How To Spend Thanksgiving 2021 In NYC
Turkeys across NYC will tremble at the sight of this guide.
From overcooked turkey to backhanded compliments and over-the-top toasts, Thanksgiving is always a production. And for so many reasons, you might not want to deal with it this year, at least not all on your own. But that doesn’t mean you need to order a pizza, draw the blinds, and put your avatar in Black Friday cyber queues. Whether you want some help with a meal at home, or you’re looking for a great spot to go out for Thanksgiving dinner, restaurants all over NYC are offering takeout and on-site specials on wines, desserts, and everything in between.
Where to Pick Up Dinner
If you’re looking for an option in Queens, Rolo’s in Ridgewood has a four-person takeout meal available for pickup the day before Thanksgiving. It costs $220, and comes with things you almost certainly aren’t making at home like Fresno chili relish and rosemary sage sourdough focaccia, as well as more zeitgeisty Thanksgiving stuff like mac and cheese, slow-smoked turkey, and sweet chili miso brussels sprouts. You can add on pies for $44 each, too. Just make sure to place your order before November 23rd.
Where To Preorder Thanksgiving Pies In NYC
Short of an antacid and a reminder not to fill up on shrimp scampi, Charlie Bird has all of your Thanksgiving needs covered. Their $300 meal kit for four includes a few different vegetable sides, which are a highlight of any meal at this Soho American/Italian spot, as well as turkey breast roulade, and baked lasagna with turkey bolognese. They also offer various pies and gelato to finish things off.
Sign up for our newsletter.
Be the first to get expert restaurant recommendations for every situation right in your inbox.
Putting together a wine and charcuterie pairing for the holidays that’s not from & Sons is like listening to Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” on low volume - it’s still enjoyable, but you know it could be better. To avoid that feeling, order from this ham bar in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. Basically everything here is American-produced, and you can expect everything from hunks of Humboldt fog and CSA boxes from Lancaster Farms to mortadella with Sicilian pistachios. They’re also offering ready-to-roast turkeys that are already brined, trussed, and stuffed with vegetables and aromatics. The preorder deadline for these organic birds is November 16th, so act fast if you want to get involved.
Winner isn’t just a bakery. This Park Slope spot also does weekly dinner kits, including everything from pork bánh mì to bass aguachile made by rotating guest chefs. For Thanksgiving, they’ve got a solid lineup of holiday dishes like confit pulled turkey, sourdough stuffing, and chai spice pumpkin pie. To place an order, you’ll have to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and fill out an order form. All of Winner’s Thanksgiving dishes are portioned for two people, and the final day to get your order in is Thursday, November 18th. You can also book a private, all-inclusive Thanksgiving dinner for up to 14 guests at the restaurant if you’d rather eat out this holiday season.
La Newyorkina is permanently closed
We’d never discourage you from ordering an entire meal from an ice cream shop, but generally, Thanksgiving doesn’t sound like the ideal time. That is, unless you order from La Newyorkina. This Mexican dessert shop is offering Thanksgiving specials like turkey tamales with mole sauce, roasted al pastor chicken legs, and rajas con queso quiches. Those, as well as the shop’s fantastic pies and desserts, can all be ordered a la carte.
After the incident with the meat thermometer last year, let Dinosaur BBQ do the heavy lifting this time around. Place your order by Friday the 19th, and they’ll set you up with a fully smoked turkey and housemade gravy, along with heating instructions to make sure it turns out as well as the cornbread stuffing, sweet potatoes, and pies that come on the side. Call 212-694-1777 or email email@example.com to place an order, which you can schedule for pickup on 11/23 or 11/24.
photo credit: Emily Schindler
We’re not going to say that preparing Thanksgiving dinner for one would be depressing - we’ll simply say that it’d be logistically challenging. Fortunately, Houseman makes it easy by offering individually-portioned Thanksgiving meals for pickup on Wednesday, November 24th. The $70 kit comes with eight different dishes, including stuffing and turkey two ways.
