For one month twice a year, Urban Space’s Mad. Sq. Eats takes over Worth Square, which is located adjacent to the northwest corner of Madison Square Park, and turns it into what very well might be the best lunch option in the city. We paid the market a visit, and tracked down 10 of the best bites you'll find there.
About 30 vendors have set up shop on the triangle of land in the shadow of the Flatiron Building, running the gamut from well-known restaurants expanding beyond brick-and-mortar, like Brooklyn’s Roberta’s, to food trucks switching up formats (Red Hook Lobster Pound), to startups like Mighty Balls looking to raise enough awareness and funding to set up a brick-and mortar location. They all have a few things in common, however: they’re showcasing fresh, seasonal ingredients, they’re passionate about their product, and they love making people happy.
This season, a handful of new vendors are on hand to showcase their wares, with something for everybody: 100 Sardines by George Mendes (Postugese-influenced soups, sandwiches, salads, and rice dishes), Brooklyn Oyster Party, Pig & Khao (Filipino-influenced noodles, rice, and salads), Takumi Taco (Japanese and Mexican fusion), Kicky’s Kitchen (cocktail-inspired sweets), L&W Oyster Co., and Two Tablespoons (vegetarian and gluten free).
These new options have joined veteran vendors including Mexicue, Calexico, Momofuku Milk Bar, Mayhem & Stout, Arancini Brothers, Sigmund’s Pretzels, and Stuffed Artisan Cannolis to present nothing short of quite possibly the best open-air food market Manhattan has to offer. Each vendor serves a handful of dishes and many also serve alcohol, and on a sunny day it’s easy to while away the afternoon sampling as many of these delicious creations as possible. It’s not easy to save enough room in your stomach to sample everything, but that just means you’ll have to come back for repeated visits. It’s open daily from 11am-9pm, but make sure you get there early to snag a table and avoid lines.
The folks from Calexico are offering several varieties of tacos, including their delicious Baja-style fried fish one.
La Sonrisa is frying empanadas to order; their most popular offering is filled with shredded chicken and green coconut curry.