The beginning of twinkling lights and tinsel also means the start of all the fun holiday eating. Pop-up markets across the city are flush with new food options, and some bars and restaurants are completely transforming in celebration of the cooler months, too. Check out the Eater guide below for some of the best options to try this holiday season and beyond — from ski lounges to surfing Santas. Mulled wines, hot chocolate, and hearty soups await you.
— Urbanspace Union Square Holiday Market: Beloved South Williamsburg barbecue spot Delaney Barbecue is offering its Texas-style brisket in Manhattan for the holidays at the market. The more veggie-inclined can hit up Two Tablespoons, a vendor serving vegetarian and gluten-free dishes, or Taste of Persia, a popular takeout counter that offers vegetarian soups along with Persian meat dishes. Chelsea Market's creperie Bar Suzette and bakery Doughnuttery will be open daily, and pop-up market regular Arancini Bros. will be selling its rice balls there, too. Nov. 19 to Dec. 24, Union Square
— Urbanspace Columbus Circle Holiday Market: Northern California street food pop-up Jicama is unique to this holiday market, serving unusual Asian and Latin-inspired food like pork doughnut sliders and kale sausage wraps. Popular local spots with outposts here include Hill Country Barbecue, Per Se alum Susanna Yoon's Nolita dessert shop Stick With Me, and Midtown Turkish street food spot MMM Enfes. Those looking for a quick snack can stop by stands from Three Tarts, The Baking Bean bakery, gingerbread shop Leckerlee, and empanada pop-up La Sonrisa. Dec. 1 to Dec. 24, Columbus Circle
— Urbanspace Garment District Holiday Market: This holiday market is the only one with Hong Kong jianbing restaurant Mr. Bing, which describes its food as Beijing-style street crepes. It offers both Chinese flavors like Peking duck and non-traditional ones like ham, egg, and cheese and Nutella. East Village favorite Black Iron Burger already has a brick-and-mortar location in Midtown, but for those looking for a holiday feel, it's serving in the market, too. Crown Heights Asian taco spot Domo Taco and La Sonrisa empanadas, which both make appearances at other Urbanspace markets, are one of the few food vendors here as well. Nov. 16 to Dec. 24, Garment District, Broadway between 39th Street and 41st Street
— Winter Village at Bryant Park: Several new food options have been added to the market, including veggie burgers from Marty's V Burger and macaroni from Super Mac and Cheese. A new Mediterranean pita vendor called Saj Mahal and a health-conscious vendor called Vedge also join the mix. Many old standbys at the annual market have also returned, like mozzarella and cornmeal cake sandwiches from Top Arepa, Turkish street food from MMM Enfes, and the shareable Hungarian Chimney Cakes. And apparently #veganBryantPark is a thing: with all the new vendors — and returning vendor veggie sushi spot Vegushi — the village has more than 80 fashion and food booths that are animal-free. Oct. 30 to Mar. 6, Bryant Park
— Queens Holiday Market: The spot to hit at this Glendale market is Danny Brown Wine Bar and Kitchen, the first restaurant in Queens to be awarded a Michelin star. It closed early in November due to a fire and doesn't know where or when it will reopen, so this may be the last time to check it out for a while. LIC Flea regulars like Sam's Fried Ice Cream, Jessy's Pastries,and Oconomi will be at the market, but it will also be a one-stop-shop opportunity to check out other Queens favorites like the Arepa Lady and Filipino restaurant Papa's Kitchen. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 28 to Dec. 20, the Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale, Queens, 8000 Cooper Ave.
— Baita: Eataly's rooftop restaurant Birreria will be transformed for the winter into a pop-up restaurant with a ski lodge-theme called Baita. The menu will mostly be cozy winter foods from Northern Italy, like polenta, stuffed veal cutlet with proscuitto cotto and fried piave cheese. Cured meats and mulled wines will also be offered for snacking. Dec. 2 to mid-March, Flatiron, 200 Fifth Ave.
— Miracle on Ninth St: The holiday-themed bar is popping up for the second time at Mace Cocktail Bar. Expect 12 specialty holiday cocktails from Experimental Cocktail Club veteran Nico de Soto, including one with a chocolate gelt-infused tequila and another with pumpkin-infused Barbados rum. Bonus: Some drinks are served in specialty mugs shaped like Santa Claus. Nov. 27 to Dec. 24, East Village, 649 East Ninth St.
— Sippin' Santa's Surf Shack: For those who prefer warmer climates, Boilermaker is turning into a tropical Santa-themed bar for the holidays this year. The eight specialty cocktails merge tiki culture with Christmas cheer, like a pumpkin spice eggnog with Jamaican rum, and a vodka grapefruit cocktail with chocolate syrup and mint. Nov. 30 to Dec. 24, East Village, 13 First Ave.
— The Standard, High Line: The hotel's ice rink and dining area returns this year with a new design — this time as a '70s apres-ski lounge. Besides the rink, a Skate Shack and The Standard's Living Room will be serving a seasonal, wintery menu, with dishes like roasted acorn squash and gingerbread cookies. Cold weather drinks — like mulled wine and family servings of hot chocolate — will also be available. Nov. 24 to February, depending on weather, Meatpacking District, 848 Washington St.