For some, preparing a grand Thanksgiving meal at home is for the birds—especially if you have a smaller, closet-sized kitchen. If you're visiting New York City this holiday, you can leave the cooking and cleaning to the professionals helming the kitchens at some of Manhattan's best restaurants instead of fussing over the stove in a tiny space.
If this is your first time visiting New York City this time of year, be sure to pack for colder weather as winter comes early to the northeastern United States. You also might enjoy stopping by the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade down Fifth Avenue in the morning and early afternoon before you head out for your meal.
From traditional favorites to new adaptions of standard holiday treats, these great restaurants are sure to put a smile on your face this Thanksgiving—just make sure you book your reservation in advance as you certainly won't be the only one in the city who has the idea to eat out for the holiday.
Seafood mecca Oceana—set just steps from the Thanksgiving Day parade route—is primed for a post-parade feast. Oceana offers a special three-course prix-fixe Thanksgiving menu with all the staples of a traditional meal. This posh and popular eatery usually features classics like roasted organic turkey with all the trimmings and alternatives like Maine pollock or pork chops for entrees, and you will also have à la carte access to the raw bar as well.
With an atmospheric setting overlooking Central Park and Columbus Circle, Asiate offers a breathtaking view alongside a stunning holiday menu. Choose from either three or four courses featuring items like smoked Nantucket Bay scallops with cauliflower chawanmushi, capers, and soy; braised wagyu short rib with celery root, pomegranate, and collard greens; and heritage turkey with foie gras stuffing, cranberry sauce, and sweet potato puree. On Thanksgiving, there are three servings to choose from: breakfast, brunch, and dinner.
If you're looking for a venue for your Thanksgiving meal that's as big as your appetite, the three-story Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House is a great choice in Manhattan. This classic New York City steakhouse's Thanksgiving menu doles out traditional favorites with seasonal twists. Examples from the menu include appetizers of butternut squash soup and harvest salad, mains like slow-roasted turkey breast with the trimmings (including apple-sausage stuffing), and desserts like pumpkin cheesecake and pecan pie. Alternatively, you can skip the turkey entirely and into their specialty, a succulent steak.
If you're looking for a bit of foreign spice for your holiday meal, this Manhattan mainstay serves up French-inspired dishes in an elegant setting inspired by turn-of-the-century circuses in France. On Thanksgiving, the three-course prix-fixe menu typically includes classic options like roasted turkey with sweet potato puree. Finish it off with pumpkin pie, complete with maple syrup, Chantilly, and crème anglaise.
Sail around the city on Thanksgiving, courtesy of Spirit of New York cruises along the Hudson River, touring dining, musical entertainment, and skyline views. You can choose from either a 1:30 p.m. or a 3:00 p.m. departure for your lunch cruise, which will feature Thanksgiving classics such as roasted turkey breast, mashed potatoes, rustic herb stuffing, and pumpkin pie, all of which will be served buffet-style.
This Roman-inspired, NYC-style trattoria will dish out two tasting menus for Thanksgiving: an "Italian-American Thanksgiving," featuring Roman twists on classic Thanksgiving dishes, and the "Maialino Classics" menu, with dishes like turkey soup and egg, braised pork and watercress, and braised lamb. The Thanksgiving menus are served during lunch and dinner on Thanksgiving, both of which require reservations. Be sure to book your table far in advance for Maialino as it has fewer tables available than other venues on this list.
Set in a landmark art-deco building overlooking Madison Square Park, diners on Thanksgiving Day can indulge in a decadent four-course prix-fixe menu. Entrée options from previous years included organic turkey, Black Angus beef, or butter-poached lobster, each served with all the fixings. Leave room for their perfect desserts like a pumpkin parfait.