Grabbing a quality but quick lunch in New York City's Gramercy/Flatiron area can be somewhat difficult. Sure, there’s no shortage of options and the original New York locations of popular chains Shake Shack and Sweetgreen are nearby. There’s just that whole 45-minute wait time to worry about. That’s why we’re excited each year by the arrival of Mad. Sq. Eats and its 30 – yes, 30 – city vendors.
Located in Madison Square Park and curated by UrbanSpace, the semi-annual market (it also pops up in the spring) opened for its sixth season on Friday. Some of our favorite items from returning vendors include Leah Cohen’s wings at Pig & Khao, generously sized lobster rolls from Red Hook Lobster Pound, and the sweet and spicy “bee sting” pie from Roberta’s. The lunchtime line at the pizzeria’s stall on Friday was virtually nonexistent, a far cry from the regular wait times at the original Bushwick location.
One new vendor is Gumbo Bros. In addition to offering a few different takes – including a vegan version – on the Big Easy classic, Gumbo Bros features a dish made with shrimp, creole tomatoes, smoked Andouille sausage and okra, cooked in a thick tomato stew. Another new entry, Turan, produces authentic Italian beer, serving it alongside Torta al Testo, Italian street fare that originated in the region of Umbria. Meanwhile, Breads Bakery in Union Square will unveil a tent with rustic breads and pastries.
Mad. Sq. Eats is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. It will remain open until October 3.
Read about what's going on in New York City on Food Republic: