Nilza lived in Pasadena, California, where she enjoyed adventuring as far as she could around SoCal on her days or weekends off.
What Is Smorgasburg Los Angeles?
If my wallet could handle it, every Sunday I would stuff my face anytime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at Smorgasburg Los Angeles in Downtown Los Angeles’ Row. The term "smorgasburg" is a play on the Scandinavian word smorgasbord, meaning a buffet-style meal in which a variety of hot and cold food dishes are served. Smorgasburg Los Angeles does not disappoint with the food variety offered, including options like pineapple fried rice inside a carved out pineapple, cutlet sandwiches, spicy southern fried chicken, whole grilled lobsters, and Colombian style arepas, just to name a few.
Unfortunately, these delectable dishes from around the world are not served buffet style, which would allow you to try everything to your heart’s content. Instead, you will find rows of food trucks and tents that represent different Los Angeles based businesses selling selected food items for cash or card. In the middle of the rows of food, you can even do some shopping thanks to the pop-up businesses selling jewelry, vintage items, clothing, soap, candles and more.
Though I do not recommend making this Los Angeles gem a weekly habit for your wallet’s sake, I highly recommend trying out this experience at least once during your time there. Here are some tips and perspective from my first venture to Smogasburg Los Angeles.
Free Parking (a Rarity in Los Angeles)
With 18.7 million Angelenos residing in the 88 cities that make up Los Angeles, it is no mystery why parking can be difficult to find. Add to the number thousands of tourists with rental cars and it makes sense why locals often opt for ride drop-offs over fighting for a parking spot. When debating if I am willing to adventure somewhere in Los Angeles, parking is always a question that needs to be answered. Smorgasburg Los Angeles makes this question simple by offering two hours of free parking in the Row DTLA’s large parking structure. All you have to do is plug 777 Alameda St., Los Angeles, into a GPS and follow the street signs that direct you towards the parking structure. Free and ample parking in Los Angeles is always a win.
Deciding What to Eat...
Smorgasburg is easy to find as there are plenty of signs with arrows that lead you from the parking structure or transportation drop-off to the rows of food trucks that will water your taste buds. Your biggest dilemma will be deciding what you will eat. Being that it was hot when I went, I was tempted by the adorable take home jarred iced teas made by The Base Co., but opted to skip the line because my stomach was growling. With sustenance on my mind, I chose a bacon-wrapped pork dog topped Vietnamese style and cleverly named Bacon Banh Mi as my lunch. I am not one who regularly eats hot dogs, but watching the way Sumo Dogs prepared their extravagant dogs made my food choice a no brainer. The way I approached all food decisions while eating at Smorgasburg was by asking, “What’s something I do not regularly eat and should try out for fun?”
As a clever tactic to try more food, I brought my boyfriend along for the adventure. We both ordered our own food items, but sharing is caring, so we let each other try what the other bought. Thanks to my boyfriend, we enjoyed Anarchy Seafood’s savory crab croquettes covered in a bacon chili aioli, sesame chives, and furikake. I could not tell you what furikake is, but I can highly recommend you try it on the crab croquettes, which are a must for lovers of fried seafood. I am admittedly not a picky eater and have little to no restrictions, so my food choices were adventurous. However, take heart in knowing that this food haven has something for safe eaters and all types of diets.
Time for Dessert
Even with a tummy full of savory eats, there is always room for dessert. Or skip lunch altogether and eat dessert first at "Ice Cream Alley." Smorgasburg LA offers an entire row of trucks dedicated to ice cream treats. There are churro ice cream sundaes, popsicles, ice cream filled donut sandwiches and liquid nitrogen ice cream balls that will give you a dragon's breath. Not a sweets person? Then let shopping be your dessert by taking a walk down the middle row where all the product vendors are located.
Experience It Yourself!
To truly experience the fun that is Smorgasburg you have to see it yourself! This LA adventure can be a quick food experience, with eats that will have you in and out in less than an hour. If you have a few hours to spare, enjoy walking around leisurely, taking your time to browse the small local shops that are open on Sundays in DTLA's row. Comment below if you have tried this adventure and let me know what your experience was like. Enjoy!
© 2018 Nilza Marie Santana-Castillo
Nilza Marie Santana-Castillo (author) from Adventuring on April 16, 2020:
It was by chance I came upon someone's picture on Instagram when they went and discovered it was a thing! Post COVID-19, yes- go! It's so fun.
Kyler J Falk from California on April 16, 2020:
Wow, I'm totally surprised that I've never heard of this before. Normally, I make my way to LA for Olvera Street, but I think next time I'll be going for Smorgasburg! Thanks for sharing!
Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on September 15, 2018:
That looks a great place. I'd love to visit there. I like the vintage trailer.
Nilza Marie Santana-Castillo (author) from Adventuring on September 14, 2018:
If you're adventurous with food, absolutely!
FlourishAnyway from USA on September 13, 2018:
This looks like a fun place to experiment with food.