On October 1st, the annual Grub Street Festival joined the Hester Street Fair to create a great experience for anyone who could make it to the Lower East Side. I was lucky enough to be one of those people, and I got to try food from some restaurants that I have really wanted to try, but hadn't gotten a chance to go to. Here were some of the things I found to be the highlights of the festival. 

Bicycle-Powered Blender

coffee, wine, beer
Jenny Seidman

As delicious as everything I tried was, this was probably my favorite part of the festival just because of how fun it was. It was in a section of the festival off to the side that was supposed to be just for kids, but that did not stop my friend and I from going over and trying this.

Of course, the bike was too small for us, but we didn't care. They put strawberries, bananas, and coconut milk into the blender, and then you get on and pedal as fast as you can to make a smoothie. It might not have been the most delicious part of the festival, but it was definitely the best experience. 

Yumpling's Pork Belly Sandwich 

Jenny Seidman

While this might seem like a pretty ordinary sandwich, if you make it right, pork belly really can be delicious. I was instantly drawn over by the name of this stand, and I was not disappointed.

The pork belly sandwich came with scallions on top, and the sauce was just sweet enough, without being overly sweet, but it was perfect for me—someone who really dislikes spicy foods. Yumpling's was also offering a fried chicken sandwich, and pork dumplings

Uma Temakeria's Uma-Ritto

sushi, salmon, rice, tuna, seafood, fish, sashimi, wasabi
Jenny Seidman

Trust me when I say, this tasted just as amazing as it looks. In this uma-ritto there is salmon, tuna, a special mayo, cucumber, carrots, tempura crunch, and sesame seeds.

Don't worry, if you don't like raw fish—or you're vegetarian—Uma Temakeria has a tofu-ritto too. They also offers bowls on their menu, but I think a sushi burrito is much more fun to eat. With a good ratio of filling and rice, this burrito is a great option to enjoy your lunch. 

House Of Mac's Waffle Mac and Cheese 

waffle, chicken, cheese
Jenny Seidman

What I loved about this—besides, you know, the fact that it's a mac and cheese waffle—was that until you cut a piece off of it, it really did look like an ordinary waffle.

House of Mac also served fried mac and cheese and as a snack, both these dishes are big enough servings to share with a friend. The outside of the waffle was perfectly crispy, with the mac and cheese gooey and deliciously cheesy on the inside. 

Petee's Pie Company's Pecan Pie

Jenny Seidman

When I saw this pie at Grub Street, my face lit up. Pecan pie is my absolute favorite dessert in the entire world. It is the main reason I look forward to Thanksgiving, so it really means something when I say this pie lived up to my very high standards.

To make a great pecan pie, you need to have a great filling, and this pie certainly did. The sweet filling that melted in my mouth paired perfectly with the crunchy pecans on top. Petee's Pie Company also offered a chocolate chess pie—which was like a salted chocolate pie—and an apple pie

Ice and Vice's Toasted Milk and Salted Chocolate Ice Cream

cream, ice, chocolate, milk, dairy product, sweet, coffee, chocolate ice cream
Jenny Seidman

Ice and Vice is known for its unique flavors and it didn't offer anything else at Grub Street. Besides this flavor, Ice and Vice was also offering a mango sorbet with a pineapple cilantro salsa.

I  loved this ice cream because it really lived up to its flavor and I got a toasty flavor. Ice and Vice mixes flavors that you wouldn't normally consider going together, and makes them work really well.

A photo posted by Grub Street (@grubstreet) on

Now you're probably thinking, "okay, I heard about all these great places, but how am I supposed to go? Grub Street is annual." Well lucky for you, most of the stands at Grub Street have restaurants of their own around New York City—so if you ever have a chance, I would recommend taking some time out of your day to go and try any of these places.