14 Best NYC Restaurants And Bars To Celebrate Hanukkah In 2022

Hanukkah, like Diwali, Easter, and Lunar New Year, is one of those floating holidays that can take place any time between late November and late December. Floating in the sense of how it syncs up with the Gregorian calendar, that is — as Chabad explains, Hanukkah always begins on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar. In 2022, that date corresponds with December 18 and the holiday runs through the 26th. This means there's still time to make reservations in case you decide you'd like to spend one (or more) of those eight nights celebrating at a bar or a restaurant once the menorah's been lit. (Insert your own joke about "getting lit" here if you must.)

The establishments on this list encompass a wide range of options. There are a few old-school delis and lunch counters perfect for anyone who may be observing the holiday alone, but we've also included some higher-end restaurants, including a few large enough to host the whole mishpocha. We also did not forget to include a Chinese restaurant (Kosher, no less) for a traditional Jewish Christmas celebration, and there's even a second-floor speakeasy right on top of a deli in case you need a little chaser for your latkes.

2nd Avenue Deli

If you want to find 2nd Avenue Deli, don't look for it on Second Avenue. Of the two locations, one's on First Avenue on the Upper East Side, and the other's on East 33rd Street in Midtown. 2nd Avenue Deli keeps kosher, meaning that as it serves meat (fleishig), it has no dairy on the menu. What it does have, however, is potato pancakes with applesauce. It also offers brisket, both as an entrée and a sandwich, and has kugels of both noodle and potato varieties. Okay, so kugel's not a traditional Hanukkah food, but it's tasty any time of year, as is the rest of the "Jewish soul food" on 2nd Avenue Deli's menu: chopped liver, gefilte fish, knishes, matzoh ball soup, and so much more. Oh, and let's not forget the babka and rugelach for dessert.

While both 2nd Avenue Deli locations offer draft and bottled beers as well as a wide range of Dr. Brown's sodas for those who don't drink, the Upper East Side location comes with an added attraction: the 2nd Floor Bar. Here, you can order both beer and wine (many of the latter from Israeli vineyards), but the specialty of the house is craft cocktails, like a riff on the Aviation called The One With Violette and the tiki-esque Cohen Heist made of rum, pineapple, falernum, orgeat, and spices. The most deli-appropriate cocktail, however, might be the Upper East Sider, which consists of gin or vodka-spiked celery soda.

Agi's Counter

While much of the food at Agi's Counter falls under the heading of typical 21st-century hipster bistro fare, there are a number of dishes that speak to the restaurant's Hungarian roots. Among the delights the menu has in store are homemade biscuits called pogacsa that come with fried eggs and melted cheddar; palacsinta, which are Hungarian-style crepes served with maple butter and fruit compote; and prawns or pork sausage that are heavily seasoned with Hungary's favorite spice, paprika. The wine list features a number of Hungarian wines as well, and on Sundays, you can even get the delicious Hungarian doughnuts known as fank.

In recent years, Agi's Counter has featured a latke special where these pancakes came with a side of yogurt, jam, and (for a slight upcharge) salmon roe. Another Hanukkah special at Agi's Counter is coconut macaroons. Not to be confused with the trendier macarons, macaroons are actually a staple Passover treat. They're so darn good, though, that we'll happily eat them for any other Jewish (or goyish) holiday, as well.

Barney Greengrass

After Barney Greengrass opened his first deli back in 1908, he earned the moniker of Sturgeon King. Nearly 115 years later, the restaurant that bears his name still offers this smoked fish, along with whitefish, sable, rainbow trout, and several different types of smoked salmon as well as tuna fish, gefilte fish, and even sardines. Needless to say, if a giant fish platter is a must-have for your Hanukkah celebration, you couldn't do better than Barney's.

