While the city is still on the tail end of a weirdly warm, Indian summer-type heat wave, temperatures are soon predicted to fall to normal autumn temperatures. So while you’re piling on your cozy layers and arranging decorative gourds on your stoop this weekend, why not take a break with that most seasonally appropriate of all fall beverages, the mulled cider? From picturesque greenmarkets to crowded cupcakeries, these are the best places to get hot cider in NYC.
Clinton Street Baking Company: This LES bakery-cafe is a favorite breakfast spot, beloved for its loaded pancakes and stuffed omelets. Wash those platters down with a spiced apple cider, or go extra-rich with a hot buttered cider whisked with a pat of maple butter. 4 Clinton St. (646-602-6263; clintonstreetbaking.com)
Union Square Greenmarket: The city’s many greenmarkets are some of NYC’s most picturesque spots to pick up a hot cider, and the famous Union Square location is no exception. Various fruit purveyors normally mull: stop by Migliorelli Farms, Red Jacket Orchards and others to see what’s on offer. Union Square Park (212-788-7476; grownyc.org)
Wilfie & Nell: The hot cider at this West Village gastropub is spiked with your choice of brandy, bourbon or rum, and is an apt accompaniment to the lunchtime selection of decadent grilled-cheese sandwiches. 228 W 4th St. (212-242-2990; wilfieandnell.com)
Magnolia Bakery: While you might instinctively gravitate towards a hot cup of joe to sip alongside your cupcake at the famed NYC bakery, a cup of mulled local cider is a surprisingly fitting complement, too.
Sweet Afton: This homey Astoria drinks den pours a nice selection of beverages, including a hot cider that you can spike with your choice of spirit. Alongside, nosh some of the bar’s excellent snacks, like beer batter-fried McClure’s pickles or a creamy crock of mac ‘n’ cheese. 30-09 34th St., Queens (718-777-2570; sweetaftonbar.com)
Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket: This super-popular Saturday destination that unfurls below Prospect Park’s majestic Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch has a number of vendors that mull their local cider, including Wilklow Orchards and Williams Fruit Farm. Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn (grownyc.org)
Cafe Orlin: This Middle Eastern-inflected East Village cafe offers sweet warm cider to sip alongside its brunch and lunchtime staples. 41 St. Marks Pl. (212-777-1447; cafeorlin.com)