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Tavern on the Green Thanksgiving
Photograph: Courtesy Mitchell Frye

Restaurants open on Thanksgiving when you don’t feel like cooking

These are the best restaurants open on Thanksgiving in NYC whether you’re far from home or just hate cooking.

Edited by
Will Gleason
Written by
Alyson Penn
&
Victoria Marin
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Thanksgiving in NYC is an especially high-spirited time of the year: from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, to Friendsgiving festivities galore to plenty of opportunities to sample the gamut of the city’s best pies. Even though your tiny apartment alone is a good enough excuse to not host a big dinner, what makes dining out on Thanksgiving Day even particularly enticing is that some of the best restaurants in NYC are open for holiday business (some serving turkey, others not so much). Here are some of our favorites.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Thanksgiving in NYC

Best restaurants open on Thanksgiving

Il Buco
  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Noho
  • price 3 of 4

The old-world charm of well-worn communal tables, dangling copper cookware and flickering lamps may help explain why a 20-year-old restaurant is still tough to get into on a Saturday night. Seasonal produce shapes the holiday menu (5 courses; $115 pp) of executive chef Roger Martinez, which will include dishes like Zuppa red kuri squash with toasted pumpkin seed, Cavoletti Brussels sprouts and Bartlett pear and house-made ravioli filled with ricotta, toasted chestnuts and sage. You’ll have no trouble finding a wine to match your meal; Il Buco’s list is one of the city’s best.

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Lower East Side
  • price 2 of 4

A curated thrift store in front hawks vintage jewelry, boom boxes and guitars; a gigantic one-story crystal chandelier fronts a grand, curving staircase; and the main dining room opens up under a massive skylight. Though the interior aims to dazzle—and there’s an equivalent expectation that you dress to impress – the food offers comforting flavors. There’s also a thoughtful non-alcoholic cocktail list.

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  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Greenwich Village
  • price 3 of 4

New York's French-food revival is alive and well. This provençal outfit has a Mediterranean-hopping holiday menu (3 courses; $78 for adults, $25 for children) laced with North African and Middle Eastern influences, like the sweet potato falafel and the vegetable tagine. The walls of the rustic space are walled with gorgeous white hand-painted tiles, making it feel like you’re having Thanksgiving dinner on a faraway vacation.

Left Bank
  • Restaurants
  • American
  • West Village
  • price 2 of 4

Chef LaurenceEdelman (Barbuto, Mermaid Inn) converted the Braeburn space—now outfitted with a vintage crystal-and-wrought-iron chandelier, white-painted brick walls and steer horns—into this New American restaurant. Expect composed plates like lamb tartare with potatoes, anchovy and Parmesan, and crusty brandade with olives and toast.

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • West Village
  • price 3 of 4

Thanksgiving dinner (four courses; $105 pp) at Houseman is equal parts seasonally familiar and West Village bistro hip (think: butternut squash and fried sage with hot maple syrup and turkey leg confit served with turkey skin cracklin), and the sleek yet rustic setting make it feel both sophisticated and cozy.

  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • West Village
  • price 2 of 4

Thanksgiving dinner (three courses; $85 pp + $13 extra for additional sides) at this standout West Village bistro includes a well-curated variety of options for every palate. If you’re feeling extra festive, go for both the Thanksgiving salad (made with a seasonal array of produce including Brussels, candied walnuts, poached pears and a honey cranberry vinaigrette) and the traditional Thanksgiving plate (featuring roasted turkey breast, braised dark meat, sausage stuffing, vanilla whipped sweet potatoes, and truffled baby Yukons amongst other delights).

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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Financial District
  • price 3 of 4

Step into this all-day Italian restaurant from the folks behind the city’s poshest restaurant chain. Ensconced inside Cipriani’s new Seaport District boutique hotel, the eatery offers can’t-miss faves: pasta, panini, seafood and tiramisu.

  • Restaurants
  • American creative
  • Crown Heights

Perhaps the most unassuming and earnest Michelin star-winning restaurant in NYC, Oxalis never disappoints, and their Thanksgiving dinner (three courses; $135 pp) will be no exception. Expect a dynamic locavore menu made to share, including a guinea hen feast surrounded by traditional Thanksgiving sides served with a twist, and a number of a la carte additions available for the especially hungry diners. 

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Tribeca
  • price 2 of 4

Bubby’s is understandably one of NYC’s most favorite family restaurants: it’s welcoming, warm and the food is hearty and flavorful. Their Thanksgiving Day menu (three courses; $80/pp) includes their trademark buttermilk biscuits and the traditional turkey and ham; there’s also a vegetarian lasagna option available for the non-meat eaters (note that it must be pre-ordered). For dessert, choose from their iconic holiday pie list, including apple, pumpkin and cherry.

  • Restaurants
  • American creative
  • Greenwich Village
  • price 2 of 4

Dan Kluger's vibrant Greenmarket riffs earned him a James Beard Award for his plates at ABC Kitchen in addition to a legion of locavore followers who have seemingly tailed the chef the 10 blocks downtown to his new dining room at Loring Place. If you’d prefer to indulge in the restaurant’s divine seasonal reverie at home, place an order for their takeaway Thanksgiving dinner kit ($275 for four people), which is made up of nearly a dozen homey delights, including turkey pot pie, roasted Brussels sprouts with apples, and spiced acorn squash.

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  • Restaurants
  • Diners
  • Long Island City
  • price 1 of 4

If you’re looking for a no-frills holiday dinner without actually having to eat traditional Thanksgiving food, this 75-year-old, 24-hour Long Island City diner is your spot. Choose from one of the many classic American dishes – go for the all-day breakfast if you really want to rebel against the Thanksgiving machine – in the retro space for a late night, early morning or anything-in-between meal.

  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • DUMBO
  • price 3 of 4

Celebrate everything you’re thankful for this year against the stunning backdrop of the Brooklyn Bridge. This DUMBO waterfront cafe is known for presenting dishes that compete with the unforgettable views, which makes their special Thanksgiving dinner (four courses; $100 for adults, $45 for children under 12) a surefire memory maker. Expect hearty plates full of seasonal and local produce like a fall chicories salad, roasted delicata squash, and a wild mushroom tagliatelle.

And find bars to hit up after

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