May 23, 2024

There is nothing foodies love more than options and a food and shop festival is their one-stop-shop of happiness. While Riverside has many food options, including the recent addi- tion of the Riverside Food Lab, the variety that Los Angeles has to o er is endless.

Every Sunday in downtown Los Angeles, Smorgasburg LA opens up to the public for a weekly food and shop vendor festival on a five-acre site at the Alameda Produce Market, which is part of ROW DTLA.

Kenyce Lytle, senior psychology and sociology major, grew up in South Central Los Angeles and can speak to the glamour of the city that attracts so many tourists.

“It’s such a famous city. There’s a sparkle around LA from the Pink Wall to Melrose, there’s so much to do,” Lytle said. “Smorgasburg is like a mash-up of so many di erent things. It has everything and you can try different things and hop from tent to tent. It’s just very LA with all the variety. It shows all the culture in LA.”

The market offers a variety of food, drinks and shopping to all visitors. The event is outdoors but offers free parking at a nearby parking garage with more than 4,000 available spots.

Smorgasburg market originally started in New York City in June 2016. The event was inspired to be a spin-off of Brooklyn Flea, which was founded in 2008. Since it’s kick off years

ago, Smorgasburg has been running successfully, attracting 8,000 to 12,000 attendees year round. Smorgasburg was called “The Woodstock of Eating ” by the New York Times.

Bryan Moreno, crew member at Big Viking Vintage, has been working for the company for five years and for the past year and a half he’s been work- ing as a vendor at Smorgasburg. Big Viking Vintage pop-up at Smorgasburg LA offers a variety of band T-shirts and records for any local or tourist.

“It’s really cool—it attracts a lot of people, the vibe is cool, there’s a good energy, the music’s nice and the food is great,” Moreno said. “Daddy’s Fried Chicken is my favorite place here because, like everything here, it’s really good but a little di erent. It may be a little pricey but it’s definitely worth it.”

Among Daddies Fried Chicken, there are food vendors that represent multiple styles and cultures. From Amazebowls, which sells açai bowls and smoothies, to Baldoria, which serves sweet and savory wa e cone snacks, to Donut Friend and Bubby Pops, which offers vegan-friendly treats, Smorgasburg LA has desserts covered on the menu.

Moreno said it is the variety of Smorgasburg and what it is that attracts so many visitors.

“It’s so di erent than what you normally see. The vendors here will find two different meals, put them together, and give it a new name and a lot of people like it,” Moreno

The food at Smorgasburg is highly regarded by regulars, and newcomers alike. However, the weekly event offers more than just food. Many of the vendors who set up shop at the market do not sell food but other merchandise.

Shopping options range in creativity and interest. Many o er merchandise specializing in wellness, vintage, clothing, jewelry, hand-made soaps or candles and design.

Isla Trippy, Riverside local, went to Smorgasburg for her first time and said she enjoyed all the food and shop vendors at the festival.

“It was really cool because of all the options,” Trippy said. “Depending on what kind of food you were feeling like, they had pretty much anything you might want. It was a very diverse festival.”

Many Riverside locals and students on campus are not usually willing to drive to Los Angeles. However, Trippy said it was worth the drive because of all the options.

“I feel like LA is kind of the place to go if you want to try cool things that you wouldn’t find locally. There’s a lot of conceptual food places that are popping up more commonly in Los Angeles and Smorgasburg can o er that,” Trippy said.

The Alameda Produce Mar- ket makes use of its space out- side of Smorgasburg LA. The market location also puts on cultural events, pop-ups and more.

Smorgasburg LA is located at 777 Alameda St, Los Angeles, and is open Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. With more than 90 food and shopping vendors, there are plenty of options for first-timers and returners.

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