Going out for Thanksgiving dinner is amazing: you get all the camaraderie and none of the clean-up. Being the most work-intensive meal of the year, especially in our small NYC kitchens, we are thankful for cozy fireplace bars slinging fall cocktails, bakeries which deliver the best pies and restaurants open on Thanksgiving serving dinner. For a hassle-free holiday, head to one of these local restaurants serving your favorite turkey feast.
Bowery Meat Company - East Village $$
Stars and finance whales alike flock to John McDonald's grandiose, midcentury steakhouse, where chef Josh Capon (Lure Fishbar) turns out hulking steaks served with traditional sides of spinach and various forms of potatoes.
On the menu: Hefty slabs of meat are traded for a festive five-course menu that starts on nut-heavy appetizers like sweet apple-chestnut soup, butter lettuce flecked with walnuts and Anjou pears and a pumpkin ravioli filled with rich mascarpone and toasted almonds. A Pennsylvania-sourced bird is accompanied by gravy and stuffing, and the meal is capped off with a traditional pumpkin pie.
Cassette - Greenpoint $$
Rustic, French-Catalonian border fare is the focus of this 89-seat outfit by Henry Rich (Rucola, June Wine Bar), decked out to resemble a country inn with ceiling barnwood, stained glass window inserts and a dark, walnut bar.
On the menu: Vegetarians have solid options at this three-course dinner, kicking off in European fashion with a choice of a charcuterie board or market salad (cucumber, shaved radish), before heading into a hearty entrées: choose from heritage turkey with cranberry sauce, roasted Brussels sprouts and sage stuffing or roasted acorn squash on a bed of red rice and preserved mushrooms.
Chevalier - Midtown West $$$
Housed within the uber-luxe Baccarat Hotel opened earlier this year, this modern French dining room offers bar snacks as well as composed plates from Michelin-awarded toque Shea Gallante.
Price: $120, children under 13 $60
On the menu: This pricey-but-worth-it feast navigates through a traditional four-course prix-fixe, leading with jazzed-up veggies like an endive-chicory salad before foraying into pasta with options like maple-glazed sweetbreads with a celery root velouté and duck bolognese rigatoni. Turkey is tendered with a sausage-chestnut stuffing and pumpkin gratin, but the poultry-averse can enjoy a black sea bass or aged veal loin. Autumnal desserts include a Cinderella pumpkin mousse, warm apple cider beignet and sticky toffee pudding.
Eleven Madison Park - Flatiron $$$$
At the helm of one of the world’s most decorated gastronomic destinations, trailblazing toque Daniel Humm and impresario-partner Will Guidara turn out a fluid, coherent American tasting menu enlivened with consistent reinvention.
Price: $195, plus $125 for wine pairing
On the menu: The tasting temple will, for one night, swap its usual menu for four courses of trumped-up Thanksgiving delights. A thick, appetizing chicken velouté is smacked with black truffle, while a second course lightens up with more delicate fare (heirloom beets, smoked foie gras terrine or hamachi). Traditional turkey is offered beside slow-cooked beef or butter-poached lobster, and for dessert you have a choice of honey custard, chocolate ganache or earthy butternut-squash sorbet.
Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria - Downtown $$
Il Buco’s casual Noho offshoot—one part winecentric trattoria (Vineria), one part gourmet food market (Alimentari)—excels at the retail-restaurant mash-up.
Price: $85, children under 13 $45
On the menu: Catering to the nontraditional Thanksgiving, this family-style meal skews Italian with hints of Mediterranean flavors. Gut-stucking plates rivalling the garden-variety stuffing and pumpkin pie include a chestnut-cloumage agnolotti folded with porcini mushrooms and an end-of-meal persimmon soufflé cake. The midmeal fowl is traded for baccala (salted cod) nestling clams and a spiced tomato and piquillo ragout.
Jams - Midtown West $$
California chef Jonathan Waxman’s modern-day reincarnation of his seminal, ’80’s farm-to-table eatery doles out holdovers from the bygone decade (tarragon butter chicken, red pepper pancakes) along with newfangled creations, like a cheddar-bacon burger and Maine lobster gnocchi.
Price: $85, children 6 to 12 $45, childen 5 and under free
On the menu: At this family-style banquet, for-the-table Parker House rolls with Vermont butter and butternut-squash soup preface starters like kale salad (cranberries, heirloom apple) and pumpkin lasagna with a pumpkin-seed pesto. The piece de resistance? Turkey breast, beautifully toasted and plated alongside a succulent braised turkey leg on sourdough bread pudding in lieu of stuffing. Additional sides (brussels sprouts gratin, sweet potato casserole) come served in large portions meant for sharing.
L'Amico - Chelsea $$$
Laurent Tourondel’s 90-seat newcomer honors his rural European upbringing with pastoral digs (rustic Windsor chairs, accordion-style sliding windows) and rustic plates (sausage pizza, seafood agnolotti) snugging vegetables issued from a copper-clad wood-burning oven.
