Manhattan is a city of dreams, concrete jungle, and ultimate food heaven. You can travel around the world and never leave the city, every specialty cuisine you could possibly desire is right around the corner. Food fairs especially offer a wide variety of foods in one place, and there’s no better introduction to the world of artisan city markets than Broadway Bites, Madison Square Eats, and Urbanspace Vanerbilt (only three of seven Urbanspace markets).
What’s a food fair you ask? Imagine a room filled with mini kitchen from all your favorite restaurants, food trucks and coffee shops in the city. Not everything that’s too good to be true is actually too good to be true. Welcome to Urbanspace.
One day, I stumbled upon Urbanspace walking home from my internship. From the outside the public venue I had no idea what I was getting myself into, all I knew was that I was hungry and ready to chow-down on some good NYC food. When I walked into the space, I quickly realized I was in heaven. Cheesesteaks, crêpes, gourmet pretzels (and so much more) crowded Urbanspace with delicious displays, needless to say I was extremely overwhelmed by the options. I literally walked around the market four times before I could decide what I wanted to try most.
For those of you that will also walk into the food paradise that is Urbanspace hungry, I’ve made a guide of every vendor to make navigating this wondrous space a bit easier:
This Middle Eastern cuisine will leave you feeling like you took a trip to the other side of the world. Check out these 11 misperceptions about Middle Eastern food in America if you want to make sure your culinary experience is as authentic as possible.
What to order: Get the best of both worlds with the mix & match option—I recommend the meatball bowl with roasted cauliflower. And, of course, don’t forget to order hummus and pita.
It was only a matter of time before Brooklyn’s star bakery made it’s way to Manhattan, and boy are they making their mark on the island. Ovenly offers uniquely delicious sweets that mix sweet and savory in ways your mouth never imagined possible.
What to order: Their salted peanut butter cookie, currant rosemary scones, or chocolate truffle cookie.
Looking for a tasty vegetarian meal option? Two Tablespoons mixes fresh ingredients with intricate spices that will make anyone’s taste buds happy.
What to order: Their veggie rolls are a must-try, especially the beet roll with quinoa, feta and spinach. If salad bowls are more your style, the Satori Bento is sure to please your palate.
If you thought burritos were only for meat lovers, think again. This kitchen flames up some of the healthiest vegetarian sushi burritos you can find in NYC. Added bonus: just look at how pretty they are.
What to order: If you want a little spice in your life, try the Flamin’ Tuna. Want something just as flavorful but without the spice? Try the Hai street chicken burrito.
Hands down the yummiest açai bowl I’ve tasted. The smoothies are sure to make your day just as colorful and fun as the bowls will.
What to order: The Mean Green or Mudslide smoothies are as satisfactory as they sound, and you can’t leave without trying the most heavenly mix of chocolate and açai in the Holy Cacao bowl.
Fancy ramen, anyone? This vendor has sit-down locations in the East Village and on the Westside, but luckily for busy folks, they have a take-away location right in Urbanspace.
What to order: Even if you stick with the classic ramen on this one you’re in for a treat. Shiromaru Hakata Classic includes juicy pork loin mixed with mushrooms, scallions, and ginger.
This southern inspired vendor delicately dips its chicken in succulent batter that’ll make you drool just thinking about it (even after you finish eating).
What to order: The original fried chicken sandwich with potato salad is the way to go. Chicken, house pickles, mayo, hot sauce…I think you get the idea.
Red Hook Lobster Pound brings their delectable shellfish straight from Maine to ensure every roll is fresh and delicious.
What to order: The lobster roll Main style or the lobster mac & cheese, you can’t go wrong with either.
Start your morning right with a latte and a scone from Toby’s. It’s sure to make any morning, even a Monday, that much better.
What to order: The Flatiron Espresso Blend or Brooklyn Blend cold brew with a speciality pastry will kick start your day in the early am.
This place is sure to turn any meal into a ~fiesta~. Their wide variety of tacos can please just about any eater’s palette, no matter if you are a picky or easy eater.
What to order: Guac and chips to start, then move on to some tacos or quesadillas: the Chicken Tinga and Avocado Corn are both to die for.
La Sonrisa offers a variety of empanadas including vegetarian, beef, and chicken. It’s not hard to make meat and/or vegetable stuffed fried dough pockets tasty, but La Sonrisa is something special.
What to order: The coconut curry chicken, pulled pork, and spinach artichoke empanadas.
This popular food truck has made its way indoors to Urbanspace Vanderbilt. Their burgers and bacon-wrapped hot dogs are sure to please any carnivore.
What to order: Bacon-wrapped Brooklyn style hot dog or a classic burger.
Japanese food with a Mexican twist. Takumi Tacos offers flavorful, Mexican style Japanese cuisine, which results in food as delicious as it is unique.
What to order: Chicken teriyaki bowl and a spicy tuna taco makes for a delicious lunch combo.
Sigumd’s offers a new twist on an old classic: prosciutto, reuben, and mozzarella sandwiches all on deliciously warm pretzels, for example.
What to order: The original pretzel with honey mustard, the reuben sandwich, and the house roasted turkey are popular choices (and for good reason).
Hungry for traditional and authentic Thai in Manhattan? Bangkok B.A.R. has exactly what you need.
What to order: Pad Thai chicken or the Moo Palo Bangkok pork belly bun.
This artisanal sandwich shop specializes in slow-braised sandwiches and a deliciously diverse menu.
What to order: The Dragon (Asian BBQ pulled pork) or The Maple (short rib/brisket with maple brown sugar Sriracha, also my favorite).
Doughnuts for lunch? I think yes! These fresh and fluffy doughnuts are unique and full of funky flavors that make you want more.
What to order: Because Dough doughnuts are made fresh, not every flavor may be available when you happen to stop by. But some of the classics that you’re more than likely to find include chocolate cocoa-nib, dulce de leche-almond, Nutella, and cinnamon sugar.
Amali Mou serves Greek gyros and salads alongside a selection of Greek and Mediterranean wines. And each gyro contains delicious fries…I think they have me sold.
What to order: Vegetarian gyro or the Cascun farms chicken gyro.
With mozzarella that’s made fresh every morning, Roberta’s pizza is some of the best in Manhattan. With a crispy crust and steaming, flavorful sauce, you can’t go wrong with any Roberta’s pie.
What to order: Margherita pizza or the El Supremo.
Mile End Delicatessen is a traditional Jewish deli that offers a variety of meats and sandwiches. Sure, you can find plenty of Jewish deli’s in New York City, but few can rival Mile End in absolutely perfect flavor.
What to order: The smoked meat sandwich or corn dog are great choices. But then again, everything they make is tasty.