Hanukkah tends to have a reputation as not being an amazing holiday for food, thanks largely to the fact that the primary dish associated with it is fried potato pancakes with applesauce (tasty, but nothing special). But visit one of these nine restaurants this Hanukkah and you’ll realize that when it’s placed into the hands of a good chef, Hanukkah food can be very, very tasty.
Hanukkah is primarily thought of as a holiday spent at home with family, and food tends to take a backseat to lighting the menorah and opening presents. And again, this is usually because Hanukkah food tends to be nothing special. Some potato latkes, maybe brisket or chicken (and cheese, which is also traditional Hanukkah fare), and jelly doughnuts for dessert. Basically, anything fried in oil. But where you might see the same old meal, some chefs see a blank canvas.
If you happen to live near any of these restaurants, we suggest you get out of the house and make a night of it. These restaurants are all serving special menus for Hanukkah with dishes that can’t be found on the menu any other time of year. Not only is this a great way to learn how good chefs interpret traditional Hanukkah fare, but it might also inspire you to think outside the box next year or for one of the remaining nights of Hanukkah this year.
This year, Hanukkah starts at sundown on Dec. 24 (it coincidentally falls on Christmas Eve this year). Here are the nine best restaurants to dine at to get your Hanukkah fix.