Good Eats: Where To Eat On Thanksgiving If Cooking Isn’t Your Thing
Although clogged roadways may suggest otherwise, not everyone is headed off for a home cooked meal on Thanksgiving. And for some people, that’s not such a bad thing — plenty of restaurants, high-end and otherwise, are offering up Turkey Day specialties to eat in or take out.
You won’t be alone, either. Nearly 14 million Americans will be dining out in restaurants on Thursday.
The NoMad in New York City is offering a four-course prix fixe meal for a pricy $125 that features appropriately rich offerings like white truffle risotto, bone marrow-crusted short ribs, buttermilk mashed potatoes and chestnut stuffing– which seem in keeping with a holiday that informally celebrates excess.
Kennedy’s Tavern, also in New York City, is capitalizing on Hostess’ recent troubles with a Twinkie-stuffed turkey, allegedly a years-long family tradition of caterer Butch Yamali.
L.A. restaurant Hop Woo offers a different sort of Thanksgiving meal with its seven-course meal featuring turkey-inspired renditions of traditional Chinese restaurant fare. The roast turkey takes center stage — it’s prepared like a Peking roast duck, and is filled with rice in place of stuffing. The whole thing runs $138 and feeds up to 10 people.
Serious Eats, Grub Street and the New York Times all have helpful Thanksgiving restaurant guides for readers in New York City. LA Weekly has one for Los Angeles and the Washington Post for D.C. Eater has several guides by city.
We also did a bit of research into fast food spots for people who want to forgo a traditional Thanksgiving menu. Here’ what we found:
Denny’s is open all 365 days of the year, including Thanksgiving. The Turkey and Dressing Dinner, which features turkey breast, savory stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce, is available all year and we have a feeling it’s going to be a particularly popular option on Thursday.
All Boston Market locations will also be open on Thanksgiving, but store hours vary by location. The chain’s Thanksgiving Day Meal features roasted turkey breast with sides, cornbread and a slice of apple or pumpkin pie for $10.99 a plate.
Several T.G.I. Friday’s locations will be open as well, but hours and specials vary by location, and the situation is the same for Starbucks.
Wendy’s restaurants will be closed save for a few at airports and rest stops, so you’re out of luck unless you’re in transit, and places like McDonald’s and Burger King will be open on a location-by-location basis, so call ahead.
Red Lobster locations will be closed on Thanksgiving, but the chain is offering a buy-one-get-one-free special off its “Maine Stays” menu on Black Friday.
Grill and wine bar chain Seasons 52 locations will be open in Naples, Fla.; Altamonte, Fla.; North Bethesda, Md.; Kansas City, Mo.; and UTC San Diego, Calif. The Capital Grille will be open in Kansas City, Indianapolis, Ind.; and New York’s 42nd street location. A representative told HuffPost that the chain will offer a turkey and stuffing special for Thanksgiving Day patrons.
And in the realm of weird how-do-we-classify-this Thanksgiving kookiness, Baskin Robbins is offering a Turkey-shaped ice cream cake that kind of blows our minds. It’s oddly mesmerizing.
On the supermarket front, Fairway Markets are offering take out Thanksgiving meals until noon the day of the holiday. Check the menu here [pdf]. All Wegman’s will be open on Thanksgiving Day until 5 p.m., except the location in Northborough, Mass. All Trader Joe’s stores will be closed.
If you’re planning on eating at home, Bloomberg Industries recently found that of the 15 retailers it surveyed, the Thanksgiving turkey dinner from Target is the cheapest. At $45.48, the 18-item meal includes turkey, cranberries, onions, corn, pumpkin and heavy cream. Check out how other retailers stack up here. BuzzFeed also taste tested a bunch of instant mashed potatoes if you’re thinking of going that route.
When all this Thanksgiving hoopla calms down, Hooters is offering a little post-Thanksgiving hoopla of their own: the Hooters girls are wrapping holiday gifts for free. You’ll still have to pay for the wings, though.