Madison Square Eats
Chickpea fritters can be dense, but the pane e panelle here is light, thin, and piping hot. It's perfect layered into a bun with a fresh squeeze of lemon.
Four dollars for one deep-fried risotto ball might sound like a lot, but believe us, these arancini are huge and incredibly satisfying. Try the squid ink with spicy shrimp.
One of the most unique and tasty bites at Madison Square Eats, the Vinh style hot dog is done with all the traditional banh mi accoutrements: pork pate, spicy aioli, cucumber, pickled carrot and daikon, jalapeno, and cilantro ($4).
To fully appreciate the size and density of the crepe, you need to go here and order the pear, walnut, gorgonzola, and ham with honey and balsamic glaze ($9). They have several other savory and sweet crepes.
This iced coffee is steeped for 24 hours, resulting in a deeply rich flavor while being incredibly smooth. They have smalls for $4 and growlers for $20.
With little cover from the rain you might think Calexico's food suffered, but they had some of the longest lines there. Three and four dollar tacos make it a pretty popular vendor.
Disclaimer: there is no human served here. The Pig's Head Cuban involves roasted edible pig face meat, deli ham, super thin slices of pickles and two slices of pressed bread ($10).
We had one of those guilty food-porn moments when we saw fried pizza dough ball getting a healthy coat from a never-ending stream of chocolate.
The only overtly Southern vendor had fresh crawfish fritters ($8), an andouille dog, and crisp fried chicken ($7).
Hong Kong Street Cart
Fluffy steamed buns encased an incredibly tender pork belly which was then hit with some zippy wasabi mayo ($4). Chili salted shrimp were also a hit.
Hot Blondies Bakery
If you need something baked and sweet, hit up Hot Blondies Bakery for blondies and brownies galore. We were fond of the butterscotch and white chocolate blondie.
As soon as we took a bite of this braised lamb shoulder sandwich, we couldn't put it down. Tender and stuffed into a rosemary roll, the lamb was supported by mayo, cucumber, orange rind, and a spicy sauce ($12).
Fried and steamed empanadas ($3) and Cuban corn are two standouts at this tiny stall.
These macarons come in unique flavors like candied bacon with maple cream cheese and the brand new lemon-basil ($2.50).
Mayhem and Stout
To put it simply, these guys have some awesome meat. Braised meat. We had the short rib brisket with spicy slaw and blueberry sriracha ($10), but they also have chicken, lamb, and pork shoulder.
Frito pie with chili made from burnt ends, cilantro cream, jalapenos, cilantro, and coleslaw (Tostilocos $4).
These balls certainly are mighty judging by their size and the three different ballsy preparations: slider ($3.50), just the balls ($7.50), and the hero ($8.50).
Perhaps not the greatest day for shaved ice ($2.50) or popsicles ($3.50), but they are made with locally grown fruits and herbs, giving each ice-based treat a unique flavor.
Paninis and prosecco drinks are available at this vendor. Here's a mozzarella, avocado, and tomato panini ($7). The seared yellowfin panini ($12) looked pretty tasty too.
Red Hook Lobster Pound
This lobster roll was done Maine-style, served cold and lightly tossed in a lemon-tarragon mayo ($16).
Wafting through the vendors was the delicious smell of a wood fire. The source of the smell was a large pizza oven where pizzas were being churned out at a rapid pace.
This large, warm truffle cheddar pretzel ($3) was impossible to resist.
Steve's Ice Cream
Four dollars gets you an ice cream cup packed with two flavors. Bourbon vanilla is a must order.
Stuffed Artisan Cannoli
The range of flavors here is overwhelming, but we were told that the cookie dough cannoli ($2) were like crack. In a good way.
Garlic fries are heavily advertised here, and judging by the smell they don't skimp on the garlic.