Chanukah Restaurants in New York City

Chanukah, Festival of Lights
Chanukah, Festival of Lights

by Meryl Pearlstein

For those of us who don’t feel like scraping our fingers raw grating potatoes to make latkes, or cooking up a beef brisket as big as a telephone book, there are wonderful restaurants in New York City that take the traditional Chanukah feast and turn it deliciously on its head. Here are some restaurants ideal for family gatherings to celebrate the Festival of Lights, held this year from December 20 through 28.

Why visit the Brooklyn Diner? Two words: Free latkes! At this Manhattan favorite for upscale comfort and diner food, complimentary potato pancakes will be served throughout the eight days of Chanukah, with your choice of sour cream or applesauce, along with many other Jewish-American classic dishes. From the smoked fish platter of Nova Scotia salmon and sturgeon to the hand-carved hot pastrami, you’ll find plenty of choices for a holiday feast. For more information, visit

Chef Julian Medina adds a spicy spin on the holiday classics with his impressive Mexican Chanukah menu at both Toloache and Yerba Buena Cocina Latina. Among his special offerings available for all eight days are the Latkes Trio (potato jalapeño, zucchini and Mexican ricotta) and Tacos de Brisket: Bohemia-braised tacos with tomatillo salsa. The Pollo Marrakesh entrée paired with the Hanukkah (How many different ways are there to spell the holiday?) Margarita, made with Mexican chocolate-infused Herradura Reposado tequila, strawberries and agave nectar, are reasons alone for indulgence. To top off the entire experience, enjoy the Mexican Sufganiyot dessert of donuts filled with dulce de leche.

I’ve already made my reservations at Toloache. Hope to see you there!

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