Coming from Boston for the Macy's Parade Manhattan

My wife and I will be crossing one off her bucket list when we travel to NYC this Thanksgiving for the Macy’s Day parade. I’m looking for suggestions on where we can eat on Thanksgiving day (doesn’t need to be fancy or traditional). Also looking for other dining options. We’re staying (as usual) on the lower East side, and I’ll be having my traditional pastrami sandwich at Katz’s for one lunch, and we’ll be hitting up some of our favorite bars that we’ve frequented before. Looking for lunches and dinners in the midtown to LES range.

Also if anyone has any hints on a good place to see the parade would be appreciated.

Went there last year and had T-giving dinner at Rockefeller Center overlooking the rink. Didn’t blow my socks off but it was good with good service. I don’t remember the price but it wasn’t crazy.
My brother and his family got a great spot on the street by getting there about 6:00 AM We sidled up about 9

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I highly recommend betony, in Midtown, on 57th St., between 5th & 6th Aves. Info about their Thanksgiving offerings this year are on the website. My blog post about our Thanksgiving experiences there is here.

OpenTable has a list of restaurants with a Thanksgiving menu along with reservation availability. You can sort by location.

Re: other dining options during your stay. With literally hundreds of restaurants between Midtown and the LES, you need to help narrow things down by providing details of what you are looking for. Cuisines you prefer? Avoids? Price per person for lunch and dinner for food only (i.e., not including beverages, tax, and tip).

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Betony is probably my favorite restaurant in NYC

That said, when I’m in NYC for thanksgiving I head to Chinatown

Just talked to a friend who spent last Thanksgiving at Time Warner Center and loved it. She said if you go really early you can grab a seat in the bakery and have a great view of the parade.

Any types of cuisine, dinner up to $40 entrees, good cocktail programs.

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One of our favorite restaurants is NoMad, in the hotel of the same name, on Broadway, btw 27th & 28th Sts. Great for lunch and dinner. Delicious food and one of the city’s best cocktail programs. Reservations accepted. We recently had a terrific lunch there on my birthday. If you love white truffles, this is the best place to have them because they offer them at cost.

Photo set of NoMad lunch

Evenings, there is The NoMad Bar, entrance around the corner on 28th St. (separate from the bar in the restaurant). Wonderful food and the same first-rate cocktail program. No reservations. Note that on Sundays, they are doing a special Italian dinner called “Mamma Guidara’s.” We did it a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it. Tables are reservations-only (sold out), but you can have it at the bar where their regular menu is also available.

Photo set of “Mamma Guidara’s” dinner

Though Mr. RBI likes an occasional cocktail, I drink very little alcohol, so these – and betony – are pretty much the extent of my knowledge of places with good cocktail programs.

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The night before the parade go to the uws and see the balloons as they’re getting blown up, it’s fun to see them close up

+1 for the NoMad and NoMad bar recc, excellent cocktails.

Blue ribbon izakaya
Ivan ramen
SakaMai
Russ and daughters cafe
Motorino for lunch (great pizza and nice btg wines)
Gramercy tavern (tavern room is no res, great for a late lunch with less of a wait than dinner)
Wildair
Superiority burger (take and go or a few stools there)
Ess a bagel
Bar pitti (no reservations, best to go early)
Pig and khao
Momofuku ssam bar
Contra
Wassail (cider bar with a huge selection on tap and great food)

OK, so I have reservations for Wed night at The NoMad, and Friday night at Betony. I booked Thanksgiving at Quality Meats, but now in looking further, it doesn’t seem to be the best place. So I’m still looking for something nice for Thanksgiving evening, doesn’t need to be traditional at all. Thanks again in advance.

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What do people think of Vandal?

OK, I’ve switched out Quality Meats for Vandal. Looking forward to our trip.

Haven’t been to Vandal but looks like it would be good for a non traditional thanksgiving.
Quality italian gets mostly good feedback- it’s more italian american than regional italian, their prices seem high but portions are quite large. If you’re looking for italian while in town Bar Pitti in the w village would be my first pick for regional italian meets farm to table, lots of daily specials (order from those) and small charming spot. No reservations and cash only, on T-day wknd it won’t be as busy as usual, expect a bit of a wait (worth it) but lots of nearby options to walk and wander or get a drink.

The NoMad has several signature dishes, i’m a big fan of the carrot tartare. The crudite seems silly to order at a restaurant but whatever that chive herb dip is made from it’s magical and you’ll be scraping the last tiny bits up

I’ve not been to Vandal, but this review indicates to me that you can do way better for your Thanksgiving dinner. I should also add that our one experience at Quality Meats was very disappointing, so I think you were right to opt out of going there.

For delicious food, excellent service, and wonderful ambiance, I would suggest one of the following: Ai Fiori, Benoit, dbBistro Moderne, Tocqueville. OpenTable is showing that they all have availability.

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While that review is rather disappointing, the wife now has her heart set on going there, so Vandal it is. We do have the NoMad and Betony reservations as well, so I’m not too worried if one meal isn’t up to the same snuff as the others.

Does Betony offer a similar dining experience at lunch as it does with dinner service?

The mid-day tasting menu is half the price but I wonder if it’s comparable?

Thanks for all the recommendations. We had a great time. Wednesday lunch was at Boqueria near out hotel. Excellent lunch, shishito peppers,Iberica ham, a meat and cheese plate, and some nice stuffed peppers. Dinner at NoMad, wish we were hungrier, butu I had thye amazing carrot tartare, and the cod (which while good, was a little fishy tatsing for cod), and my wife had the truffle parmesan ravioli, which were amazing. Great dessert and cocktails as well.

Turkey day I had a Katz’s pastrami sandwich for lunch (the wife had roast beef), and we ate at Vandal that evening. Food at Vandal was quite nice, a beef tartare on a pretzel, turkey tacos, crispy beef bao, crispy carnitas. Great cocktails. The only issue was that we were in and out of there in only 45 minutes. Everything was just way too fast.

Friday was at Betony. We had the 11 course chef’s tasting with wine pairings. It was an amazing meal, too much to describe here. It was also obscenely expensive, but we don’t splurge like that often, so it’s worth it every once in a while.

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Sounds like a delicious trip! Boqueria was one of the first really successful tapas spots, i end up at el quinto pino more often but good to know boqueria is still good. Glad you enjoyed that carrot tartare at the NoMad, it’s really one of those dishes that are unique and memorable. Sorry your T-day meal was rushed, that’s disappointing but it sounds like Betony more than made up for it.

For all it’s cost, Betony was an amazing experience. It also was a 12 course, not 11 as I stated earlier. That carrot tartare shouldn’t be as amazing as it is, considering what it is, but it was an amazing dish.

The Vandal rush job was really unfortunate. The people next to us ordered a pizza, and I swear it seemed to come out to them in less than 5 minutes. It really doesn’t make a lot of sense either, as booze is your highest profit margin, and we would have had 3-4 cocktails each instead of the 2 each we had, had the meal been paced better.

@Oliverb, Apologies for missing your question until now. We’ve had lunch at Betony a couple of times though not recently and have only done the regular menu. I have asked about the lunch tasting and was told that it is a scaled down version of the dinner tasting which I presume means that it includes at least some courses that are not on the regular menu.

If you are considering doing lunch or dinner there, you’d best do it soon since as I reported in this blogpost, Betony will be closing for good after their New Year’s Eve celebration.

@kimfair, So glad to hear that you were wowed by the tasting dinner at Betony. We’ve been fortunate to have had many of them, and they’ve always been spectacular.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold