Holiday shopping season is upon us, whether we like it or not. Over the next 26 days, many Manhattanites will be heading to several different stores in an attempt to find that perfect gift for your loved one. So why not stop and eat when you are going all out for the people you love? Luckily, we have found some of the best spots to chow down in, no matter what part of the city you are in!
Take a look at the spots we think are worth stopping in for a bite, a drink, some dish, and more. Holiday shopping never tasted so good.
Shopping in SoHo?
Pinch Chinese (177 Prince Street, 177 Prince St, NYC, 212-328-7880, PinchChinese.com): Take a break from holiday shopping at Pinch! Enjoy their famous Soup Dumplings along with Seafood Fried Rice and Dan Dan Noddles. Or if you need a longer break, pre-order the traditional Peking Duck served with pancakes and a tian mian sauce.
Heading to Unsilent Night at Washington Square Park?
Rahi (60 Greenwich Avenue, NYC, 212-373-8900, www.rahinyc.com): Head to Rahi to warm up with modern spins on spicy and regional Indian dishes. Enjoy a spread of Nargisi Kofta Dhokli (egg yolk and ricotta ravioli over chicken keema with garam masala), Achari Paneer Tart (paneer tart topped with squash and berry compote) and Kashmiri Lamb Ribs (braised in Kashmiri spices) following a visit to Unsilent Night!
Aunt Jake’s (47 West 8th Street, NYC 10011 (212) 253 9333 http://auntjakesnyc.com/): Whether you’re shopping at Urban Outfitters or listening to tunes at Unsilent Night, be sure to head to new pasta eatery Aunt Jake’s on West 8th Street! Customize your dish with your choice of pasta and sauce for a warm hearty meal. Choose from classic shapes such as Farfalle and Rigatoni to beet-dyed and herb-infused pastas. Each creation is enhanced by choosing a decadent or light seasonal sauce, like Aunt Jake’s own Sunday Sauce with house tomato sauce, short rib, sausage, and veal; a classic Carbonara with a salty bite of pancetta, egg, and peas; or the Marinara sauce. Continue the mix and match fun by creating your own cocktail by choosing your spirit, juice, and herbs – the bartender chooses the rest!
Checking Out the Oldest Holiday Tree in Flatiron District?
Merakia: Greek MountainThief Spit House + Steak (5 West 21st Street, NYC 212 380-1950 www.merakia.com/): After visiting Madison Square Park’s oldest public holiday tree, head to hot new Greek steakhouse, Merakia. Get cozy at one of their tables near the fireplace and enjoy dishes by Chef Giuseppe Scalco like the hearty MountainThief Kleftiko – slowly-cooked lamb, herbs, and cheese in karveli bread; Black Tiger King Prawns grilled with ladolemono sauce; and Herbed Crusted Grilled Lamb Ribs served with tzatziki sauce.
Shopping at Macy’s and Checking Out Their Holiday Windows?
The Pennsy (2 Pennsylvania Plaza, NYC 917-475-1830 http://www.thepennsy.nyc/): The holiday windows at Macy’s Flagship Store are a feast for the eyes for New Yorkers and out-of-towners alike. Luckily food hall The Pennsy is close enough to enjoy a bite to eat and drink. Current vendors include: Cinnamon Snail, The Little Beet, Taco Dumbo, Pat La Frieda, Ribalta, and Sabi Sushi. Need a drink to complement that amazing meal? Belly up to The Pennsy Bar and choose from craft beers, wines and specialty cocktails!
Shopping at Grand Central Holiday Fair?
Wokuni (325 Lexington Avenue, NYC, 212-447-1212, WokuniNYC.com): Wokuni, a new Japanese seafood den, is a great place to eat after shopping at the Grand Central Holiday Fair or when heading in or out of town on Metro North. They are serving casual yet high-quality dishes for dinner and weekday lunch and is conveniently located a few blocks from Grand Central. Wokuni offers fresh and authentic seafood dishes, including the gorgeous Sashimi Platter and Grilled King Yellowtails flown directly from their fish-farm in Japan. For lunch, Wokuni offers Japanese rice bowls such as the Kaisendon (fresh sashimi over seasoned rice) and Unagi-Don (grilled eel over rice) between 11 am to 3 pm from Monday through Friday.
Braving Times Square?
Virgil’s Real Barbecue (152 West 44th Street, NYC, 212-921-9494, www.virgilsbbq.com): For those who worked up an appetite walking around all afternoon, family-friendly Virgil’s offers six different types of BBQ from regions across the United States. Options include the Memphis Pork Ribs, Carolina Pulled Pork, Kansas City Fried Chicken, Brisket Melt, Trainwreck Fries, Trash Ribs, Hush Puppies, Cheddar Grits and much more! All can be washed down with a craft beer from their expansive list or a signature float.
Carmine’s (2450 Broadway, NYC, 212-362-2200; 200 West 44th Street, NYC ,212-221-3800, carminesnyc.com): After taking in a holiday show and strolling past all the window displays, stop in at family-style favorite Carmine’s. Signature pasta dishes include Rigatoni & Broccoli with Red Sauce, Penne alla Vodka and Spaghetti with Meatballs. Other standouts include the Pasta with Giardinier, pasta in a marinara sauce with a touch of cream, prosciutto and fresh vegetables and the Chicken Scarpariello, chicken on the bone pan-fried and tossed in a buttery lemon rosemary sauce.
Schmackary’s (362 West 45th Street, NYC, 646-801-9866, schmackarys.com): Schmackary’s is the perfect place to celebrate the season with sweet treats! Zachary Schmahl, head creative and owner, offers holiday flavors in cookie form with options such as the Ginger Rogers, Dirty Peppermint and Eggnog cookies along with frosted cookie cups. Plus, the frosted cookie cups (a cookie/cupcake hybrid) feature buttercream 3D Santa hats and Christmas trees.
Heading to Bryant Park?
DaDong (3 Bryant Park, NYC, 212-355-9600, DaDongNY.com): Set to open December 11, this mammoth 400-seat restaurant by China’s celebrity chef Dong Zhenxiang is the perfect place to indulge and treat yourself to the DaDong Supreme Roast Duck carved tableside.
Sen Sakana (28 West 44th Street, NYC, 212-221-9561 sensakana.com): After exploring the Christmas market at Bryant Park, savor NYC’s first Nikkei kitchen, which combines the traditions of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine. Experience dishes such as Tiradito, where sashimi meets ceviche with sprouts, pickled radish and a jalapeño-cilantro sauce; the Causa Onigiri, the Peruvian take on a Japanese rice ball with yellow and purple potatoes; and Salchipapas, Peru’s classic street food with miso mustard and kurobuta sausage.
Shopping at Chelsea Market?
Socarrat (Chelsea 259 West 19th Street, NYC, 212-462-1000, Nolita 284 Mulberry Street, NYC, 212-219-0101, Midtown East 953 Second Avenue, NYC, 212-759-0101, socarratnyc.com): Once you are finished with all your holiday shopping (think Anthropologie!) stop at Socarrat for some tapas and awesome paellas — perfect for a group too! If you happen to be there for brunch order the paella with eggs — you will thank us for the recommendation!
Traveling with kids?
BL Burger Bar (20 Prince Street, NYC, 212-966-8886, blburgerbar.com): The new kid-friendly BL Burger Bar on Prince Street offers options for the entire family. Michelin-starred Chef Wayne Nish introduced this new burger bar concept in the heart of NoLiTa with a menu of beef, chicken, fish or lamb burgers. Diners may customize their burgers or select options from Chef Nish’s menu. Options include toppings such as Smoked Salmon, Bacon and Eggs and Foie Gras.