Despite a set menu that ranges from turkey with oyster mushrooms, to bread stuffing with andouille, and apple pie with cinnamon ice cream, there are no requirements for the number of people you place an order for from The Dutch. Get enough food just for yourself, or you and five friends, and pick up the $85 per person meal on the 24th or Thanksgiving day.
If you don’t want to worry about finding fridge space for 20 plates of food, or reheating said food when you could be consuming wine and another Cowboys loss, order from Bubby’s in Tribeca. It’s one of the few spots in the city where you can pick up a fully prepared meal on Thanksgiving day itself. Place an order for two people by Thursday, November 18th, and pick up dishes ranging from roasted turkey with giblet gravy to cornbread sausage stuffing and pumpkin praline pie between 10am-4pm on the 25th.
It may not be as traditional as turkey or stuffing, but housemade pasta needs to be part of any meal at Scarpetta. That’s why even on Thanksgiving, you’ll be happy the $425 meal kit from this Nomad Italian spot includes enough baked manicotti with truffle fontina fonduta sauce for four people. And don’t worry, it includes turkey and stuffing as well.
This Midtown Scandanavian spot is a special occasion restaurant, and takeout on Thanksgiving is no exception. The $495 meal kit for four - which you can preorder for pickup on Wednesday, November 24th - comes with turkey prepared two ways, various sides, and pecan pie.
The Spaniard has more than 100 types of whiskeys, and they use those whiskeys to make cocktails that you’ll want to have in front of you when someone brings up the framers’ views on the electoral college at the dinner table. You’ll also want to have some of their chicken wings and pecan-studded chopped broccoli salad, which you can order with your large-format cocktails for takeout or delivery through their website.
Where to Dine In
Old John's Diner
One of the better dine-in deals we’ve seen this year is happening at Old John’s Diner, a recently-redone retro spot by the Lincoln Center on the Lower Upper West Side. For $45 per person you’ll get a glass of wine, vegetable tortellini soup, a plate with turkey, sweet potato and savory potato mash, plus gravy and cranberry sauce to drown it all in, and your choice of pumpkin or apple pie. This is an especially good spot for a low-key Thanksgiving, or if you’d rather drag your kids somewhere other than into the dining area of your own home.
If you choose BBQ over roast turkey on most days, why go for anything different just because it’s the fourth Thursday in November? Hometown is open on Thanksgiving and the dine-in menu features smoked meats like brisket, beef ribs and Italian sausage, and sides like sweet potato soufflé, stuffing, and collard greens. Up until 5pm on November 19th, you can also preorder whole briskets, smoked turkey meal packages, and various sides to take home. Pick up your preorders at the Red Hook location.
King David Tacos
Your Thanksgiving doesn’t have to involve lying down at some point and moaning quietly because you ate too much. Satisfy your Thanksgiving cravings in one small package by trying the “Cranbirdy Taco” from King David Tacos, which has turkey breakfast sausage, roasted sweet potatoes, eggs, and cheese in a flour tortilla with a side of cranberry salsa. The taco costs $5.50 and is available from November 15th to the 26th at their Prospect Heights brick and mortar or from any King David Tacos cart.
Expose kids to books, and they’ll do well on their SATs. Give them Rubik’s cubes, and they’ll be reassembling your computer by middle school. And give them butternut squash velouté, or ravioli de homard with Perigord black truffles at Thanksgiving dinner, and they’ll end up - French? We’re not sure about that last bit, but you can find out for yourself at this high-end French spot on the UES, which is offering an $86 prix-fixe for adults that’s half-priced for kids under 12.
