This Sunday is Epiphany, also known as Día de los Reyes–Three Kings' Day–in the city's Hispanic communities.
That means there's still plenty of time to stop by one of East Harlem's bustling Mexican bakeries and buy an authentic rosca de reyes, the holiday sweet bread shaped like a crown and decorated with candied fruit symbolizing the kings' jewels (a toy baby Jesus is usually hidden inside).
Start at Don Paco Lopez Panaderia at 2129 Third Avenue. With a second location in Sunset Park as well as its own branded rosca de reyes box, this bakery definitely runs a smooth operation. You can even order your rosca in advance online. There are three sizes: small ($23), medium ($38) and large ($45).
A bit further south is the narrow, sweetly-scented Mexican bakery now known as Ely Mar at 129 E 110th Street, stacked with boxes of roscas that are fresh out of the oven in the back. A small ring is $16, and there are even individual-size versions shaped like brioches.
Even if you don't celebrate Three Kings' Day, the rosca is a fun treat to share with friends at the beginning of the year: Don Paco's bread includes a printed note explaining that each ring contains anywhere from 2 to 6 plastic dolls–meaning there are plenty to go around.
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