On the menu: The Italian bistro celebrates its first Thanksgiving with a three-course dinner as well as a spread of family-style sides. Choose from greens like a brussels sprouts salad and baby kale and entrées like wood-fire roasted heritage turkey (oreganata gravy, sausage-chestnut stuffing) and branzino (endive, carrot). On offer to sweeten the deal are traditional pumpkin pie and a creative roasted apple number topped with honey crumbs and cinnamon milk.
Lafayette - Downtown $$
The sprawling, brass-hued mainstay by hitmaker Andrew Carmellini turns out French staples in the expansive dining room and coffee and sweets—baked by lauded pastry chef Jen Yee—in the front café.
Price: $95, children under 13 $50
On the menu: Gallic standards get traditional holiday touches in this three-course prix-fixe. Start with a standout pomegranate-braised duck with pumpkin boulangere and bacon before making the tough decision between fowl—roasted turkey with delicata squash, cranberry sauce, chestnut stuffing and gravy—or meat with a dry-aged strip steak slathered with bearnaise butter.
La Pecora Bianca - Midtown $$
Restaurateur Mark Barak (Claudette) trades Provencal for locavore Italian at his sophomore venture—a pastoral, farmhouse-inspired café and market-driven dining room helmed by executive chef Simone Bonelli.
On the menu: Thanksgiving touchstones are reenvisioned with locally sourced, in-season ingredients like a kale salad with shaved carrots, spiced walnuts and bleu cheese dressing and a pumpkin tortolloni, rolled around butternut squash and parmesan cheese. The star dish is presented with traditional trimmings—roasted free-range turkey sits beside caramelized brussels sprouts and a hearty wild mushroom stuffing.
Lupulo - Chelsea $$
Portuguese toque George Mendes’s weathered-wood gastropub takes inspiration from the beer-soaked cervejarias of Lisbon, named after the Portuguese word for hops and decorated with hand-painted Iberian blue-and-white tiles.
On the menu: Give thanks with a rustic, Portuguese feast anchored by a homey roasted whole turkey with a boisterous morcilla sausage stuffing. Family-style starters are far less traditional than the main: Nantucket Bay scallops come raw with lime and tangy yuzukosho, while a mackerel pâté is smeared on toast with smoked king salmon roe. For dessert, seek out a sheep’s milk cheesecake with candy-sweet concord grape.
Má Pêche - Downtown $$$$
Chef David Chang’s first foray outside his East Village comfort zone is this sleek, subterranean midtown eatery.
On the menu: This three-course, family-style meal offers fluke crudo with coconut and cilantro along with roasted baby beets with sunflower hozon, raisins and arugula. Choose between a Good Shepherd Farm turkey duo with squash, wild rice and cranberry jus or a fried beef short rib with daikon and turnips for mains. Dessert includes floral honey ice cream with a tea biscuit and a chocolate-sweet-potato-topped lime sorbet.
Miss Lily's - East Village $$
Both locations of this reggaeton fun house feature a jumble of pink-leopard tabletops, sea-foam checkered floors and West Indian glamazons bedecked with big hair and tiny shorts.
On the menu: The Caribbean hot spot will be offering an island twist on the traditional Thanksgiving spread. The main-event turkey gets a welcome Antillean makeover with a jerk spice rub, while pumpkin served in a soup and autumn veggies are swapped for braised callaloo (oxtail, okra). Pace yourself on the gut-busting mac and cheese pie, though. There’s a Miss Lily’s pumpkin pie to cap off the meal.
Pier A Harbor House - Battery Park $
This tri-level spot from team Dead Rabbit is perched on Battery Park City’s breezy waterfront, touting sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline, Statue of Liberty and Hudson River.
Price: $68, children under 12 $34
On the menu: For the first course, choose from traditional appetizing options like roasted heirloom beets (goat cheese, walnut brittle), wild mushroom velouté (truffle cream, mushroom chips) and warm duck confit. Mains include a venison saddle (parsnip puree, shaved apple and Brussels sprout slaw) as well as roasted organic turkey breast, braised thigh and sausage-apple stuffing soaked in giblet gravy. Desserts are all-you-can-eat and include traditional pies, assorted cakes, cookies and a spread of fresh fruit.
The Breslin Bar & Dining Room - Midtown $$
The third project from Ken Friedman and chef April Bloomfield offers the most opulently fatty food in New York—served in medieval portions in a raucous lodge-like setting.
Price: $85, $135 with wine pairing
On the menu: Seafood lovers can opt for bay scallops tossed with quince paste, bacon and charred endive while veggie-vores nosh on a wild-mushroom and chicory salad with creamy shallots and Jerusalem artichokes. In the second course, gobble down a cornish rock hen—with sourdough bread stuffing, canned cranberry and brussels sprouts—in lieu of the usual bird. Rounding out the meal is a choice of bourbon pecan pie with maple ice cream and dark chocolate panna cotta with honeycomb, espresso crumble and crème fraîche.