There are few places in Greenwich Village, let alone NYC, that we’d rather spend a couple hours having cocktails and share plates than Dante. And when you think about it, Thanksgiving is really just drinks and share plates (and reminders of why you only see your cousins once a year). In between a spiced cranberry kir royale when you walk in, and some pumpkin eggnog before you head out, your $120 prix-fixe will include turkey with apricot and sage stuffing, and, of course, a bunch of share plates for the table.
photo credit: Noah Devereaux
Martha May Whovier loves Christmas, Hallmark loves Valentine’s Day, and you love Thanksgiving. So you don’t just want to celebrate it once, and start the countdown again on Friday morning. Instead, keep Hearth in mind. This East Village spot is offering a $120 Thanksgiving prix-fixe on Thursday that includes traditional autumn appetizers and sides, turkey and stuffing, and pies with an option wine pairing for $40 per person.
photo credit: Emily Andrews
Union Square Cafe
In your family’s holiday award show, one person brings home “Best Performance In A Complaining Role” just about every year. If you want to put an end to that this Thanksgiving, go to Union Square Cafe. The big, high-ceilinged space is never too loud, the staff is helpful and attentive, and (most importantly) the food is excellent. On Thanksgiving, that food includes a four-course, $150-per-person prix-fixe with dishes like celery root soup with pears and sage, pasta with sausage and black truffle, and turkey with pan gravy.
Some people like to experiment on Thanksgiving by putting turkey bacon in their sweet potatoes, while others change it up with a linzer tart . And then there’s Soogil, which is offering a $115 prix-fixe that includes dishes like honeynut squash soup with prosciutto, scallops with gochujang crust and mushrooms and sunchokes, and turkey roulade stuffed with foie gras. As should be the case with any meal at this East Village Korean spot, things end with a Jenga tower of Korean rice sticks that taste like gelato-covered churros.
photo credit: Quality Bistro
From noon-9pm on Thanksgiving, you can sit on the covered and heated outdoor patio, or inside the gold-clad dining room at this Midtown French spot. Debate between ordering escargots and dry-aged cote de beouf, or roasted turkey with all the fixings while you peruse the 400-bottle French wine list.
All of Jean-Georges’ restaurants around NYC are open on Thanksgiving. If you’re counting, that’s 11 spots in the city, plus one at JFK and another in The Hamptons where you can order from a French-influenced prix-fixe menu on-site or for takeout on Turkey Day. At The Fulton, which is on the water at The Seaport overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge, you can order turkey with sourdough mushroom stuffing, or you can stick to their specialty, seafood, like a plateau from the raw bar followed by fresh tagliatelle with cockles and broccoli.
Daniel’s more casual sibling restaurant on the other side of the park is also offering a prix-fixe. The $105 version here includes three dishes of your choice, which could look like duck and foie gras wrapped in a puff pastry, followed by turkey with chestnut stuffing, and pumpkin crème brûlée tart with crème fraîche chantilly and cinnamon ice cream.
photo credit: Noah Deveraux
For anyone who’s spent too many Thanksgiving dinners sitting in a plastic chair at the kids’ table, Lafayette will be a welcome relief. The big, high-ceilinged dining room at this French spot in Noho has a ton of very comfortable booths, where you can order the $125 Thanksgiving set menu, and choose between hors d’oeuvres like beef tartare or foie gras before convincing someone at your table to go halfsies with you on the roasted turkey with chestnut stuffing, and duck leg confit with cassoulet of beans and sausage.
photo credit: Noah Devereaux
L’Amico isn’t serving their wood-fired pizzas on Thanksgiving, but that’s OK for a couple reasons. First, it’s Thanksgiving - eat pizza any other day. And second, the main draw at this Nomad Italian spot in the Eventi Hotel is its space, which you can enjoy inside the spacious dining room, or in a curtained cabana out front. The $72 prix-fixe includes appetizers and family-style sides, as well as a wood-fired turkey with stuffing and gravy, and your choice of pie.
Haven at the Sanctuary Hotel
The heated, tent-covered, twinkling light-filled rooftop of the Sanctuary Hotel is a good option for a Thanksgiving meal-with-a-view in Midtown. The $79 per person prix-fixe starts with your choice of appetizers, followed by turkey and sides, before finishing up with dessert.