Cooking Thanksgiving dinner sucks. That is, if you even have room in your apartment for all the groceries and pots and pans and leftovers and guests. In a city with as many fantastic restaurants as New York, why stay in when you can go out? Especially if your visiting family is paying… Put your fancy eating pants on and make a reservation at one of these restaurants, which take the pain out of holiday cooking and leave you to the most important part: feasting.
Upper West Side
Make Thanksgiving 2016 a dim sum and noodle celebration with RedFarm's full offering of menu items, ranging from its beloved Katz’s pastrami egg rolls to dumplings galore, all to be supplemented with Thanksgiving specials and a good portion of the restaurant's annual Peking turkey. Takeout is also available, because this is New York and it's totally fine to spend a holiday eating Peking turkey alone on your couch with Netflix.
Price: $145/person for three courses
Make it a fancy Thanksgiving at the NoMad, where you can add "a ridiculous portion" of white truffles ($70) shaved over Parmesan pasta to your already-indulgent feast of foie gras with beef carpaccio and turkey roasted with butternut squash and chestnuts. Your table will share ridiculously good sides including mashed potatoes with buttermilk and brown butter, a red wine gastrique cranberry compote, Brussels sprouts with bacon and thyme, and more. A pastry trolley will visit your table at the end of the meal to ensure that you're stuffed.
Price: $155/person for four courses, $90 wine pairing optional
Make it a Top Chef Thanksgiving and eat at Tom Colicchio's newest NYC restaurant, located in The Beekman hotel, which is convenient, if you're in need of a post-feast nap. The four-course meal will include dishes like foie gras torchon with winter citrus and pistachio, beef cheek ravioli and free-range Narraganset turkey with roasted mushrooms, chestnut stuffing, cranberry sauce, and gravy.
Price: $70/person for four courses
This fashionably laid-back restaurant is the perfect spot to celebrate a cool Thanksgiving. Locally sourced, seasonal dishes will include kale salad with shaved carrots and spiced walnuts with blue cheese dressing, pumpkin tortolloni with butternut squash, and a roasted free-range turkey with caramelized Brussels sprouts and wild mushroom stuffing.
Price: $75/person for three courses
It's all about the comfort food at this restaurant serving up nice and buttery Thanksgiving classics like buttermilk biscuits and buttery rolls along with a roasted turkey with giblet gravy or old-fashioned glazed ham with pineapples and cherries. Prepare to stuff yourself with sides like candied sweet potatoes with homemade marshmallows, green bean casserole, cornbread sausage stuffing, and more dishes your Southern grandmother would make if you weren't skipping family time to eat in an NYC restaurant. A selection of pies for dessert should encourage you to pace yourself throughout the meal.
Dinner is always a simple but refined affair at this popular Brooklyn restaurant, and Thanksgiving is no different. Begin with your choice of a wild mushroom soup or salad of fall lettuces, pear, radish, and blue cheese. Then dig into slow-roasted turkey, served with mashed potatoes, pretzel and biscuit stuffing, roasted squash, Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce, and gravy. Finish up with either pumpkin pie or apple pie made with creme fraiche whipped cream and brown butter streusel.
Price: $85/person for five courses
Make it a family-style Thanksgiving with a menu that celebrates another group of pilgrims coming to America: Italians! The meal starts with a selection of cured meats or cheeses followed by dishes like pumpkin with black truffle and black bass crudo with charred grapefruit. For the main event, expect a turkey with cranberry mostarda and sage gravy along with continori like buckwheat stuffing with dried figs and caramelized Brussels sprouts with aged balsamic.
Price: $62/person, $38 turkey plate
Thanksgiving gets a New American twist with dishes like turkey tortellini soup, burrata salad with kabocha squash and brown butter vinaigrette, and the star of the meal: a roasted free-range turkey with cornbread stuffing, whipped potatoes, French green beans, roasted sweet potatoes, turkey gravy, and cranberry relish.
Price: $79/person prix fixe; $125/person family-style (order by 11/22)
Chef John Fraser is putting his renowned vegetable-forward spin on the traditional American feast this year. Diners have two options to dig into: the prix fixe menu includes your pick of one appetizer, such as the house's winter greens salad with kale, grapefruit, palm hearts, and pecorino, and one entree, like Fraser's famed carrots Wellington, plus stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy for the table. There's also a family-style feast for six, which includes three courses, plus sides and pumpkin pie for dessert. Don't worry, carnivores: Turkey is an option under both scenarios.
