With outdoor weather finally here (more or less) the city’s flea and food markets roll out the red carpet and the irresistible goodies, and it’s pretty likely there’s one happening near you. From the unstoppable fashion-and-foodie mecca Brooklyn Flea (now in its ninth season), to a night market in Queens and a neighborhood favorite in Park Slope to antiquing standbys in Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen and the humble (but fun) stoop sale on your block, the goods may be odd, but they’re out there. Check out the list below for some of the city’s top food and flea picks. Just don’t blame us for the tchotchke overload–or the calories.
Fort Greene Flea ↑
176 Lafayette Avenue (between Clermont + Vanderbilt Avenues)
Saturdays 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Since no one’s immune to the charms of the Brooklyn Flea, an update on this season’s takeover is in order: As of April 2, the venerable shoppers’ mecca that has turned out to be one of the city’s most enduring brands is back in its birthplace in leafy Fort Greene. Every weekend you’ll find the 40,000 square-foot schoolyard at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School transformed into “part vintage bazaar, part hipster hang, part old-fashioned town square, and part food bonanza” with 150 vendors offering just about everything under the sun including vintage clothes and shoes, locally-made fashions, jewelry, furniture, lighting, home goods, stationary, collectibles, edibles and much more (and great people-watching).
DUMBO Flea ↑
Sundays 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
After spending five years on the Williamsburg waterfront, the Flea (see Fort Greene Flea, above) is doing Sundays in DUMBO as of Sunday, April 3 at Pearl Plaza, one of Brooklyn’s coolest public spaces–it includes the majestic archway under the Manhattan Bridge and cobblestoned Anchorage Place. Expect about 75 vendors of antiques and collectibles, vintage clothing, furniture, rugs and textiles and other makers—and, of course, food.
Williamsburg Smorgasburg ↑
East River State Park, 90 Kent Avenue (at North 7th)
Saturdays 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Though the Sunday Flea has flown to parts south, the Saturday ‘Smorg is open for business as of April 3rd in its familiar North Brooklyn feeding spot. Smorgasburg happens every Saturday on the Williamsburg waterfront, featuring packaged and prepared foods from 100 purveyors from New York City and nearby, including local faves like Blue Marble Ice Cream, Dough, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Porchetta and the vegan treats from Monk’s Meats (to name just a very few). Sadly, state park rules say no dogs.
Prospect Park Smorgasburg ↑
Prospect Park, Breeze Hill at Lincoln Road
Sundays 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Replacing the former Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 5 location, Sunday’s (dog friendly) Smorgasburg is now located in beautiful Prospect Park, where you’ll find 100 vendors and food from all over the world near Lakeside and the park’s Lincoln Road entrance. Look out for: The Lower Manhattan version of the Brooklyn food-stravaganza, the Seaport Smorgasburg opens Memorial Day weekend at 19 Fulton Street and will be open seven days a week for lunch, dinner and drinks, with eight vendors and a bar.
Bushwick Flea ↑
Corner of Wyckoff and Willougby Avenues
Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Now open in the heart of trendy Bushwick a block from the Jefferson Street L train stop, the upstart Bushwick Flea came under fire last year from some anarchist groups for hanging Wes Anderson-inspired crocheted artwork on a nearby building; we have no idea whether that’s good or bad for their rep, but do know you’ll find a growing collection of vintage/retro items, furniture, hip clothing and jewelry, handmade crafts, artwork and specialty foods from hot sauce to nut butter along with the boobs (slightly NSFW), beards and bears of Bushwick.
P.S. 321 Flea Market ↑
In front of the school at 180 Seventh Avenue, between First and Second Streets
Year-round on weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There’s a new flea in town, and one of Metroflea‘s first moves was to relaunch the beloved PS 321 flea market, which was taken over, then abandoned rather unceremoniously, by the bigger Brooklyn Flea conglomerate. This familiar Park Slope market has been a neighborhood fixture and a great place to score a bargain for three decades. Apparel and accessories are big, but furniture and housewares and plenty of you-name-it awaits the early bird and the ruthless haggler. Proceeds go toward helping P.S. 321’s PTA pay for art and music enrichment programs.
LIC Flea & Food ↑
5-25 46th Avenue, Queens
Weekends, April 9 through October 30 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This newer, Queens-ier version of the Brooklyn Flea (though the two are not related) kicks off their fourth season’s grand opening weekend on April 9th and 10th with a music festival and all the cool jewelry, vintage goodies, clothes, and indulgent edibles from last year, plus more.
