The Six Best NYC Restaurants for Thanksgiving Dinner 2013

The inside seating at Red Farm in NYC, with support beams between every red and white plaid seats

Updated recommendations! Check out this year's 

Best NYC Restaurants for Thanksgiving Dinner 2014

There's nothing more festive than hosting a big, home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner: your warm, delicious-smelling home filled with friends, family, loved ones, everybody jolly, children perfectly behaved, a game of touch football in the leaf-strewn back yard…. Nice, right?

But the reality is, some years it's even MORE nice to not have to do any work at all, to keep things low-key and just show up at one of the many great restaurants in town with special Thanksgiving menus, feast to your belly's content, no dishes to clean. If this is one of those eat-out years for you and yours, here are six suggestions to get you started: 

One of the very elegant Thanksgiving dishes at Kutsher's Tribeca served on a white plate topped with orange, purple and green condiments

Thanksgivukkah at Kutsher's Tribeca 

As I'm sure you've heard, the first night of Hannukah falls on Thanksgiving this year, a confluence of holidays that won't happen again until 2070. No surprise, Kutsher's Tribeca, perhaps NYC's only "modern Jewish American bistro" is throwing a party, with a special multi-course, many-sided menu that includes Pumpkin Shlishkas and Challah Chestnut Stuffing. Adults pay $65, kids $48.

Women looking out the window at Jane's Restaurant

Jane Restaurant Thanksgiving

Full disclosure: the only time I've ever eaten Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant was about six or seven years ago at Jane on West Houston Street, and it was fantastic. Really, if it were up to me, this is where we'd go every year. The food was terrific, the servers friendly and fun, the whole scene festive. The 2013 Jane Thanksgiving menu includes such winners as Roasted Pumpkin Risotto and Pumpkin Pie in a Jar with roasted pepitas. Adults pay $55, kids $27.50. 

Red Farm pastrami egg roll dish, with pastrami and vegetable served in a crunchy egg roll shell

Red Farm Thanksgiving

I know, I know…. Chinese food is more of a Christmas Day tradition here in NYC, but Red Farm's the hottest–and, more important, one of the best–restaurants right now on the Upper West Side, so if you're in the mood for a lively time AND lots of awesome dumplings, this might be the spot. No word yet on Red Farm's Thanksgiving specials, but last year Chef Ng cooked up such delights as a Peking Turkey and Tempura Yams. Here's the Red Farm site, but maybe follow them on Twitter for breaking Thanksgiving-menu news.

A Thanksgiving dish served at David Burke Townhouse with steak and vegetables presented on a white plate

David Burke Townhouse Thanksgiving 

For a more refined Thanksgiving experience, there's the elegant David Burke Townhouse on the Upper East Side. A three course dinner will set you back $85, but oh what choices you have! Warm Duck Confit and Spiced Cranberry Salad, The "Lobster Steak", Chocolate Pecan Pie…. sounds like a fine meal to me. 

The interior seating at Vegetarian restaurant Candle 79, colored red and white

Candle 79 Vegan Thanksgiving 

For vegetarians, vegans, and those who love them, the Upper East Side's Candle 79 offers a fabulous feast of veggie-based treats. This year's menu is not posted yet, but I hear it will set you back $79 per person for a multi-course meal. In years past they've served such dishes as Grilled Artichokes with haricots verts, Roasted Squash Soup with almond cream, Porcini Crusted Tofu, and a Cranberry, Fig, and Eggnog ice cream sampler. Keep your eyes on their Facebook page for updates, or just reserve your spot today.   

Exterior view of Back Forty West, a red brick building in SoHo

Back Forty East and West Thanksgiving 

Finally, there's one-two Thanksgiving extravaganzas at Peter Hoffman's pioneering farm-to-table spots, Back Forty East (in the East Village), and West (in Soho). I actually had a Christmas dinner at East one year, and can attest that they do it right, in that homey, family-style kind of way. East will cost you $60, West $65, and past menus looks amazing (Fried Brussels Sprouts Carbonara drizzled with Crispy Pancetta & Hollandaise, anyone? how about a Stuffed Delicata squash with Barley, Black Walnuts, Dried Cherries and Melted Manchego Cheese?). See for yourself!

RedFarm on UrbanspoonJane Restaurant on UrbanspoonKutsher's Tribeca on UrbanspoonDavid Burke Townhouse on UrbanspoonCandle 79 on UrbanspoonBack Forty on Urbanspoon

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