That's not the only thing Barney Greengrass has that makes it a Hanukkah dining destination. If there's one food that's synonymous with the holiday, that would have to be latkes, and no one does latkes quite like an NYC deli that's more than a century old. While you won't find latkes on the Barney Greengrass online menu, the restaurant does offer the dish on the weekends and has been known to offer them as a daily Hanukkah special as well. As Barney Greengrass' latkes are among New York's finest, we're hoping to see them again this year, too.

B&H Dairy

Can't make it home for Hanukkah, but you're a little embarrassed to go out for a holiday meal all by yourself? It's a crying shame that solo dining is still seen as taboo in many ways, but there is one type of place where eating by yourself is more the rule than the exception, and that's an old-school diner that still seats customers on stools at a counter. One such establishment is B&H Dairy, a kosher restaurant of the dairy type. This means that while it does serve milk products, there's no meat on the menu apart from fish — fish, along with eggs and vegetables, is considered pareve, meaning it goes with either meat or dairy (per OK Kosher Certification).

B&H's provides a number of comfort dishes including its knishes, blintzes, and matzoh brei, as well as a juice bar. As per B&H's online menu (which it quirkily chooses to host on Google Drive), you can get egg creams as well as wheatgrass shots, so there's no need to go overboard on all the healthy stuff. If you're eating there for Hanukkah, be sure to get the potato pancakes. B&H's come with either applesauce or sour cream, but since it's the holidays, you should live a little and go for both for just 75 cents more.

Breads Bakery

Latkes may be the most famous of Hanukkah foods, but an even more delicious holiday tradition may be going to a bakery to pick up a box of freshly-fried sufganiyot, which are a type of jelly doughnuts. Sure, you can make them yourself, but who needs the stress? If you'll be spending the Festival of Lights in the Big Apple, then you're in luck, since you can drop by any Breads Bakery location to get your yearly fix. Per amNY, past holiday flavors including chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and dulce de leche. While you're there getting your doughnuts (and perhaps a babka or two, some rugelach, and a few loaves of challah), though, you can also enjoy a nice meal in the cafe.

Breads Bakery doesn't offer anything too heavy on the menu (better you should save room for dessert), but it does have a nice little selection of breakfast sandwiches and a yogurt parfait if you go there in the morning. At midday, you might like to nosh on cured salmon and cream cheese on a Jerusalem baguette or perhaps enjoy a chopped salad of quinoa and kale with balsamic mint dressing or a bowl of Moroccan harira (chickpea/lentil soup). Such a virtuous lunch, though, surely deserves a couple of sufganiyot for dessert.

China Glatt

It isn't a Jewish Christmas without Chinese food, and as both holidays coincide this year, what better way to celebrate than with a visit to China Glatt? As it turns out, the standard Chinese restaurant menu needs very little tweaking to make it fleishig, but China Glatt goes one step further. Not only do all of its dishes adhere to kashrus guidelines, but the food is also prepared under rabbinical supervision (Rabbi Amram Roth, as per Kosher Without Borders).

China Glatt this year is offering several different Hanukkah party packages. The least elaborate of these is a $160 meal that serves 10 and includes an appetizer, a salad, a side, and a chicken main dish. At the top end, priced at $595, is a feast for 40 that comes with an appetizer, two extra large sides, a beef main dish, and two chicken entrees. Two of the packages — one 10-person meal costing $260 and one 25-person meal that'll run you $395 — also come with sushi platters. For the occasion, China Glatt has even added potato dumplings and latkes to its appetizer choices, and it also has menorah-adorned Hanukkah gift cards for sale.

Daily Provisions

Daily Provisions, a small Manhattan-only chain with just four locations, seems to be marketing itself primarily to takeout or delivery customers. And its menu which even includes a few family-sized items, may possibly be aimed at people who want to pretend they did their own cooking. Well, no judging here, since who among us hasn't done something similar with a Costco rotisserie chicken? This is just a more upscale version of the same harmless little ruse. Even though Daily Provisions' website does not tout the fact that it also offers dine-in, if you're willing to do a little scrolling to find the evidence, its Facebook and Instagram photos show tables both inside and (in warmer months) outside the restaurants.

