UrbanSpace’s Garment District Market Kicks off in Midtown – Bring an Appetite!

Paella served from Barraca, available at UrbanSpace's Garment District market.

The folks at UrbanSpace know how to throw a block party. For about a dozen years now, the pop-up specialists have given us the Union Square, Bryant Park, and Columbus Circle Holiday Markets (which, granted, are pretty touristy, but that's also a function of their location… plus they're still handy for last-minute gifts); the excellent, shipping-container temporary "malls" in Downtown Brooklyn (the DeKalb Market) and the Meatpacking District; and the bi-annual Mad Sq Eats, which has become a fixture in the Flatiron every fall and spring. And now UrbanSpace moves into Midtown, with a month-long market at 41st and Broadway that instantly, exponentially increases your quick-bite lunch/snack/dinner options in the neighborhood.      

Two friends enjoying coffee at UrbanSpace's pop-up market in Midtown.

Welcome to the UrbanSpace Garment District Market

It's called the UrbanSpace Garment District market and I guess technically that's accurate, but 41st and Broadway sure feels like Times Square to me. Anyway, the market is food-only, and the vendor line up is nothing short of stellar. I stopped by on opening day and even though it was during mid-afternoon off hours, there was a genuine excitement among both local office workers and random passers-by. Everything looks good here, newcomers and old favorites alike, but a few of the vendors I'm most excited about would include:       

Colorful cupcakes and other sweet delights at Billy's Bakery.

Sweet Treats & Delicious Snacks

* The Paella Shack by Barraca (top), for which Chef Pep Coranado brings a couple of his favorite tapas and paellas from his West Village restaurant to feed the Midtown throngs.

* Billy's Bakery (above), one of the city's best cupcake makers–really, their stuff has been consistently great for years–with lots of options for a midday (or pre-theater) sugar rush. 

* Toast Monster, which is maybe the spot I'm MOST eager try, serving Texas Toast stuffed with insane combos like Sloppy Joe with Mac-n-Cheese, and Spinach and Artichoke with Mozzarella.  

A closeup of chicken curry served from Go Go Curry from UrbanSpace's pop-up market in the Garment District

Lunch, Dinner & On-The-Go Options

* Go! Go! Curry (above), with its rich Japanese-style curry served over rice and topped with, if you want (and you will), a fried pork cutlet. The name, by the way, is a homage to former NY Yankee and Yomiuri Giant Hideki Matsui, whose number, 55, is sounds like "go go" when spoken in Japanese.     

* The Baking Bean, because of the S'mores Krispie Treat concoction they had on display. By the way, none of the baked goodies they sell have anything to do with beans. It's the nickname of the chef. 

* Cafe Patoro, hawking one of all my all-time favorite snacks, Pao de Queijo, or Brazilian cheese buns. Looks to be a half dozen varieties–pepperoni, jalapeno, maple bacon–plus "sliders" here. 

* Batter & Cream, featuring homemade Whoopie Pies in unusual flavors like Banana Salted Caramel, and Fig, Honey, and Goat Cheese. 

A sign for UrbanSpace's new pop-up market in the Garment District

And these aren't even the booths likely to draw the biggest crowds! Old-school UrbanSpacers like Red Hook Lobster Pound, Roberta's Pizza, Wafels and Dinges, Mighty Balls meatballs, and MMM Enfes stuffed Turkish pastries are also in the house. Or in the pedestrian plaza, as the case may be. There are tables and chairs scattered about the two-block-long market and, of course, you can get everything to go as well. If my office were anywhere near here, this would be my lunch spot for the next month. And if you're looking for a quick, reasonably-priced, definitely-delicious pre-theater dinner? This is the way to go. The UrbanSpace Garment District Market is located on Broadway between 41st and 39th Streets, and is open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., through October 17. If you're interested, check out the website to learn more about the UrbanSpace markets and the detailed directory of the vendors.

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