New York City doesn’t do anything halfway, albeit sometimes we do things uniquely. Thanksgiving dinner in NYC is a perfect example, most folks have tiny kitchens and not a ton of room to host, so a lot of locals dine out. Mix in the influx of tourists from the Macy’s Day Parade and restaurants get busy.
In this article I’ll go over the best restaurants to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner in NYC. I’ll skip the likes of fast food and grocery stores, and stick to joints that serve up the classics (turkey, mashed potatoes etc.) We have a lot of ground to cover, so let’s jump in!
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Thanksgiving Dinner Restaurants in New York City
Table of Contents: Where to Have Thanksgiving Dinner in New York City
Table of Contents: Best Thanksgiving Dinner in NYC
- Thanksgiving Dinner Restaurants in New York City
- How to Enjoy the Best Thanksgiving Dinner in NYC (Tips & Tricks)
- Best NYC Thanksgiving Dinner Restaurants (Post Summary)
- Thanksgiving Dinner in New York City (Map)
The Plaza Hotel
One of the most iconic buildings in New York City, The Plaza Hotel is hallowed ground for socialites, celebrities and politicians. To that point, it’s been a fan-favorite for elegant Thanksgiving dinner in NYC for over 100 years. There’s even a vintage menu from 1899 that makes the rounds on social media, advertising all the fixings the hotel’s staff prepares for the holiday.
Present day The Plaza is still home to one of the best Thanksgiving dinners in NYC. The elegance is second to none and if you’re looking for a place to splurge, you’ve found it. The menu and pricing for 2024 hasn’t been announced, but in years past it’s north of $200.
Friend of a Farmer’s
Opening in 1986, Friend of a Farmer has been spearheading the farm-to-table culinary movement for decades. You’d be correct in assuming the rustic kitchen is responsible for the best Thanksgiving dinner in NYC. On Thanksgiving Day the restaurant fulfills take out orders (that were placed in advance) from 9 to 11AM. Then, starting at noon, those who were lucky enough to snag a reservation get to feast.
The traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu is a simple but classic array of eats. Oven roasted turkey headlines a lineup that includes cornbread, mashed potatoes and cranberries. Price-wise, Friend of a Farmer’s 2023 New York City Thanksgiving dinner ran $100 per person, before tax. Considering the holiday, restaurant’s charm and quality of food, it’s a great value.
A New York City gem, Anton’s oozes a sense of timelessness that’s impossible to resist. Last year the NYC Thanksgiving dinner menu consisted of a three course, prix-fixe menu that featured a traditional Turkey and classic sides (and a kids menu with chicken tenders, among other items). It’s safe to assume the 2024 menu will be similar.
With one of the best Thanksgiving dinners in New York City and the charm of a quaint, small-town restaurant you’ll never want to leave. Although the restaurant has yet to post their 2024 NYC Thanksgiving dinner menu, in 2023 it ran $115 per person.
Rudy’s Bar & Grill
Anyone who’s been to Rudy’s might be surprised to learn the bar makes one of the best Thanksgiving dinner feasts in NYC. The joint is famous for its cheap beer and hot-dogs (and a pig statue named Baron Von Swine). But don’t worry, you won’t be having to chow down on Franks in lieu of turkey.
The folks behind the bar cook all the traditional fixings, and in a tremendous display of generosity serve a free Thanksgiving dinner in New York City. Rudy’s specifically advertises it for the folks who “can’t go make it home for the holidays.” Faith in humanity: restored. The feast starts at 1PM and goes until the food runs out (and it will run out).
A staple restaurant for New York City brunch, Jacob’s Pickle also makes a mouthwatering Thanksgiving dinner. The southern restaurant trades in fried chicken and waffles for mashed potatoes and turkey and you’re not going to want to miss it.
Not to mention their famous mac & cheese helps give the restaurant a boost on the Best Thanksgiving Dinner in NYC power rankings. As an added bonus their location on the Upper West Side makes it an easy destination after the Macy’s Day Parade.
