King Cake, crawfish, and more: How to celebrate Mardi Gras 2021 in NYC
Like almost everything this past year, Mardi Gras is looking a lot different (New Orleans is even closing all its bars), but that doesn’t mean the festive, celebratory sentiment is lost. Here in New York City, there are plenty of bakeries with King Cake and other colorful treats, and restaurants have put together special seafood boils. There are also some virtual events so you can celebrate carnival safely.
Brooklyn Brainery’s Mardi Gras Brunch
Saturday, February 13 from 10:00am-1:00pm
Teaching Table founder Laura Scheck spent some time living in New Orleans, and for her Brooklyn Brainery brunch class, she’ll teach you how to make a king cake (done the Teaching Table way, loaded with cinnamon and lemon zest and decorated using natural food coloring). While your dough is rising, whip up a quick and spicy shrimp and grits and sip some bloody Mary cocktails. You’ll also learn a bit about New Orleans food and culture and celebrate with friends from afar.
Neir’s Virtual Carnival
Tuesday, February 16 at 7pm
Woodhaven Queens’ nearly 200-year-old tavern Neir’s is hosting a hybrid Mardi Gras celebration via Zoom. There will be comedy, musical acts, and lots of giveaways. They’ll also have jambalaya on the menu that you can order for takeout or dine-in.
The Gumbo Brothers
This lovely Brooklyn-based business has enlisted Chef Cassidy Lewis of Bumblebee Pastries (a NoLa native) make their king cakes, a hand-rolled brioche cake with cinnamon, cream cheese filling, and a colorful glaze. All cakes include a baby and beads. You can also pre-order shrimp boils and gumbo for your celebration.
Silver Moon Bakery
This Upper West Side bread bakery has a classic version of king cake, along with a fun Carnival Cake, a chocolate mouse/vanilla cake decorated with the New Orleans Mardi Gras flag.
This cute little cafe on the Upper West Side makes a classic Galette des Rois to order. It’s done with their homemade puff pastry, almond Frangipane, and a touch of orange zest.
Known for their pastel-iced cupcakes, this shop has a special cinnamon cupcake with cream cheese frosting, Mardi Gras colored royal icing, and a traditional baby. Billy’s has locations in Chelsea, Tribeca, the Plaza Food Hall, and the Upper West Side.
From February 12-16, Bubby’s is serving a New Orleans-style Muffaletta sandwich for lunch. For brunch, they’ll have shrimp and grits and Hurricane and Sazerac cocktails. And in the spirit of the king cake tradition, Bubby’s will be hiding a plastic baby in one of their famous handmade pies. Whoever finds the baby will get their pie for free!
Bayou Boil Steampot from The Food Crate
$175 may sound like a lot, but this awesome seafood boil kit feeds 5-6 people and even comes with the boil pot (which you can personalize)! You’ll also get seasoned crawfish and shrimp, sausage, potatoes, corn, and lemon zest butter.
Tribeca restaurant 1803 celebrates the culinary scene of New Orleans. On Mardi Gras, from 12-10pm, they’re offering $1 oysters, king cake, shrimp and crawfish boil, and live music from the Wayne Tucker Trio (from 5:30-9:30). They offer indoor and outdoor seating.
With locations in Greenwich Village, the Lower East Side, and Jersey City, The Boil serves up Cajun-style fresh seafood boil, all of which is ordered by the pound with your choice of sauce and spice. Though they haven’t announced any Mardi Gras specials yet, we couldn’t resist including them for their Big Easy authenticity and the fact that they also have outdoor dining and takeout at all locations.
This French bistro in Hell’s Kitchen is offering guests a complimentary tasting of their signature Vieux-Carré cocktail on Fat Tuesday. The New Orleans drink features rye whiskey, cognac, sweet vermouth, and a maraschino cherry. Sip it alongside brasserie fare such as escargots, soupe á l’oignon, steak frites, and much more.