Any Thanksgiving enthusiast would agree that 6th Avenue in Manhattan is the place to be for Turkey Day festivities. Folks from all over the country flock to this street every November to watch the nostalgic balloons and floats of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade weave between the iconic skyscrapers of New York City. Finding a restaurant to feast in afterward, however, is no easy feat. Tables in the city book up rapidly, but there is a slew of Thanksgiving dinners being served for less than a fortune in North New Jersey.
Even Hamburg, on the northwestern side of the state, is just an hour and 20-minute drive away from the city. Perhaps you should book your AirBnb on the Jersey side for a less chaotic, more hometown Thanksgiving experience. There are countless places in West Orange, Jersey City, and Hoboken—just across the river—that'll be roasting up a traditional bird on this food-driven holiday in November. It would be wise to book yourself a table ASAP, though, because these joints certainly don't take long to fill up.
Unique and extensive dining options ranging from a five-course tasting menu to a huge family-style buffet await at the Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg. This upscale estate has an array of happenings planned for the holiday (including marshmallow roasts, gingerbread house decorating, and more) and it offers discounted stays, too, but you can drop in just for the turkey and pumpkin pie if you want to.
The Grand Cascades Lodge traditionally offers a buffet in its Emerald Ballroom and a three-course Italian-inspired menu at Springs Bistro. Meanwhile, Crystal Tavern serves a traditional turkey dinner à la carte, and the Diamond Ballroom at Minerals Hotel in Vernon hosts a holiday buffet, complete with a children's buffet which features macaroni and cheese and pizza bagels. Additionally, top-rated New Jersey eatery Restaurant Latour will be cooking up a four-course and seven-course dinner for more sophisticated palettes.
Decorated with an old-school phone booth, opulent chandeliers, a converted train car, and Gatsby-era furniture, The Essex House in West Orange is liable to make you feel like you've traveled back in time. Its annual holiday feast is more than just a dinner; it's a full-blown experience. The restaurant puts its own spin on traditional Thanksgiving dishes (cranberry chestnut stuffing and cream of turkey soup, for instance). The menu features mains from three different carving stations and no shortage of desserts, either.
This nautical getaway is located within the South Mountain Recreation Complex in West Orange. Its Thanksgiving Day buffet features the usual—Virginia ham and oven-roasted turkey—plus a few curveballs, such as truffle potatoes and bechamel-topped cauliflower. If you’re looking for a more traditional holiday meal, you can also order a turkey dinner feast, which comes with several sides and a dessert and costs a little less than the buffet. Either way, this waterfront eatery is a great option if you're looking for dinner with a view.
Liberty House is the quintessential post Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade spot, seeing as its dining room provides a stunning backdrop of the New York City skyline and all. Whether or not you'll be spending the morning in the shadow of Macy's legendary balloons, this Jersey City restaurant is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the holiday. You'll still feel like you're part of it while you devour your Guinness-glazed chicken lollipops and honey ham in peace.
If you're looking for something even more savory than an oven-roasted turkey for your Thanksgiving meal this year, you can get one of the best steaks in New Jersey at Rails Steakhouse in Towaco. This carnivore haven has a full menu of premium steaks and sides in addition to its traditional Turkey Day offerings. For dessert, order Rails' famous butter cake topped with mascarpone and toasted almonds and drizzled with blueberry sauce. Afterward, head downstairs to the speakeasy, Thirty3, which offers late-night drink service, live performances, and a wide selection of wine and craft cocktails.
Thanksgiving Dinner at The Manor kicks off a series of holiday events that few eateries in the state can match. The turkey feast usually features a four-course à la carte buffet with seatings from the afternoon through early evening. Diners will be treated to lamb, ham, prime rib, and beef, in addition to the traditional roast turkey. And to top it off: a full Viennese-style dessert display to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Some are more partial to the flavors of the sea than the customary turkey feast and that's totally acceptable at The Oceanaire Seafood Room. The Shops at Riverside Square Mall in Hackensack houses an outpost of this upscale chain, where lobster tails and crab cakes typically reign. It does, however, also serve run-of-the-mill turkey-and-fixings on Thanksgiving Day, that way the traditionalists and adventurous foodies of the family are both happy.
Even the name of this French restaurant in Chatham has a soothing sort of ring to it. Here on Roosevelt Avenue, Chef Laird serves up innovated French fare with a contemporary American flair. Thanksgiving typically involves turkey with the traditional accompaniments, halibut with seasonal ratatouille, sea bass with lobster tomato risotto, or filet mignon with a portobello mushroom marmalade—is your mouth watering yet? An assortment of tarts, cakes, and cobblers are available for after. Restaurant Serenade can prepare an entirely gluten-free meal for an additional fee, too.