15 Things to Eat in NYC in December
So many things to eat, so little time. And if you’re like us, you definitely get food FOMO when you discover that the black-and-white-cookie ice cream or everything-spice challah you saw on Instagram has already come and gone. But don’t sweat it (save that for the gym, post–food coma)—we’ve mapped out the best things you should be eating this December.
1. Pumpkin Pie Cookies from Cookies for the Soul
Yes, pumpkin-everything season is still going strong. These soft-in-the-center carb pillows are loaded with real pumpkin and blended with swirls of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and other dreamy seasonal spices. Order these NYC-baked treats (available through March) via Cookies for the Soul’s online cookie shop or DM @Cookiesforthesoul_ for NYC delivery. PS: There’s also a dairy-free option.
2. Peppermint Patty Cake at Ovenly
Peppermint patty, but make it a cake: Rich chocolate cake is filled with minty buttercream and topped with ombré frosting in buttery vanilla and chocolate. The whole thing is finished with chocolate ganache and decorated with edible gold sparkles (because holidays). Order for store pickup or nationwide shipping, only for the month of December.
3. Christmas Fruit Mince Pies at Bourke Street Bakery
These treats, a holiday staple in the U.K., consist of a buttery golden sablé pastry that crumbles and melts in your mouth. Mixed dried fruit (currants, raisins, candied citrus peel) is soaked in brandy and cider for four to six weeks before the pastry is made by hand and baked. The bakery is only making a limited amount, available December 8 through 26.
4. Truffle Dinner at Osteria 57
To mark the height of white truffle season, Osteria 57 is hosting a multi-course dinner on December 3, led by Urbani Truffles and chef Riccardo Orfino. Chef Orfino will highlight the star ingredient in courses like polenta with black truffle fondue, truffle arancini, lobster linguine and shaved black truffle, and even vanilla gelato with shaved white truffle, almond crumble and cocoa nibs. Nab your seat through Resy.
5. “The Bowl” at The Whole Bowl
This popular Portland, Oregon–based chain opened its very first East Coast location in Williamsburg—and there’s only one item on the menu. Each bowl includes brown rice, avocado, black and red beans, Tillamook cheddar, black olives, sour cream, cilantro, salsa and the signature Tali sauce (a secret recipe that took two years to perfect). All bowls are free of nuts, gluten, wheat and hydrogenated oils, and can easily be “veganized.”
6. FAO Schwirl at Van Leeuwen
Van Leeuwen’s latest flavor pays homage to two New York icons: the black-and-white cookie and FAO Schwarz (specifically, the toy store’s giant piano keys). The vanilla oat-based ice cream is filled with pieces of vanilla cookies, chocolate cookies and chocolate fudge swirl. It’s available through January 19, while supplies last.
7. Ginger Butterscotch Latte at Joe Coffee Roastery, Cafe & Lab
The inspiration for this spicy sipper is sweater weather and strolling through the park: Sweet butterscotch and Joe Coffee’s Waverly espresso come together with ginger and a smoked sea salt garnish to highlight the caramelized sugars in the butterscotch while balancing out the overall sweetness of the drink. It’s available only at the brand-new Joe Coffee Roastery Cafe in Long Island City.
8. Mishiguene at Intersect by Lexus
Bubby’s cooking gets a luxurious upgrade at Lexus’s rotating dining concept. This month’s restaurant-in-residence is Mishiguene (which means “crazy” in Yiddish), a Buenos Aires–based restaurant that specializes in modern Jewish cuisine. Executive chef Tomás Kalika is known for putting contemporary twists on dishes of the Jewish Diaspora. Think pastrami steak, beet hummus, a deconstructed baba ghanoush, tongue sandwich and varenikes.
9. Julefrokost at Agern
Nosh on a traditional Scandinavian Christmas lunch with all the trimmings at Agern’s Julefrokost, cooked by head chef Jeppe Kil Andersen. The four-course, family-style meal features classic Nordic holiday dishes like rye and whole-grain wheat bread with smoked pork lard; pickled herring; pork loin; roasted duck with prunes, apples and onions, and much more. Finish your meal with a traditional Scandinavian holiday dessert, risalamande (rice pudding with roasted almonds, vanilla and cherry sauce) and a glass of aquavit. Julefrokost lunches will take place on Saturday, December 7, and Saturday, December 14; nab your tickets here.
10. Holiday Challahs at Zaro’s Family Bakery
The 93-year-old bakery is celebrating the season in the most carb-tastic way: with limited-edition challah collabs. Kicking off the series is author Adeena Sussman’s Israeli everything challah with za’atar, dried lemon zest, cumin seeds and chili flakes (December 3 to 8), followed by a coffee and quinoa challah from Erik Ramirez’s Peruvian eatery Llamita (December 10 to 15) and finally Seed + Mill’s tahini and date challah (December 17 to 22).
11. Cote Lunch for City Harvest
On December 3, Simon Kim’s Cote, the only Michelin-starred Korean steakhouse in the world, teams up with City Harvest, New York City’s largest food rescue organization, for a one-day-only charity lunch in honor of Giving Tuesday. Chef David Shim will offer Cote’s signature Butcher’s Feast, featuring four cuts of beef from the restaurant’s in-house dry-aging room, vegetables, banchan, rice, savory stews and other surprises. A special City Harvest cocktail along with additional beverages and à la carte items will also be available for purchase. The lunch is part of Cote and City Harvest’s partnership to help feed New Yorkers in need, with proceeds from every lunch purchased benefiting City Harvest.
12. Merry Mint Matcha at Maman
Two of our favorite green flavors join forces in Maman’s latest concoction. A creamy almond matcha latte gets steamed with a swirl of peppermint white chocolate sauce and garnished with fudge mint cookie crumbs. (For best results, pair with more cookies.)
13. Zero Waste Supper at Rhodora
Sustainable wine bar Rhodora is tapping some of its favorite chefs around the city this December for a new zero-waste dinner series in support of Zero Food Print, a nonprofit focused on tackling climate change within the restaurant industry. First up on December 4 is Daniel Bagnall, executive chef of vegan hot spot Public Records. The three-course menu is centered entirely around “898” honeynut squash, in dishes like fondue, whole baked squash and squash pie.
14. Virtual Reality Dining with Chintan Pandya of Rahi and Adda
The latest dining trend is…VR? Through December 29, the James Beard House hosts Aerobanquets RMX, an immersive dinner series that combines food and art into a multi-sensory experience. Diners put on Oculus headsets and are led through abstract scenes and virtual objects like food (visuals come courtesy of artist Mattia Casalegno). Each scene ends in a "bite" curated by chef Chintan Pandya (Rahi, Adda), like mushroom toast, lentil dumpling and watermelon chaat.
15. Win Son x Black Seed Bakery Bagel
For this month's collab, Black Seed joins forces with the buzzy Taiwanese bakery on a custom Everything Spice bagel (black and white toasted sesame seeds, chili flake, fried garlic and fried shallots) with a grilled shrimp salad made with sweet mayo, red onions, chopped hard boiled egg, cilantro, ginger and doufuru (a fermented bean curd similar to miso).