Daily Provisions has featured Hanukkah menus in the past, and as this Instagram post indicates, it's likely to feature matzoh ball soup, latkes, and roast chicken. Daily Provisions has also offered a nice selection of Hanukkah desserts including sufganiyot and a blue-and-white spin on those famous New York black-and-white cookies. It may even have chocolate gelt for sale — not the cheap kind you can pick up at the grocery store, but gelt from Vesta, a New Jersey-based boutique chocolatier.

Edith's Eatery & Grocery

Edith's Eatery & Grocery is a fairly new addition to the Brooklyn restaurant scene. It started out as a pop-up in 2020, and is now, as the name implies, a full-service restaurant that also offers a selection of groceries as well as a to-go operation called Edith's Sandwich Counter. While the menu runs to what is described as "Jewish staples" based on recipes from the original Edith, who ran a deli in Brooklyn some 70 years ago, the owner — Edith's grand-niece Elyssa — has done extensive research into Jewish food traditions from all around the world and the menu reflects that fact.

Edith's would be a great place for a Hanukkah brunch where you could enjoy such entrees as a smoked fish platter complete with a bagel and cream cheese, pastrami steak and eggs, or coconut macaroon french toast made with challah bread. It's also likely that Edith's will be adding latkes with homemade applesauce to the menu in honor of the holiday, as it has done in the past, and there may even be new creations just for the occasion. Keep an eye out for the cherry blintz zeppole, which is kind of an Italian version of sufganiyot. 

Gertie

Gertie is another Brooklyn deli, one that offers what might be termed hipster Jewish (or, as its Instagram page puts it, "Jew-ish") cuisine. The menu is complete with cute names for food items such as Call The Lox-Smith And Not Your Bubbe's Matzo Ball Soup as well as trendy ingredients like hot honey, brown butter, and tahini dressing. Gertie is definitely not kosher, though, as its Reubens are made with swiss cheese and its pastrami sandwiches include a cream cheese schmear.

While Gertie is typically a breakfast/brunch/lunch spot, if you're interested in a Hanukkah dinner, keep your eye on the "Happenings" section of the website.  The restaurant has previously held a Hanukkah steak dinner on one of the eight nights. In addition to steak, the menu for this occasion has included latkes (a regular part of the Gertie menu, complete with apple butter and sour cream), kugel with truffles (it's not specified whether noodle or potato, although the latter would seem better suited to steak), borscht, and vodka martinis. As such a dinner is likely to be a one-night event, reservations will probably be required. You might want to watch that spot so you can get in early on any Festival of Lights festivities Gertie is planning.

Katz's Delicatessen

Katz's Delicatessen is a restaurant that earned a place in pop culture history as the setting of that famous (or infamous) scene in "When Harry Met Sally." You know, the one where Meg Ryan's character apparently reacts to her sandwich with, err, undue enthusiasm, inspiring a fellow diner to utter that immortal line, "I'll have what she's having." While the deli's sandwiches may well be orgasmic, they aren't Kosher, as some of the combos do mix meat with cheese. (Oy!)

While Katz's Delicatessen may not adhere to the strictest of Jewish dietary laws, it most certainly does observe Hanukkah. If you can't make it to the restaurant, Katz's can ship you a Hanukkah dinner package for four people priced at $175 that includes pastrami, brisket, matzoh ball soup, latkes, knishes, noodle kugel, sour pickles, rye bread, a jar of mustard (Katz's thinks of everything!) and a chocolate babka for dessert. (None of those "lesser babkas" for New York's best-known deli — as any "Seinfeld" fan knows, it's only chocolate babka that makes you a party hero.) If you choose to dine in, however, Katz's menu features all of these things and much, much more. You could even get cinnamon babka, if that's your preference, as the restaurant does make these, as well.

