Your Essential Guide to Thanksgiving
Don’t let stress take over your Thanksgiving Dinner preparations. With a little help from the pros, you can have the holiday under control in no time. We've crafted the ultimate guide to celebrating Thanksgiving in Union Square, with tips on everything from where to buy fresh ingredients or where to go for dinner, to fall activities for families and out-of-town visitors.
Union Square Greenmarket is a one stop destination for all the fresh, local vegetables and fruits your Thanksgiving spread needs. The market will be open on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday the week of Thanksgiving; it will close Friday, and reopen with its regular schedule on Saturday. You'll have an extra day before your big dinner to stock up on sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins and apples! You can also pre-order pasture-raised turkeys from select vendors, including Tamarack Hollow Farm. For a full list of local farms that are providing Thanksgiving turkeys, visit the Greenmarket website.
Across the street Whole Foods Market is keeping their doors open until 11 PM the night before Thanksgiving, and on Thanksgiving day from 7 AM - 4 PM. Visit their website for some tasteful inspiration for your feast. Recipes include traditional turkey dinners, food for small gatherings or simple suppers, and even vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free menu items. You can also order ready-to-eat options from the Market.
At Fleishers Craft Butchery (headquartered at WeWork in Union Square) you can pre-order a range of pasture-raised turkeys, without growth hormones or unnecessary antibiotics. Their website also offers a comprehensive guide on everything you need to brine, roast and perfect your turkey.
For the Culinary-Challenged
Don’t feel like cooking this year? You don't have to lift a finger to have a delicious home-style Thanksgiving spread. Restaurants in Union Square make it their mission to make the holidays easier on you with delicious pre-fixe meals to take home and serve.
Daily Provisions offers a full catered spread of rotisserie turkey and pan gravy, rosemary-walnut oil, cranberry mostarda, turkey-giblet-mushroom stuffing, whipped potatoes, and more.
Danny Meyer’s barbecue haven, Blue Smoke offers a menu with sweet-potato mash, green beans, biscuits, pie, and turkey breast.
For those looking to switch it up at the dinner table, Momofuku Ssäm Bar is selling roasted pork shoulder with bibb sauce, napa kimchee, and pork gravy, plus sweet-potato purée with BLiS maple syrup and roasted marshmallow, turkey buns, apple pie, and more.
Don't forget: presentation is key. Whether your feast is made with fresh ingredients or prepared dishes, you'll need a great place setting to impress your guests. Chilewich is the perfect place to find high-quality, unique placemats, tablecloths, napkins, and other beautiful table accessories.
In one of the greatest food cities in the world, there's no shame is dining out for Thanksgiving. Gather your family and friends and let amazing Union Square restaurants take care of it for you.
Craft: $150 per person, kids $75
Their specially prepared menu lets diners craft their own elaborate meal by selecting a locally raised protein and a number of elegant vegetable and grain sides. Dessert includes fall favorites like pumpkin and apple pie, and of course vegetarian alternatives are available.
On the menu: The three-course, family-style menu presents twists on the classics: wagyu carpaccio with pickled quail egg and crispy shallots; roasted free-range turkey, sea scallops, black truffle and cauliflower; and sides such as roasted autumn vegetables and sausage, or raisin and fennel stuffing. End the meal with apple crisp, pumpkin pie and Sugar and Spice doughnuts. Full menu & reservations.
Maialino: $115 per person, kids $65
For an Italian-inspired holiday celebration, head to Danny Meyer’s homage to Roman trattorias, Maialino. The Gramercy spot is offering a choice between two four-course Thanksgiving menus: an Italian-American, turkey-centered meal and a traditional Italian option centered on a whole roasted suckling pig.
On the menu: Besides the bird, the American-leaning menu offers butternut squash soup, kale sausage stuffing and an apple crumb crostata and brown sugar bourbon gelato. Alongside the pig, on the Italian menu, you’ll get stracciatella alla romana, abbachio al farno, and tiramisu. Reservations.
Let's Talk Dessert
Don't get as stuffed as you're turkey! You'll definitely want to make room for the best desserts in the neighborhood.
Apple and pumpkin pies are Thanksgiving classics, but Breads Bakery is baking a few more unique treats. Pick up their decadent Pumpkin cheesecake, festive Thanksgiving Challah, Autumn Apple Cranberry Tart or their Babka Pie—a spin on their famous chocolate babka.
Looking to wow your guests with one of Union Square's most sought after desserts? Try Union Fare's uniquely delicious treats and baked goods like the red velvet, matcha & birthday cake croissants.
For some delicious French treats, head to Maison Kayser, an authentic artisanal French boulangerie, where breads and other baked goods are mixed and baked on-site all day long.
Union Square Holiday Guide
Pick up your Union Square Holiday Guide in the Union Square Greenmarket or Union Square Holiday Market starting on November 16th and find our curated lists for shopping for everyone on your list, plus deals to local grab and go eateries to enjoy while you're out and about.
Free Walking Tour
Our free walking tour “Union Square: Crossroads of New York,” led by the historians at Big Onion Walking Tours will show your guests both the current and past Union Square.
Explore the social and political history of the Union Square neighborhood and learn about the people and events that shaped this vibrant historical community.
Theater For All Ages
Entertain guests with a choice from three shows just steps from the Square on East 15th Street. All shows offer performances on the days surrounding Thanksgiving.
For your 21+ crowd, experience magic and illusion at In & Of Itself from executive producer Neil Patrick Harris at the Daryl Roth Theatre, or see Billy Crudup in the wickedly funny thrilled Harry Clarke at The Vineyard. For kids, book tickets to the off-Broadway hit The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show that brings Eric Carle's beloved books to life with life-sized puppetry.
Holiday Market Shopping
Beginning November 16th, The Union Square Holiday Market will be open for shopping! While it's closed on Thanksgiving Day, it's the perfect activity for Friday and Saturday to get a head start on shopping. Or, send your early guests to spend time browsing the aisles in the days leading up to the holiday.
Hailed as a must-visit destination for unique gifts created by local craftsmen and artists, millions of people browse the winding aisles each year enjoying this unique and eclectic holiday experience. Shop for:
- Jewelry and accessories
- Gifts for children, teens, and the young-at-heart
- Artwork, from posters to framed prints and paintings
- Home goods, from bowls crafted from natural olive wood to coasters made of slate
- Candles, soaps, and skin care products for men and women
- Winter accessories like scarves, hats, and gloves
- Gourmet pantry items, from small-batch jams to all natural olive oils
- Food and drink, from authentic Persian soup to rich hot chocolate
Exciting sections unique to the Union Square Market like Little Brooklyn and Urbanspace Provisions, a warming station, a kid’s craft studio, live music, and the best vendor selection in the Northeast, Union Square Holiday Market is the holiday destination for New Yorkers and tourists alike.