Say what you will about national food holidays and the industries bankrolling them, but is it really so wrong to celebrate the things that taste so right? And celebrate we will, because this Sunday is no small occasion, a call to arms for that trifecta of mythic proportion: milk, syrup and soda water. Yes, March 15 marks National Egg Cream Day. So, we must celebrate.
While the origin of the egg cream is a bit fuzzy, one thing remains clear: the chocolate syrup is essential. Whether it was a botched version of the French chocolat et cremè that appeared in 1880 or the accidental invention of confectioner Louis Auster in 1890, the egg cream quickly took off. Traditionally combining seltzer water, milk and Auster’s secret recipe syrup, a bottle of Fox’s U-Bet became the go-to after Auster took his version to the grave. It has remained a menu staple despite the decline in soda fountains, a testament to the beverage’s cultural importance and general deliciousness.
Lou Reed got his at the now defunct Becky’s, but there are still plenty of places to celebrate this weekend. Both Hinsch’s and Anopoli in Bay Ridge, Tom’s in Crown Heights and Junior’s downtown are all veterans of the egg cream game and offer a warm welcome and a worn stool whilst you sip your way to bubbly bliss. Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop and Manhattan Three Decker are a mere half block away from each other on Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint, so you can double your pleasure in a matter of minutes. Get it to go from the finest of faces at Jimmy’s Diner in Williamsburg and parade around McCarren Park with your effervescent straw. Keep it delightful and dairy free with the vegan versions at Champs and Dun-Well Doughnuts, located directly across the street from each other in Bushwick. No matter the neighborhood you find yourself in, you will also find an egg cream… and the rest is fizzstory.