Smorgasburg in Santa Monica

Smorgasburg on the Santa Monica Pier

Smorgasburg is a pop up food market where small eateries and chefs set up for a day of dining, tasting, and celebrating the diverse culinary scene of Los Angeles with emerging chefs and unique dishes.

The weekly food festival began as offshoot of a funky, hip craft market in an industrial part of Williamsburg, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. Creators Jonathan Butler and Eric Demby began the market, Brooklyn Flea, as an incubation opportunity for small business to have a centralized place to sell their locally made crafts and wares. In 2011, the duo created a food-centric version of their successful flea-market model called Smorgasburg (Smorgasbord + Williamsburg). A smorgasbord is a meal served buffet-style with multiple hot and cold dishes of various foods on a table originating in Scandinavia. Today, Butler and Demby have markets in New York and LA.

The Los Angeles Smorgasburg takes place most Sundays at ROW+DTLA from 10 AM – 4 PM. The market brings a reported 50,000 ravenous visitors to the garment district to samples bites and drinks from over 100 local vendors. The dishes range from slabs of barbecued ribs to vegan nachos, and regular vendors include all manner of eateries from startup food concepts to Los Angeles mainstays like Donut Friend and Sea Steph Fish.

On select Saturdays, Smorgasburg comes to the West Side setting up shop on the historic Santa Monica Pier. Conveniently reached by the Expo Line, the Pier offers hungry shoppers the chance to take in the views of the ocean while savoring their organic pupusas, or taking a cat-nap on the beach after gorging on slow-roasted Porchetta. Smorgasbord Santa Monica occupies the Pier’s upper parking deck accessed from Ocean Ave by the Pier bridge; the parking area is located behind Rusty’s and the Albright, just outside the East gate of Pacific Park. There is no fee to enter the market and dishes are purchased individually.

Smorgasburg offers something for everyone no matter how picky, or how hungry. Local chefs test new dishes, offer vegan, gluten free, plant-based, organic and raw meal options. You can also find grilled meats, fresh seafood, and sweets. Some of the more popular stands will get long lines quickly, so if you have a specific dish you just have to try, come early. Otherwise, peruse the rows of food stalls and find something new and interesting to try.

True to the event’s roots, each Smorgasburg is accompanied by a lifestyle market offering artisanal products and vintage finds from an array of small local vendors like Brown Bag Books, Fat Dog Jams, and Passenger Buttons. After you have snacked, browse the seller’s stalls for unique gifts and hand-crafted goods.

For more information about the schedule, list of vendors, and photos of past events, visit la.smorgasburg.com.

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