Price: A la carte
If you wish you were spending Thanksgiving seaside, head into Seabird where you can fantasize that you're on a yacht for at least a few hours. Fishy dishes will include a "surf and turkey" made with littleneck clams, roasted vegetables, and white wine sauce ($29) as well as truffled lobster mac & cheese ($21) and green bean salad with bacon and cornbread croutons ($15). For those who can’t commit to a prix fixe, this will sail you into holiday food bliss without the huge price tag.
Lower East Side
It's not a traditional Thanksgiving meal, that's for sure, but Thanksgiving is the only time you can get two and a half hours of unlimited access to Katz's famed Jewish deli food -- which is 100% worth skipping your family's Thanksgiving for. From 5:30-8pm you can get all the pastrami, turkey, latkes, pickles, and pumpkin pie you can stomach. Get your tickets here.
Price: $98/person for five courses or a la carte
If Thanksgiving means meat to you, book a table at this meat-centric restaurant where you can indulge in organic Pennsylvania turkey with Brussels sprouts, sausage stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and natural gravy. To get in your share of carbs with all that meat, cauliflower soup with crispy Brussels sprouts and pancetta and pumpkin ravioli with mascarpone will also be served.
Price: $65/person for three courses
Chef John DeLucie's subterranean wood-fired restaurant is the perfect place to get cozy and induce a food coma before you even finish your turkey. You'll choose dishes for each course, but bring a crowd so you can share everything from the wood-charred Pennsylvania beets with labneh to the wood-fired oysters to the burrata with black mission figs and prosciutto. Stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, smashed yams, grilled Brussels sprouts, and fire-roasted potatoes will all be served for the table.
Price: $55/person for three courses
Simple cooking at its best may be what Thanksgiving is all about, and Irvington is here to help. Choose between a roasted acorn squash soup with candied pecans or a shaved Brussels sprouts salad to start, and then gorge on rotisserie turkey with roasted beets, sweet potatoes, apple stuffing, and turkey jus. There's pumpkin cheesecake for dessert, if you want to box up some of that main course for later.
Price: $48/person and a la carte
Give your Thanksgiving some Caribbean flair with this annual island-inspired holiday meal that includes cod fritters with curry mayo and a jerk turkey breast with gravy, steamed callaloo, and mac & cheese pie. Rum, of course, will also be flowing, because what pairs better with poultry than a Dark 'n Stormy?
The West Village's Quality Eats prides itself on being a casual alternative to the traditional stuffy steakhouse, and its Thanksgiving offerings reflect that as well. If you're having a quiet evening (and are looking to indulge even more heavily than you normally do on Thanksgiving) go for the fried turkey bucket for two. If you're a slightly larger party, there's the "turkey & turf" for four, which includes the fried turkey bucket, in addition to a tomahawk ribeye. If that all seems far too overwhelming, opt for the roasted turkey monkey bread sandwich, made with Faicco's sausage stuffing and cranberry mostarda on QE's popular monkey bread.
This seasonally changing restaurant does fall right -- both with decor and the autumnal fare on your plate. For Thanksgiving, expect seriously seasonal dishes like pumpkin ravioli with hazelnut pesto and pickled cranberries, a traditional turkey with turkey sausage stuffing and cranberry sauce, maple-chipotle glazed yams, and more. The bar here is also excellent, and they’ll probably be cool with you lingering with a few cocktails after you devour your feast.
Price: $40/person for three courses
Make it a Thanksgiving fiesta with this special menu that includes a pumpkin soup garnished with pomegranate and toasted pepitas, chile ancho-roasted turkey with choice of mole xico or traditional gravy, and sides including cranberry salsa, Mexican chorizo potatoes, and more. A special Thanksgiving blood orange cranberry margarita will be on the cocktail menu and happy hour ($5 beers, $6 wine, $8 margaritas) will go on throughout the night.
Technically this Southern Italian spot is doing Black Friday brunch, rather than a proper Thanksgiving meal, but that's fuel you'll appreciate regardless (especially if it's pre- or post-shopping). In addition to the restaurant's regular brunch menu (including homemade pastas and made-to-order mozzarella) you can expect a wood-fired frittata, banana bread pudding, honey nut squash pizza, and a healthy breakfast bowl.
The "cosmopolitan" Indian restaurant that New York Times critic Pete Wells raved about earlier this year is giving Thanksgiving its own distinctive twist. The special holiday menu will include paneer-stuffed roast turkey with cumin maple potatoes, slow-cooked rutabaga with kashmiri korma, and tandoori turkey with cranberry and sage butter kulcha.
