The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors into Manhattan each year, many of whom end up at a local Thanksgiving dinner. If you are one of those people, do not arrive to your friend’s house empty-handed. We suggest bringing one of these beloved NYC-unique foods or drinks, guaranteed to get you a return invitation.
Help your host with appetizer hour, New York-style. Murray’s Cheese, in the West Village, has been a Manhattan favorite since opening in 1940. Much of the store’s selection of cheeses hails from Murray’s own aging caves in the city. Cheese requires bread, of course, so stop by Breads Bakery in Union Square for the city’s best loaves, rolls and baguettes. Israeli-born Danish baker Uri Scheft took New York by storm when he opened Breads in 2013 after helming Tel Aviv’s wildly successful Lehamim Bakery for a decade. Photo above by >@murrayscheese.
Tourists head in droves to Brooklyn Brewery, but we prefer the year-old Threes Brewing, in Brooklyn’s Boerum Hill neighborhood. Not only is the beer top-notch, with plenty of options (more than 25 on tap), but the brewery also hosts a rotating kitchen residency, where New York City’s best restaurants take over the space for a month at a time. Have a meal from buzzy southern restaurant Hill Country this month before grabbing a growler or two of your favorite beer to bring to Thanksgiving.
Oenophiles can surprise their hosts with some Manhattan-made wine, too. City Winery, in SoHo, doubles as a restaurant and concert venue, along with selling bottles of its locally fermented wines. (Grapes hail from around the world.) Photo by @pepperknit.
Thanksgiving means pies, and New York City has plenty of options. Little Pie Company’s sour cream, apple and walnut pie from is a delicious take on the fall classic from actor-turned-baker Arnold Wilkerson’s 30-year-old sweet shop in Midtown. In Brooklyn, Four and Twenty Blackbirds makes a rich bittersweet chocolate pecan pie. The shop, opened by two South Dakotans in 2010, has quickly entered the ranks of the city’s top bakeries.
Not a pie fan? Magnolia Bakery is famous for its cupcakes, but we love its banana pudding even more. The dessert, made with layers of vanilla wafers, fresh bananas and vanilla pudding, is fluffy and rich, and would make a great addition to any Thanksgiving dinner. Photo by @birdsblack.
Do post-Thanksgiving breakfast right with New York bagels. Every city-dweller has an opinion on New York’s best bagel, but we’re partial to Absolute Bagels. This Upper West Side hole in the wall serves the real deal—their hand-rolled bagels are slightly smaller and softer than its rivals. Grab a dozen the day before Thanksgiving. Even day old, they’ll be better than most any other bagels in the country. (For maximum freshness, slice and freeze them, then defrost in the toaster.) Or just bring a jar of Sarabeth’s jam, which makes any old piece of toast feel special. Chef Sarabeth Levine started making preserves in 1981, using a 200-year-old recipe. Today, she’s the name behind several popular New York restaurants, each of which proudly serves her jams and preserves with brunch. Pick up a sampler box to try the many flavors. Photo by @shoesmelissa.