Nothing says spring like New York’s al fresco food markets, opening once again for yet another sun and street eats-fueled season. And chief amongst them is UrbanSpace’s Mad. Sq. Eats, a tasty oasis wedged between the Flatiron building, Eataly, and the park.
Running from May 1st through May 28th, this spring’s iteration of the market boasts nine exciting newcomers, joining established regulars like Red Hook Lobster Pound and Roberta’s. And here’s a peek at a few of our favorites, from Chris Jaeckle’s healthy hand rolls at Uma Temakeria to the curried chickpea ciabattas at Bombay Sandwich Co.
Uma Temakeria: Located near Union Square, this Japanese hand roll counter seemed an unusual venture for All’onda’s Chris Jaeckle when he opened it last year, but its one he obviously takes seriously — expanding to a number of popular markets this season. The portable nori cones are a welcome counterpoint to the often heavy fare peddled by other vendors, filled with white or brown rice, as well as tuna, salmon, crab, tofu or seaweed salad.
Paella Shack by Barraca: Inspired by the centuries-old Spanish tradition of crafting crisp-bottomed Paellas on the street and sharing them with the community, this fast-casual outpost of the West Village restaurant, Barraca, concentrates on meat, veggie, and seafood-studded rice dishes, accompanied by eight regional varieties of fruity, boozy Sangria.
Potpuri: This stand specializes in some serious Chaat; a variety of quintessential Indian street snacks. Don’t miss the small, hollow, fried Pani Puri shells made from chickpea flour, and filled with vibrant chutneys and sauces, flavored with tamarind, chilies and mint.
Bombay Sandwich Co: Though they’ve already gained followers at Smorgasburg (and have a two-year-old store in Chelsea), this is Bombay Sandwich Co’s inaugural debut at Mad. Sq. Eats. You’ll find one of their most popular items on offer — the Chana Masala Sandwich — a chewy ciabatta roll dripping with slow-cooked chickpea stew, pickled onions, and homemade date chutney.
The Truffleist: Truffle oil is a divisive ingredient (many chefs despise it), but if you fall firmly in the other camp, The Truffleist is sure to be your go-to stand. They’ve spun their line of fungi-infused products — including oil, honey, mustard and salt — into a line of seriously indulgent sandwiches, namely Cheesesteaks, slathered with 17% black perigord truffle butter.