Prepare to expand your stomach and your wallet on Sunday afternoons – Brooklyn’s famous foodie extravaganza Smorgasburg has landed in DTLA as yet another bustle of booths and food trucks that, like many pop-up attractions in the city, are a “do once and probably never again” sort of ordeal. This isn’t to say you should not attend at all! Smorgasburg rests on the line between overhyped event and intense FOMO (“fear of missing out” – watch Broad City S205 “Hashtag FOMO” for detailed comical explanation) event if you knew that most Angelenos have already gone by now. With a variety of unique, savory, sweet, and everything-in-between kind of foods, Smorgasburg has peeked enough curiosity and appetites to generate herds of hungry locals that have packed the entrance gates of the festival’s first two weekends so far. Here’s a small run-down of what to expect, what to eat, and what lines are worth braving.
While the LA location boasts of its added touch of retail vintage and hand-crafted jewelry, the food is the main attraction here. The booths serve a combination of well-known treats heralding from New York and LA staples and newer flavorful bites on the rise. However, both offer culinary creations you wouldn’t encounter at most restaurants. Some more unique creations made their debut, like mochi-inspired rain drop cakes and Filipino fusion stoner kitchen Kalan, whose featured beef tongue skewers and smoked longanisa rice bowls sold out midway into the afternoon. Other popular line-packed booths include Mama Musubi – artisanal and packed onigiri creations of seaweed rice balls and delicious unique toppings like candied bacon and smelt egg. Amaze Bowls also helped beat the heat by bringing jam-packed power food servings of acai berry smoothies, colorful sliced fruits, and crunchy granola served out of coconut shells – talk about a mouth-watering healthy alternative?
Other LA staples like Guerrilla Tacos (who will be leaving Smorgasburg for other endeavors after this weekend’s festival) and Donut Friend also set up camp. Although nobody had unique items from their menu, the usual offerings were just as appetizing. Guerrilla Taco’s menu was half empty by the time I arrived, and other trucks like White Guy Pad Thai “suffered” similar tragedies, who ran out of their own pad thai in the latter half of the afternoon as well. In order to truly experience Smorgasburg and everything it has to offer, it is advisable to show up within the first few hours of opening, as I learned this the hard way. The conflict regarding this, however, is choosing whether to fight the herds of eager foodies or risk exponentially less choices by showing up after the initial rushes.
The retail booths at Smorgasburg are a whimsical little addition to Smorgasburg, as its location in the middle of all the food vendors seems to serve as a crossing area between one food booth to another. In some way, the placement of the retail vendors makes it act as another popular kind of LA event: Etsy-heavy craft fairs. While some retailers operate out of booths, others function out of the now-trending vintage Airstream trailers, a popular choice amongst pop-up crafters nowadays. All sell pretty similar items – jewelry, soap, candles, re-worked vintage clothing. While a small coalition of these booths stand strong together at Smorgasburg, they most likely will not last – most attendees are foodies looking for something pretty to eat, and the retail vendors serve as window shopping for those who want something to look at whilst eating their creations.
As cautioned earlier, LA’s Smorgasburg is yet another food fair work checking out once just to declare you’ve seen what there is to see. If you are a foodie on a mission, however, Smorgasburg certainly has some eccentric treats you won’t be able to find anywhere else in DTLA.
Smorgasburg is located at 746 Market Ct, Los Angeles, CA 90021 and is open every Sunday from 10am-6pm
For a full list of vendors click here.
PRO TIP: PARKING LOT IS EASY TO ACCESS AND FREE FOR THE FIRST TWO HOURS