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1. Quality Eats19 Greenwich Ave, New York
2. The NoMad1170 Broadway, New York
3. La Pecora Bianca1133 Broadway, New York
4. Frankies 457 Spuntino457 Court St, Brooklyn
5. Fowler & Wells in Beekman Hotel, New York
6. Delicatessen54 Prince St, New York
7. Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria53 Great Jones St, New York
8. Bowery Meat Company9 E 1st St, New York
9. Seabird361 Avenue of the Americas, New York
10. Bubby's120 Hudson St, New York
11. Bedford & Co.118 E 40th St, New York
12. Irvington201 Park Ave S, New York
13. Miss Lily's 7A Cafe109 Avenue A, New York
14. Narcissa21 Cooper Sq, New York
15. Park Avenue Autumn/Winter/Spring/Summer360 Park Ave S, New York
16. Barano26 Broadway, Brooklyn
17. Indian AccentLe Parker Meridian 123 W 56th St, New York
18. Rosa Mexicano61 Columbus Ave, New York
19. RedFarm2170 Broadway, New York
Michael Stillman's Quality Meats spin-off in the West Village offers great affordable steaks (all under $29!) and fun plays on standard steakhouse sides, like creamed spinach hush puppies. The"Wine Stack" program allows you to choose three wines that'll each be stacked, in separate glass chambers, to form one bottle. If you can't get a dinner res, try going for lunch during the week for one of the steak sandwiches.
Housed in a historic arts building, The NoMad hotel is a stylish, Parisian-inspired luxury hotel with hardwood floors and handmade rugs. Inside the hotel is a bi-level library, an opulent lounge with a mahogany bar, and an upscale restaurant. Around the corner from the hotel is the much-lauded NoMad Bar (10 W 28th St), serving refined cocktails and upscale pub fare in a hip, lively space.
Located in a historic NoMad building, La Pecora Bianca is reminiscent of an Italian farmhouse, albeit an upscale one. While it's one of those all-day power restaurants that serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, definitely go when you’re in the mood for pasta: spaghetti, lasagna, risotto, and other specialities are all made in-house, and available in gluten-free varieties. The drink menu is as Italian as the food, with more than 100 bottles of wine, plus Aperol Spritzs and Negronis.
Headed up by two chefs named Frank (Falcinelli and Castronovo), Frankies 457 Spuntino in Carroll Gardens is a modern take on the old-school neighborhood Italian joint. Dishes are served family-style in a homey setting, and the outdoor garden area of the restaurant sets the tone for the menu: handmade pastas are Frankies' speciality, but instead of traditional heavy sauces and creams, the dishes are verdant, light, and delicate.
Old New York gets a tribute in Fowler & Wells, a grandiose endeavor from culinary powerhouse Tom Colicchio. Vintage American classics, like oysters Rockefeller and sirloin steak, are executed with modern French technique from within the Financial District’s historic Beekman Hotel, an 1883 landmark building. The chefs rotate New York throwbacks that border on cliché, like beef Wellington or lobster thermidor, which waiters present on white tablecloths at sea green banquettes surrounded by stained-glass windows.
The thing about Delicatessen is that it isn't one, at all. On the corner of Prince and Lafayette, the sleek restaurant is outfitted with stainless steel accents and floor-to-ceiling windows that open out to sidewalk seating, and its two- and four-top tables play host to tourists fueling up post-Soho shopping spree, and model types networking with other model types. Far from the traditional pastrami-slinging delis of New York, Delicatessen serves upscale comfort food that would satiate anyone's (especially a European teenager's) craving for "American food": mac & cheese, cheese sauce-laden burgers, and creamy lobster rolls. It's popular with the weekday lunch crowd, but on weekends, it turns into a brunch powerhouse.
At the sister restaurant of the famed Il Buco, you'll find a five-course, rustic Italian family-style menu that includes such options as chestnut agnolotti, baccala, and roasted pears. But you're really here for the lunch offerings, including the notorious porchetta panino, stuffed with hefty slices of pork and scented with rosemary. Be sure to check out the market, too, which functions as a salumeria, panetteria, formaggeria, and gelateria.
From Chef Josh Capon and the group behind Lure, Burger & Barrel, and El Toro Blanco, this glitzy modern steakhouse in the East Village takes traditional steak and chops up a notch. The menu offers a nice mix of usual steakhouse mains (the meat comes from butcher Pat LaFrieda) and next-level starters and sides (patatas bravas, crispy polenta, salmon sashimi, to name a few), with pasta dishes and oysters rounding out the sophisticated menu.
Seabird lands on a corner off Washington Place, bringing a beach clubby feel and lots of comfort seafood to the West Village. The nautical color scheme in the 50-seat space, all navy and egg shell, sets the mood for updates like lobster rolls with tarragon béarnaise and salmon poke with dill ponzu on a bed of emerald seaweed. A raw bar sates oyster cravings, and a sandwich menu holds up the turf front, offering lamb and bacon beef burgers. Cocktails are light as a feather, featuring ports and yuzu in lieu of hard liquor.