Hester Street Fair ↑
Corner of Hester and Essex Streets in the LES
April 25 – October 31, every Saturday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Located on the historic grounds of New York City’s original food cart vendors (i.e. the city’s largest pushcart market at the turn of the century) in the heart of the Lower East Side, the Hester Street Fair has assembled a collection of NYC’s best vendors in a bustling outdoor marketplace; you’ll find artisanal food, vintage clothing, jewelry, crafts, home goods and much more, with special events on the calendar like the Grub Street Food Festival and a pair-up with Bryant Park for a night of food and film.
East 67th Street Flea and Farmers Market ↑
P.S. 183, 419 East 66th Street (66th and 67th Streets between 1st and York Avenues)
Saturdays, 6 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Don’t let the name fool you; though this beloved though lesser-known Upper East Side neighborhood schoolyard market–in operation since the ’70s–has plenty of fresh produce, pies, cookies and flowers, it’s a top spot for antiques, jewelry, collectibles and other flea market finds.
Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market ↑
West 39th Street between 9th & 10th Avenues
Saturdays and Sundays, year-round, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (weather permitting)
One of the arms (with sister Chelsea Flea Market) of the venerable Annex Markets, this massive outdoor mart has been a magnet for antique collectors, vintage lovers and shopping addicts for over 45 years.
Chelsea Flea Market ↑
Uptown Side of West 25th Street between Broadway and Sixth Avenue
Saturdays & Sundays, year-round; 6:30 a.m.– 6 p.m.
This offshoot of the original 6th Avenue flea market boasts both veteran dealers and a new crop of vendors selling antiques, collectibles, ephemera, decorative arts, vintage clothing and jewelry including Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern items. If flea-ing isn’t enough fun, Eataly and Madison Square Park are both nearby.
Artists and Fleas ↑
70 North 7th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Saturdays & Sundays, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
While it’s neither seasonal nor outdoors, no flea market list would be complete without the garden of crafty delights that is this artist, designer and vintage market. Look for special events like a vintage showcase on April 16th and 17th. A & F also have a permanent home in Chelsea Market at 88 10th Avenue at West 15th Street where they’re in business all week as well as on the weekends.
Shwick Makers Market ↑
Be Electric Studios, 1298 Willoughby Avenue, Brooklyn
Next market: Saturday April 23, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
It’s their party and they’ll Shwick if they want to, and they want to on Saturday April 23, so show up if you want to shop small and local at this Bushwick market-slash-event with over 80 vendors of clothing and food. The market (usually) happens one weekend a month; this month all the cool kids will be at Be Electric Studios. Be there.
*Heads-up: They’re hosting a Manhattan market from May 20-22.
Nolita Outdoor Market ↑
Prince Street between Mott and Mulberry Streets
Friday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
The number of vendors may be small, but the quality is high and the merch is unique. This lineup of vendors along the brick wall of the church on Prince Street in the downtown-trendy shopping-and-brunching district appears with spring weather and offers surprisingly well-priced art, jewelry, accessories and apparel you won’t find anywhere else.
f.a.d. Weekend Makers Market & Flea ↑
22 Boerum Place, Brooklyn
Sundays 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. from May 1 – June 26
f.a.d. (fashion, art and design) weekend is a curated pop-up indoor makers’ market and flea held every Sunday in Brooklyn, bringing together a pool of emerging and mid-career artists and designers from all backgrounds as well as vendors selling vintage items, antiques and collectibles. This year’s series begins at 22 Boerum Place, a McKim, Mead & White 1926 Renaissance revival style theater on Sunday, May 1.
Queens International Night Market ↑
New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
Saturdays, 6 p.m.- midnight, starting on April 23rd
Who doesn’t love a little night shopping, especially when it’s in a science museum. The Queens International Night Market is a large, family-friendly open-air night market featuring independent vendors selling merchandise, art and food, with small-scale cultural performances and entertainment, “all celebrating the rich cultural diversity and heritage of NYC and Queens.”
Resurrection: Church of the Immaculate Conception Flea Market
414 East 14th Street
Saturdays, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Mary Help of Christians Flea Market (a.k.a. 11th Street Flea Market) held in the massive front lot of the church of the same name was a sacred ritual for many an East Village weekend wanderer. The church will be turning into condos as churches often do these days, but it’s reported that the flea market has risen with many of the same vendors in this Stuyvesant Town front courtyard and parish hall.
Image: lostinbrooklyn via flickr.
Neighborhood Stoop and Sidewalk Sales ↑
Besides the above, city weekends are a veritable feast of stoop and sidewalk sales, from tiny to huge in neighborhoods like Park Slope and Carroll Gardens. Many of these sellers (like this one in Jackson Heights this weekend) and small, under-the-radar flea markets broadcast their wares well in advance on Craiglist, so if you want to plan your path, click your way through the local “Garage and Moving Sales” pages for your neighborhood and date of choice–then click the “map” option and you’re good to go.
Image: Squid Ink via flickr.
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