Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate with family and friends, and by that, I mean your friends who are just as good as family. Treat them (and yourself) by throwing a Friendsgiving party this Thanksgiving in the most glamorous and food savvy city, New York, New York. Whether you're looking for two turkey dinners or want to celebrate Thanksgiving all week long, these nine restaurants won't disappoint you and your besties.
Opened in early fall, this high-end Japanese restaurant offers a trendy and upbeat atmosphere that makes for a perfect Friendsgiving. Located beneath the Dream Downtown hotel, Megu offers a unique experience combined with delicious food prepared by renowned Chef Frances Tariga-Weshnak.Perhaps most fascinating, the restaurant features a 3-D activated imaging that transforms the room as diners enjoy their food. The Wagyu Foie Gras Croquettes and Meatpacking Roll are must haves. This summer, I was fortunate enough to taste-test Chef Frances' sushi platter while interning for their incredible PR team, and it still stands as the best sushi I've ever had in my life.
Beauty and Essex
One of my all time favorite restaurants and infamous NY speakeasy, Beauty and Essex is designed as a pawn shop. Don't let its outside appearance fool you though, because as soon as you open the door, you're greeted by an ambiance that oozes early sixties glam. The cocktails are inventive and delicious, and the tapas-style menu is out of this world. I highly recommend the Tuna Poke Wonton Tacos and the Beauty Elixir for a cocktail. And what's better than free-flowing pink champagne in the ladies room?
A favorite destination for my friends and me, this Pan-Asian restaurant specializes in authentic Hong Kong Chinese, Japanese, as well as Thai cuisines. Tao offers three levels of dining, a sushi bar, lounge, and two bars. Perhaps most exciting, the restaurant features a 16-foot Buddha that floats above a reflecting pool filled with Japanese carp. My favorite dishes include the Miso Glazed Chilean Sea Bass with Wok Vegetables and the Spicy Tuna Tartar on Crispy Rice.
Vandal celebrates the art, architecture, and food of global street culture from New York to Vietnam to Barcelona, and beyond. In fact, street artists were brought in to paint the walls of this trendy restaurant located on Bowery Street. You and your friends will be transformed into an entirely different world once entering the restaurant, and are immediately greeted by an 11-foot tall, breakdancing lacquered bunny rabbit that is perfect for any photo op. I highly recommend the Hot Pretzel Steak Tartare and the Grilled Chilean Sea Bass Tacos.
Throughout November, this trendy Mexican restaurant will be offering their "Friendsgiving Feast." Chef Michael Armstrong will prepare a whole-roasted pig with house-made corn tortillas and salsa along with traditional festive desserts. Some dishes include butternut squash tacos with pumpkin seeds and dried cherry salsa (yum!). Reservations are available for parties of eight people or more from November 5th-30th (excluding Thanksgiving day), for $125 per person.
Renowned chef Jean-George's restaurant offers the freshest seasonal menu that is locally focused and globally artistic. This Thanksgiving, there will be a four-course Latin Thanksgiving dinner: turkey with jalapeño cornbread stuffing and chipotle gravy. The restaurant will also be serving their regular menu if you are craving their famous tacos. This space is perfect for those who enjoy a little spice combined with the utmost fresh and tasty food this Friendsgiving season.
Want to Spend your Friendsgiving with Jay Z? Well, this is the closet you're going to get it this Thanksgiving season. The celeb's Manhattan sports bar and lounge has prepared a full on Thanksgiving feast for you and your besties. Some dishes include apple cornbread stuffing, concord raisin red wine reduction mashedpPotatoes, followed by traditional pumpkin or apple pie for dessert.
Offering a boozy brunch all Thanksgiving day until 6 pm, this East Village sports bar is a perfect place to host a Friendsgiving for those who want a more laid back atmosphere. Football games will be streamed all day long so you can cheer on your favorite team while sipping endless mimosas.
Blu on Park
Offering a wide array of steaks and seafood, get ready to splurge at this delicious Upper East Side restaurant with their full bar possessing wines and champagne from around the world. The porterhouse and sautéed black sea bass are among many of customer favorites. Join Blu this Thanksgiving for an unforgettable meal. They will be offering a prix fixe menu consisting of three decadent courses for $69 per plate, in addition to a limited version of the regular menu.
Friendsgiving — all of the great food with none of the crazy family members. There's no better time to treat yo self than the holidays, so get your fill of Thanksgiving favorites at these trendy and delicious spots in the big apple.