We say it every year, but that doesn't mean it gets any less true: just when winter starts to get intolerable around here in the big town, two of our favorite sweet-treat festivals kick in, saving us from seasonal misery disorder. Instead? Seasonal smiles all around, thanks to the great Clinton Street Baking Co.'s "February is Pancake Month" celebration, and the equally great City Bakery's Hot Chocolate Festival, now in its 21st year.
Both places are worth a special trip just about anytime, but in February we make sure to stop in a least once or twice for some exceptional wintertime goodies.
City Bakery's Hot Chocolate
The City Bakery Hot Chocolate Festival 2013 is well underway, with a nearly 20 special flavors, one each day of the month, and all riffs on their extraordinary, award-winning regular brew. If you're looking for the best hot chocolate in NYC, there's really no way to go wrong here, especially if you top your City Bakery hot chocolate with one of their insanely good homemade marshmallows. Our list of must-try specials would include Caramel (on February 3rd and 16th), SPICY Caramel (the 12th), Espresso (the 7th and 19th), Black Rum and Cinnamon (the 22nd), Love Potion (the 14th, 'natch), and on the 27th, the who-knows "Ode to the Polar Bear". And if you want to double-down on your decadence, pair your sludgy, fudgie concoction with a salty, buttery, crispy City Bakery Pretzel Croissant. See you there!
NYC Hot Chocolate Festival Schedule
City Bakery is located on 18th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. More info and the complete Hot Chocolate Festival 2013 schedule of flavors can be found on City Bakery's website.
Celebrate Pancakes with Clinton Street Baking Co
Just as exciting in a desserty sort of way is the Clinton Street Baking Co.'s "February is Pancake Month" celebration. Every weekday, and well into every weeknight, Clinton Street wizards Neil Kleinberg and DeDe Lahman take their signature fluffy/dense pancakes and finish them off with a different, outrageously delicious twist. So if you are looking for the best pancakes in NYC, they're really getting creative this year at the Clinton Street Baking Co. Pancake celebration. On February 11, 12, and 13, for example, you can get Japanese Pumpkin Pancakes with pumpkin seed streusel and warm maple butter. On the 15th (one day only!) you get your flapjacks with pistachio frangipane, burgundy cherries, and roasted, crushed pistachios. And finish off the month with three nights of pancakes topped with crunchy bananas and cinnamon-chili-chocolate sauce. Note: it's tough to score a table during prime time at Clinton Street Baking Co. even when there's NOT a pancake festival going on, so unless you want to wait, we suggest going during the day, or early in the evening.
Clinton Street Baking Company's Pancake Menu
Clinton Street Baking Co. is located on Clinton Street between Houston and Suffolk. For a complete Pancake Month 2013 menu, visit them online!