10 Ways to Celebrate the Lunar New Year in NYC (Specifically, with Food)
Parades and lion dances are essential parts of a Lunar New Year celebration, but—as anyone who celebrates the holiday will tell you—one of the biggest traditions is gathering with family and friends over a big feast. This year, the holiday falls on February 5 and ushers in the Year of the Pig, which (not surprisingly) serves as inspiration for both delicious and adorable eats from restaurants and bakeries across the city.
Macarons at Bibble & Sip
The midtown café has a seriously adorable lineup of macarons planned for the New Year. Owner Gary Chan takes five different flavors (almond cookie; red bean and chocolate; tangerine; yuzu; and
253 W. 51st St.; bibbleandsip.com
Vietnamese Duck Confit Noodle at Madame Vo BBQ
Many New Year celebrations start with a bowl of noodles—the strands are thought to symbolize a long and healthy life. At their newly opened Vietnamese barbecue spot, husband-and-wife duo Jimmy Ly and Yen Vo will pay homage to the tradition with a noodle bowl featuring vermicelli, duck confit, garlic chips, peppers, scallions, cilantro and a house-made fish sauce. It’s available from the start of Tet (as the holiday is called in Vietnamese) to the end of the month.
104 Second Ave.; madamevobbq.com
Lucky Pig at Dominique Ansel Bakery
From February 1 through New Year’s Day, a Lucky Pig will join the sweets lineup at Dominique Ansel’s megapopular bakery. The golden, fluffy milk bun—which is best served warm—is filled with braised pork shoulder, caramelized onions and thyme. Available as a single-serving snack or a shareable set of three.
LUNAR NEW YEAR NIGHT MARKET AT THE MUSEUM OF CHINESE IN AMERICA
MOCA kicks off its annual Lunar New Year lineup on February 1 with an evening of eating and an exclusive screening of the PBS series Lucky Chow. Some of the city’s top Asian restaurants (Bessou, East Wind Snack Shop, Nom Wah Nolita and more) will be on hand with delicious bites and drinks. The night will also include musical performances and, of course, a lion dance.
215 Centre St.; mocanyc.org
Pineapple Cake Ice Cream at 886 and Van Leeuwen
Taiwanese hot spot 886 and scoop shop Van Leeuwen have teamed up to create a limited-edition Lunar New Year flavor inspired by pineapple cake. The ice cream—a sweet cream base loaded with buttery bits of miso shortbread cookies and caramelized pineapple jam—is exclusive to Van Leeuwen’s East Village shop until February 6. It will also pop up at 886 through February 9 in the form of an off-menu dessert dubbed the Year of the Pig: A scoop of the creamy stuff gets tucked inside a fried bun with brûléed pineapple, candied bacon and spicy honey to form one gluttonous treat.
CHINESE NEW YEAR COCKTAIL AT MÁLÀ PROJECT
Tame the fiery tingle of this restaurant’s Sichuan dry pot with a cocktail special that’s running through all 15 days of the New Year celebration. A combination of vodka, cherry liqueur, simple syrup and yuzu with half-and-half makes the drink both creamy and refreshingly tart.
41 W. 46th St.; malaproject.nyc
We Are All Pigs Party at Loosie’s Kitchen
Chef Henry Lu—who took over the kitchen at this stylish Williamsburg eatery last fall—will host a New Year’s buffet inspired by his family’s Chinese roots. Drawing from his childhood holiday favorites, the menu will include fried spring rolls, build-your-own chicken char siu buns, a whole steamed fish, pork belly–stuffed suckling pig and sweet sticky rice.
91A S. Sixth St., Brooklyn; loosieskitchen.com
Winter Menu at Hunan Slurp Shop
The start of the Lunar New Year will coincide with the launch of the Hunan spot’s winter menu. Along with a holiday special of Berkshire braised pork and peppers, new offerings include chicken and tofu in chili oil, smoked sausage with peas and mushroom, and sesame tang yuan—glutinous rice balls typically eaten by Chinese families on the final night of the two-week celebration.
112 First Ave.; hunanslurp.com
Truffle Dishes at RedFarm
On February 5, both locations of the farm-to-table Chinese restaurant will celebrate in the most luxurious way possible: with truffles. (Get it? They’re found by pigs.) The fragrant fungi—sourced directly from France—will make its way into chicken soup dumplings, chowder, fried rice and lobster.
529 Hudson St. and 2170 Broadway; redfarmnyc.com
Lucky Banquet at Chinese Tuxedo
Good fortune will be the theme of Chinese Tuxedo’s February 5 banquet dinner. The eight-course meal was crafted with auspicious symbols in mind and will feature items with a modern spin—think pommes fondant with Taiwanese three-cup dressing and caviar; duck and kohlrabi noodles; and roast pig with pickled turnips, caramelized apples and shiitake jus.
5 Doyers St.; chinesetuxedo.com