This year has felt a lot busier for many Austinites. Many events are in-person and in full swing for the first time in years. Travel to more health-cautious countries has picked up, and people are taking advantage with holiday time off approaching. While we’re all running around again — enjoying the novelty of a more-open world while remembering what it takes to keep up with it — a special meal with loved ones sounds wonderful.
As every year, Austin restaurants are ready with their Thanksgiving traditions. There are plenty of options both in-person and at home, and even some that allow pickup early enough to travel (if driving with a whole dinner is really your thing). Most of these 10 options offer fixed-price, set menus to accommodate a total pivot to a different type of high-quality cooking, but a few keep things simple for potluck guests and holiday rogues.
Most important, in this time of bouncing back, let’s be thankful for the Austin restaurant scene returning with us.
Traditional Thanksgiving food can’t be everyone’s thing, and Aba is here to help keep the fall vibes intact with a more Mediterranean twist. Some creative moments in the to-go dinner ($59.95 per person) include pumpkin hummus with house bread, black truffle orzo, beef tenderloin kebab, and crispy chicken thigh with butternut squash. Pre-orders are open until November 21, for pickup and delivery on November 24. Order on Tock.
Aviary Wine & Kitchen
Some of us are I’ll-handle-the-wine people at our friends’ and family gatherings. Aviary Wine & Kitchen has those people covered with a selection of three wines: a French rosé, a Croatian white blend, and a French Carignan. The wine pack ($65) contains an unusual assortment of varieties and mid-range price points, making it a conversation starter, and perhaps a nudge for others to broaden their horizons after your Thanksgiving nudge. Call 512-916-4445 or order in the store.
CARVE American Grille
Carve American Grille is offering one of the more affordable prix fixe menus on Thanksgiving Day ($49), making dessert optional in case Grandma’s pie is waiting at home. It starts with a choice of a very autumnal soup or salad, and moves through a super-traditional turkey meal with sausage stuffing, gravy, potatoes, green beans, and cranberry relish. And though dessert ($9) is optional, it’s hard to say no to pumpkin cheesecake. It’s also sending all this home in a four-person bundle ($174 with dessert). Reserve at carveamericangrille.com.
Thanksgiving at home can be a herculean effort, but it doesn’t need to be that complicated. Farmhouse Delivery, a holistic grocery and prepared foods delivery service, can bring whole birds, sides, desserts, drink mixers, and even centerpieces. A Thanksgiving ordering tab narrows down the browsing, and the Everything But the Bird package sets home cooks up with mostly-premade basics with a few clicks. The breadth of Farmhouse Delivery makes this a great option for vegetarian and vegan choices, too. Order at farmhousedelivery.com.
Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon
Fresa’s is an old Thanksgiving pro, and has one of the more varied menus around Austin for this holiday, with a slight Mexican twist. Dishes come in trays for the perfect at-home mix-and-match, especially for large parties. Select a roasted turkey meal by the number of people it should feed (starting at $215 for 4-6), then select from sides like poblano spinach gratin, chorizo stuffing, and a pozole kit for leftovers. Order on Tock.
Geraldine’s at the Hotel Van Zandt
Sometimes there are just too many people to see for Thanksgiving plans. Geraldine’s, at the Hotel Van Zandt, is serving “Friendsgiving” cocktails throughout the month of November, tying in Friends references. Fans of the show might enjoy the creative names and themes (Monica’s Tiki Death Punch), and the whole menu benefits No Kid Hungry. Non-fans can think of it as an excuse to hang out at a hotel bar that makes excellent, limited-edition cocktails. Your choice.
Goodstock by Nolan Ryan
Goodstock by Nolan Ryan, a Round Rock butcher shop, is offering Thanksgiving staples for large parties (or big fans of leftovers), like fully-cooked whole birds, hams, and steaks. For sides, it’s serving dessert pies and savory quiches, as well as wines, to make sure shoppers only need to make one stop. (Tell someone else to bring the salad.) The shop is taking pre-orders until November 18, for in-store pickup November 23. Pre-order online.
Nido at The Loren at Lady Bird Lake
Austin foodies seem thankful across the board that Nido, the rooftop restaurant at The Loren at Lady Bird Lake, is finally open. This is not usually the place to save money, but the Thanksgiving prix fixe ($85 for adults, $35 for kids) is a good value for upscale dining, and includes appetizers, heritage turkey, family-style sides, and a pumpkin tart for dessert. Diners will be greeted with a glass of sparkling wine, and may add wine pairings ($50). Call 512-580-1183 to reserve.
Summer House on Music Lane
Hotel Magdalena, a trendy boutique hotel in the Music Lane development behind South Congress Avenue, is positioning itself as a culinary destination with food events and a refined, but simple restaurant. Thanksgiving at Summer House on Music Lane is a three-course prix fixe ($75 for adults, $20 for kids) focused on comfort foods, with smoked turkey and a pistachio-cherry cake. Reserve at hotelmagdalena.com.
Tillie’s, an eclectic and beautiful restaurant in Dripping Springs, is a great place for a Thanksgiving meal made to really impress. The three-course prix fixe ($95 for adults, $45 for kids) comes with lots of choices, most notably between entrees: turkey, short rib, Scottish salmon, smoked pork chop, and risotto. The rest of the meal includes all the classics, including family style sides. Wine pairings ($55) and a couple other sides are available as add-ons. Reserve on Opentable.