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9 Ways to Have a Safe & Festive NYC Hanukkah

Lara Dreux | December 9, 2020 | Culture Food & Drink

Hanukkah NYC 2020

Temps are dropping and the days are about as short as they can be. You know what that means. Hanukkah celebrations are just around the corner!

While this year has been anything but traditional, there are still plenty of ways to honor the rededication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem. Your eight-day Festival of Lights will shine bright as ever with delicious kosher dishes, finger-lickin pastries, and COVID-safe family-friendly events across the boroughs.

If you want to make this season special, check our curated and updated list of Hanukkah events for NYC 2020.

See also: The 10 Best Holiday Lights Displays in NYC


Reserve Cut

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40 Broad St. / Website

Eight consecutive days can be a lot of home cooking. Why not treat yourself to exquisite fine dining? It's a celebration after all! This luxurious restaurant has kosher dishes covered with an array of choices. Try the grilled branzino in a bed of haricots verts, olives and concasse tomatoes, or the mouth-watering, herb-crusted veal chop with white asparagus.

Marani Restaurant

97-26 63rd Rd. / Website

This classy Georgian restaurant offers to-die-for kosher entrées. Following a farm-to-table philosophy, Marani is dedicated to the freshest of ingredients presented with style. Try their Harcho soup with "rice, lamb and love," or their Chachushuli braised beef served in a tomato sauce with aromatic herbs.

INSIDER TIP: Marani's khachapuri savory pastries are not to be missed.

Izzy's Brooklyn Smokehouse

397 Troy Ave. / Website

A carnivorous wonderland, this Brooklyn-based location prepares irresistible smoked meats you'll recommend to all your friends. Their list of kosher masterpieces features a brisket that has been expertly-smoked for 12-hours over cherry and oak logs, as well as a half chicked dressed in an herb blend and smoked over fruit wood.

Elegant Affairs Caterers


For a luxurious and traditional meal from the comfort and safety of your home, order delivery from Elegant Affairs Caterers' special Hanukkah-themed menu. With more than 21 classic Hanukkah dishes including appetizers, mains, desserts and challah, their ample selection includes the classic starter chicken matzo ball soup, a main course of wild mushrooms and goat cheese stuffed chicken, and the go-to potato latkes. Serving sizes range from three to four, or eight to ten people. Delivery is available in New York City, Long Island and The Hamptons.

Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery

137 E Houston St. / Website

This sweet little Brooklyn bakery will soon celebrate its 110th anniversary! Come savor their timeless sweet and savory knishes, dubbed "Best Knish in NYC" by Yelp and Tripadvisor. They offer knishes, kugel and latke pastries. We recommend the the family recipe Kasha knish with buckwheat, or the sweet and scrumptious apple cheese knish.

See also: 4 New Things To Try In NYC Over The Holidays


Hanukkah Lollapalooza

Dec. 12th, 5:00 to 6:45pm / Beth Shalom v’ Emeth Reform Temple Online

This year, join the B'ShERT temple virtually on the third night of Hanukkah to celebrate with friends and family. This up-to-date and safe event welcomes members of all ages and is guaranteed to entertain you in a unified atmosphere of fun and festivity.

Young Families Chanukah

Dec. 13, 9:30am / Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York Online

In addition to admiring the candles or splurging on chocolate gelt, raise your Jewish flag high with pride at this event. Come along with your litte ones, and virtually join the Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York for songs and a candle lighting.

INSIDER TIP: It's recommended that parents provide their kids with some “model magic” so that the kids can mold their own menorah's.


The Met: Christmas Tree and Hanukkah Menorah

1000 5th Ave. / Website

In addition to their famous Christmas tree display, the Met will also exhibit a magnificently-carved silver Hanukkah Menorah, generously loaned from the Moldovan Family Collection. Both spectacular and fully functional, this admirable lamp was created in 1866 in Lemberg, Eastern Europe. The rich history behind it attributes the lamp to centuries of Hanukkah celebrations across Jewish communities worldwide.

Chanukah Family Fest

792 Eastern Pkway. / Website

For the ultimate Hanukkah family experience, the Jewish Children’s Museum is the place to go. From Dec. 13 through 17, immerse yourself in the holiday spirit by decorating a delectably-sweet holiday donut, discovering the age-old art of olive oil-making in a fascinating and interactive workshop, or challenge yourself, your family and your friends in a sounds-and-lights-filled game show.

Photography by: Roy Rochlin