Arts and Entertainment | Food and Drink

Union Square Holiday Market’s Winter Village offers seasonal treats and festive fun

What better way to celebrate the holiday season than with hot chocolate, inventive food stands, and winter trinkets galore? Every winter, the Union Square Holiday Market hosts more than 100 vendors at its holiday-themed winter village, ranging from local artisans to up-and-coming designers and food vendors.

Adorned with lights, ornaments, wreaths, and other holiday-themed decorations, the rows of stands snake around Union Square Park, creating a magical ambiance. Teeming with holiday shoppers and eager foodies alike, the lively winter complex is filled with a diverse range of merchandise and food.

From art prints and custom-made jewelry to holiday trinkets and truffled honeys, the Holiday Market provides ample shopping to go along with the enticing food offerings. Manned by passionate and interested salespeople, the stands create an exciting and interactive environment for patrons. Meanwhile, interspersed among large heat lamps, standing tables and stone ledges near the park’s George Washington statue allow market visitors to comfortably enjoy sweet and savory treats despite the wintry chill.

Here are a few stands you shouldn’t miss:

Sigmund’s Pretzels—an East Village staple renowned for its goodies—offers sausages, cider, and hot chocolate at its stand. Served warm, the truffle cheddar pretzel is a delicious savory treat with an elevated twist. Noticeable enough for truffle aficionados but not too overwhelming for those immune to “truffle fever,” the truffle flavor along with a hint of spice puts a mouthwatering spin on the perfect winter treat.

Delaney Barbecue dishes out hefty portions of traditional Texas-style barbecue. The pulled pork sandwich, with just the right amount of barbecue sauce, delivers a tender and tangy punch. Served with a crisp pickle, this hot, savory sandwich is a filling and warming treat in the cold winter weather.

Doughnuttery provides chilly market visitors with hot, freshly fried, bite-sized doughnuts, all rolled in different combinations of flavored sugar. The Paris Time doughnut combines lavender, vanilla, and pistachio flavors, and the Mulled Apple Cider doughnut mixes apple, orange zest, and various spices. Both doughnuts are crispy and remarkably savory, with all of the flavors combining perfectly. Doughnuttery also serves hot chocolate and cider to go along with its sweet treats.

No Chewing Allowed, a gourmet chocolate purveyor specializing in hot chocolate, pours cups of its praised winter drinks for chilly patrons. The hot chocolate is exceptionally rich and creamy, and with its deep flavor and thick texture, it proves to be the perfect cold weather beverage. No Chewing Allowed also sells French truffles and other chocolate items, which it discourages patrons from chewing, insisting instead that they let the rich treats melt in their mouths.

The Union Square Holiday Market makes for a perfect winter outing with friends, family, or a significant other. If you have a moment this weekend, grab a hot drink, delicious food, and browse the impressive selection of goods and trinkets.

The Holiday Market is open at Union Square until Dec. 24, weekdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For a more complete list of New York holiday markets, visit http://www.nyctrip.com/pages/Index.aspx?PageID=1393

alec.donelian@columbiaspectator.com | @ColumbiaSpec

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