Why you MUST go to the Red Hook Ball Fields, Plus How to Get There

Date May 6, 2009

Let’s keep this plain and simple. Every Saturday and Sunday from May to Halloween (roughly), the most diverse, authentic, affordable, and delicious gathering of Latin American street food vendors takes place at the corner of Clinton Street & Bay Street at the Red Hook Ball Fields in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Mexican, Dominican, El Salvadoran, Colombian, Chilean, Guatemalan. It’s all represented with pride, love and the BEST LATIN AMERICAN FOOD NYC Food Guy has ever tasted What’s more? Nothing is over $10.

red-hook-collage

Once you arrive, however, it’s an overwhelming experience: so much delicious food and so little English spoken by some of the vendors. Trust me when I tell you, if you like Latin American food and you’re willing to try new things, this experience will change your life. Email me: [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.

Read on for information on how to get to the Red Hook Ball Fields plus other essential information.

Related:
NYC Food Guy’s favorite food item at the Ball Fields
NYC Food Guy’s Red Hook Ball Fields Flickr Set

Essential Information

HOURS OF OPERATION

Saturdays & Sundays from around 11AM until 8PM, as long as people are still out there buying food.

RAIN INFORMATION

As of now, there’s no rain information line. Just assume if you wouldn’t want to be out there, they probably wouldn’t either, although it’s a good bet they have a little more of a threshold for the rain than you do. If it just looks like it may rain, however, that will not stop the vendors.

Getting There

FROM MANHATTAN:

You have two options coming from Manhattan:

1) Take the F train to Smith-9th Street and walk to the Ball Fields, outlined in the map below. Lately there have been some service issues and to get around them, you’ll take the F Train to the G Train’s Hoyt Street-Schermerhorn Street stop, the third stop from Manhattan, and transfer to the G Train there, which will take you to the Smith-9th Street Stop. You will hear announcements about this on the F Train.

View Walking from F Train To Red Hook Ball Fields in a larger map

2) The free IKEA Water Taxi which departs daily from Pier 11 (below) near Wall Street.

Here’s the information from the Water Taxi’s Website.

Here’s the information from Ikea’s Website.

pier11

Below you’ll see the route from Pier 11 to IKEA’s Red Hook pier.

ib_map_watertaxi_lg

I’m not sure exactly how to get from the IKEA pier to the Ball fields but judging from the map below, it can’t be that hard to get from the IKEA pier (Boat logo) to the Ball Fields (Food & Drink logo):

View IKEA Pier to the Ball Fields in a larger map

GETTING TO RED HOOK FROM QUEENS:

1) Take the G Train to Smith-9th Street. Here’s the stops on the G Line.

GETTING TO RED HOOK FROM BROOKLYN:

1) Take the F train or the G train to Smith/9th St

2) By Bus: Take the B77 to the Gowanus Smith-9th St/Subway Station stop or the B75 to Gowanus 9th St/Smith St stop

Here’s the Brooklyn Bus Route Page from the MTA’s website

38 Responses to “Why you MUST go to the Red Hook Ball Fields, Plus How to Get There”

  1. Brian said:

    Food guy this is pure genius. You have really kicked up the site a notch. Latin Food and cheap shopping at IKEA can’t be beat, plus it’s easy to get there from downtown via the ferry. Thanks for doing the legwork and making it easy for us. I am an out of towner (I am from DC) and before any trip to NYC I always rummage through your site to see what spots I need to hit. I wish we had something like this down in DC (I would start it, but just don’t have the time).

  2. miguel said:

    men do I like your web….and I live in Spain!!!
    am I crazy or what!!!
    naaaa
    seriously, keep with the good work
    my brother lives there and Im probably going to NY later on this year…maybe sept or october, I would love to try this great latin style gathering….
    thx for showin us deliciousness

  3. Mona said:

    Wow! Nice Maps.

  4. Monique said:

    This is an excellent find! Thank you so much. I love some good latin food.

  5. moe said:

    thank you

  6. Emily said:

    We’ve only tried the pupusas there, but they were AMAZING! So we’d appreciate any and all tips on what else to try. I’m only familiar with Mexican and Salvadorean food. Will you be posting the names of the dishes in Spanish? Do they have huaraches?

  7. FN said:

    Food Guy, I’m proud of you – you’re getting out of Manhattan a lot these days. Some recommendations when you go:

    1) Pupusas
    2) Ceviche
    3) The grilled corn lady – they grill the corn, cover it with butter and parmesan cheese.

