A Guide to the City’s Pop-Up Holiday Markets

The Union Square Holiday Market is a yearly go-to. Photo by Liz Ligon.

The holidays are fully upon us, and as much as New Yorkers love to bemoan winter—the brown slush! The brutal wind chill! The simultaneously freezing and sweltering subway system!—the city can really make the season sparkle. At least until January 1, when we all nurse a collective seasonal hangover and get down to the business of wishing for June. To help you stay merry and bright, I’ve made a short-list of my 2019 holiday market picks.

Union Square Holiday Market

Will close December 24
11 a.m.–8 p.m. Monday to Friday; 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Sunday

Hooray for hot toddies! Boo to the numerous colds I’ll get! I’m picking up some honey and a healing balm from
Bee Raw, to assist with both.

Hot cider! Gingerbread people! Breezy Hill Orchard will help keep you fully in the spirit while wading through the crowds. Also available at Bryant Park and Columbus Circle.

For the meat lover in your life, head to Charlito’s Cocina for cured meats.

I’m a sucker for adorable things. Craftspring’s felt ornaments feature animals, foods, and holiday treats. Also available at Columbus Circle.

Can you consider it a “festive outing” without hot chocolate? Kitbsy serve up an excellent one, along with cookies and box mixes people will think you made from scratch.

Love someone who really loves their dog? Laser Eye Shop cut images of pups onto cutting boards and coasters, among other items.

With fun and inventive flavors alongside the classics, Macaron Parlour sell beautifully packaged French macarons.

As a gift to myself for being so good, I’m stopping by Mama Lam’s for a jar of vegan Malaysian curry.

Every year I grab a mug from Mayan Dreams, who work directly with Mexican artists to import beautiful handmade items.

The perfect gift for your “fun” aunt or high school bff, SippingTHIS sell coasters and t-shirts with punny wine sayings. 

Warm and filling, Veselka’s Pierogi Bar are the perfect end to a cold day. Be sure to save this stop for last, these little guys will make you want a nap.


Bryant Park’s Winter Village

Will close on January 5, 2020
11 a.m.–8 p.m. Monday to Friday; 10 a.m.–8 p.m. weekends

In bright colors and bold prints, All Across Africa source coasters, bowls, and more weaved by African artisans.

Treat yourself to a miniature cake from Aux Merveilleux de Fred.

Après skate, head over to Baked Cheese Haus for Raclette and hot cider.

Destination Dumplings cross cultural and geopolitical boundaries with their pan-fried offerings. 

Make brunch special with Dorset Maple Reserve’s bourbon barrel-aged Vermont maple syrup.

Everyone loves churros. Dulcinea Churros stuff theirs with sweet fillings like Nutella, marshmallow, and jam.

Can’t find that one thing you’re missing? Farm to People carry an assortment of foodstuffs not represented by standalone stalls.

Grab some fancy bitters or a DIY kit at Hella Cocktail Co. for your sibling who just turned 21 and is “really into cocktails.”

If you are what you eat, I’m a French fry. Home Frite serve crispy Beglian fries with dipping sauces.

Pick up a bottle of chili honey from Mike’s Hot Honey to zhuzh up that pizza you inevitably order when you’re day-drunk in suburbia.

Upgrade your holiday popcorn tin with Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn, featuring classics like cheddar and caramel, alongside unique flavors such as everything bagel and dark chocolate cherry. 

If you’re lucky, snag a table with a view of the skaters at The Lodge Rinkside Bar. If it’s too crowded (it probably is), check out Top Hops Beer Shop for a draft beer, plus cans to-go. 


Columbus Circle Holiday Market

Will close December 24
10 a.m.–8 p.m., Monday to Saturday; 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Sunday 

Grab a savory burek for now and a sweet baklava for later at Balkan Bites.

While you’re picking up some stollen or gingerbread at German Delights, you might as well stay for beer and bratwurst, even if it’s only 11AM. The German’s would approve. Also available at Union Square, drinks only at this location.

I always pick up a tin of classic truffles from No Chewing Allowed! for a last-minute gift, and to treat myself to a super-decadent hot chocolate and as many free samples as I can get away with. Also available at Bryant Park and Union Square.

Made of hand blown glass, NYcruets sell artfully crafted olive oil and vinegar dispensers. Also available at Union Square.

Spices and Tease offer an overwhelming variety of spices, herbs, teas, salts, and sugars. Pick up a gift set for mom and a tin of something special for you. Also available at Union Square.

Feel like a kid again with one of The Baking Bean’s giant s’mores. Also available at Bryant Park.

Bring your eco-conscious friends super cute reusable paper towels from Three Bluebirds Swedish Dishcloths. Also available at Bryant Park and Union Square.


Grand Central Holiday Fair

Will close December 24
10 a.m.–6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Sunday, with reduced hours Christmas Eve

I’m honestly not that impressed with this holiday fair this year. Find me at Zabar’s and Murray’s Cheese creating a DIY gift basket for my in-laws; Jacques Torres Chocolate picking up my partner’s favorite chocolate-covered pretzels; and Beer Table To Go, grabbing a beer or two to make the train ride home feel faster. 

Marché de Nöel de Strausbourg-Alsace in Bowling Green Park

Will close December 22
Daily, 11 a.m.–9 p.m.

Feel like you’re in a movie with Chez Franchi’s roasted chestnuts.

For colorful candies, check out Confiserie des Hautes Vosges.

Confitures de Nicole make jams and chutneys without preservatives, using ingredients from local farms.

Take home a winter wonderland, with Daniel Stoffel Chocolaterie’s whimsical designs.

Independent publishing house Id. l’Edition have a selection of cookbooks from the Alsace region.

Toast the New Year at Maison Michel Gonet.

Head over to Mireille Oster’s Gingerbread, for unique flavors and designs you won’t find anywhere else.

Seigfried-Burger Pottery craft kitchenware using traditional methods.