Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays.
No Chewing Allowed!
Chocolate truffle proprietors No Chewing Allowed! make it very clear how you should enjoy their chocolate. They're selling boxes and tins of their creamy chocolate as well as hot chocolate ($5). It's pricey (almost everything is at the market), but they put a whole truffle in the cup with the drink, and it tastes every bit as good as it sounds.
Taste of Persia
Taste of Persia, which now has a year-round presence in an 18th Street pizza joint, is back. Three soups and stews were available when we visited: Abe Goosht (lamb stew,) Ash Reshteh (vegetable noodle soup,) and Loobia (vegetarian soup).
They're warm and hearty; perfect for the winter cold. The Ash Reshteh boasts lots of beans, lentils and garlic, plus some subtle mint. Add some noodles, and you've got a surprisingly meaty meatless lunch. And as you'd expect, the lamb-filled Abe Goosht is just as satisfying.
Ash Reshteh toppings
You can add toppings of caramelized garlic, caramelized onions, mint, and a squirt of yogurt.
Brooklyn Brew Shop
Erica Shea and Stephen Valand's Brooklyn Brew Shop is selling their popular one-gallon complete home brewing kits, plus additional mixes, t-shirts, accessories, and their "Beer Making Book." The kits make good gifts for any amateur home brewer or beer nerd.
The Filling Station
Chelsea Market's The Filling Station is offering a wide variety of flavored salts, oils, and vinegars. Check out their espresso, smoked alderwood, and black truffle salts, Tuscan herb extra virgin olive oil, and espresso vinegar.
City Shuffle's Diner's and Bar & Lounge Decks ($20 each) include $10 discounts to 52 different bars and restaurants around New York, or $520 in savings for people who love constantly trying new places to eat and drink. Decks of 50 City Dining Cards are also available for other cities, including Boston, Portland, Chicago, London, and more.
Sigmund's soft pretzels are available in a variety of flavors, including garlic parsley, truffle cheddar, cinnamon raisin (all $4), plain salted ($3), or the extra large "Über" pretzel ($6).
Nuts+Nuts' flavored cashews are available in two-ounce packs ($4) in several flavors, including spicy lime leaves, organic honey sesame, sweet and salty with a hint of garlic, and lightly salted. Try the honey sesame and the garlic.
Rubyzaar's handmade clothing, accessories and homewares shares a booth with Rubyzaar Baked the store's surprisingly good cookie side project. Try the Hoi An ($2), which features the wonderfully mellow combination of Vietnamese coffee, sweet cream and dark chocolate, and the Keith Moonpie ($2), a big s'mores cookie complete with a marshmallow in the middle.
Liddabit Sweets/The Good Batch
La Sonrisa Empanadas
For fried pouches of dough, cheese, and meat, La Sonrisa's empanadas ($3.75) are remarkably light. Try the classic beef, pulled pork, or cheese empanadas.
Kings County Jerky Co.
Kings County Jerky Co. is offering classic, Korean barbecue, and Sichuan ginger grass-fed beef jerky in two-ounce bags ($10, or 3 for $25). The Korean barbecue is alright, although unlike much Korean barbecue, it's more spicy and less sweet.
The East Village's Macaron Parlour is serving up its usual assortment of eccentric French macarons ($2.50 each) in a variety of sweet and savory flavors.
Candied Bacon with Maple Cream Cheese
This macaron was smoky, sweet, creamy, and had a thick piece of bacon in it to boot. Do it.
Miss Tea is selling an assortment of flavored and unflavored teas available in small jars ($12), bags ($20), and large jars ($28).
The Jam Stand
The Jam Stand's traditional and more offbeat jams are definite standouts. The Sweet Wino-nion jam would go great on many a sandwich, while the peachy Sriracha and Razzy Gabby (with jalapeño and raspberry) jams pack a mild but immediate heat. If you're looking for something a bit more traditional, go for Pumpkin Chai or Blueberry. Available for $10 per jar, three for $25, or as a mini four-pack for $15.
German Delights is selling a variety of German holiday sweets, drinks and handicrafts. Their non-alcoholic glühwein ($2.50) is satisfyingly sweet, served hot, and almost tastes like a Flintstones vitamin or cherry cough syrup...but in a good way! If you're looking for a more comprehensive selection, go to booth C39 (they have two booths).
Momofuku Milk Bar
Momofuku Milk Bar is offering a holiday menu of baked goods featuring some seasonal items and usual favorites, plus some clothing, accessories, cookbooks, and baking mixes.
Momofuku's classic Crack Pie ($5.75/slice, $44/whole pie) is incredibly rich, but a much better use of your money and stomach than whatever Rob Ford was smoking.
Brooklyn's Nunu Chocolates is offering its usual assortment of creative chocolates and caramels, including its Beer Boxes and Booze Boxes ($12), which contain six beer or liquor-infused chocolates.
Bar Suzette has sweet and savory crêpes made to order, plus frites, chai, hot apple cider, and hot chocolate.
Nutella Crêpe ($6)
It's a little bit chewy towards the end, but it's still essentially a pancake filled with Nutella, so it's quite good.
Wafels & Dinges
Perennial holiday market vendor and food truck Wafels & Dinges is back at Union Square this year, fresh off the opening of their first brick and mortar location in Alphabet City.
Mighty Balls is selling beef, pork, turkey, and veggie meatballs with a variety of sauces and toppings. This beef slider with Swedish-gravy style brown sauce ($3.50) is sweet and savory, while the unusual choice of a grilled brioche bun worked well, adding a slightly buttery dimension. It's also available as a three-meatball hero ($8.50) or three meatballs without bread ($7.50).
Kombucha Brooklyn is offering several flavors of the popular fermented drink, bottled and on-tap, plus home brewing kits and bacteria and yeast colonies.
Arancini Bros is offering Sicilian rice balls as usual, including their traditional ragu, three cheese, carbonara, vegan white bean escarole, and Nutella/Cinnamon Sugar balls ($5 each, or 2 for $9).
Carbonara Ball at Arancini Bros
I really wanted to like this, but it just tasted like mac and cheese with too much black pepper and not enough cheese. The bacon was barely even noticeable.
Apple Cider Doughnuts at Breezy Hill Orchard
Dutchess County's Breezy Hill Orchard is selling a variety of baked goods, including their apple cider doughnuts (3 for $4, or 6 for $6). Unfortunately, despite the wonderful cinnamon sugar and our past positive experiences with them, the doughnuts were dried out and completely stale.
Gingerbread Boys & Girls at Breezy Hill Orchard
However, these giant gingerbread cookies ($5.75) were still noteworthy, if only for their size.
Fatty Sundays' chocolate covered pretzels are sweet and tasty, and their toasted coconut pretzels specifically have a nice balance of coconut and salt. As good as they are though, they're not good enough to justify shelling out $8 for five pretzels or $4 for two.