When I started my job, which is around Union Square, in late September, I just missed Madison Square Eats. Everyone kept telling me all these good things about it, so I vowed to check it out as soon as it came back in the Spring. Fast forward 7 or 8 months, and I fulfilled my promise to myself. Am I sounding a bit dramatic right now? Probably.
Madison Square Eats is a collection of food vendors, just outside Madison Square Park, where you can find a diverse selection of cuisines. This year, you could get food from The Cannibal, Takumi Taco, Roberta’s, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Mimi and Coco, Pig & Khao, Mexicue, Melt Bakery, L&W Oyster Co., Kicky’s Kitchen, Ilili, Doughnuttery, Calexico, 100 Sardines, Two Tablespoons, Seoul Lee Korean BBQ, Hong Kong Street Cart, Bar Suzette, Charlito’s Cocina, Nunu Chocolates, Momofuku Milk Bar, Mighty Balls, La Sonrisa Empanadas, Macaron Parlour, Mayhem & Stout, Sigmund’s, Stuffed Artisan Cannolis, and Arancini Bros. Like I said, a wide variety, right??
On the first day that I went, I got two arancini from Arancini Bros. I chose the bianco flavor, which is basil pesto and mozzarella, and the ragu flavor, which is their original option with meat ragu in saffron risotto. If you’re not familiar with arancini, they’re deep fried balls of risotto with various fillings. Arancini Bros. has a storefront in Brooklyn, but they can often be found at different street markets and events throughout New York City. I had been dying to try them, and I was not disappointed. They were outstanding…perfectly fried with moist risotto in the middle! The ragu was hearty and well-seasoned, but the bianco was my favorite of the two with its flavorful pesto and gooey cheese. Two was enough for a meal for me.
That being said, I couldn’t go to Madison Sq. Eats and just get something from one vendor now could I! Anddd I ALWAYS have room for dessert, so I went to Bar Suzette and got a chocolate and coconut crepe. It was bigger than I was expecting it to be, and I was happy that there was plenty of filling inside so I wasn’t left with just a lot of empty crepe.
I went back a couple days later during lunch to try more vendors. For my meal, I went to Takumi Taco, a Japanese and Mexican fusion place, and got the the bento box option for $12, where you get 2 tacos, 1 side, and the market salad. I picked spicy tuna and short rib for my tacos and chips and guacamole for my side. While you only got a small portion of the side and salad, it was still a good deal as each taco by itself is $5-$6. The guacamole was delicious and had a bit of a kick to it, while the salad was dressed with that delicious miso vinaigrette often used at Japanese restaurants.
For dessert, I got an ice cream sandwich at Melt, because when I spotted them the first day I went they just looked so scrumptious I already knew I would have to get one when I went back. I ordered the classic flavor, which was a chocolate chip walnut cookie with vanilla ice cream. I loved how the cookies stuck to the ice cream well so it felt like you were actually eating an ice cream sandwich instead of some ice cream in between two cookies.
While I don’t know if I’ll make it back again this spring, there were still plenty of other places that looked amazing and I wanted to try. And as a heads up, Madison Square Eats ends this Friday, May 30th, but don’t worry. If you miss it this time around, it’ll be back in the fall.
Arancini Bros (bianco and ragu), Bar Suzette (chocolate and coconut crepe), Takumi Taco (spicy tuna taco and short rib taco), Melt Ice Cream Sandwiches (The Classic)
1 25th St
New York, NY 10010