The Best Restaurants Open on Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Day is fast approaching and, for those who don’t want to spend the whole day preparing a multi-course meal, it’s time to start making dinner reservations.
This year, stellar restaurants across the country will be serving feasts for all those who would rather quite literally leave the holiday cooking to the pros. From New York to Charleston, Chicago to Los Angeles, your best Thanksgiving dining out options include Michelin-star establishments and celebrity chef flagships, rustic country kitchens and refined white tablecloth dining rooms.
There are several ways to enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner, too: Let the chef guide your way with a prix fixe tasting menu like that of New York City’s three-Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park, where you’ll find upscale takes on classics like roasted turkey with caramelized apple and chestnut stuffing and smoked foie gras terrine. Or indulge yourself as per Thanksgiving tradition on an unlimited buffet of traditional dishes with Southern flair at chef Jonathan Waxman’s Nashville restaurant Adele’s.
Meanwhile, if you’re in California, don’t sleep on Thomas Keller’s restaurant empire. Bouchon will be transforming its bistro menu into a prix-fixe choose-your-own-adventure of sorts: with entree selections ranging from steak-frites to a full Thanksgiving dinner, you can make your dinner there as traditional as you like. Meanwhile, Ad Hoc in Yountville is offering a four-course family-style meal as well as preparing full Thanksgiving meals for pick up — including turkey with bacon leek stuffing, mashed potatoes, and various fall pies — just in case you didn’t want to cook dinner at home but you did want to eat it at home.
Whatever you choose, be warned that most restaurants do close on Thanksgiving Day, so these reservations might be hard to come by. Snag a table now while you still can.
Eleven Madison Park
The three-Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park is known across the world for its impeccable hospitality and seasonal tasting menu that explores the terroir and ingredients of New York State. That, of course, makes it an ideal place to celebrate American heritage. Eleven Madison Park is once again offering a Thanksgiving Day menu this year, featuring dishes like chicken velouté with black truffles, smoked foie gras terrine, roasted turkey with caramelized apple and chestnut stuffing, and chocolate ganache with nougat and mulled wine ice cream. At $195 per person (with wine pairings for an additional $125), it’s pricy, so if you’re looking to save a bit, consider the tasting menu at Eleven Madison Park’s sister restaurant The NoMad. There, you’ll get a longer menu with more traditional Thanksgiving flavors (like mashed potatoes and cranberry compote) for $145.
Serpico is opening its doors for Thanksgiving for the first time this year, excellent news for fans of Peter Serpico’s inspired cooking. The chef came to Philly a couple of years ago from New York City, where he had been a highly lauded director of culinary operations for David Chang’s Momofuku empire. Serpico—which weaves Asian ingredients throughout its menu in creative preparations—will offer a family-style Thanksgiving Day meal including turkey and the rest of the holiday staples. The restaurant will be open between 2 and 8 p.m., with reservations available either by phone or through OpenTable.
Fabio Trabocchi’s modern trattoria Fiola is one of the finest restaurants in Washington, DC, drawing the patronage of the city’s power players with its impeccable pastas, luxe ingredients, and elegant dining room. All that makes for an ideal Italian-influenced Thanksgiving dinner, which this year includes dishes like a cappuccino of chestnuts, the restaurant’s signature lobster ravioli, and a Pennsylvania heritage roast turkey served with sweet potatoes, lady apples, and a stuffing made with cornbread and sausage. Dessert options include a chocolate and pecan crostata, and honey panna cotta with black truffle gelato. The menu runs at $90 per person and $28 per child.
Proof on Main
Proof on Main lies right in the heart of downtown Louisville—down the street from the Louisville Slugger Museum and a whiskey distillery inside the 21C Museum Hotel. It has received accolades throughout the years for its locally sourced American menus with a Southern tinge (try the hot fried chicken if you’re ever there for lunch). This Thanksgiving, the restaurant is serving an a la carte dinner from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. with dishes like the heritage turkey plate that comes with roasted turkey breast, smoked leg, mashed sweet potatoes, sage stuffing, port cranberries, and maple ginger Brussels sprouts.
If you’re going to celebrate Thanksgiving in Las Vegas, you might as well do it José’s Way. Bazaar Meat, the top-rated Vegas restaurant from celebrity chef José Andrés, is offering an $85 per person prix fixe menu for the holiday this year. So what does Thanksgiving José’s Way mean? Well, dishes include the restaurant’s signature liquefied olives, turkey-béchamel fritters, and shrimp cocktail served alongside a spin on Thanksgiving classics like mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, spiced cranberries, and butifarra-and-cornbread stuffing. Choose between roasted turbot or turkey breast and leg (cooked sous vide and confit, respectively) for a main dish, and finish it all off with pecan pie and pumpkin tart.
Ad Hoc + Addendum
If you’re in Napa over the holiday weekend, plan to spend your Thanksgiving meal at Thomas Keller’s other Yountville restaurant, Ad Hoc. Keller’s three-Michelin-starred The French Laundry is closed on Thanksgiving, but its sister restaurant will be open for business. They’ll be serving a four-course family-style meal between noon and 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day for $52 per person. And if you’re more in the mood for takeout, Ad Hoc is also preparing full Thanksgiving meals for pick up that includes turkey with bacon leek stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry relish, buttermilk biscuits, and pecan, apple, and pumpkin tarts for $395 for a family of four.
There’s something both timeless and transporting about McCrady’s dining room, with its exposed brick walls, original fireplaces, and white tablecloths. This is where chef Sean Brock rose to international acclaim with his cuisine that seeks to explore and remain true to its Southern food roots. McCrady’s is going to be open on Thanksgiving this year with a special menu to celebrate the holiday.
