Restaurants and even supermarkets offer pre-roasted birds and whole dinners to go. But most people will do their own.
Most buy from a supermarket, a few will go straight to a farm, but there's another way to get a farm-fresh bird without leaving the city.
We went to Godshall's Poultry in Reading Terminal Market where they get daily deliveries from selected Lancaster County farms.
Owner Dean Frankenfield says a fresh bird not only tastes better, it also tends to roast up faster. They do tend to cost more and there are no free coupons like the supermarkets have.
Yet Frankenfield has a crush of loyal customers who wouldn't want to eat anything else this time of year. Being a custom butcher shop, Godshall's offers turkey right for any size family.
Whole birds start around ten pounds and run up to about 35 pounds. You can also get a hotel-style turkey breast on the bone, a boneless breast roast, or turkey parts. Those are the usual choices for Thanksgiving.
The Turkey Federation tells us Americans are eating more turkey compared to their ancestors, and that means buying creative cuts.
Godshall's has "chops" cut from the breast which look and cook like pork chops. They have turkey ribs you can slow-cook and sauce like beef or pork ribs. Turkey cutlets are popular and are priced far below veal. Ground turkey is lower in fat and costs less than comparable beef.
There are also lunch meats and sausages available.
Godshall's sage ground turkey meat is a popular add-on for stuffing. Since the shop orders fresh birds from outlying farms daily, they ask you to place an order in advance for Thanksgiving.
They always keep some supply of turkeys and parts on hand but for the holiday, you need to place an order to be sure you get what you want.
The deadline this year is Saturday, November 19th, and customers must pick up their selection by Wednesday the 23rd.
Godshall's is open Monday through Saturday except holidays from 8:00am to 5:00pm. You can phone the shop at 215-922-7589.They're online at Reading Terminal Market, but you can't place an order from the website.