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Shop (and Eat) at New York’s Best Holiday Markets

union-square-holiday-market1If you’re going to selflessly spend weeks worth of income on gifts for other people this season, you can at least treat yourself to some fabulous food while you’re at it. And conveniently, the following holiday markets provide awesome, one-stop-shopping access to both; boasting vendors selling fabulous presents and awesome, sustaining eats!

Union Square and Columbus Circle Holiday Markets: UrbanSpace is behind two of the season’s seminal holiday markets; easily recognizable for their rows of candy-striped tents.  Over in Union Square, unique gifts like hand-patterned tights and jewelry featuring tiny terrariums are available for the purchase (along with sustaining bites such as churros, sausages and cups of Persian soup), and 100 booths skirt the park at Columbus Circle, hawking edibles like ramen, steam buns and truffles, to accompany crafts like glazed Spanish pottery and wooden puzzles.
14th St & Union Square West, or Central Park West and 59th St

bryant-park-winter-villageWinter Village at Bryant Park: Featuring diminutive, glass-enclosed kiosks, surrounding a sizable skating rink and NYC’s second-grandest Christmas tree, Bryant Park’s Winter Village is a veritable holiday wonderland.  And the eats are better than ever — not only do Breads Bakery, Wafels & Dinges and Le Pain Quotidien occupy stands, but Marco Canora and Danny Meyer have set up shop as well.  The former operates a pop-up installation of his bone broth-purveying Brodo, while the latter oversees a cafe called Public Fare, serving an array of seasonal pastries, sandwiches and snacks.
1065 Avenue Of The Americas

Winter Flea + Holiday Market: The holiday iteration of Brooklyn Flea/Smorgasburg features over 100 vendors in Fort Greene, meaning you can easily scout gifts for everyone on your list.  And since 37 of those stands sell food, you’ll be able to keep going from morning ‘til night; alternating shopping between snacking on Italian pressed sandwiches from Tramezzini, savory Austrian cakes courtesy of Sweet & Salzig, and Shanghainese street crepes from Jianbing Company.
1 Hanson Pl.

grandcentralholidayfair_v2_460x285-5b1-5dGrand Central Holiday Fair: As always, Grand Central’s annual market highlights 40 artisans peddling gifts from luxury home goods to fine handmade jewelry.  But this year, shoppers have the benefit of noshing at Claus Meyer’s newly installed Great Northern Food Hall, and its four Nordic-inspired pavilions as well.  Did smoked shrimp smørrebrød and Danish hot dogs put you in the Scandinavian spirit?  Check out three more themed holiday stalls, where browsers can buy unique items like traditional Nordic knitwear, ornaments and ceramics, and imported specialty food products.
89 E 42nd St

Astoria Market Holiday Markets: Every Saturday before Christmas, Astoria’s beloved Bohemian Hall beer garden is transforming into a shoppers paradise, boasting indie vendors like BridyDesigns, Artwork by Kimberly Abbott, Strung Out Jewelry, Unified Queens, Divya Candles and more.  And the best part is, you can indulge in a pint of beer while you browse; as well as eggnog, hot apple cider and packets of roasted chestnuts.  Or, partake in a special sit-down “Grandma’s Kitchen” menu, featuring homemade soups, sausage platters and sugar-crusted apple strudel.
29-19 24th Ave

02_chelseamarket_jb_v1_460x285Etsy Holiday Handmade Calvacade: Online shopping is so impersonal; as are machine-made goods.  So scope out painstakingly hand-rendered products in person at Etsy’s Dec. 5-11th tenure in Chelsea Market (and be sure to schedule a trip for hummus at Dizengoff’s, seafood tacos at Los Mariscos, or brownies at Fat Witch Bakery afterwards).
75 9th Ave

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