Once the weather starts getting warmer, that means it’s finally time for NYC street fairs. Get ready for vehicle-free roads adorned with some of your favorite bites from the best restaurants in NYC that are doling out cheap eats NYC-style, vintage clothing, jewelry, artisanal crafts, live music and even more fun things to do outside. Take advantage of the beautiful weather, including awesome free things to do, while these streets are full of fun.
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Best NYC street fairs
If you’ve ever stumbled upon a random street fair while wandering around the city, chances are the market came from Pop Up New York—a brand that hosts numerous outdoor bonanzas while giving back to local non-profits. From the end of April to late October, the company hosts a new wave of street fairs featuring up-and-coming restaurants, designers and musicians in trendy neighborhoods. Check out the full lineup of upcoming markets online, including Central Park Eats, Meatpacking MKT, Forest Hills Feast and Chelsea Eats.
Twice a year, this outdoor food fest brings buzzworthy bites from the city’s best restaurants to Worth Square in the Flatiron District—think chef Angie Mar’s delicious burgers from the Beatrice Inn and Roberta’s sensational pizza. The one-stop shop for the tastiest grub in town will be available every day until May 27, so make sure to wear your stretchy pants.
At this massive grub hub, there’s only one rule: Come hungry. The Brooklyn Flea spin-off draws more than 10,000 visitors per day with a slew of 75 to 100 incredible food vendors. Our pro tip? Make sure you peruse the lineup before you go—those mouthwatering scents and the bevy of choices can make you dizzy (and the dense crowds can make you hangry). Highlights include Vietnamese food from Bep, Goa Taco’s avant-garde fare as well as incredible sandwiches from newbies Heros and Villians and Red Table Catering. Go on, give into gluttony. (We won’t judge.)
One of the city’s most-hyped alfresco attractions returns to Randall’s Island Park, where tens of thousands wander through innovative works from elite galleries around the globe. Expect highly Instagrammable public works, hands-on DIY projects and plenty of chances for some arty interaction.
This Lower East Side flea hosts one of the best collections of food vendors in Manhattan, with more upstarts joining the fray each week. Standouts from recent years include Adirondack Creamery, an upstate outfit that makes ice cream using local dairy, and Wonder City Coffee & Donut Bar stand—a spin-off of the Brindle Room’s morning java service.
This city tradition feels fresh every spring when artists following in the footsteps of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning set up shop in the park. Hundreds of exhibitors, from NYU students to artists who remember the Village as a creative enclave, display their paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry and woodcraft.
Fifty neighborhood restaurants convene in New York's Crossroads of the World for this annual fest, offering visitors and natives alike international grub including Italian from Barbetta, Latin from La Pulperia and all-American BBQ from Virgin's Real Barbecue. One-buck taste tickets will be available, with dishes costing two to six tickets each.
You know those street fairs that pop up around the city whenever the weather is nice? The ones everyone pretends to hate, but secretly can't resist walking into? Pridefest is one of those—but with way more sequins. In addition to enjoying the usual street-fair fare—tube socks, hilarious T-shirts, greasy treats—you can pick up information about public health, collect swag from corporate sponsors, and mingle with a crowd full of Pride revelers and shell-shocked Village residents. After things wrap up, you can work off that street food at the Dance on the Pier.