What to Eat at Smorg Square: SoHo’s Own Al Fresco Food Market
No matter how many food halls proliferate in earnest throughout the city, Smorgasburg will remain largely credited with being amongst the very first — to gather disparate, edible vendors all in one place, and offer a leg up to upstart culinary businesses. So while brick-and-mortar markets and al fresco fairs abound nowadays, the O.G gourmet hub continues to expand its footprint. And its latest iteration is SoHo’s own Smorg Square, which boasts a bigger presence (being open on Friday, as well as the weekend), expanded hours (running until 10pm) and a year-round residency, weathering the elements in December and January as well.
So here’s who’s setting up shop in Manhattan’s newest food hub, from brisket mavens, Lonestar Empire, to the infamous Ramen Burger, who basically created the blueprint for insta-sensations like spaghetti donuts and Hong Kong waffle cones.
Ramen Burger: This divisive vendor (scores of visitors think nothing of waiting on a 2+hour line for hamburgers on ramen buns, while scores of others happily lampoon anyone who would bother standing on a 2+hour line for hamburgers on ramen buns) is making its heralded Smorgasburg return to SoHo — essentially challenging anyone to outdo them when it comes to Instagram-baiting dishes.
Lonestar Empire: Multiple smoked meat specialists have hoped to follow up on the outsized Smorgasburg success of Mighty Quinn’s. And Lonestar (helmed by Houston natives) has launched a convincing effort with their 16-hour cooked Texas-style brisket, forged from salt and pepper-rubbed Angus beef, that’s been poked into potato rolls with tomato-vinegar sauce, dill pickles and mustardy potato salad.
Big Mozz Stick: Having originally debuted at Smorg with pesto-injected mozz balls, the founders quickly pivoted with more generally crowd-pleasing cheese sticks, actually winning a Vendy for their deep-fried torpedos of housemade queso, plunged in zesty marinara sauce.
Goa Taco: Fusion taco stands are prevalent throughout NYC. But this is the first to substitute standard tortillas with flaky Indian parathas, wrapped around similarly global fillings such as tofu banh mi, paneer cheese with spinach pesto and pickled tomatillos, and house-made chicken chorizo mounded with fontina and brussels sprout slaw.
Destination Dumplings: Manned by “two kids from Queens” (with management experience at Tavern on the Green, Morimoto and El Vez), this gyoza stand serves a taste of the world in a wrapper; think dumplings filled with jerk chicken, lamb gyro, Korean bulgogi and peking duck.