Let’s face it. Holiday shopping can be stressful.
Yes, there’s the exhilaration that comes from finding the perfect gift for that special someone, and the thrill of getting a bargain you never expected.
But, you need to fuel that shopping energy to keep the momentum going.
A quick bite is in order, and here are some of our recent favorites at or near local shopping strips, Third and Fifth Avenues and 86th Street.
When nothing but sugar will do, we head to newcomer Darn Donuts, 8723 Fourth Avenue, is a resource to be cherished. These are not your ordinary doughnuts; rather, they beguile with unexpected flavors – Key Lime and Pretzel are two of our faves.
Not far away is What A Taco, 8612 Fourth Avenue, which specializes in Tex-Mex food with a Brooklyn twist. The family-friendly restaurant offers fun food at reasonable prices, and everything is fresh. Choose from tacos, quesadillas, burrito bowls, empanadas and lots more.
Also just a stone’s throw off 86th Street is Karam, 8519 Fourth Avenue, where the Middle Eastern food is good, plentiful and reasonably prices. We love the falafel combination plate, the Zaatar Pie and the Spinach Pie, but we could probably devour many other items on the menu.
Sometimes, however, you are just in the mood for wings. That’s the time to head for Planet Wings, 8612 Fifth, where the selection is broad, the prices are good and the wings are delicious. Even better, you can choose your level of spice and your degree of sweet, and even opt for quesadillas or jalapeno cheddar poppers if you prefer.
Starving for a slice? Rocco’s Pizzeria, 7818 Fifth Avenue, will take the edge off your hunger with a quick and satisfying bite comprised of gooey cheese and savory sauce atop a crispy crust. Honestly, is anything better, faster or more satisfying than New York pizza when you’re in a hurry?
A broad selection of lunch fare is available at Soho Café & Grill, 8312 Fifth Avenue, making it a perfect spot when you’re shopping with several friends and you can’t agree on what to eat. Prices are reasonable, the salad bar is immaculately clean, and the food is good – what more can you ask?
If the doughnut urge hits while you’re on Fifth, Mike’s Donuts, 6822 Fifth Avenue, has got you covered. This 40-year-old shop turns out classic doughnuts with ease – from crullers to glazed – as well as eclairs, cinnamon buns, turnovers and muffins, and glorious cream-filled Pom Poms, all perfect for powering an overtime shopping session.
Browsing on lower Third Avenue when a craving hits? Head on over to Gourmet Fit Kitchen, 6819 Third Avenue, where your food fix will not only be flavorful but healthful as well. Think salads, soups and smoothies, portion control supplied by the chef, with an emphasis on non-GMO produce as well as hormone and steroid-free and free-range poultry, and Angus, choice, organic and grass-fed meat.
If, however, you are more in the mood for Asian food, Kathy’s Dumplings, 7924 Third Avenue, makes a great rest-and-refuel stop. With a mouthwatering array of chubby, stuffed buns to select from, the eatery also offers up a refreshing bubble tea.
If you’re a barbecue fiend, it will always be a short trip to Pig Guy, 8413 Third Avenue, where pork is the star, prepared in a dazzling variety of ways, from Chorizo Dogs, stuffed with provolone, to classic pulled pork sandwiches.
Now, this is the way to accomplish power shopping!