The beauty of NYC, America’s melting pot, is that people migrate here for the opportunity to work and to build a life. So much of the population of Manhattan is people from elsewhere, be it a Midwesterner who moved here for college, or someone from another country making a better life for themselves.

During the time of Thanksgiving, a time traditionally spent with family, there is a large sense of community for those who might feel displaced. For transplants to the city and natives alike looking to enjoy the cultural festivities, here is our guide on how to feel like a New Yorker on Thanksgiving.


The night before…

The night before Thanksgiving is one of the biggest party nights of the year. For many, all of their friends are home for the holidays, and they don’t have to go to work the next day. Or maybe we all just need to blow off some steam. Either way, NYC gets rowdy for this night of debauchery, offering many great parties to check out.

Chelsea’s alternating night club and music venue  Highline Ballroom will have Italian rock group PFM performing.

The popular hot spot Lavo will have a DJ and bottle service going late into the night. Dress to impress.

The party at Hudson Terrace, the largest rooftop club overlooking the Hudson, will have two floors of dancing and festivities.


11091315_905258606163160_2149171140167725792_n-1Photo Credit: Lavo NY


The morning of….

Make sure you wake up in time to catch the Thanksgiving Day Parade. This native New Yorker would never be caught dead trying to brave those midtown crowds, but if you are up for an adventure, get to the Time Warner Center before their 9am opening for views of the parade route. It will be crowded, but it’s the biggest parade of the year and the floats are magnificent.


imagePhoto Credit: Gospel Herald


If you’re feeling active, you can take part in the Pilgrim Pedal, a 10-12 mile bike ride that starts in Manhattan and rides through Brooklyn and Queens, stopping for pancakes at a diner in Brooklyn on the way. Yes please.

One of the most rewarding things you can do on Thanksgiving is to volunteer. The city is full of initiatives on how to feed the hungry on this day of feasting, including Gobble Gobble Gobble Give, based in Harlem, where volunteers deliver hot meals and care packages to the homeless.


For the big feast…

We couldn’t even begin to tell you how many restaurants offer mouth-watering special menus for Thanksgiving in NYC… it would make us too hungry. 

Upscale Italian favorite A Voce will be serving a decadent prix-fixe meal with a choice of 3 of 4 courses, including a featured brick-cooked turkey, with celery root cream and cranberry jam.

Foodie favorite Café Bouloud is advertising a delicious looking Thanksgiving menu, with a mix of traditional Turkey dishes mixed with their own creative French fare, such as chanterelle risotto, smoked foie gras, and a pumpkin puffed pastry.

The upscale 21 Club , famous for its fine American fare, is offering a long and varied prixe-fixe menu. In case the classic turkey doesn’t do it for you, you can have Moraccan glazed Rohan duck or sea bass with coco beans, confit peppers and saffron. 


14656231724_94b045516d_zPhoto Credit: A Voce via Tiny Urban Kitchen


If you are a night owl….

Prepare yourself for Black Friday. NYC is a shopping mecca to begin with, and on the night of Thanksgiving, the biggest shopping night of the year, the streets will be swarming with people thirsty for 50% off  those designer brands. If you are the kind of person who can’t stand crowds, but is a sucker for a great sale (like this author), prepare yourself mentally, do your research, get focused, and go Black Friday.

However you choose to spend this day, it doesn’t matter if you have family in this big crazy city, there is a community to be found here. Choose to make Thanksgiving a day to celebrate, be thankful, and a chance to make yourself at home wherever you are.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.