There are benefits to having Thanksgiving at home. You can wear your pajamas until dinner, serve whatever you want, and play Micheal Bublé all day to annoy surly teenagers. But is that really enough to make up for the dishes you’ll have to clean when the whole shindig is over?
This year, let the pros do all the work. Eateries all across Austin are open on Thanksgiving with brunch buffets, prix fixe dinners, and specialty entrees. Just be an adult and put on a pair of khakis — the elastic waist pants can come out when it’s all over.
Brix and Ale
There’s no need to travel to the city for a great Thanksgiving feast. Northern suburbanites can head out to Georgetown’s Brix and Ale for a buffet that includes new takes on holiday mainstays. The offerings include a carving station with house cured ham, sweet tea brined turkey breast, and rack of lamb; made-to-order omelets and egg dishes; an assortment of cheese and charcuterie; and raw selections like poached shrimp and crab claws with a michelada cocktail sauce. $55 per adult and $25 for kids 12 and under. 11 am-3 pm.
Cannon + Belle
Norman Rockwell may have featured a turkey in his famous Thanksgiving dinner scene, but we all know the day is all about the sides. The downtown Hilton’s signature eatery has tons — butternut ravioli with saga and brown butter cream; maple sweet potato puree with marshmallow fluff and candied pecans; scallop potatoes; thyme-scented carrots; and string beans with crispy onions, to name a few. Along with carved meats and desserts, this is one of the most lavish buffets in town. $49.95 for adults, $22.50 for children 6-12, and free for kids 5 and under. 11 am-4 pm.
One of Austin’s fine dining hidden gems, the resident restaurant at the AT&T Hotel & Conference Center always goes big on Turkey Day with a lavish brunch buffet. This year is more of the same with a spread that includes smoked prime rib, sous vide fried turkey breast, seared cobia, bread pudding, and Bourbon pecan pie bites. Classic sides include golden potato puree, candied yams, and crispy Brussels sprouts. $68 for adults and $30 for kids. 10:30 am-2:30 pm.
This brand-new eatery in the Four Seasons Austin is introducing itself with a stunning Thanksgiving brunch. Graze from over 80 dishes, including beef short ribs with horseradish cream, mezcal-brown butter glazed ham, Boursin mashed potatoes, smoked salmon crostini, and three varieties of pancakes. Finish the meal off on a high note with 10 dessert options, from a butterscotch crème brûlée to spiced chocolate tacos. $90 for adults, $40 for children ages 6-11. Seatings at 11 am and 8 pm.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa
This Texas Hill Country destination has both brunch and dinner covered. For the daytime meal, graze from breakfast faves like buttermilk pancakes and cinnamon roll French toast along with traditional Thanksgiving treats like stuffing and sweet potatoes. In the evening, dine on a prix fixe with sophisticated choices like Japanese pumpkin ravioli with sage brown butter and braised Swiss chard, a prime beef filet with blistered shishito peppers, and a caramel and chocolate dipped pear with a mascarpone cremeaux. Brunch is $74 for adults, $64 for seniors over 60, $32 for children ages 6-12, and free for kids 5 and under. 10:30 am- 2 pm. Dinner is $95 for adults and $75 for seniors. 3-8 pm.
Mattie’s at Green Pastures
A true Austin tradition, the brunch buffet at Mattie’s offers Southern twanged dishes like buttermilk biscuits, fried chicken eggs Benedict, and pimento cheese along with a dessert spread, raw bar, and carving and charcuterie stations. The cost includes complimentary coffee and ice tea, and — more importantly — a cocktail from the restaurant’s holiday bar menu. $85 for adults, $40 for children 6-12, and free for little ones under 5. Seatings at 11 am and 1:45 pm.
Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille
Who knew this downtown red meat haven also has a way with poultry, like the delectable roast turkey breast with pan gravy served as the centerpiece of its holiday prix fixe. The meal also includes mashed potatoes, green bean almandine, sausage and cornbread stuffing, cranberry relish, and pumpkin pie with Chantilly cream. (And yes, you can still get a filet mignon if you must.) $49.95, kids’ plate available for $15. 11 am-9 pm.
Second Bar + Kitchen
For a decidedly contemporary take on the holiday, head downtown for Second Bar’s Thanksgiving plate. The entree nods to tradition with creative takes on comfort dishes like sage roasted turkey breast, garlic rosemary stuffing, green bean casserole, cranberries, and black pepper gravy. Going for a full food coma? Order sides like buttermilk mashed potatoes or candied yams. $26 per plate and $6 for sides. 11 am-8 pm.
The W Austin’s stylish eatery has put a hip twist on Turkey Day with its prix fixe holiday menu. Enjoy choices like coconut carrot and ginger soup, a butternut squash and mushroom tart, prosciutto wrapped turkey breast, yuzu glazed pork shoulder, and Texas Bourbon pecan pie. The kids’ menu is sure to please picky eaters with three cheese mac ’n’ cheese, turkey breast with gravy, and a rich chocolate pudding. $60 for main menu, $20 for children 12 and under. 11 am-8 pm.
Threadgill’s World Headquarters
The impending closure of this Austin icon makes Thanksgiving bittersweet, but that’s not keeping it from hosting one more gathering. As usual, the menu includes Southern entrees and sides including roast turkey with cornbread dressing, broccoli rice casserole, glazed ham, and fried okra. But the real treat is the marvelous assortment of pies. 10:30 am-10 pm.