Although the summer season has ended, luckily, colder weather brings with it the winter edition of the Bronx Night Market Holiday Pop-Up at the New York Botanical Garden from 7–10:30 p.m. on select evenings. Patrons can experience this Bronx summer hit on a smaller (yet colder!) scale in the Leon Levy Visitor Center featuring a rotating seasonal selection of the market’s food favorites such as NextStopVegan, Empanology, and City Tamale.
The holiday pop-up coincides with Bar Car Nights at NYBG, a 21-and-over exclusive in which the garden grounds transforms into a wintry landscape and an after-dark viewing of the Holiday Train Show® as the evening highlight (an experience worth experiencing!). Throughout the garden, performers such as carolers and hula hoop dancers provide holiday entertainment along the various garden routes, adding to the night’s festive offerings. Fire pits are lit to warm the frigid, but the beauty of the evening in all its enchantment is warming enough. Below are select vendor highlights from my visit on November 17th 2018:
There are burgers and then there are BURGERS! This was definitely the latter!
The BX Burger Co. is a Bronx-based burger company aimed at “having The Bronx’s very own Burger company” intended to “contribute to its development by employing people that live here.” At the night market, patrons could select between their Caramelized Onion burger or Jalapeño and Cheese Infused burger. I ordered the caramelized onion burger and to be perfectly honest, I don’t remember eating it, let alone breathing while shoving my burger in my face!
Currently, BX Burger Co. can be found at pop up events around the Bronx as they move towards their long term goal to acquire a food truck and eventually into their own brick and mortar. To support their efforts, visit their fundraiser page on gofundme.com, but in the meantime, be sure to stop by their booth at the the market. And don’t forget to breathe!
Since undergrad, I have been a fan of all things vegan sweets. I mean, what could be more healthy for you than vegan carrot cake? It has CARROT IN THE NAME!!
Uptown Vegan Sweet and Treats was founded by Bronx native, Drea, who learned to bake from her grandmothers. According to Drea on her website, “If you ask her the secret ingredient to making her cakes and cookies sooo delicious, you'll get a one word response: Love.”...that’s cool, Drea, but if you told cyanide, I’m quite sure I still would have bought the four sweet potato cupcakes I purchased without hesitation.
If you were out and about during the Bronx Night Market during the summer, than I’m quite sure you would have remembered seeing Uptown Vegan with their pink table cloth, and a line winding as far back towards the DJ booth. I can’t predict what the lines may be for this winter season, but in any case, I highly recommend braving the elements to get your dose of sweet potato goodness.
Barbeque on a STICK
I’m kicking myself, even as I write about this: Barbeque on a Stick was the ONLY vendor I did not sample (if you misread above, I was busy CHOKING on caramelized onions and burger buns and drooling over vegan cupcakes. Cut me SOME slack!). Barbeque on a Stick is a homestyle Filipino barbeque catering company based in Queens, NY that prides themselves on preparing flavorful meals from fresh ingredients from local vendors: “We love to support our surrounding community by purchasing our ingredients from local vendors. Everything on the menu comes directly from the farm, to the table in front of you.”
Though not from the Bronx, the inclusion of Barbeque on a Stick rounded out the night’s menu options, a diverse palette of flavor for one to enjoy. As the line was long, I safely presume that the food was good, if one can use the length of a line as a measure of foodie goodness. Before the year is out, I will have their food (it is too late for 2018 resolutions?). But I charge you all to get in on what they’re serving!
As I wrote in my coverage for the Bronx Night Market this summer, the market doesn’t showcase all the diversity of food culture in the Bronx. To their credit, the space is tight, I can’t blame them. However, I encourage everyone to check the NYBG Box Car Night’s webpage for the vendor line-up throughout the remainder of the season. And come bundled up!
To learn more about Box Car Night’s at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, be sure to visit their website.
December 2018: 15, 21, 22, 28, & 29
January 2019: 5 & 12