    PS – you can also catch the free Ikea bus in Brooklyn at Borough Hall. So, if you don’t feel like taking a taxi, take the 2,3,4 or 5 train to Bourough Hall and then as soon as you exit, there is an Ikea bus stop. The bus runs every 20 minutes.

  8. Cougar said:

    All this food looks awesome! Great pics…love the maps…and would appreciate advice on where you think people should in what order…

  9. starpower said:

    When I lived in the area, I used to plan to my visits to the post office, located at, believe it or not, the corner of Clinton and Bush, to coincide with a visit to the food vendors in Red Hook. One modest vendor served the best cut-beefsteak, soft shell tacos in Brooklyn. At the time, two tacos and a soda cost $5.

  10. ohprah said:

    YES! you finally got the recent comments back up on the top right, THANK YOU!

  11. Geeksaregoodfun said:

    Way to go NYCFoodguy! And now, on behalf of all your devoted but veggie followers, find us some veggie ball park food. Pretty please with a strawberry lime mojito on top!

  12. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Brian,
    Thanks for the kind words man, it’s good to hear from you. It’s been a while. How’s everything going down there? I’m going to have to give you a shout when I’m going down to DC.

    miguel,

    You’re more than welcome miguel. Give me a shout when you come back to the US.

    Mona,

    Thanks, great to hear from you. Have you been out here yet?

    Monique,

    You’re very welcome. You need to get out there and sample the goods yourself now! Let us know what you like best.

    Emily,
    Well the pupusas are a great start but you’ve got a lot of work to do. Keep coming back to NYCFoodGuy.com because I’ll be posting plenty about all the delicious dishes at Red Hook.

    FN,
    Getting out of Manhattan alot. Thanks puff, for the knowledge and the kind words. Let’s meet up out there.

    starpower,
    You are a smart person to plan trips around Red Hook. We’re going to have to figure out which taco you were talking about! Tell us more about it.

    Geeksaregoodfun,

    It won’t be easy but I will do my best! Any recommendations?

  13. Lee Frank said:

    Thanks for the map man. I’m making my pilgrimage very soon.

  14. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Lee Frank,
    You got it man. Red Hook is the real deal. You need to get out there ASAP. If you have any questions feel free to email me: [email protected] or just leave some comments here.

  15. A three hour tour said:

    […] reminds me.  I want to take the free IKEA water taxi and visit the Red Hook Ball Field Vendors again soon. SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: “A three hour tour”, url: […]

  16. Elissa said:

    Thanks for the great maps!

  17. Tom Hawke said:

    Foodguy, I’m from out of town and really appreciate the info and maps. Visiting the Red Hook Vendors has been on my to-do list for a while. Any idea what their July 4th holiday schedule is likely to be? For instance, would they open on July 3rd (Friday) since it’s a holiday. Thanks again!!!

  18. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Tom Hawke,
    I spoke with the head of the Vendor’s committee and he said they will have regular hours the weekend of July 4th and will not be open on July 3rd.

  19. Tom Hawke said:

    Thanks FoodGuy!! You saved my family from going all the way to Red Hook from Virginia on Friday and starving to death. We’ll see them on Saturday then. Really appreciate the heads-up. Cheers

  20. Vivian said:

    How late in the season are the vendor’s at the Red Hook Ball Fields? I’m trying to plan a visit for some great food and am curious what type of schedule I’m looking at.

    Thanks!

  21. Tiana said:

    Hey Foodguy!!

    This information is the best. I cant wait to get some good eats and take in some futbol!!

    Same question as Vivian…how long does the vendor season run. I was looking to venture down in early October?

    Also, can someone fill me in on the futbol schedule?? Do they play every Sat & Sunday, and what time??? Traveling from PA, so I want to make a day of it.

    Lastly, any other suggestions on activities in the area?

    Thanks!

  22. maritza said:

    hey Foodguy, i must say i sat at this computer for 2 hours trying to findo info on this place. I first heard of it on anthony bourdain’s show(no reservation) but couldn’t rmember the name of the park for my life! LOL gladly i found your post, so now im looking forward to celebrating the independence of chile(my country) in two weeks time 😉 thanx for all the tips and i will be coming bakc with some input…hey got any idea how to get there from yonkers??? LOL well keep up the good work

  23. Jose Elmaton said:

    Do not eat at red hook ball fields the food is dirty you will get sick.These people have no city permits,pay no taxes and are all Illegal aliens.Seriously the city doesn’t have inspectors at the site,you will get sick guarantee.

