Shop local with distinction at these NYC alternative holiday markets


With a 55-foot high Christmas tree, private “igloos,” hot cocoa and ice skating galore, the Bryant Park Winter Village may be one of New York City’s ritziest go-to Christmastime jaunts. That’s not to mention the holiday markets at Union Square and Grand Central. But if you still want to shop local and soak in the holiday cheer while avoiding the tourists, shoulder-to-shoulder crowds or mainstream scene, here are a few more off-the-beaten-path holiday markets to consider.

Eat, drink and buy South Asian spices – and other gourmet delights

South Asian spice company Diaspora Co. is popping up at specialty roaster Counter Culture Coffee. Sip hot drinks and stock up on their ethically-sourced single-origin spices and kits for chai and haldi doodh, a.k.a. turmeric “golden milk.” Some days even include special guests like food zine creators; Tart Vinegar known for its small batches and unique ingredients; and South Asian-inspired ice cream shop Malai. Though Dec. 18, times vary;

At the Food and Design Fair by edibleBrooklyn magazine, you can shop over 40 vendors with foods, drinks, decor – and get samples and signature cocktails. Think: Bloody Mary mixes, instant miso soup bombs, whimsical puzzles and seashell-imprinted porcelain tableware. Dec. 10 & 11, 12 – 6 p.m.;

The markets bringing “Little Caribbean” to downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn

At the sith annual Caribbean Holiday Market by cultural group CaribBEING, based in Flatbush a.k.a. NYC’s “Little Carribean” neighborhood, over 20 Caribbean and Latinx artisans and creators are selling their wares – including African-inspired statement jewelry, Haitian coffee, rum cakes and whipped shea butter. Through Dec. 30, Wednesday–Sunday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. ;

At the second annual Island Jingle Holiday Marketplace, shop from over 20 Caribbean vendors, listen to live music, and maybe win a giveaway. Located at the over 100-year-old Essex Market in the Lower East side, which currently hosting “the world’s largest gingerbread village” Gingerbread Lane. Also sponsored by NYC’s Economic Development Corporation and Flatbush Central, a revamped version of the over 20-year-old Flatbush Canton Market. Dec. 17, 12 – 6 p.m.;

Support Black-Owned businesses in Brooklyn

Black-Owned Brooklyn, a hyperlocal publication run by a Bed Stuy-based husband-and-wife media duo, has set up an indoor shopping experience named for their daughter at Atlantic Center. Jummy’s Picks features over 40 Black-owned businesses, along with such attractions as live DJ Sets, visits with “Papa and Mama Soul Santa” and a lounge area if you need to take a load off. Dec. 10–11 and 17–18, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m;

Buy art, sake, and more from Japanese creators

Bushwick bar Mika is transforming its space into a Japanese Food and Winter Festival and holiday market, with Japanese food and a special sake flight menu, a photo booth and bar games, and live drawings by fashion illustrator Izak Zenou. If you buy a ticket, you get a free drink sponsored by Asian-inspired beverage brands Drink Lunar and Moshi, a prime beef sirloin sample from Mt. Fuji hibachi steakhouse and $5 off a menu item. Dec. 11, 12 – 8 p.m ;

DECO BOKO, a wholesale trade show focused on Japanese design products and gifts, is hosting a holiday market at NowHere Gallery, a hub for contemporary Japanese artists. Listen to jazz and shop over 20 Japanese brands selling home goods, ceramics, clothing, art and more. Dec 10 & 17, 5 – 7 p.m. ;

Support local queer spaces and makers

At Black of Center – in the 3rd floor gallery of the lesbian, gay, and transgender community space The Center – shop for art, greeting cards, crystals and more from Black LGBTQ+ creators. Dec 17, 3 – 7 p.m.;

At the LGBT-affirming Metropolitan Community Church you’ll find zines, apparel, art prints, stationary and more from local queer vendors. Festive alcohol-free drinks will be available throughout. Dec. 10 & 11, times vary;


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