A Guide to the Best Artisan, Farmer, Food & Flea Markets

Opening Day of the Hester Street Fair

Today was Opening Day of the Hester Street Fair!  I got there a little bit after it opened at 10 AM, and things were already in full swing.  Everyone was commenting on the great vibe of the market and the lovely setting under a canopy of London Plane trees.  By the end of the day, the total tally was over 11,000 visitors!

Vintage and flea market type vendors are there selling furniture, clothing, posters, decorative items, and much more.  I saw a set of four Arts & Crafts style dining table chairs for $40.  A wide array of artisans are also selling beautiful handmade items, from throw pillows and greeting cards to jewelery and clothing.  The talented and diverse NewNew Etsy artisans group will have different members participating each weekend day.  The Hester Street Fair has a balanced mix of vendors, and the quality level is outstanding.

The Hester Street Fair also has a delectable assortment of wonderful food, including breads, pastries, and other delicious things prepared on the spot, following the excellent example of the Brooklyn Flea.  There will also be fresh produce vendors at the market each weekend.  There was a lot of buzz around the omelettes from toogood Traders.  I watched them fry up a huge toogood Greens omelet with “3 eggs, spring onions, kale, spinach, asparagus, fiddlehead ferns, and stinging nettles.”  The line for Luke’s Lobster Rolls was impressive for 11 AM, although what could be better than a buttery lobster brunch?  For me, the most amazing discovery was a S’Mores mini pie from First Prize Pies, with its graham cracker crust, delicious layer of chocolate, and golden brown top coating of marshmallow.   A sweet mini slice of heaven.

One of my favorite aspects of the Hester Street Fair is its focus on the community.  The founders of the market live right nearby, and they are committed not only to providing a great resource for the neighborhood, but also to bringing visitors and revenue to the area as well.  Among their partners is the Lower East Side Ecology Center, which “works toward a more sustainable New York City by providing community-based recycling and composting programs, developing local stewardship of green space, and increasing community awareness, involvement and youth development through environmental education programs.”

So go check out the Hester Street Fair, and make sure you bring your market bag — and your appetite!

5 Comments
  1. Shopped at Wink and Flip at the Hester Street Fair recently. If you pay with your credit card, not only do you get their jewelry but an additional NY state sales tax and invisible (aka non-existent) receipt that they fail to tell you about.

    • Oops – sounds like a bit of a communication issue. It’s a good practice to ask about sales tax at the markets. Some vendors charge it, and some include it in the price of the item.

  2. MW – Great photos! Yeah there were lots of people there. I think it’s probably good to go early and count on having brunch and not lunch. I’ll make a beeline for Luke’s Lobster next time. And I’ll have James camp out at First Prize Pies! There – a plan!

  3. I thought it was a fun event- but really, really crowded and unfortunately a lot of the food vendors were completely sold out (but I guess that’s a good thing for them…). Pictures- http://www.itsallfare.com/2010/04/hester-street-fair.html