NYC Fleas: 3 Markets All Doing it Differently

Wander around these particular streets of New York and you may meet some enterprising people or pick up an unusual souvenir. The first two are seasonal, while Hell’s Kitchen is year round.

Courtesy Brooklyn Flea/John von Pamer photo

Curated, artisanal, single-origin market

Brooklyn Flea embraces that borough’s ethos like a true local, presenting a tightly curated selection of goods underneath the Manhattan Bridge overpass. Hotel 50 Bowery, about a 30-minute walk, includes a stroll across the bridge. According to Time Out NY, Brooklyn Flea is also a top pick-up spot. For those looking for a literal taste of Brooklyn’s artisanal food scene ala Portlandia, the flea’s all-food market, Smorgasburg, happens on Saturdays in Williamsburg and Sundays at Prospect Park’s Breeze Hill. It runs till October.

Courtesy Hester Street Fair Saturday Market

The hyper-local startup market

When new entrepreneurs want to bring their products to market and test them out—whether those be food, textiles, or yoga classes—they set up to sell at Hester Street Fair Saturday Market. Most days have a theme, including the upcoming Ice Cream Social (July 21)  and Balls Bistro (August 11). The social is a showcase of small-batch frozen treats, while the latter is an intriguing concept: all food sold must be sphered. Hmmm. It runs till October.

Courtesy Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market

The lost-and-found market of treasures

Start digging through the stacks of the 130-plus vendors at Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market and who can say what will be unearthed. Perhaps a vintage brooch, a 1970s leather jacket, or turn of the last century photography. Once found, get ready to haggle. Hell’s Kitchen is an offshoot of the well-known, long-running Chelsea Flea, which is often pricier but with many of the same vendors. Year round.