We all need a little Rosh Hashanah in our lives right now. For those familiar with the fall holiday, you’re probably thinking “How is it already Rosh Hashanah?” For everyone else, here’s some context: Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year. It’s a time to reflect on the year that’s passed, think about how you should be more mature by now, and (like all Jewish holidays) eat enough to make multiple family members self-diagnose a dietary allergy. Whether you want to pick up something from a bakery so your meal at home involves more than just honey and apples, or you’re desperately seeking a group dining experience after some insufferable audio glitches during last year’s Zoom shofar blowing, here are 14 NYC restaurants offering specials this year. Shana tova.
Hosting Rosh Hashanah at home? We wrote about everything you’ll need to celebrate, from placemats to adorable honey pots, and swirly serving dishes large enough for challah.
This Jewish barbecue spot in Dekalb Market treats turkey like their headliner smoked meat instead of the shy background dancer in the far right corner of the stage. For Rosh Hashanah this year, they’re offering family-style meals that will feed between four to six people. This is convenient since that’s exactly the personnel range your sister allows in her house, even before the pandemic. Each set meal comes with your choice of turkey or brisket, as well as salad, braised kale, mashed sweet potatoes, gravy, honey butter cornbread, and cinnamon babka bread pudding. They also have a vegetarian option with kimchi and kasha stuffed cabbage. You can order ahead of time online here. Pick-up times run from Monday, September 6th through Wednesday, September 8th.
Not even Adonai himself (herself?) could muster the energy to make challah from scratch in a studio apartment in NYC while balancing a full-time job and friends who demand to spend time together. If you’re looking to supplement your Rosh Hashanah with various baked goods you definitely didn’t bake, order from Breads Bakery. They’re delivering things like apple challah, some of the best chocolate babka in the city, and a jar of honey from the bees on their bakery’s rooftop that will instantly turn your apartment into an artisanal walk-in pantry. You can preorder for pickup and delivery through their website here through Wednesday, September 15th.
Ashkenazi food hogs up much of the Jewish food spotlight in NYC (“hog” is figurative here, of course). For those looking to celebrate a Sephardic Rosh Hashanah dinner, know that Kubeh in Greenwich Village is offering a special four-course meal on September 6th and 7th. Each dinner comes with Breads Bakery challah, Persian bean and noodle soup, fattoush salad, cauliflower, beets with eggplant puree and feta, and your choice of stewed chicken with walnuts and pomegranate, beef kofta, dukkah-crusted fish, or zucchini pasta - not to mention two desserts. Each meal costs $90 per person (or $42 for kids), and there’s an additional $40 wine pairing with options ranging from Lebanon to the West Bank and Austria.
Papaya is a plant-forward delivery service that teams up with NYC restaurants every week for a special meal drop. For Rosh Hashanah, they’re offering an at-home meal for two prepared by Chef Libby Willis of KIT in Prospect Heights, and the two chefs and authors who run Gefilteria, Jeffrey Yoskowitz and Liz Alpern. Each holiday dinner includes challah from Lil’ Yenta (a vegan Jewish bakery with an excellent name), a crunchy salad with dates, tsimmes, lentil-mushroom cabbage rolls, and the option to add on things like toasted buckwheat varnishkes and halva from Seed + Mill. Papaya will deliver throughout most of North Brooklyn or anywhere south of 130th Street in Manhattan on Monday, September 6th. Learn more about the holiday meal drop and place your order here.
Mile End’s Rosh Hashanah specials are available for pickup or delivery from September 4th-8th, in case you accidentally booked a trip to the Catskills on Rosh Hashanah and now feel the sort of immense guilt your grandmother worked so hard to instill in you. Go to their website to place your order before September 2nd for things like brisket, noodle kugel, and a serving of pickles meant for eight people that you might eat alone at midnight.