Tavern on the Green
Tavern On The Green is one of the most iconic restaurants in New York City, the building was originally meant to house the 700 resident sheep of Central Park. Cozy and aptly decorated for the holidays, they’re one of the most sought-after destinations for Thanksgiving dinner in NYC.
The Upper West Side restaurant is always one of the first to make Thanksgiving dinner reservations available, and they go fast. Prices in 2023 started at $135 per person, and a 20% gratuity is added onto every check (so $162 total, per person).
Any one of Frank Prisinzano’s Restaurants
Frank Prisinzano is one of New York City’s most prolific restaurateurs. He runs Lil Frankie’s, Frank, Supper and Daddies. He’s a celebrated chef too, with nearly 200 thousand followers on Instagram. Incredibly, Prisinzano has made it tradition to host anyone celebrating Thanksgiving in NYC alone, offering a free, four course dinner at all of his restaurants, no questions asked.
Things like this make me love this city, because with 8.5 million residents there no reason to have Thanksgiving dinner in NYC alone. You can walk into any one of Prisinzano’s restaurants alone and walk out with a friend, the only thing the restaurateur asks is that you tip his staff.
What do Teddy Roosevelt, Albert Einstein and Babe Ruth have in common? They’ve all enjoyed a meal at one of the most iconic restaurants in New York City — Keen’s Steakhouse. Contrary to what the name suggests, Keen’s Steakhouse is best known for mutton chops, and during Thanksgiving dinner the NYC restaurant offers even more variety.
In addition to the famous mutton chops you’ll also get to choose between turkey, prime rib, filet mignon or a dover sole. Just expect the storied restaurant to charge a pretty penny. In 2023, Keen’s Thanksgiving dinner cost $149 per person for their four-course meal.
Fraunces Tavern has been in operation since 1762, effectively making this one of the oldest (but not the oldest) bars in New York City. The iconic watering hole holds historical significance that can’t be beat, it hosted George Washington on several occasions.
Needless to say, Fraunces Tavern is a dream Thanksgiving dinner restaurant in NYC for history buffs. In 2023 dinner consisted of a three course, traditional meal that ran $95 per person. The main courses included traditional turkey, filet mignon, pan seared branzino and pesto papardelle.
Rosemary’s has its own rooftop vegetable garden that helps provide the produce they serve their guests, which is a true testament to their craft. Even better, Rosemary’s is one of my favorite Thanksgiving dinner restaurants in NYC.
The joint is cute as a button, and just as warm and inviting as you’d hope for a holiday. The Italian restaurant goes traditional-American for the night. Unfortunately I don’t have pricing for the restaurant just yet, I’ll update this post as soon as they release more information.
Keeping in line with Italian restaurants, Carmine’s is a New York City mainstay that has been around for more than three decades. Catering to family style dining, it’s a perfect Thanksgiving dinner restaurant in NYC. In fact, their Thanksgiving dinner feast is meant for groups of 6-8 people, and can be enjoyed as take-out or dine-in options.
Turkey, brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes and gravy cover the table making it hard to even know where to start. Plus, since the flagship location is located centrally in Times Square I’d recommend planning to watch a Broadway show afterwards because you’ll be too stuffed to walk.
Famous for some of the best soul-food on the East Coast, Jacob Restaurant is a place you should go out of your way to visit, especially on Thanksgiving. In a true act of selflessness, the folks who run Jacob Restaurant have gifted free Thanksgiving dinner in NYC for 14 years. As if the community needed another reason to love this restaurant dearly!
But fair warning, the line at Jacob Restaurant can get pretty long on Thanksgiving, but take the time to chat with your neighbors as you wait your turn. At the end of the day Thanksgiving is a holiday meant to bring us together. Or, place your catering order ahead of time and enjoy it at home with friends & family.
You know the way a dog’s ears perk up when they see a squirrel? Well mine do that when someone says, want to go to Bubby’s? Seriously, this joint is famous for their pancakes but craft a mouthwatering Thanksgiving dinner in NYC. The potatoes, biscuits and pies are all year-round dishes Bubby’s makes perfectly, and on Thanksgiving they team up with turkey or ham for a home-run.