Le Marais

If you want a really high-end Hanukkah dinner, you might need to book your table at Le Marais right away as it's certain that other great minds will have the same idea. Le Marais is one of the city's finest kosher restaurants, after all – a steakhouse that serves up classic French cuisine while managing to adhere to the laws of kashrus, meaning that all of the sauces, sides, and other preparations are dairy-free.

Le Marais has created special meals for holidays including Rosh Hashanah and Passover in past years. As the restaurant has even been known to build a sukkah for Sukkot, it seems likely that it will observe the Festival of Lights in some way, shape, or form. Even if there is no special Hanukkah menu, however, there is a family-style Shabbat one offering a range of entrees from traditional smoked brisket to chicken tajine with couscous to roast salmon as well as several different types of steak.

Mile End Deli

While the Mile End Deli is indeed a Jewish delicatessen in Brooklyn, it's not your typical New York-style deli. Instead, the restaurant's stated mission is to bring Montreal-style cooking to the Big Apple. So what exactly does that look like? Brisket poutine? Well, actually, yes. The menu does offer four different types of this classic Canadian dish, and one of them does come with smoked meat (the type is not specified, but brisket seems likely), while another is topped with chicken schnitzel.

If you're looking for traditional Hanukkah-type foods, Mile End Deli does run to these, as well — it's a holiday in Canada, too, as well as everywhere else the Jewish diaspora has settled. While much of the menu runs to breakfast dishes, bagels, sandwiches, and other deli-style noshes, there is a braised brisket meal that comes complete with matzoh ball soup, noodle kugel, coleslaw, and a pickle as well as a chicken paprikash one with egg noodles and cucumber salad. You can also get a side of latkes served with both applesauce and sour cream so there's no need to choose between the two toppings. If this year is typical, Mile End Deli will also observe Hanukkah by frying up batch after batch of sufganiyot to celebrate the miracle of the oil in the tastiest possible way.

Russ and Daughters Cafe

The Manhattan deli known as Russ and Daughters has been around since 1914, but Russ and Daughters Cafe is a fairly new addition to the family business. The cafe opened during the deli's centenary year and since that time has earned numerous accolades from publications in New York and beyond.

So how does Russ and Daughters celebrate Hanukkah? The appetizing institution offers a mail-order kit of holiday "essentials," as it terms them, including latkes (of course), smoked salmon, sour cream, applesauce, chocolate gelt, and even candles. The latkes, the salmon, and a wide variety of other types of smoked fish feature on the Russ and Daughters Cafe menu as well, as does the acclaimed matzoh ball soup and rugelach. The menu also features other deli classics like borscht, blintzes, pickled herring, and noodle kugel, but if you're feeling fancy, you can even celebrate Hanukkah with a flight of caviar. One thing the menu does not offer, however, is brisket. While the restaurant is not kosher, the menu is still fairly similar to the standard dairy format where fish is the main type of meat on offer and even the pastrami is made from salmon rather than beef. Chopped liver is available on the appetizer menu, though, so go figure.

Veselka

Veselka, an East Village spot known for its pierogis stuffed with fillings ranging from sauerkraut and mushroom to arugula and goat cheese, is one of the best Ukrainian restaurants in the entire United States. Besides pierogis, Veselka's menu includes other Eastern European classics such as holubtsi (stuffed cabbage rolls), bigos (stew with kielbasa and sauerkraut), goulash, and chicken paprikash. There's also some clear influence from the Ashkenazi culinary tradition, as well, with a Reuben sandwich, a bagel topped with smoked salmon, and cheese-filled blintzes.

No Hanukkah visit to Veselka is complete without sampling its latkes, a dish that's available by mail order as well as in the restaurant. If you're dining in, you can get your latkes the traditional way with sour cream and applesauce, either individually or as part of a three-piece platter. You can also order a vegetarian Reuben latke entree that comes with two pancakes topped with sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and dressing. If you're really hungry, you can go for a combo plate that pairs a single latke with your choice of beef stroganoff, veal goulash, or chicken paprikash and even includes a cup of soup.