Shop local with distinction at these alternative NYC holiday markets

With a 55-foot-tall Christmas tree, private “igloos,” hot chocolate, and ice skating galore, Bryant Park Winter Village is perhaps one of New York’s fanciest Christmas getaways. . Not to mention the holiday markets in Union Square and Grand Central. But if you still want to shop local and soak up some holiday cheer while avoiding the tourists, elbow-to-elbow crowds, or mainstream scene, here are a few other 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. makes an appearance at specialty roaster Counter Culture Coffee. Sip hot beverages and stock up on ethically sourced spices and kits for chai and haldi doodh, aka turmeric “golden milk.” Some days even include special guests like food zine creators; Tangy vinegar known for its small batches and unique ingredients; and South Asian-inspired ice cream shop Malai. Although on December 18, times vary;

At edibleBrooklyn magazine’s Food and Design Fair, you can shop over 40 vendors featuring food, drinks, decorations, and get exclusive samples and cocktails. Think Bloody Mary mixes, instant miso soup bombs, whimsical puzzles and seashell-printed chinaware. Dec. 10 & 11, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.;

Markets Bringing “Little Caribbean” to Downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn

At the sixth annual Caribbean Holiday Market by culture group CaribBEING, based in Flatbush aka New York’s “Little Carribean” neighborhood, more than 20 Caribbean and Latinx artisans and designers sell their wares – including African-inspired jewelry , Haitian coffee, rum cakes and whipped shea butter. Until December 30, Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.;

At the second annual Island Jingle Holiday Marketplace, shop from more than 20 Caribbean vendors, listen to live music and win a chance to win a prize. Located in the over 100 year old Essex Market on the Lower East Side, currently home to ‘the world’s largest gingerbread village’, Gingerbread Lane. Also sponsored by the New York Economic Development Corporation and Flatbush Central, a revamped version of the 20+ year old Flatbush Canton Market. Dec. 17, 12 p.m. – 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, set up an indoor shopping experience named after their daughter at Atlantic Center. Jummy’s Picks offers more than 40 black-owned businesses, plus attractions like live DJ sets, tours with “Daddy and Mama Soul Santa,” and a lounge area if you need to unwind. Dec. 10-11 and 17-18, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.;

Buy art, sake and more from Japanese designers

The Bushwick Mika Bar transforms its space into a Japanese and winter food festival and holiday market, with Japanese food and a special sake flight menu, a photo booth and bar games, and line drawings. Direct from fashion illustrator Izak Zenou. If you buy a ticket, you get a free drink sponsored by Asian-inspired drink brands Drink Lunar and Moshi, a sample of prime sirloin beef from Mount Fuji’s hibachi steakhouse, and $5 off an item from the menu. Dec. 11, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.;

DECO BOKO, a wholesale show focusing 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 homewares, ceramics, clothing, art and more. December 10 & 17, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.;

Support local queer spaces and creators

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

At the Metropolitan Church of the LGBT Community, you’ll find zines, clothing, art prints, stationery, and more from local gay vendors. Festive non-alcoholic drinks will be available everywhere. December 10 and 11, variable hours;

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