NYC’s 5 Best Hot Drinks For Fall 2014

November 26, 2014 6:50 AM

Chilly temperatures have gripped New York City, making warm beverages even more enticing as you walk through the city streets. The drinks listed below don’t have alcohol, but each one offers an antidote to icy winds and chilly hands. In just a few sips, you’ll go from “brrrrrr” to “mmmmm.” By Jessica Allen.

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(credit: Friend of a Farmer)

(credit: Friend of a Farmer)

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Come fall and winter, Friend of a Farmer keeps its fire going practically nonstop; it’s no wonder reservations that are required most nights for a chance to sit in the dining room and nosh on comforting favorites like chicken pot pie and roast turkey with all the trimmings. You’ll feel as if you’ve left New York City and landed in Vermont, especially if you order a mini-pot of hot mulled apple cider. Why go to New England when it can come to you for $4.50?

For our money, 12 Corners, a coffee shop near where the Lower East Side meets Chinatown, makes the city’s best pumpkin pie latte. And, for our money, a pumpkin pie latte just might be the ideal hot drink for fall. It’s rich and thick. It smells of grandmas and warmth and maybe a touch of cinnamon. Grab a slice of chocolate chip banana bread or another baked good, then cross the street to Seward Park, where you can sit and sip and watch the leaves change.

There’s something about cinnamon. OK, so maybe that line sounds like something Seinfeld would say, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Cocoa Bar specializes in, well, products made with cocoa, including chocolate both hot and not. Here, though, you can go beyond, way beyond, the standard classic version and try one spiced with cinnamon. It evokes late fall, when winter is in the air, but it hasn’t snowed yet, when the air is crisp and full of promise.

In India, masala chai is consumed year-round, regardless of the temperature. In New York, it makes a delicious fall drink, blending as it does milky, silky tea with a slightly sweet, slightly spicy aftertaste. The MasalaWala, an Indian restaurant on the Lower East Side, offers two versions: Indian milk chai (a traditional take) and masala chai (with house spices). Whichever you get, it will be made fresh to order.

There’s nothing inherently rebellious or radical about the so-called renegade served at Pies ‘n’ Thighs, a southern-focused restaurant in Williamsburg. Indeed, this drink, which you can get hot or cold, mixes lemon, fresh ginger, and spicy honey. Refreshing and tasty! Continue to fortify yourself by ordering one of the housemade donuts, a slice of pie in such flavors as sour cherry or bourbon pecan, or one of the eponymous thighs or another piece of fried chicken.

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