Halloween is on a Friday this year, which means there’s no excuse not to go out in full costume. There will be no work colleagues to judge you, and you have a better shot at overindulging in hard cider and holiday-specific liquor than on any other weekday. If you miss the fun of trick-or-treating but don’t want to be that creeper asking for candy from her neighbors, never fear. Halloween in New York means a return to all the adventures of the spooky holiday, but with better food and a lot more booze. Here are some of your options on October 31st.
1. Enjoy dinner at a haunted restaurant
Many New York restaurants will undoubtedly act like they’re too cool for school, but the coolest ones give a nod to Halloween. From the viscerally scary to the intellectually spooky, here are a few places to eat your way through the holiday.
Jekyll and Hyde Club
Heading to Times Square on a holiday might seem like a recipe for chaos, but this permanently haunted Midtown restaurant and bar is exactly the place for a spooky Halloween meal. Visit the Chamber of Horrors before or after your meal, depending on when you’d like to have the living daylights scared out of you. The dinner menu features standard American dinner fare for the most part, but the cocktail menu is full of creepy cocktails like Death by Poison and Bikini Murder.
If you’re into ghost stories but not into actual fear, have your Halloween meal at Edgar’s Cafe on the Upper West Side. Originally a mansion where Edgar Allen Poe resided for several years and wrote The Raven, the cafe pays homage to the macabre poet. It’s a cozy spot for good food and coffee, and if you care you stretch your imagination it might even be haunted. Celebrating at Edgar’s is a great option for adults who crave a subtler approach to the Halloween themes.
The Slaughtered Lamb
The most horrifying holiday of the year wouldn’t be complete without a visit to The Slaughtered Lamb. If you’ve ever had fantasies of vicious werewolves in dark spaces or fancy yourself an aficionado of horror classic An American Werewolf in London, this place is a must-visit. The menu boasts traditional English pub fare in addition to eclectic offerings such as Jamaican Jerk and Spicy Thai Red Curry.
2. Prowl the city during a bar crawl
Halloween is one of the most fun days to be an adult in New York. This night of all nights will make you grateful that you don’t need a car. Catch the train and drink up on an exciting Halloween bar crawl.
Halloweekend Pub Crawl
A ticket for the Halloweekend Pub Crawl on October 25th or October 31st guarantees you $2-3 beers and 1/2 price well drinks at all participating bars. Tickets are $12.95 for each weekend or $25 for a four-day all-access pass. Come in costume and enjoy drunken revelry at over 100 New York City bars.
NYC Official Crawl-O-Ween Bar Crawl
Barcrawls.com is hosting a particularly delivish event this Halloween, where naughty behavior is encouraged. Pay $15 for a two-day all-access pass to the boozy fun or pay $30 for the crawl plus access to Royale’s Halloween Hangover Brunch. Crawl-O-Ween can be enjoyed from three starting locations: The Royal, Public House, or McFadden’s.
3. Host a grown-up a Halloween dinner party
Don’t feel limited to baking sugar cookies in the shape of pumpkins. Dessert is a given on National Sweets Day, but you can class up the Halloween theme with these seasonally appropriate dishes and drinks.
Jack-O-Lantern Cheeseburger Pie
Who said only pumpkins were for carving? Halloween is a great excuse to get downright creative with your cooking efforts. Southern Living’s cheeseburger pie is stuffed with beef, onion, and Monterey Jack cheese. Have fun carving a face into the pie crust and save the cut-outs for the Jack-O-Lantern’s stem.
Roasted Butternut Pumpkin Soup with Crunchy Maple Croutons
This soup from Trudy at a Veggie Num Num packs all things Autumn into one pot, and despite the complex name it’s fairly straightforward. The crunchy maple croutons and warm roasted pumpkin make this dish the ultimate comfort food. Its color is certainly fitting for the holiday, and it’s vegetarian-friendly.
Black Widow Goat Cheese Log
Fortunately for gourmands who love Halloween, hors d’oeuvres can be both creepy and tasty. Food & Wine’s Black Widow Goat Cheese Log is a great way to add some silliness to a dinner party without sacrificing taste. It’s made with a blend of cheeses, shallots, and butter, and garnished with black sesame seeds and painted twigs for spider legs.
Spiked Maple Apple Cider
A warm cup of apple cider is a welcome treat on any late October day. For a grown-up Halloween party, it’s even better when spiked. Make the occasion extra special with Spiked Maple Apple Cider. The recipe, by A Beautiful Mess, features apple liqueur, maple whiskey, and a delicious blend of spices.
Creating a fun Halloween cocktail doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. Sometimes all it takes is a few colorful ingredients and a snappy, spooky name. Raspberry vodka, black raspberry liqueur, and cranberry juice come together in The Vampire Kiss, presumably mimicking the effect of actually being kissed by a vampire.