It’s November, and every food-lover’s favorite holiday — Thanksgiving — is just around the corner. And if you’re cooking this year, that means it’s time to pre-order the turkey. Many of the city’s best butcher shops require pre-orders, so if you’re looking to secure a premium bird, now’s the time to make that call. Here are five shops to consider, all of them taking orders right now.
DiPaola Turkey Farm
You may know DiPaola from one of the city’s many Greenmarkets — where you can often catch a whiff of its turkey sausages grilling. But Thanksgiving is when every turkey farm truly shines, of course. Place an order for one of its turkeys, free-range and antibiotic-free, at one of the farm’s many Greenmarket locations, and pick up a fresh — not frozen bird — just before the holiday. Sign up at various Greenmarkets; dipaolaturkeyfarm.com
Heritage Meat Shop
Founded in 2001, the Brooklyn-based Heritage Foods USA is dedicated to promoting small family farms and preserving rare animal breeds that would otherwise die out due to commercial breeding. Many chefs rely on Heritage, and for the year’s most important meal, you can too; order Frank Reese’s Heritage Turkeys from Good Shepherd Ranch online for home delivery, complete with the neck, gizzards and cooking instructions. Or order for pickup at the shop in Essex Street Market. 120 Essex St., 212-539-1111, heritagemeatshop.com; or order online, heritagefoodsusa.com
The Meat Hook
This Williamsburg butcher shop gets its broad-breasted white turkeys from Interlaken, N.Y.; they’re hormone-free and pasture-raised, foraging until just before the holiday. If you need sausage for stuffing or bacon for Brussels sprouts, they’ve got you covered, too. 100 Frost St., 718-349-5032, the-meathook.com
Dickson’s Farmstand Meats
This butcher shop in Chelsea Market is one of Manhattan’s best; for the holidays, Dickson’s is bringing in birds from Amish farms in Lancaster, Pa. Looking for one-stop shopping? Pick up the Farmstand Stuffing Kit, too. Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Ave., 212-242-2630, dicksonsfarmstand.com
Fleisher’s Grass-Fed and Organic Meats
Sourcing its animals from small family farms, Fleisher’s is well-known as a butcher shop of the highest order; for Thanksgiving, it’ll be selling fresh, not frozen birds. While you’re there, pick up a few quarts of turkey stock and sausage for stuffing. 192 5th Ave., 718-398-MOOO, fleishers.com
Click here to read more about great ways to celebrate the holidays in New York City, and don’t forget to check out our deals and discounts for tours, cruises and shows this holiday season.