13 Love It
Save it

The best NYC street fairs

Bask in the sun while attending these NYC street fairs offering live music, great grub and vintage shopping

Photograph: Alex StradaAtlantic Antic 2013

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 NYC street fairs

PopUp New York Street Fairs

PopUp 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 upcomoing events online.

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Andrea Moed

The World's Fare

A colossal event from New York’s sacred past returns to Queens this spring. The World’s Fare, a play on the New York World's Fair held in 1964, celebrates equality and diversity by showcasing 100 vendors of the food and art variety from different cultures. The grub is curated by leading tastemakers and a committee including renowned Chef Claus Meyer; author, journalist and culinary expert Jessica Harris; and street food guru KF Seetoh from Singapore. Aside from the eats, expect a full-lineup of music as well as art installations such as a 6-foot Unisphere made of LEGOs and Japanese calligraphy.

Read more
Until Sun Apr 29
Advertising

LIC Springs!

Spend the afternoon taking in live performances, playing games, sampling local eats from restaurants and participating in art-making workshops and fitness classes at the Long Island City Partnership's annual spring block party. Vernon Boulevard between 50th Ave & 46th Ave

Read more
Until Sat May 12

Coney Island Mermaid Parade

After spending nearly a year getting sequins and glitter out of their bedsheets, NYC’s mermaids and seamen are ready to undo all their hard work. Join a packed crowd on Coney Island’s streets for an epic procession of wild floats, barely clad revelers and beachside celebrating. The world’s largest arts parade welcomes partyers of all ages to rejoice in kitsch, camp and craft, but those who are serious about their scales can register to win iconic titles, including best sea creature, best motorized float, King Neptune and Queen Mermaid.

Read more
By: Evelyn Derico
Advertising

Smorgasburg

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).

Read more
By: Christina Izzo

Mad. Sq. Eats

Twice a year, this outdoor food fest brings buzzworthy bites from the city’s best restaurants to Worth Square in the Flatiron District. Highlights include Roberta’s sensational pizza, MeltKraft grilled cheese sandwiches and cheesesteaks by the Truffleist.

Read more
General Worth Square , Flatiron Until Friday June 1 2018
Advertising

Hester Street Fair

Out of all the street fairs in New York, this Lower East Side hot spot has the trifecta: Great food, shopping vendors and live entertainment. Although Hester Street Fair is most notorious for its wide selection of finger-lickin’ bites (awesome new dishes join the fray every week), it’s really upping its entertainment factor with themed events such as a vintage day and a lobster-and-beer blowout, at which the best seafood joints might compete for the best lobster tail.

Read more
Hester Street Fair Saturday May 26 2018 - Saturday September 29 2018

Dance Parade & Festival

Ready to sashay into the weekend? The lyrics to “Dancing in the Street” never ring more true than during this boogie fest at which aerialists and dancers wow across five stages at Tompkins Square Park. Witness more than 80 styles of grooving—from ballet to break dancing—and learn how to bust a move with free lessons. Before the main event, watch 10,000 dancers stomp, twirl and gyrate from 21st St and Broadway to Avenue A. (The Parade starts at 1pm.) 

Read more
Until Sat May 19
Advertising

Essex Street Market Block Party

The Lower East Side’s equivalent to Chelsea Market hosts its annual street party—but this round boasts a new twist. Since the eatery is expanding and moving across the street next fall, now’s your chance to get a sneak peek at two of the new vendors joining the fray: Samesa and Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. As always, expect grilling, chilling and jamming to live cumbia tunes.

Read more
Until Sat May 19
Bushwick Collective Block Party

Bushwick Collective Block Party

A chunk of Brooklyn’s top-notch outdoor artists stage a Bushwick street takeover, fully armed with food trucks, live jammin’ and Instagram-worthy graffiti to celebrate the nabe’s trendy art scene. Watch spray-can masters create new masterpieces in real time, while local hip-hop and rock-and-roll artists provide the backdrop tunes. Date TBA.

Advertising
Show more

Ready to do some outdoor day-drinking?

The best rooftop bars in NYC

Have a cocktail high above the city and take in spectacular views at one of the best rooftop bars NYC has to offer

Read more
By: Christina Izzo

Comments

11 comments
Debra S

Vendy Plaza opens on May 1. It's held every Sunday from noon-6pm at the historic La Marqueta at 116th & Park. Unlike other fairs/markets in NYC, Vendy Plaza focuses on the diverse foods of NYC's immigrant communities and promotes emerging food businesses. Come check it out! If you visit 5 times, you get a FREE BEER!!

Matthew

All NYC Street fairs have become nothing but crapfests. Every one has the same garbage, and that's all it is. They have zero to do with the neighborhood that hosts them and clog up the streets with unnecessary junk. Why would you want to go to one of these junkfests? I'm grateful for this list so I know what places to avoid on any given summer weekend in NYC!

Lawrence J

@Matthew The Big Apple BBQ Block Party is nothing of the sort, you are sadly mistaken. 

Robin

The booth street fair cosmetics has tons of discount makeup! Lauder, Lancôme !!

sean R

Good list but missing some major events like jamaica ave which runs for about 20 blocks in queens on Sat Aug 3

maude blake

Thanks, it was so easy to find the fair i wanted to go

Anonymous

Most of the fairs are the same, so content is pretty much what you would expect. Things being sold, food, drinks and crowds. No surprise there!

Anonymous

This is a great list but a bit of detail about what is actually HAPPENING at each festival would be good... the websites aren't much help.

Anonymous

This list is always hugely helpful. Thank you for publishing these every week.