So your from-out-of-town cousins wanted to go ice skating in Bryant Park and your mom wants the painful family Christmas card picture taken under the Rockefeller Center tree this year. How do you numb the pain of the draining semester you just survived and the impending weeks of family time? With food, duh.

The Bryant Park Winter Village Holiday Market is conveniently located in midtown and overflowing with not only tourists but also amazing food stands.

1. Dulcinea Churros

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Emma Fingleton

I first fell in love with churros on a school trip to Spain my junior year of high school. I'm not sure how I ate a dozen churros right after eating macarons and crepes nonstop in Paris, but I did, and ever since I always seek out churros.

This summer I discovered dulce de leche and nutella-stuffed churros at the Broadway Bites popup, and it was love all over again. Happily, Dulcinea is serving up fresh churros at Bryant Park, which you can order either with dipping sauces on the side or injected with your poison of choice. I personally think chocolate and churros are a perfect match, but I also would never dissuade anyone from double-fisting both sauces.

2. Wafels and Dinges

chocolate, sweet, cream, candy, cake
Emma Fingleton

I think I have been to almost every W&D stand and cart, which are sprinkled all over the city with their cheerful yellow exteriors. The liege wafels, made with Belgian pearl sugar, are fluffy and golden brown.  

They're delicious on their own but even better when smothered with decadent dinges (toppings), from Speculoos to Belgian fudge to fresh fruit and caramel sauce. They also have a range of preset combinations, like s'mores, turtle (my favorite: chocolate, caramel, and walnuts) and Elvis-style with banana, peanut butter and bacon.

3. Home Frite

Continuing the Belgian street food appreciation theme is Home Frite, an artisanal fry vendor (extra points if you guessed they're Brooklyn-based) that cranks out crispy, hand-cut fries. Served in paper cones and accompanied by delicious sauces, such as lemon garlic aioli and herb-avocado, the potatoes are golden brown and just greasy enough.

My recommendation is truffle-style, tossed with Parmesan cheese, black truffle oil, and herbs. The fries are gluten-free and they offer many vegan sauces for those of you with special dietary concerns, too.

4. Pickle Me Pete

Pickles seem to be having a moment as a trendy food item, but they're also a classic, and this stand offers a wide variety of brines and sizes. A container from here would be a perfect random food gift for someone who may not have a sweet tooth or appreciates pickles that are a few steps above the limp, sad quarters served alongside a burger.  

My ex-roommate (hi Emily!) is a huge pickle fan and gives this stand her stamp of approval, recommending their kosher dill pickles.  The stand also touts themselves as the "best fried pickles" in the city.

5. Arancini Bros.

doughnut, sweet, cinnamon, chocolate
Emma Fingleton

I started this article with a fried Nutella-filled carb, so let's end on the same note. Arancini Bros offers a rotating menu of delicious rice balls, filled with both classics like ragu and mozzarella and inventive flavors like buffalo chicken and Philly cheesesteak-inspired fillings. The dessert arancini offer an amazing twist on the classic Italian dish, oozing fillings like strawberry marscapone and Nutella.

It's worth elbowing your way through the crowds at Bryant Park's Winter Village (which at the rate it pushes forward opening every year, will soon be called the SummerFallWinter Village.)  Go with a group so you can maximize all the stands and try as much as possible. Be ready to fork over $8 for an overpriced-yet-totally-worth-it delicacy!