Thanksgiving is a great time for good times with family and friends, but preparing the biggest meal of the year can be really stressful, especially if you're traveling to New York City for the holidays. Turkeys take hours to bake, the side dishes require hours of prep time, and you have to set aside a couple hours to head to the store to buy it all before you even start.
If you're pressed for time this year—or don't know how you'll manage to bake a full Thanksgiving feast in your tiny Manhattan apartment—you can opt instead to order a catered holiday meal from one of NYC's many restaurants and catering companies instead.
A number of establishments in New York City offer catering for Thanksgiving dinner, and you can pick up your order in the days before the holiday. To eliminate even that hassle, these five Manhattan grocery stores will deliver Thanksgiving feasts you can heat and serve at home in 2018. However, if you'd rather just spare yourself all the trouble of this feast-centric holiday, you can also choose to eat out in NYC instead.
Mix and Match or Go Traditional at Zabar's
Zabar's is an iconic store on the Upper West Side with more than 80 years of history, and it offers a great option for people who want their Thanksgiving catered this year.
Zabar's offers a complete Thanksgiving dinner for six or 10 people that includes roast turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry salad, mashed potatoes, string beans with almonds, dinner rolls, and apple or pumpkin pie. The dinner for six is $199, and the dinner for 10 is $299.
You can also order a la carte if you'd like a different menu for your holiday feast.
All orders will be delivered by messenger service, and you must book your meal at least a week before the holiday to ensure availability.
Trust Eli With Your Feast at Eli Zabar Holiday Catering
Located across Manhattan from Zabar's, the Vinegar Factory was established by Eli Zabar in 1993 and continues to grow the idea of what a large grocery store can be.
Now, Eli's Holiday Catering at the Vinegar Factory offers seasonal feasts, including a Thanksgiving menu, each year.
Traditional favorites included on this annual seasonal menu include free-range turkeys, corn pudding, corn chowder, glazed butternut squash, pumpkin pie, and just about every other side imaginable. You can either choose a pre-selected holiday meal or make your own custom menu a la carte, and you can either pick it up at the Vinegar Factory or have Eli Zabar's deliver it right to your door on Thanksgiving.
Since the menu is a la carte, your meal can cost anywhere from $100 to $600, depending on how many people you're feeding.
Explore Your Options at Butterfield Market
Established in 1915, Butterfield Market is still going strong more than 100 years later. This Upper East Side grocer offers a full menu for Thanksgiving dinner each year that include feasts for six or 12 people. It even offers a vegan alternative to your holiday feast, which is perfect for exploring new ways to enjoy this Thanksgiving tradition.
You can also order Thanksgiving items a la carte, including free-range turkeys, stuffing, vegan gravy, marshmallow sweet potatoes, and different kinds of pies for dessert.
Other menu highlights include butternut squash bisque with creme fraiche and toasted pumpkin seeds, vegan turkey stuffed with butternut squash and mushrooms, and four unique styles of dressing and stuffing.
Prices for 2018 range from $215 to $590, depending on which meal you order and how many servings you need. To book your holiday meal, you'll need to download the order sheet, complete it, then e-mail or fax it to the Butterfield Market. Orders must be placed by Friday, November 17, 2018.
Dive Into a Feast From Citarella
First opened in Manhattan in 1912, Citarella now has several locations across the island (and in Connecticut). Although it's primarily known as "The Seafood Authority" of grocery stores and catering companies, Citarella also prepares a Thanksgiving menu each year, which usually includes a feast for eight for $200, as well as a la carte items you can add to your meal.
This Thanksgiving, you can start your holiday meal off with some unique appetizers like sweet potato ravioli or pumpkin bisque before diving into a free-range or organic turkey accompanied by Citarella favorite sides like risotto with pumpkin and porcini, sausage stuffing, and baked stuffed acorn squash. For dessert, you can choose between four pies made by hand: pumpkin, apple, chocolate pecan, or sour cream apple pie.
Order A La Carte at Grace's Marketplace
With locations on the Upper East Side and on Long Island, Grace's Marketplace offers an excellent catering menu this holiday season that has a whole host of Thanksgiving entree options including traditional turkey or filet mignon, salmon, and ham. You can build your meal a la carte and choose from a long list of soups, stuffings, sides, and desserts.
If you're planning to get your holiday meal delivered by Grace's, you must submit your request by 3 p.m. on Monday, November 19, 2018. Additionally, Grace's Marketplace will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, so all orders will be delivered on Wednesday, November 21, 2018. You can also hire a wait staff from Grace's to serve your holiday feast.