The Smorgasburg Vendors Are The Best New Lunch Option In The FiDi

seaport vendors

The South Street Seaport has never been particularly hip, unless you consider clipper ships the hot new thing. There were some reliable lunch spots there though that have been sorely missed since hurricane Sandy decimated the area. A few places that were on higher ground have reopened, but the area is still largely a work in progress.

The other day I had some extra time on my hands and headed over. The lure was the 10 Smorgasburg vendors that have set up stands on Front St.through October, alongside a bar in a shipping container. 

As I turned the corner where the vendors were, they stretched before me and I got excited. So many options! And unlike the actual Smorgasburg in Brooklyn, there were basically no lines!

fonda booth

I couldn’t take a picture of all of the stands as there are so many, but the vendors include: Milk Truck (grilled cheese sandwiches), Red Hook Lobster Pound (lobster roll, lobster BLT), Pizza Moto (Neopolitan pizza), Rice & Miso Everyday (rice balls and miso soup), Asiadog (hot dogs, a burger, pulled pork), Brooklyn Oyster Party (raw oysters), Landhaus (burgers and other sandwiches), and Fonda (tacos, tortas). There’s also Brooklyn Soda Works, Blue Marble Ice Cream, and a kiosk selling macarons and cookies if you want something sweet.

After perusing the options that were $10 or less, some of the stands were knocked out of contention. Whoever worked at Rice & Miso was MIA, so I instead went all the way to the stand at the end, Fonda.

fonda menu

You can either get three tacos or a torta for the same price, ranging from a quesillo filling for $7, to pork for $9. I went with the mid-range option of a chicken (aka, pipila) torta ($8). I grabbed a paper menu which had a further description of fillings which were chipotle marinated grilled chicken, ancho adobo, arugula, red onion, radish, pasilla black bean spread and lemon dressing.

torta side

This fancy torta reminded me of the version served at Toloache, but is way more convenient for those of you working closer to the Seaport. The bread is nicely toasted outside, but soft on the inside. And man was the chicken good! It’s tender chunks of meat in a smoky chile sauce, countered by the black bean spread and those pickled red onions and radishes. I polished off nearly the whole thing, then dunked the last couple of pieces in the small container of spicy sauce you’re given on the side.

Regardless of what kind of food you’re looking for for lunch, you’re likely going to find something you like at one of these vendors. And as most of the options are firmly below the $10 mark, you might have enough money left over for a boozy Kelvin Slush from the bar.

Smorgasburg vendors at the South Street Seaport, on Front St. btw. Fulton & Beekman streets, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. through October


1 Comment

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    The pizza stand is pretty good; I had a margherita.

    The tacos at Fonda are excellent, IMO. I’ve gone back for the quesillo tacos several times. They’re made with nice, fresh ingredients, including real Oaxacan queso, wrapped in freshly-made corn tortillas. I keep wanting to try something else, but I can’t resist those damned tacos.

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