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hester street fair
Photograph: Courtesy Hester Street Fair

The best street fairs NYC has to offer

Soak up the sun while attending these street fairs NYC offers with live music, great grub and vintage shopping

By Shaye Weaver
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If you need another reason to get excited for summer, NYC street fairs take over various blocks in all five boroughs when the weather gets warmer. While frolicking through these vehicle-free roads, snack on sensational eats from the best restaurants in NYC and score stellar throwback wares and antiques as you would find at our city’s finest vintage clothing stores. As enjoyable as eating and shopping can be, there are many more things to do outside, from rocking out at outdoor concerts to peeping at some street art. Take advantage of the beautiful weather, including awesome free things to do, while the streets are full of fun.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in the summer in NYC

Best street fairs in NYC

PopUp New York
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Andrea Moed

1. Pop Up New York Street Fairs

If you’ve ever encountered a random street fair while wandering the city, chances it's Pop Up New York's doing. The brand 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 bazaars featuring up-and-coming restaurants, designers and musicians in trendy neighborhoods. Check out the full lineup of upcoming events online.

Hester Flea
Photograph: @HesterFlea

2. Hester Flea

Things to do Markets and fairs Hester St,

On Saturdays, Hester Flea showcases about 20-25 vendors with a curated mix of vintage/antique decor and clothing, handmade items like jewelry, clothing, and ceramics, and three to four food vendors on site. You can mosey on down every Saturday from April through the fall, even in the rain. The market is always free to enter for all.

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Brooklyn Flea on September 19, 2020
Photograph: Samuel Stuart Hollenshead

3. Brooklyn Flea

Shopping Multiple venues

The Brooklyn Flea at the Manhattan Bridge Archway is back every Sunday with 40 local vendors to shop from and the “Dumbo Station” bar located inside the Archway in a “lighthouse” (open noon-6pm). The Saturday Brooklyn Flea in Williamsburg (at 51 N. 6 St. at Kent Ave.) is also back with 30 vendors (mostly vintage and antiques plus a smattering of handmade goods) in the fenced-in lot. There will be a handful of new vendors including Mexican But Japanese Vintage, a popular Instagram personality. Both Brooklyn Flea markets are open from 10am to 5pm.

Smorgasburg
Photograph: Scott Lynch

4. Smorgasburg

Restaurants

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).

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Grand Bazaar NYC
Photograph: Courtesy Grand Bazaar NYC

5. Grand Bazaar NYC

Things to do Markets and fairs Grand Bazaar NYC, Upper West Side

After a 15-month-long shutdown, this Upper West Side year-round bazaar is officially coming back on June 6. Although usually operating both indoors and outdoors, the market will, for now, only take over an open-air space on Sundays between 10am and 5:30pm. Grand Bazaar is one of NYC’s oldest and largest marketplaces, where you can buy vintage, antiques and more goodies from more than 100 local merchants, with photographers, jewelers and furniture designers selling their best. In addition, the weekly mainstay hosts a series of special events around the holidays, which we hope to be able to enjoy this year as well. 

 

10/2/11. Atlantic Antic
Tom Callan

6. Atlantic Antic

Things to do Markets and fairs Atlantic Terminal Mall, Fort Greene

Hundreds of food and craft vendors and multiple stages close down a busy Brooklyn artery for Atlantic Antic each fall. Spanning ten blocks and cutting through four neighborhoods, it's billed as NYC’s largest street fair, so there’s more to see than stands hawking pashminas and MozzArepas. The eclectic musical lineup brings together diverse local talent and you can graze on grub from a delicious variety of artisanal vendors—washed down some fab locally brewed ale, of course. Check for announcements at atlanticave.org. 

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LIC Block Party
Photograph: Virginia Rollison

7. LIC Flea & Food

Shopping Markets and fairs Long Island City

This open-air bazaar is Queens’ answer to the Brooklyn Flea, as both markets offer a wide array of retro wares and antiques, finger-licking–delicious eats and gorgeous skyline views that could bring a tear to the eye of the most jaded New Yorker. But it certainly pays to take a train or ferry to enjoy the Flea’s all-Queens Beer and Wine Garden. Just check its website before you head over — dates have not yet been announced.

Ready to do some outdoor day-drinking?

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