Christmas has definitely become my favorite time of the year in NYC, and the Holiday Markets are one of the reasons. There is amazing food, beautiful clothing, Christmas crafts and artwork and unique hand designed jewelry. I've checked out five of the most popular ones in the city and just can't pick a favorite! If you are in Manhattan from late fall until Christmas, not only this year, but any, these are a must for unique New york souvenirs and some tasty treats that will be better than the same old cheap fast food.
This market is only open weekends in november but is totally worth it. Not only is it in one of my favorite places in the city, the South Street Seaport, but they have some items that I have never seen in all my travels and holiday market market shopping trips. It was small but such high quality, it was like Etsy in real life. Some of the cutest jewelry (some that I am really hoping to get for Christmas!), and most delicious cookies and donuts!
The South Street Seaport is gorgeous and when I was there they were just setting up the Christmas tree, and had only had their skating rink up for a few days. The cobblestone streets and old brick buildings make you feel like you are back in time in and old New York Port.
Hot apple cider and a cider donut
Celery flavored Rooftop Salt (perfect for a Bloody Mary Rimmer from Urban Sproule.
Sauces and Spices from Ukuva I-Africa. The company is based out of Capetown and all of the spices and sauces are inspired by different areas and people of Africa. The company is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization, meaning the people producing the ingredients that go into the product are treated and paid fairly and ethically. They also donate part of the proceeds back to a trust for education for the workers. The beautiful beading and wire work on the bottles is also done by the Cape Mental Health Society.
Delicious Gluten Free cookies from Izzy & Em's. I got the Milk and White. So good!
Grand Central Station is also one of my favorite places in the city. Normally they have some of the coolest shops and restaurants there are, not to mention it is one of the most breathtaking buildings. My parents were here visiting when we went to check it out, so it was a bit of a quick trip, and it was very busy. I think this market had the nicest jewelry and more high end items that any other market. I really need to go back because I loved it!
These glass kitty cat ornaments were so hard for me not to buy them all!
Mom and I both got super cute rings, mine is a maple leaf, a reminder of Canada from Selen Designs. Seriously check this jewelry out, in love with all of it!
Union Square has a year round farmer's market which is fabulous, and this is an add on for November and December. The market is very similar to the other holiday markets with lots of homemade soaps, pottery, unique jewelry as well as winter hats, mittens and one of a kind and customized Christmas ornaments. I really think this is probably the most popular one in the city as well since it is a common place for New Yorkers to come for produce year round.
Nicole and I were hungry when we came to this one so we stopped at La Sonrisa Empanadas. These are the best empanadas ever and they have a few stands set up over the city. If you see one it is totally worth your while to stop!
this little squirrel was the most brazen one I've ever seen. He was totally ready to run up and steal our food, so much that we had to stand up to eat! Near the end of eating I accidentally dropped one of my napkins and before I could pick it up he had grabbed it, stuffed it in his mouth and taken off to put it in his nest. So adorable, but don't mess with my food haha
We also found Sigmund's Pretzels, the best pretzels ever! I brought some home to enjoy with the chili I was making for dinner. There were a ton of flavors like Churro, Gruyere and Paprika and cheddar and truffle. yum!
I am a sucker for Oil and vinegar stores, but they don't seem t one very common around here, so when I saw The Filling Station I was really excited! I got an oil and a vinegar and a jar of truffle salt which I am in LOVE with and have been putting on everything.
Our next stop was just a couple days ago, the Columbus Circle Holiday Market. I had high hopes for this one because it is in sort of a rich area, it was great, and had lots of stuff but it was quite small and actually had a lot of the same things as the Union Square market. Once again Nicole and I got empanadas, this time getting harassed by hungry pigeons.
I didn't get anything from the Truffleist but I am totally truffle obsessed so I think I need to!
They did have one of the best collections of cool NYC stuff like this paintings:
And this Subway artwork, coasters, cards and jewelry:
And these really cool shirts from Paste:
Since Gingerbread cookie mix doesn't seem to be a thing in New Jersey grocery stores, Nicole got Jason some gingerbread men:
Because Bryant Park is in such a great location (just below Times Square and behind the NYC Public Library) this market is always packed and filled with amazing treasures. There is also a skating rink set up in the park so this draws all ages for some family fun. The holiday market section is quite huge and small heated shacks set up with the artisans inside. Because this one is so busy at all times, we didn't actually buy anything but we got a good look at some amazing artwork and home goods as well as a lot of chocolate!
Such a beautiful Christmas tree!
Wooden hand carved journals and notebooks:
Hand painted puppy and kitty clocks, who doesn't need one of these?:
These spectacular skyline paintings by Paintings by Yvoni:
The best hot chocolate ever from No Chewing Allowed:
If you ever have a chance, NYC holiday markets are there best there are with gifts for everyone and some great treats for yourself. If you want to know more please ask. There are many more markets that I never made it to, NYC Holiday Markets, I am sure they are all fantastic and I will be getting out to as many as I can before they are gone.