The success of Chelsea Market, the former Nabisco factory turned warehouse-esque food court and office space changed the game in New York City. Now, clusters of food kiosks seem to pop up in every tourist-clogged neighborhood all over town, and everyone is unsure of which came first. Sunset Park is a decidedly working and middle-class neighborhood, home to Brooklyn’s Chinatown, plus a large Latino population. A sixteen-building, white brick & loft window behemoth known as Industry City dominates the Sunset Park New York Harbor waterfront. It’s inside Building 2, at 254 36th Street, that you’ll find “The Food Hall,” a 40,000 square foot collection of some of Brooklyn’s finest food purveyors baking, mixing and cutting away behind the glass, getting ready to serve up their delicious fare. The Food Hall options lend themselves best to a late breakfast or lunch visit, during the workweek as most of the vendors also use the space their production. With hours generally limited to the typical Monday – Friday 9 to 5, maybe you can use a visit as an excuse for a “Fall Friday.”
One Girl Cookies: Before Brooklyn became “Brooklyn,” there was One Girl Cookies. Started by Dawn Casale in 2001, she brought on—and then married—David Crofton. They opened their cute Cobble Hill shop in 2005, and another in DUMBO before moving into Industry City. One of the largest spaces in the Food Hall, you can spy more sugar soldiers whipping up everything from muffins and scones to cupcakes and whoopie pies.
Colson Patisserie: Hubert Colson’s patisserie in Mons, Belgium has received acclaim for decades, leading to his four cookbooks and becoming one of Belgium’s culinary ambassadors. Yonatan Israel diligently studied under Chef Colson and opened the Brooklyn outposts with Colson’s permission, first in Park Slope and then in Industry City. Fans are treated to traditional Belgian and French pastries: flaky croissants in all manners, fruit-filled turnovers, and chewy cookies—including all-the-rage speculoos—along with more healthy savory fare such as salads and sandwiches.
Ends Meat: John Ratliff, founder and head butcher of Ends Meat, is just hitting his stride. Their space opened in May 2015 and slowly became known through word-of-mouth among the New York food denizens, each telling the next, “Go for the muffuletta.” You’ll want to pick up a $8 chunk of the sandwich to remind you of New Orleans, but don’t stop there. They do focus on being a whole-animal salumeria and are producing some of the finest dry-cured salumi in the city, perfect for snacking on the train ride home.
Liddabit Sweets: Candy superstars Liz Gutman and Jen King outgrew commercial kitchens and holiday pop-ups a few years back and landed themselves a full production space with a shop to showcase their sweets. Peep through a window to see workers making caramels or baking up batches of cookies, or, if you’re really lucky, watch the antique candy-wrapping machine—just don’t knock on the window! In the shop, you can pick up the bite-sized Lidda-bites bonbons, boxes said cookies and caramels, sweet popcorn, frozen hot chocolate, and a salad if you’re so inclined.
Blue Marble: The grandfather, or rather grandmothers, of New York’s current ice cream trend is organic Blue Marble Ice Cream. Jennie Dundas and Alexis Miesen began scooping their frozen treats back in 2007 at their first shop in Brooklyn’s Boerum Hill—they now only have one other location besides their Industry City space, in Prospect Heights—becoming the first ice cream shop with an artisanal and sustainable bent. With such amazing flavors as Midnight Mint Cookie and a delectable Green Tea, the ladies have steadily increased their fans whether through cones from their Smorgasburg cart or the pints found in Whole Foods.
Dockside at the Landing: After all that eating, you’ll want to head out to the courtyard for Dockside, the bar. The fully-stocked drinking hole does have some eats, but go for the fun slushie drinks; fruity margaritas, piña coladas, a frozen negroni and this summer’s trend, Frozé were all on tap when we stopped by for a Summer Friday. Beer and wine are available for the classier ones among us.