Depending on your food traditions (and religious affiliation), Christmas isn’t Christmas without a slice of panettone or a bite of mince pie. If you’re looking for a taste of the holiday, here are five classic foods — and where to find them in NYC.
A staple at any Italian household, the Neapolitan dish features a pile of deep-fried balls of dough, made sticky-sweet by honey and topped with more sweet things like cherries and nonpareils. Ferrara Bakery in Little Italy sells towers of the towering specialty for the holiday (along with plenty of panettone and torrone to go around).
Price: $13/small, $21/large
How to get it: Walk-in, no pre-order required
Holiday hours: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Christmas Eve, closed Christmas Day
Info: 195 Grand St., 212-226-6150, ferraranyc.com
Another towering, sweet Italian specialty, this time chock full of rum-soaked raisins and candied citron. Sullivan Street Bakery, founded by James Beard Award-winning baker Jim Lahey, is known for its traditional panettone — hung upside down to preserve the impressive height and airy texture.
How to get it: Walk-in
Holiday hours: Both locations open 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Christmas Eve, closed Christmas Day
Info: 236 Ninth Ave., 212-929-5900; 533 W. 47th St., 212-265-5580, sullivanstreetbakery.com
The traditional German bread is characterized by fruit, nuts and marzipan. Bien Cuit’s buttery take features candied orange, cherries, golden raisins and an almond marzipan center, and is coated with plenty of powdered sugar. The popular loaf is available for pre-order for pickup at all three locations, and walk-in at its Smith Street and Grand Central Market locations.
How to get it: Pre-order by Friday noon at firstname.lastname@example.org; walk-in through the end of the month
Holiday hours: Smith Street, 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Christmas Eve; Grand Central Market, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Christmas Eve; North 3rd Street Market, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.; all three closed Christmas Day
Info: 120 Smith St., Cobble Hill; 89 E. 42nd St.; 103 N. Third St., Williamsburg; 718-852-0200, biencuit.com
More dried fruits, nuts and spices make their way into this popular UK cake, which the Brooklyn hot spot Meme’s Diner has re-imagined as a pie for the holiday. Get pistachios, apricots, tart cherries, figs and golden raisins in a brown sugar-rum custard with each slice of the butter crust pie.
How to get it: Pre-order 48 hours in advance for pickup during regular business hours through Dec. 23 or Dec. 27-31
Holiday hours: Closed Christmas Eve and Day
Info: 657 Washington Ave., Prospect Heights, 718-636-2900, memesdiner.com
The jack-of-all-trades kosher bakery William Greenberg Desserts has traditional offerings for everything from Hanukkah to Thanksgiving to, yes, Christmas. That includes the sweet British pastry, mince pie — here filled with fresh fruit and holiday spices.
Price: $25/8-inch, $42/9-inch, $66/12-inch
How to get it: Walk-in
Holiday hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Christmas Eve, closed Christmas Day
Info: 1100 Madison Ave., 212-861-1340, wmgreenbergdesserts.com