Dekalb Market in Downtown Brooklyn: good food, unusual stores, lots of fun!
Add the friendly, neatly-designed, packed-with-tasty-treats Dekalb Market to your list of fun things to do in Brooklyn. Launched this summer on a vacant lot near the Fulton Mall in Downtown Brooklyn (and, thus, near many subway lines), the Dekalb Market is different from all of the other excellent markets that have been cropping up these past few years because 1. Dekalb Market is open every day, not just on weekends; 2. Dekalb Market will be open year-round, and they expect to have lots of special events and kiosks and such during the holiday season; 3. the stores in Brooklyn's Dekalb Market are constructed out of salvaged, retrofitted shipping containers, so the whole place is not only environmentally sound, it all looks really cool.
We went to Dekalb Market in early August and had a great time browsing through the stores, chatting with the vendors and craftspeople, and, of course, eating. A lot. Like the great Brooklyn Flea and Hester Street Market, the folks behind the Dekalb Market (that'd be Urban Space and Youngwoo & Associates) understand that if you supply people with first-rate, freshly-made food, they're going to arrive in droves, and leave happy. Case in point: Robicceli's, a Brooklyn-based bakery — really, a Brooklyn-based couple, Matt and Allison, who are amazing bakers — where we were served the best cupcakes we've eaten all year, especially that Chocolate Butterscotch beauty pictured below. The Robiccelis break out a new set of flavors — Strawberry Rhubarb!, Tres Leches! The Bluth (with chocolate banana cake)! — every couple of days, and they're all pretty dreamy.
Other Dekalb Market eateries/shipping containers include the New Orleans-style Cheeky Sandwiches, Joe the Art of Coffee, Pasticcio, Cuzin's Duzins mini donuts, Mazie's Bites for "healthy soul food", and the Filipino Maharlika. And those are just the permanent establishments. On weekends temporary food-sellers set up shop, offering an ever-rotating array of sweet and savory delights. There's a big tent covering a banquet-hall's worth of picnic tables at Dekalb Market, so there's plenty of shade and seating, too.
But as good as the food can be here, the shopping is what really sets Dekalb Market apart. There are plenty of local designers and artisans on hand, selling their jewelry and clothing and the like at temporary tables, and their number should grow as autumn marches on into the holiday season. As for the permanent stores/shipping containers at Dekalb Market, we loved the cool kids stuff at Hank and JoJo (above), especially the graffiti blocks, and the way owner Andriana Caradimitropoulo Spence has set up a space in the back to keep little ones cozy and amused. Kudu-lah offers a fantastic selection of bold and crazy urbanish prints (like the ones below), and we also appreciated the sheer creativity of both the Pratt Design Incubator shop as well as the 3rd Ward artist collective's offerings.
There's also a farm at Dekalb Market (more like: a garden), with plots reaped and sowed by such organizations as the Brooklyn Grange, 3rd Ward (again), New York City College of Technology, and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. BBOX Brooklyn Community Radio provides DJs and live musical events, and the whole atmosphere here is one of creativity, entrepreneurship, community. Nice job, Dekalb Market.
Dekalb Market Details
Dekalb Market is located on the corner of Willoughby Street and the Flatbush Avenue Extension, within east walking distance of the F, G, N, Q, R, A, C, B, D, 2, 3, 4, and 5 trains. Dekalb Market is open every day from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; individual stores and vendors "vary their hours according to what they offer." For lots more information, please see the Dekalb Market website, here.