Smorgasburg Prospect Park

Here, you’ll find Jamaican-inspired tacos and more, made by the mother-daughter team, Jataun and Shelly Flash. Just a few of their plant-based options include vegan jerk chicken tacos, vegan jerk chicken quesadillas, and jerk cheese nachos. Don’t skip the “Hold the Rum” punch, a refreshing blend of pineapple juice, orange juice, maraschino cherries, and lime. It’s going to be a hot spring.
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2 Black Rican Vegan

Smorgasburg Prospect Park 

Chef and founder Lyana Blount started her business of making vegan Puerto Rican comfort food in the middle of the pandemic. Swing by the stand for mofongo, empanadas, or a crispy oyster mushroom burger.
Find it hereVegNews.Smorgasburg.Frubae

3Frubae

Smorgasburg Williamsburg and Smorgasburg Prospect Park

Inspired by Hawaiian shaved ice and Taiwanese baobing, Frubae makes its frozen dessert by shaving hunks of frozen fruit blocks with a hand-cranked machine.
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4 Mao’s Bao

Smorgasburg World Trade Center, Smorgasburg Williamsburg, and Smorgasburg Prospect Park

There’s one vegan option at Mao’s Bao, a stand that specializes in shengjian bao, a type of pan-fried dumpling from Shanghai. They’re crispy on the bottom and chewy on top and made with doughs that are color-coordinated to the filling. Here, vegans can enjoy a green bao filled with ground Impossible Foods meat.

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5 Bona Bona Ice Cream

Smorgasburg World Trade Center, Smorgasburg Williamsburg, and Smorgasburg Prospect Park

Chef Nick Di Bona’s small-batch ice cream company, Bona Bona, stands out because of its crown of brûléed meringue. Thankfully, there are two vegan flavors: banana peanut butter and coconut sorbet. The vegan meringue topping is made from aquafaba instead of eggs.
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6 Wah Gwaan

Smorgasburg Williamsburg and Smorgasburg Prospect Park

Wah Gwaan is known for its Jamaican-Mexican tacos with a flavorful plant-based option. The vegan tacos are made with curry cauliflower and chickpeas, pickled coleslaw, and mango chutney. There’s also homemade lemonade—perfect for beating the NYC heat this spring and summer. 
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7Mama’s Cupboard

Smorgasburg Williamsburg and Smorgasburg Prospect Park

Grab the vegan duck bánh mì from Mama’s Cupboard, a Thai-Vietnamese food stall that you shouldn’t miss. The popular sub-esque sandwich features an airy Vietnamese baguette stuffed with meatless duck, pickled carrot and daikon, purple cabbage, jalapeño, cilantro, and spicy mayo.
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VegNews.Smorgasburg.CBaoC Bao

8C Bao

Smorgasburg Williamsburg, Smorgasburg World Trade Center,  and Smorgasburg Prospect Park

You really can’t ever go wrong with steamed buns stuffed with vibrant flavors and pleasing textures, and that’s what you’ll get at C Bao. They have two vegan options: vegetable tofu and vegan fish.
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tosh's pattiesTosh’s Patties

9 Tosh’s Patties

Smorgasburg Williamsburg and Smorgasburg Prospect Park

Thanks to the city’s vibrant Caribbean communities, Jamaican patties are a staple in NYC. Get your fill with Tosh’s handcrafted patties. The vegan option here is a flaky, juicy jerky mushroom patty. Grab one to enjoy while you explore the grounds and come back for a second to enjoy on your way home.
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For more vegan city guides, read: