NYC in the summer means a few things: the subways start to smell like body odor, the department stores crank up the air conditioning so high you experience hypothermia whenever you step inside, and every weekend there is a street fair of some sort. Beyond the dollar socks and knockoff perfumes, these fairs have a plethora of great food. From classic mozzarepas to nouveau hot dogs, there are plenty of ways to get your foodie fix … but you need to know a few simple dos and don’ts to get the most out of your day.
DO go early. If the fair starts at noon, get there at 11:15 a.m. Sure, some of the stands might not be open, but most stands set up a little early. That way, the food is fresh, the lines are nonexistent, and the heat hasn’t reached its zenith yet.
DON’T eat fried fish from a stand also selling corndogs, empanadas, and cotton candy.
DO research what special food stands will be there ahead of time.
DON’T indulge in alcoholic beverages if the temps rise above 80°F. Heat stroke paired with tipsiness is not a good situation for anyone.
DO eat what looks good as you pass it—don’t save it for “later.” If the line is long now, it will be even longer later. If you think you will come back the same way, you probably won’t. Don’t miss the best taco of your life because you hope to remember to go back and try it later.
DON’T eat in courses. This is the time to throw caution to the wind! Banana ice cream followed by Thai sausage followed by Sicilian style pizza, all before 11 a.m.? Go for it! That is what the street fair is for!
DO divide and conquer. Bring a few friends to split up and each get a few items from a booth, then meet at a central location and sample everyone’s findings. Less time and more results!
DON’T be a food snob. Who cares if corn dogs are at every single street fair? They are always delicious, and this is your time to indulge!