Thanksgiving has a uniform. There’s a whole turkey, with lots of math and weighing and brining and basting, cranberry sauce, green beans, potatoes, and dinner rolls. There is some type of pie. There is some oddly begrudging competitiveness: man versus plate. The food can get louder than the spirit. But as we’re changing as a culture, moving away from folk tales about pioneers and the like, we have a unique opportunity to rethink the ways we celebrate.
Whether your gratitude is best honored by returning to meals that remind you of Thanksgivings past, twists on dishes that trigger awe of other cultures, or blends of traditions that create common ground with your neighbors, there’s something for you at these top Austin restaurants.
This Thanksgiving, take the prep out of your hands and turn to these establishments for an array of Thanksgiving meals available for dining in or enjoying at home. Then go ahead and tack on an extra hour to that post-feast nap.
Sure, you could attempt gourmet cooking at home, not think to read the entire recipe before starting and end up with a half-done turkey, a burnt side you forgot about, and the lingering resentment of having to go to multiple H-E-Bs to find fennel. Alternatively, you could bring fine-dining home from The Carillon, for a surprisingly competitive price. The Thanksgiving Feast at Home package ($160, feeds four) sets you up with the most traditional and complete meal you’ll see on this list, with smoked turkey breast, whipped potatoes, relish, dinner rolls, two pies and more. If you can’t get enough of one item, you can add any additional items a la carte. Order on the phone (512-404-3655) or via Google Forms by November 18.
We’re thankful for brunch. Start Thanksgiving right with brunch at Hotel Granduca, overlooking the Hill Country from the Tuscany-inspired ballroom and courtyard. The pork belly, candied yam hash, green beans, and pastries are served buffet-style with drinks included, so you can choose your own adventure. And with promises of “a vast cheese station,” we do mean adventure. If that ballroom sounds fine but your kitchen table and the comfort of your own unbuttoned waistband sounds better, the hotel is offering a to-go dinner including appetizers, turkey roulade (a classy twist), stuffing, a green bean casserole, two pies, and more. Thanksgiving Day Brunch ($79 for adults) goes from 11 am to 3 pm with reservations available on opentable.com. To order dinner to go ($199 for four, $399 for eight) by November 20, call 512-306-6500.
Terry Black’s Barbecue
Hot take: turkey is the most consistently solid barbecue option. We’ll never turn our backs on marbled brisket, but everyone likes their red meats a little differently. Smoked and slow cooked turkey is gentle enough to really center the barbecue flavors, never dry, and light enough to play nicely with the rest of your big holiday meal. What is Thanksgiving in Texas if not a chance to give barbecued turkey the spotlight it deserves? One of Austin’s favorites, Terry Black’s Barbecue, has this covered with a selection of holiday packs ($78-$148). Choose a whole turkey breast or switch up your holiday routine even more with a whole brisket or whole rack of beef or pork ribs. All these options come chilled with a frozen pumpkin pie and bottle of original barbecue sauce. Order 48 hours in advance at terryblacksbbq.com.
We get it, your Thanksgiving is a point of pride that demands flexibility, but maybe not hours of work in the kitchen. To keep creative control, check out Farmhouse Delivery’s extensive list of curated local Thanksgiving shopping. All the traditional must-haves are there (and bundled in an Everything But The Bird kit, if that’s your thing), alongside unexpected twists like ahi tuna poke and sweet raisin pecan bread. If you do want to mix in a few of your signature sides that no one else could replicate, throw in some produce and other grocery items and save yourself a trip to a crowded grocery store. Order early on farmhousedelivery.com, as some items are starting to sell out.
Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille
Look, you don’t have to stick to turkey on Thanksgiving. What would you be thankful for? Is it a ridiculous steak you can only eat on special occasions? This is that occasion, friend. Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille is ready to send you home with that traditional spread, plus a three-pound encrusted prime rib, if you think you can tackle all that. The turkey loyalists are happy. The steak lovers are happy. There are plenty of leftovers. If that steakhouse ambiance is calling to you, they’re serving the same spread without the prime rib deal. Reserve ($45 per person) and preorder (starting at $139) at least four hours in advance at perryssteakhouse.com.
Is there ever enough chorizo in a Thanksgiving stuffing? Probably not, unless you’re making your own or getting it from Fresa’s. They'll be serving the classics with a twist, like citrus-serrano cranberry sauce and poblano spinach gratin. It’s just enough of a departure to make a memorable spread, without sacrificing the combos you look forward to every year. The biggest package feeds up to 10, but if you want more, extra pans and desserts can be added a la carte. Order online (starting at $185 for four to six) until November 23 at fresaschicken.com.
This Mediterranean restaurant is taking the giving part seriously and matching donations made with Thanksgiving preorders to the Central Texas Food Bank. The menu is Thanksgiving classics-adjacent, and great for enjoying fall foods in unusual ways. The pumpkin hummus takes care of the ingredient to which many of us grow numb in pies and lattes. Instead of turkey, enjoy beef tenderloin kebab and crispy chicken. We won’t disrespect the black truffle orzo by comparing it to anything else. Packages are for two, four, or six ($59.95 per person) and need to be ordered at exploretock.com by November 21 at 9 am.
Shopping for pies, you recall your uncle loves pecan, you can’t remember if your cousin made apple or pumpkin, and you know everyone except you likes chocolate cream. Tiny Pies has the answer — or a dozen answers. The Thanksgiving 12-Pack comes with two each of pumpkin, apple, pecan, cherry, apple cranberry, and Texas Two-Step (brownie and pecan). Each little cutie is roughly the size of a cupcake, painfully cute without leaving anyone painfully full. If savory pies are more your speed, the 5-inch turkey pot pies pack the whole meal into a few bites. Orders are open until November 19 at 5 pm. Visit tinypies.com and check the store-specific menu.