13 Can’t Miss Food & Drink Events in New York City this December

Photo Credit: Brian Hoffsis/Photo Has Been Edited

December: Some say it’s the most wonderful month of the year, especially if you live or are visiting New York City. Besides Rockefeller Center’s Christmas Tree and ice skating rink and the infinite shopping and eating destinations, there are some amazing events going on in the City that Never Sleeps. If you are looking to do more than relax at home with family and hit up the same old bar scene with friends, we’ve lined up the following 11 events and markets involving wine, food, spirits, and craft beers that you won’t want to miss (10 in New York City and 1 in North Jersey).

Union Square Holiday Market

Through December 24th – Weekdays: 11am to 8pm; Saturdays: 10am to 8pm; Sundays: 11am to 7pm; Closed Thanksgiving – FREE!
Union Square Park, Manhattan

The Union Square Holiday Market is the New York destination for an intimate and enjoyable holiday shopping experience. Allow yourself the time to slow down and wander through the holly-lined aisles, and connect with the artisans from near and far who are selling their wares and sharing their stories. It’s a delightful place to get swept up in the festive spirit. Featuring an array of warm and indulgent food and beverage, from Dognhnuttery, Brooklyn Brew Shop, Bar Suzette Creperie, Momofuku Milk Bar and many more shops.

LIC Flea Indoor Holiday Market

Through December 21st – Every Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 6pm – FREE!
5-25 46th Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101

LIC Flea, the largest market in Queens, is now indoors every Saturday and Sunday for their holiday market through December 21. Come check out their favorite vendors as well as some exciting newcomers offering vintage clothes, antiques, gifts, food, and more – every weekend in Long Island City. Find that something special at the flea, and enjoy these weekly holiday events.

Bar Car Nights at the New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show

Wednesdays and Thursdays – December 5th, 6th, 19th, and 20th (extends through January) – 7pm to 10pm – $35 Non-Members/$25 Members
The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx

The stunning New York Botanical Garden has created a festive and romantic outdoor winter adventure featuring an after-dark viewing of the iconic Holiday Train Show as the centerpiece. Sip a complimentary cocktail as you journey through a series of station stops, including ice sculpture carving demonstrations under the starlight; festive treats available for purchase from Stephen STARR Events, such as signature spiked hot cocoa and roasted chestnuts; an intimate jazz set in the warmth of The Pine Tree Café; and the playful fire and light performances of Cirque de Light.

Thrillist Presents Fest of the Best

Saturday, December 6th – 1pm to 4pm – $65
Villain, 50 N 3rd St., Brooklyn

Ready to sink your teeth into about a dozen restaurants’ worth of dishes? Well Thrillist’s Fest of the Best is right around the corner, celebrating NYC’s finest dining establishments from 2014. There’ll be all that food, classy cocktails from Grey Goose Vodka, live music, free giveaways, and an Instagram-fueled photobooth…because, pics of your food belong in hard copy. Featuring food from sweetgreen, BLT Fish Shack, Crave Fishbar, Bacchanal, and more and drinks from Grey Goose Vodka, Saranac Beer, and others.

The Brooklyn Cookie Takedown

Saturday and Sunday, December 6th and 7th – 2pm to 4pm – $20
The Bell House, 149 7th St., Brooklyn

Presented by cook-off king Matt Timms, this is a two-day face-off as amateur bakers try to impress attendees with their cookie making skills. You’ll get to enjoy bottomless eggnog as you sample an unending number of amazing treats and try to pick a winner. As the official Cookie Takedown website says, “The bet is I bet you can eat more cookies in 2014.  Okay hotshot so prove it I don’t even believe you!”

Fifth Annual Battle of the Belgians

Saturday, December 6th – 1pm to 4pm – $55
Jimmy’s No.43 Craft Beer & Kitchen, 43 E. 7th St., Manhattan

It’s the return of this awesome Belgian beer event, with brewers and distributors from around the globe and a few home brewers thrown in for good measure. This annual event features the best of Belgium beer alongside American-made Belgian-style beers. This year the event is being co-curated by Mike Lovullo, who will develop the American craft beer line-up (including Stillwater Brewing). There will be unlimited samples of 20+ bottled beers from Belgium against Americans on tap.

