Winter Village at Bryant Park
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By Crystal Ngan and Kathryn Kwon, staff writers
Home to a startling 176 vendors, it’s also New York City’s only free admission ice skating rink. With cute shops and enticing food carts, it’s definitely worth visiting the annual Winter Village at Bryant Park.
During our time, we chose to sample some food from Domo Taco, Bolivian Llama Party and Doughnuttery. From Domo Taco, your usual taco truck with an Asian twist, we ordered the 5 Spice Pork rice bowl ($10) with an extra dollop of fresh guacamole ($2). The oriental spin on typical Chipotle food was fresh in taste and filling with a variety of tastes that blended together smoothly, but still managed to make each flavor distinct. They paired together an Asian-styled meat with Hispanic-style side dishes to create a mouth-watering dish.
From Bolivian Llama Party, we ordered the Beef Brisket Chola ($13) and Queso Papitas ($7). The chola was a wonderful combination of the savory taste of the beef brisket and the tangy flavor of pickled onions. Though, the pickled onions were overpowering at some times, the bread soaked it up and evened the flavor out. The Queso Papitas, similar to Belgian fries, were toasty and the gooey melted cheese drizzled on top was perfect for the crunchy fries. We thought that the fries would be overwhelmed by the cheese, but we were gladly proven wrong. The cheese added an extra pop of flavor to the fries without drowning out their original taste.
For dessert, we got 6 mini doughnuts from Doughnuttery for $7. We got 3 in a classic Vanilla Glaze and experimented with 3 in Green Tea Buzz. The doughnuts from this cart were fresh out of the fryer and were super adorable (definitely Instagram worthy!). They were bite-sized, but filled with tremendous flavor. Since they were so fresh, the texture of the doughnuts were fantastic and did not compare to any other doughnut we had ever had. With a crunchy exterior and soft inside, the whole thing seemed to melt in our mouths. The Vanilla Glazed doughnuts were sweet and surprisingly with a richness that was absolutely mouth-watering. The Green Tea Buzz were rolled in sugar and matcha, and it was less of sweet and more of a bold flavor that drew you in immediately, but nonetheless seemed to melt with matcha goodness. We personally prefer the Vanilla Glaze ones because we like the sweetness, but the Green Tea Buzz ones are definitely great for those with less of a sweet tooth. Overall, these doughnuts are definitely not your average doughnuts and will definitely have you asking for seconds!
Besides the amazing food, there are also many other activities to do at the Winter Village. It has New York’s one and only free admission ice rink, but you do have to pay $20 if you want to rent skates. However, for all the fun you’ll be able to have on the ice, it’ll be all worth it. Plus, it is still cheaper than many other places where you do have to pay for admission.
Furthermore, you will have lots of fun exploring all the different holiday shops there are. From bright lights to pretty jewelry to intricate ornaments, you truly can find anything. Besides, even if you do get bored, Bryant park is in such a great location that after you experience everything the Winter Village has to offer, you can then go discover the city if you have time.
The Winter Village at Bryant Park is going to be there until March 4th next year, so make sure you schedule a visit to this amazing winter experience.