It’s possible Rosh Hashanah is bumming you out this year because you aren’t going home to see your family, and, least importantly, you can’t admire your cantor crush on the bimah. A solution: Challah Dolly (a pandemic-born challah business run by Dolly Meckler) is selling loaves in five different NYC stores through the end of September. Stop by either location of Butterfield Market on the UES, Shelsky’s of Brooklyn in Cobble Hill, Greene Grape Provisions in Fort Greene, or Murray’s Cheese on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village to pick one up.
If you identify as a bagel-seeking Jewish person in this city, we’re guessing you’re probably aware of this new Jewish deli in Williamsburg. And if you haven’t heard lore of Edith’s until right now, welcome to the party. Although they normally focus on bagel sandwiches and baked goods, Edith’s has a four-person Rosh Hashanah take-home dinner available for pickup in Williamsburg on September 8th. You’ll get sweet and sour brisket, roasted brussels sprouts with honey agro dulce, parsnip and horseradish puree (which sounds like the thing we’d gravitate towards first), and a cake with burnt honey custard and spiced apples. Preorder through their website here.
Homemade By Miriam
The chef of this Jewish diasporic restaurant, Alon Hadar, takes inspiration from his North Iraqi and Kurdish Sephardic heritage to conceptualize dishes like cacio e pepe Jerusalem kugel. For Rosh Hashanah, Homemade By Miriam is offering a prix-fixe takeout dinner for 4-6 people that’s available via city-wide delivery or pickup in Tribeca or Park Slope. It costs $195 for 11 dishes, including a couple of mezze, challah, gefilte fish, matzo ball soup, Jerusalem kugel, your choice of entree, two vegetable sides, and an apple and honey cake for dessert. Fill out the preorder form here and get the goods any time between September 3rd and September 8th.
Attention party people and anyone with a Jewish cooking-heavy discover page on Instagram, Gertie in Williamsburg will be hosting a family-style Rosh Hashanah dinner on Wednesday, September 8th with dishes from Jake Cohen’s cookbook, “Jew-ish.” In case that wasn’t enough to entice you, know that there will be live klezmer music, natural wine, and an after-party in Gertie’s backyard. RSVP here.
Zaro's Family Bakery
Another option for kosher baked goods is Zaro’s. The original location in the Bronx was founded by a Jewish immigrant back in the ’20s, but now they have locations everywhere. For Rosh Hashanah this year, they’re selling things like round challah, rugelach, black and white cookies, and cakes. You can place your order for pickup or delivery through their website.
If your Jewish bakery allegiances lie with Russ & Daughters, you can order one of their High Holidays specials for pickup at their Orchard Street or Navy Yard location, and for delivery all over the city (or country through Goldbelly). They’re selling round challah, cinnamon babka, raspberry rugelach, honey cake, and special honey (as well their typical menu of bagels and smoked fish) for pickup and delivery between September 6th and September 7th. There are some minimum order requirements, like a $125 spend on Rosh Hashanah orders over the phone, so make sure to read the fine print here. If you want an in-person experience, you can always stop by either location for takeout or outdoor dining on Monday, September 6th (they’re not open on Tuesday, September 7th).
This Israeli restaurant in the West Village is offering at-home Rosh Hashanah dinner kits that will feed 3 or 4 people. Each one comes with everything from hummus with green schug to a Moroccan fish ktzitzot and honey cake, so you can check the mental box of consuming honey to ring in the new year the way your ancestors would have wanted. Place your order by Thursday, September 2nd by 2pm for pickup on Monday, September 6th between noon and 3pm.
Dates, apples, and raisins are nice - but we can all agree that they’re more symbolically fulfilling than they are emotionally fulfilling. If you’re using Rosh Hashanah as an excuse to order a platter of bagels and nova for your family gathering, Zabar’s has smoked fish and bagel kits available for delivery and pickup. They’re also selling more traditional Rosh Hashanah meal packages, in case you simply cannot proceed without brisket and string beans almondine. Check out the full list of options and place your order here.