There are almost too many tourist activities to do in New York City, especially during Christmas time. There's the Rockefeller tree, site seeing, the Sax windows, and shopping. The options almost seem endless and it's hard to pick one activity to satisfy everyone in your group. To me, Bryant Park is the best option. Bryant Park's Pier Village has a little bit of everything: food, shopping, a tree, and even ice skating.
Bryant Park's Pier Village is set up every year around Christmas time. In the center of the park is an ice rink, and surrounding the rink are different holiday shops as well as food stands. You would be surprised at the gourmet food you can find in these small kiosks. There are even close to too many options in Bryant Park of where to eat and shop, but you can't go wrong with these places.
The Crepe Café kiosk is great if you're with a group and some want dessert while others want a more savory meal. My favorite, though, is the banana Nutella crepe, because I can't resist anything with Nutella.
Again, how could you not want a warm churro filled with Nutella? These churros are a must for me. They're easy to eat and carry while you walk around the park too (don't feel obligated to share them).
These pretzels are major step up from the dry soft pretzels you can get at a baseball game. If you haven't noticed a theme, I would of course recommend the cinnamon raisin pretzel dipped in Nutella. But, if you're in the mood for something else, the cheddar truffle pretzel with their whole grain mustard dip is fantastic.
If you're still searching for that fall taste during Christmas time, then this is the perfect stand for you. Big Apple Cider has the best sweet and tart balance you savor in any cup of cider. You can order your apple cider iced or hot, but on a cold Christmas night walking around the park, I recommend sipping on a hot apple cider.
That's right, Black Iron Burger has a pop up stand in Bryant Park. Just take a look at these loaded fries, how can you not indulge in all of that cheese and bacon?
You can get your chicken and waffle fix here too. The classic southern dish can be found in a little stand in Bryant park, with a little twist. Chick'n Cone switches up the classic chicken and waffles by putting the chicken in a waffle cone, it's the portable dessert-like version of your favorite comfort meal.
I haven't personally been to this food stand, but I have been told that the short rib pierogi and the hot dog are the best choices. Bryant Park has really upped its game in offering more food options in the village, and I am dying to try this new stand.
Waffles and Nutella, need I say more?
Last, but certainly not least, is my personal favorite. If you love chocolate, then this is the absolute spot to stop at. This hot chocolate is more rich and decadent than any other hot chocolate you will ever try. It is pricy, around $5 for the small cup, but I highly recommend sharing it with a friend because it's so rich it may be hard to finish on your own
I know this isn't food, but while you take a break to digest, you have to shop at Sabon. They have the best beauty and skin care products, and many samples to try. Even if you don't buy anything, sample their exfoliating salts on your hands. In the cold, dry, winter weather, you'll be amazed how nice your hands will feel. Then get some hot chocolate because the Max Brenner kiosk is right across from here.
I'm serious though, if you don't go anywhere else in Bryant Park, you must stop at Max Brenner for the hot chocolate.
Everyone always talks about how beautiful and magical Christmas time in the city is, and they're right. It's worth the trip. Definitely see the Rockefeller Center tree, but then get away from that overwhelming crowd and head to Bryant Park. It has everything you may need: ice skating, shopping, and many different food choices for any type of eater. Did I mention there's a Carousel? Don't worry, you'll spend your entire day walking around the park, so enjoy that Nutella and have a Merry Christmas.