How To Handle A Freezing New York Winter

Maman's Lavender Hot Chocolate | © Maman
Maman's Lavender Hot Chocolate | © Maman
Photo of Dana deLaski
21 October 2016

New York winters can be rough. Long, relentless, and at times, bitterly, unceasingly cold. If you’re not used to it the weather can be a shock to the system, and even natives struggle. That being said, we’re all in it together, and somehow each year we all manage to make it through the darker months. So if you’re in NYC this winter, here’s how to survive.

Eat A Hot Breakfast

If you’re in a rush, eating a hot breakfast seems like an impossible feat. It’s easy to grab a granola bar or a banana on your way out the door, and even if you’re picking something up, a New York bagel isn’t exactly the most warming breakfast around (unless you go for a classic bacon egg and cheese). If you’ve got the time, treat yourself to a warm breakfast bowl from a place like Egg Shop. Healthy, savory, and warming to the soul, you definitely won’t regret it.

Egg Shop’s ‘Spandex’ bowl with Poached egg, miso quinoa, avocado, pickled carrots, kale | © Katie Burton

If you don’t have time to sit, head to Oatmeals and pick up a bowl of oats topped with anything that comes to mind – from fruit to peanut butter, bacon to tomato & pesto. If that’s still not fast enough, a fresh pastry just out of the oven from a bakery like Arcade Bakery will surely do the trick.

Get Your Green Space Without Going Outside

This may seem impossible, but thanks to NYC’s ‘The Lowline,’ green space will soon be accessible without going outside. That’s right, The Lowline is using revolutionary technology to create an underground park, and though it’s not yet fully open to the public, you can still check out their progress. Currently, The Lowline Lab is open every weekend to the public – a place where you can see what they’re up to and share feedback as The Lowline develops. For more info, check out this interview with their deputy director.

The Lowline Lab, currently open on weekends | © The Lowline

Have Noodle Soup For Lunch

There’s nothing to warm you up like a steaming hot bowl of spicy noodles, no matter what form they take. For Vietnamese pho, Pho Bang serves some of the best you can find. For something a bit heartier to stick to your bones, grab a bowl of ramen at one of NYC’s many, many ramen shops. Ramen has become one of NYC’s de facto favorite foods, and while you can find it just about anywhere these days, here’s a list of some of the best spots. If you’d rather let the spice make you sweat, go for the classic spicy cumin lamb noodles (in soup or dry) from Xi’an Famous Foods. Whichever you choose, hot noodles are a foolproof way of warming yourself up from the inside out.

Gallery Hop

While there’s art to see all over New York City, there are certain neighborhoods where galleries are particularly dense. Areas like Chelsea and The Lower East Side in Manhattan each have hundreds of art galleries within just a few blocks, so you can see a lot of variety without spending much time outdoors. It can be more stimulating and the art can be more diverse than spending all day in one museum, and you’ll never have to walk more than a block to find your next spot.

Piece by artist John O’Connor at a Lower East Side Gallery | © John O'Connor & Pierogi Gallery

In Brooklyn you can head to Bushwick, and even though it’s slightly more spread out than its Manhattan counterparts, there’s still a lot packed into one neighborhood.

Drink Something Hot

Whether it’s coffee, tea, or something stronger, NYC cafes and bars have you covered if you need a warm afternoon pick-me-up. Of course you can grab a coffee at your nearest Starbucks, but if you’re looking for something different, check out this list of drinks around the city to keep you nice and toasty. It includes everything from uniquely flavored lattes to cocktails served in teacups, so surely something will hit the spot. Or, hop on board with one of NYC’s latest trends –eating/drinking warm and savory bowls of bone broth from places like brodo or Springbone Kitchen.

Hot Chicory Latte from El Rey | © Joe Talman

Eat A Dinner That Will Warm Your Soul

It’s not hard to find a hot dinner (unless you go for a salad), but some meals are so comforting they’ll make you feel warm from the inside out. We’re talking about hearty roast meats, savory stews, and things that taste just like mom makes them. For the most comforting plate of roasted chicken that feels like it came right out or your mom’s oven, head to Vinegar Hill House. The restaurant is so cozy just being inside will warm you soul, but their oven-roasted chicken takes it to the next level.

Cast iron chicken from Vinegar Hill House | © Vanessa Granda courtesy of Taste The Style

For a spicier stew, go for a tagine at Cafe Mogador. If you’ve never had a tagine before you’re in for a treat – it’s an incredibly satisfying stew of meats, veggies, spices, and couscous – perfect for the coldest of winter days. Or, for the most quintessential ‘New York’ way to warm your body and soul, a bowl of matzoh ball soup from any of NYC’s delicatessens should do the trick.

Have Dessert That’s Not Ice Cream

Some people love a frozen cold cone in the middle of the winter, but if you need something that won’t assist in giving you frostbite, go for a mug of hot chocolate like this lavender hot chocolate from Maman instead. You can grab it and go just like an ice cream cone, but in the dead of winter it’ll be much more satisfying. Or, for something even more decadent, go to Spot Dessert Bar and get the chocolate green tea lava cake – a warm lava cake that, instead of fudge, oozes green tea ganache.

Maman’s Lavender Hot Chocolate | © Maman

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