Blackberry Farm specializes in getting away from it all in style, with luxe accommodations and plenty of activities in the Smoky Mountains to keep you busy. Good food and drink are essential to that formula and made possible thanks to an on-site farm that produces heirloom vegetables and other ingredients for the James Beard Award-winning Barn at Blackberry Farm. Thanksgiving is a whole production here, too. In addition to events like a Turkey Trot and flag football, Thanksgiving at Blackberry Farm brings a turkey fry lunch (with peanut soup and angel biscuits) and a Thanksgiving feast.
Chicago’s Acadia has been rising among the city’s finest restaurants thanks to its classic American menu channeling the Northeastern landscapes of Maine and Quebec. In fact, the restaurant recently gained its second Michelin star, placing it in high ranks internationally as well. This Thanksgiving, Acadia is offering a prix fixe menu from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. featuring chestnut soup, halibut with lemon verbena crust, turkey “saltimbocca” with cornbread pudding, and sticky toffee apple cake. There’s also a kids menu of smoked cheddar mac ‘n’ cheese, “wing dings,” and funnel cakes with popcorn ice cream and chocolate sauce. The adult menu costs $85 per person with an addition $50 for wine pairings.
Dean Fearing is one of the most respected chefs in the country thanks to his many contributions to Southern and Southwestern cooking. His latest book, The Texas Food Bible, met with tremendous praise upon its release last year, as well. So Fearing’s at the Ritz-Carlton hotel is the ideal place to dine if you’re Dallas over the holiday weekend. The restaurant is offering a three-course Thanksgiving menu for both lunch and dinner priced at $100 for adults and $30 for kids.
One of last year’s most exciting additions to the Nashville dining scene, Adele’s is New York chef Jonathan Waxman’s tribute to his slow-food-loving mother. On Thanksgiving Day, the restaurant will host a buffet stuffed with dishes like fire-roasted turkey breast with gravy, butternut squash soup with crème fraiche, buttermilk biscuits, sweet potato gratin with maple syrup and chili, braised Brussels sprouts with bacon and parmesan, mashed potatoes, apple crumble, pumpkin pie, and more. In true buffet fashion, this dinner includes unlimited plates at $42 per adult, $15 for kids ages 5-15, and free for kids four and under. Dinner will be served on Thanksgiving day between noon and 8 p.m.
Bouchon Beverly Hills
Bouchon Beverly Hills is acclaimed chef Thomas Keller’s take on the traditional Parisian bistro. This Thanksgiving, the second floor will be open from noon to 9 p.m. with a three-course menu that allows you to decide just how traditionally Thanksgiving you want to go. First courses include the likes of paté en croute, gravlax, and pumpkin soup, while the entrees range from steak-frites to a full “Thanksgiving Dinner” with turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry relish, and turkey gravy. Finally, for dessert, choose between apple, pumpkin, or pecan pies, or a brownie and ice cream. The fixed menu runs at $80 per person ($40 for children), and there’s also the option add on seafood platters, caviar, charcuterie, sides, and wine pairings. Some of these items will be available to-go as well; place advance orders online. The Bar Bouchon and Bakery will be open regular hours on Thanksgiving Day, too, if you want to make a day of it.
Josiah Citrin’s Santa Monica restaurant Mélisse has earned two Michelin stars for its seasonal French menu in a fine dining setting. This year’s Thanksgiving dinner offers diners plenty of options for a three-course meal. First course choices include pumpkin soup, Maine lobster ravioli, and a little gem salad with roasted pears, beets, and walnuts. Meanwhile, you can go more traditional with the entree—herb roasted turkey with chanterelle mushrooms, apple-and-brioche stuffing and pomegranate gravy—or, opt for prime rib, crispy bass, or a vegetarian main dish. All these come with your choice of three sides such as creamed spinach, praline pecan yams, Szechwan green beans, and cranberry sauce. For one final difficult choice, Mélisse is offering a selection of desserts including apple pie with cinnamon cider ice cream, pecan pie with bourbon sauce, spiced pumpkin pie, and a “chocolate over chocolate” dessert with salted coffee ice cream. Dinner will be served between 3 and 7:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, costing $95 per adult and $42 for kids aged 8 and under.
Prolific restaurateur Michael Mina’s flagship Michelin-starred eponymous restaurant in San Francisco is offering an elegant four-course menu on Thanksgiving Day this year. Main dishes include Tasmanian ocean trout with Dungeness crab ravioli, black angus prime rib eye with king trumpet mushrooms, or the traditional roast turkey with cranberry confit, Brussels sprouts, kale, and gravy. All entrees come with sides of chestnut stuffing, mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoes for the table. Meanwhile, dessert options include a quince brown butter cake and a hazelnut parfait with pear and Meyer lemon cremeux. The menu costs $145 per person, with an optional beverage pairing of $85. Keep in mind that you can also add alba white truffle to any course for an additional $25 per gram.
Locals and visitors alike have fallen for the refined Arkansas country cuisine at Bentonville stunner The Hive thanks to the talents of Matt McClure, this year’s winner of Food & Wine’s People’s Best New Chef Midwest competition. The Hive will be serving this year’s Thanksgiving dinner between noon and 7 p.m. on November 26. The four-course menu includes smoked turkey with cornbread stuffing “and all the fixins.” For adults, the menu price will range from $39-49 for four courses, while children 12 and under will receive three courses for $18.