Bubby's is known for its solid American comfort food, especially the eggs, pancakes, and fried chicken served at brunch every day of the week. The original Tribeca location was one of JFK Jr.'s haunts in the 90s and it still generates the same buzzing crowds (and lines). Even though its brunch is New York City famous, the evening menu, featuring burgers, barbecue fare, and breakfast for dinner, is just as satisfying. Make sure you order the homemade pie for dessert.
While the name of Chef John DeLucie's Bedford & Co. would suggest Williamsburg, the physical scale and prices are very Manhattan. The two-story Midtown East restaurant, within the Renwick Hotel, is a tribute to the American surf and turf: a wood-burning grill fires the two staring large format dishes, a dry-aged bone-in rib eye and a whole roasted branzino. Much cheaper mains range from duck breast to charred lamb leg to a burger with cheddar and pork belly. The space can only be described as industrial-chic, and diners are surrounded by polished wood, leather the color of pigs blood, and hints of midcentury modern in Eames chairs and geometric light fixtures above the bar.
A mural inspired by Washington Irving's 'Headless Horseman' overlooks this high-ceilinged restaurant in the W Hotel off Union Square. The menu is sprinkled with Mediterranean flavors that show up in small plates like prosciutto flatbread and ricotta meatballs, while the main courses have more American red blood in their veins, from hanger steak to braised short rib with roasted Brussels sprouts. Don't miss the Manhattan cocktail served in a glass flask that's large enough to last four pours.
This East Village corner oasis for Caribbean food and rum cocktails is hard to miss, with a yellow painted brick exterior and bright blue storefront leading into a dizzying dining room where pops of red and turquoise abound. Miss Lily's is the place to go for jerk chicken (and salmon, pork, and corn), Jamaican speciality stews with oxtail, curry goat, or vegetables, and sides like charred pineapple slaw and sweet plantains. The island-appropriate cocktails are deceptively strong, and the frozen dark & stormy is a must-order.
Inside The Standard East Village, Narcissa crafts a seasonal menu based around farm-fresh Hudson Valley ingredients that are both light and filling. Two dining rooms and an outdoor space with a private garden view give off a cozy, upscale vibe complemented by a crowd of downtown regulars and hotel guests. The menu gives equal play to meat, fish, and vegetables, with an emphasis on roasted dishes. Be sure to order a side of the carrot fries -- they give their fried potato counterparts a run for their money.
No two dining experiences at Park Avenue are ever alike, because the menu and interior change with every season. Locals enjoy stopping by throughout the year to taste inspiring new breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch dishes in a redesigned space, but the main draw is the California-style burger (served two to an order!), which is thankfully available all year.
Chef Albert Di Meglio's (formerly of Rubirosa and Le Cirque) sleek Italian restaurant near the Williamsburg bridge focuses on the cuisine of his family's roots. Named after his grandmother's Southern Italian birthplace, Barano serves an unfussy menu of comforting plates like meatballs with sheep's milk ricotta, wood-fired pizzas, and house-made pastas. The large space features a mozzarella station and has a modern rustic aesthetic with concrete tabletops, a marble bar, and antique tiles.
Straight from New Delhi to Le Parker Meridien is Chef Manish Mehrotra’s first international outpost of his acclaimed restaurant that specializes in so-called nouveau Indian. The fine-dining destination has both à la carte and tasting menus, and the food is a mix of authentic and fusion flavors. Signature dishes include sweet pickled ribs and stuffed kulcha, a wheat bread with fillings like butter chicken and wild mushrooms. In true New York fashion, the menu features one version of kulcha filled with pastrami and mustard butter.
Rosa Mexicano locations dot the island of Manhattan, and this David Rockwell-designed two-story dining room on the Upper West Side provides a playfully elegant backdrop for an elevated Mexican menu. Guacamole is made table-side in oversized stone bowls, pork tacos come achiote-seasoned, and short rib is spiced with guajillo and pasilla chile. Some 40 tequilas remind drinkers that this is a Mexican bar after all, and the pomegranate margaritas will get your hips loose. It's hard to mind the bill too much when you've got a dramatic, 30-foot-tall blue-tiled water wall to distract you.
Ed Schoenfeld's Upper West Side outpost of his West Village original serves the same modern takes on family-style Chinese food in a rustic farmhouse-like space. The super-charged dim sum menu features only-in-New-York plates like egg rolls made with Katz's pastrami. Main dishes run the gamut from roasted duck noodles and fried rice to BBQ pork belly and Peking duck. RedFarm is a bit pricey for Chinese food, but the upscale ambience is worth it.