Wok+Wine – New York City

Tuesday, December 9th – 7pm to 10pm – $50
SoHo (exact details emailed to all registered guests 24 hours prior)

The simple concept: 40 people, 40 pounds of jumbo shrimp and 40 bottles of delicious wine! Wok+Wine started in 2008 as a new way to get a diverse group of interesting people together in NYC  for a night of great conversation, fueled by delicious food  and amazing wine. Wok+Wine has quickly grown into a monthly gathering of some of the most inspiring, creative and connected people around the world. The organizers calculate an average of one pound of jumbo shrimps and one bottle of delicious wine per person to guarantee that you will not leave hungry or thirsty.

Annual BYOB Dinner Holiday Party at Tribeca Grill

Tuesday, December 9th – 7pm – $175/pp
Tribeca Grill, 375 Greenwich St. (Franklin St.) Manhattan

Come join Acker Merrall & Condit Wine Shop, and up to 100 other wine lovers, at Tribeca Grill with gems from your cellar. Attendees will be seated in tables of ten according to the caliber of wine you bring and regulate a certain minimum standard. After a bit, everyone shares around the room and it becomes a real free for all, and one heck of a party! The sky is the limit for the amount of extraordinary wines you will have a chance to sample. This dinner includes a four-course meal in Tribeca Grill’s private room. Don’t miss one of the most fun wine experiences of the year!

Dessert-apoolza at Baked Tribeca

Thursday, December 11th – 7pm – $35
Baked Tribeca, 279 Church St., Manhattan

It’s a Dessert-apoolza and it’s for a good cause! It’s a party. It’s a book-signing. It’s a full on dessert shin-dig. Eat, Drink, and be Sweet (and Merry).  All of the featured authors will be signing their latest book and slinging an array of sweets. Bites, beer/wine, and coffee included. Featuring Dorie Greenspan author of Baking Chez Moi, Agatha Kulaga and Erin Patinkin of Ovenly, Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna of Ample Hills, Allison Kave of Butter and Scotch, Patti Paige of Baked Ideas, and Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito of Baked. All proceeds will be split evenly between Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and Getting Out and Staying Out

Escape Montclair Charity Dinner Featuring Chef Ian Kapitan

Thursday, December 11th – 7pm – $68/pp plus tax and gratuity
Escape Montclair – Innovative Farm Dining, 345 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07042

On the eve of Chef Bryan Gregg’s James Beard House dinner where he’ll cook with Chef Ian Kapitan and others, Chef Gregg will hold a charity dining experience with the help of Chef Kapitan. The five incredibly appetizing-sounding courses include Amuse Bouche; Sea urchin, delicate squash, amaranth; Lobster knuckle, smoked Maitake, foie juice; Arctic char, cucumber, tomato gelée, rye, dill; Pork belly, winter succotash, blue corn, smoked pear; and Gingerbread, apple crumb, crème fraiche. 50% of the proceeds being donated to the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center of NJ.

Saveur Magazine Holiday Social

Saturday, December 13 – 11am to 7pm –  $45 to $110
Astor Center, 399 Lafayette St., Manhattan

Saveur has created a one-day-only fête to get you into the holiday spirit at this year’s SAVEUR Holiday Social. Find the perfect present for food-obsessed friends and family while enjoying endless seasonal dishes and drinks. With a full menu of workshops led by the best-of-the-best in the industry, this event has everything you need for holiday inspiration. For a full description of each workshop, visit the Saveyr Holiday Social event page. Features dessert classes conducted by the Eataly team and Del Posto’s pastry chef, among many other real cool workshops.

Cigar Aficionado’s Big Smoke New York City

Thursday, December 14th – 6pm to 9:30pm – $275
Pier 92, 711 12th Avenue at 52nd Street and the West Side Highway, Manhattan

Fine cigars, delicious food and the finest in premium spirits. Your ticket entitles you to a cigar from every cigar booth at the show. Expect to walk away with more than 20 hand-rolled, premiums cigars. You’ll also get to sample fine foods and premium libations, and the food and drink flow freely all night long. You can try premium liquors, fine wines, beer and sample great food from local restaurants.

6th Annual Latke Festival

Monday, December 15th – 7:30pm to 9pm – $60 General Admission/$100 VIP
Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St., Manhattan

Just in time for Hanukah, the 6th Annual Latke Festival is sure to add some sizzle to your Monday. Watch and enjoy as restaurants create their version of everyone’s favorite holiday treat and vie for “Best Latke, People’s Choice” and “Best Latke, Judges’ Choice.” Proceeds will benefit The Sylvia Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching children how to cook and eat well. Featuring such amazing eateries as Dough, Toloache, Veselka and many more.

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