In 2023 Bubby’s prix-fixe Thanksgiving dinner ran $125 per person, reservations were required and each reservation was for an hour and a half.
Serving a plethora of traditional American fare, The Smith is a hot-spot for locals and tourists alike and one of the best restaurants for Thanksgiving dinner in New York City. Crowds are all but guaranteed but with so many locations sprinkled around New York City the restaurant shouldn’t be too hard to get a reservation at.
The restaurant has four locations across New York City. One in the Upper West Side (perfect for a post-Macy’s Day Parade meal), another in Nomad, one in the East Village and the last one in Midtown. In 2022 The Smith charged $78 per person for a three course, Thanksgiving Dinner, and the NYC restaurant will likely charge a similar price tag in 2024.
Craft is a former Michelin star restaurant that exudes a level of sophistication that’s hard to beat. If you’re in need of a NYC Thanksgiving dinner restaurant to impress a special someone or treat your out of town guests, Craft will is sure to dazzle.
The seasonal, farm-to-table American fare will leave you stuffed and you’re going to be counting down the days until Thanksgiving rolls around the next year. 2024 menu and pricing is not yet available, but I will update this post as soon as I have more information.
How to Enjoy the Best Thanksgiving Dinner in NYC (Tips & Tricks)
Make your reservations ASAP:
The holiday season in New York City is a madhouse. Folks travel from far and wide to see the lights, decorations and especially the Macy’s Day Parade. Do yourself a favor and make Thanksgiving dinner reservations in NYC now.
You can also order your meal to go:
Okay, if you didn’t listen to my previous tip listen to this one. If the restaurant you wanted Thanksgiving dinner in NYC is completely booked, ask about ordering to go. Oftentimes you can snag the exact same meal (and usually at a less expensive price) if you take it to go. This is also a great way to host Thanksgiving dinner in a small New York City apartment, since you don’t have to actually cook!
Remember, most restaurants offer prix-fixe menus:
You should be aware that if you want to visit one of your favorite restaurants in NYC for Thanksgiving dinner odds are they might not have the same menu. This is because most restaurants offer a prix-fixe menu on Thanksgiving, which is where you get multiple courses for a set price.
Be aware of the cancellation policy:
As much as I recommend booking your reservations early, read the fine print in your reservation to avoid any fees if you have to cancel. The prix-fixe menu prices are steep, and if you cancel without enough time you might have to pay a portion of it anyways.
Be super kind to your waitstaff:
This isn’t much of a tip, rather it’s a reminder. The folks taking your order and making your food are working on a holiday. Remember the golden rule: treat others the way you would want to be treated. Take it from someone who used to work on holidays, even if you love your job you’d rather be hanging out with your own friends and family.
Best NYC Thanksgiving Dinner Restaurants (Post Summary)
- The Plaza Hotel
- Friend of a Farmer’s
- Jacob’s Pickles
- Tavern on the Green
- Any one of Frank Prisinzano’s Restuarants
- Keen’s Steakhouse
- Fraunces Tavern
- Jacob Restaurant
- The Smith
Frequently Asked Questions
New Yorkers often celebrate Thanksgiving by enjoying traditional meals at a variety of restaurants across the city, including popular choices like Tavern on the Green, The Plaza Hotel, and Carmine’s.
New Yorkers typically enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving feast, featuring roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and various seasonal sides, followed by pumpkin pie for dessert.
Restaurant’s like Rudy’s, Jacob’s Soul Food, and Lil Frankie’s host Thanksgiving dinners for those who find themselves alone on Thanksgiving in New York City.
Yes, New York City is usually busy at Thanksgiving, with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, holiday events, and an influx of visitors contributing to the festive atmosphere.
Thanksgiving Dinner in New York City (Map)
And there you have it, my friends. I hope this article about the best Thanksgiving dinner restaurants in NYC helps make your holidays a richer experience.
Until next time, cheers!