  24. Patrick said:

    Jose, perhaps you’ve had one bad experience at the ball fields, but I’ve enjoyed food there at least a dozen times over the last 5 years and have not once fallen ill. Oh, and they actually do have city permits and have to pass DOH inspections. I’m not sure where you’re getting your information.

  25. chubbychinesegirl said:

    thanks for the detail and directions, im gonna check it out next saturday! excited!

    Jose, what makes you think the food you get at a random restaurant is any cleaner? eating out always has it’s hits and misses, you just never know… but i’m willing to take a chance for good food =)

  26. pedro romero said:

    I grew up in Red Hook, in the 60’s and the beginning of the 70s’, 466 Columbia Street, my cousins lived at 124 Bush Street.
    I played a lot of baseball at the ball fields. As far as the central americans and mexicans moving in respect them and try to learn their culture. It is different from the Puerto Rican/Dominican communities where they have more of an Indian based culture while ours are more African

  27. bbqmackster said:

    jose sounds like someone who wants to keep the lazy manhattanites and Gringos out of his ‘hood!
    Which is a smart idea haha!
    I mean really, anyone with a brain can find all sorts of articles detailing the fight and money involved in forcing all the vendors to get permits that are up to code.
    there really isn’t anything logical or reasonable that can be said against such an obviously ridiculous claim. Not to mention how F-ing good some of the food is.
    The Barbacoa is the best I’ve had anywhere in the US. I am from LA, lived in SF, eaten in Sunset Park, Spanish Harlem, Queens Roosevelt actin, you name it, from the Mexican truck that is the furthest South on the far side of the fields, it is simultaneously crisped on the edges, gamey, fatty, meaty! OMG, drizzled with salsa verde and a few bites of Chicarron and carrots pickled with jalapenos… it’s like being back in DF! Orale!

  28. Where to eat this weekend: Hecho en Dumbo for Upscale, Affordable Mexican Street Food | NYC Food Guy said:

    […] enjoy a rice-milk based, cinnamon flavored drink with my Mexican food, but I can thank the Red Hook Ball Fields for introducing me to the perfect complement to spicy street food.  Hecho en Dumbo’s version […]

  29. Jose el maton said:

    You people don’t want to listen to me that’s ok.How can you trust illegal alien food?These people come from very poor towns back in mejico,these people don’t even have toilets in their homes.Do you know they keep their food past the expiration date in order to save food cost.They don’t wash their hands,don’t take my word just observe them when you order your nasty tacos.People open your eyes mejicans people are very dirty people you will get sick from eating these nasty foods.

  30. Red Hook Food Vendors Open for Business Tomorrow! | NYC Food Guy said:

    […] Why you MUST go to the Red Hook Ball Fields, Plus How to Get There […]

  31. Ms. T said:

    I will save my Fairway trips for the weekend now! I just like to look!

    Jose el matron, you may be on to something here!

  32. Big Daddy Cool said:

    Cleanliness, handling, storage and temperature and quality of food is kept is very important to my stomach.

    Do these vendors have certificates of Food Safety by The Dept. of Health?

  33. NYC Food Guy Video: NYC Food Guy’s Favorites at the Red Hook Ball Fields | NYC Food Guy said:

    […] Why you MUST go to the Red Hook Ball Fields, Plus How to Get There […]

  34. Robert Sawyer said:

    Great spread, a cuisine(s), one you make irresistible. I think the next cool dry weekend, I’m there. In the meantime, what are the good trucks or stands in Manhattan?
    Also, how do you answer questions like the one sent by “Big Daddy Cool”?

  35. Big Daddy Cool said:

    Just wondering if the NYC Food Guy got around to answering my question about Health and Food Safety.

    I also read in the Brooklyn Paper that the people living in this area are complaining about more rodents lurking around because of this.

  36. Red Hook and Erie Basin said:

    […] Hook Ball Fields Food Trucks serving the most delicious Latin American street food all summer long. There are always long lines, […]

  37. Cornography and Collaborative Consumption Brazen Kitchen said:

    […] Fairway/Ikea gentrification started. Sad, to say the least. The best Latino street food in town. Hands down. I think half the treat came from the fact that the FIXINS — from hot sauces, slaws, pickles, […]

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