Update: After publication, we received an influx of locally owned restaurants sharing their Thanksgiving meals and deals. We couldn't possibly leave them off, so this story has been updated accordingly.
Here is an unpopular opinion: I don't like the Thanksgiving meal. I don't like turkey. I can't stand when food is slopped all together. I hate stuffing and wilted green beans and, yes, mashed potatoes. (Cue the emails.) Pie is okay, but only pecan. I do like the wine and the part where we go around the table and say the thing we're most grateful for over the past year.
Why then, should someone who hates Thanksgiving dinner write a story about where to eat Thanksgiving? Because a weird year can only beget a weird holiday season, so here we are.
If you're like me and so many others, Thanksgiving 2020 will be spent away from immediate family, and just because I detest gravy doesn't mean I'm not sad about losing another holiday with loved ones in this unpredictable and scary time.
Luckily in Austin, there are local restaurants working hard to make this a Thanksgiving to remember, no matter where or how we celebrate. Below, you'll find everything from classic Thanksgiving dinners with all the trimmings to inventive cheese boards to Middle Eastern versions of the American holiday.
This Chicago-based eatery, which recently opened on South Congress, is offering Thanksgiving with its Mediterranean flair. The menu ($48.95 per person, can be ordered for two, four, or six guests) includes menu items like pumpkin hummus, truffle baked orzo, green beans with almonds and mushroom aioli, grilled chicken and beef tenderloin kebab, Brussels sprouts, and creme brûlée pie. Bottles of wine can be added for an additional cost. Order here by Monday, November 23, for pickup or delivery.
Abby Jane Bakeshop
Leave the pies to the pros at Abby Jane Bakeshop. Order scrumptious desserts like sweet potato pie with marshmallow topping; mesquite, pecan, and chocolate pie; buttermilk grits pie; or apple cranberry ($30-$35). The bakery is also whipping up Parker House rolls, brioche loaf, cornbread with whipped honey butter, chocolate chip cookies, and pastry boxes stuffed with goodies for the next morning. Order online by Friday, November 20.
This is my kind of Thanksgiving. The North Austin Italian eatery is dishing out housemade pumpkin ravioli, and side dishes like Andiamo bread, butternut squash soup, roasted red potatoes, asparagus. Call 512-719-3377 to order for pickup.
The Line hotel's signature restaurant is offering an a la carte menu with all the trimmings on Thanksgiving day from 3-10 pm. Dishes include confit turkey breast with broccoli and brioche stuffing, herbed vinaigrette Yukon gold potatoes, and Texas pecan-caramel tart with pumpkin ice cream, brown butter, and cinnamon chantilly for dessert. Reservations are available on OpenTable. For larger bookings, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This restaurant, located on the UT campus, always celebrates the holidays in style, but this year it's offering an entire Thanksgiving meal to-go instead. The Thanksgiving Feast At Home Package ($140, serves four) includes smoked turkey breast, sage and fennel spiced corn stuffing, whipped Yukon butter potatoes, rosemary pan gravy, green bean casserole, thyme and honey roasted carrots, orange-cranberry relish, one pecan pie and one pumpkin pie, and dinner rolls. Each dish is also available to add a la carte if you want extra leftovers. Order by Friday, November 20; call 512-404-3655.
The South Austin restaurant, nestled in the swank Carpenters Hall, is offering a traditional Texas Thanksgiving dinner ($200, serves six) with a roast turkey in mole, green beans in pecan salsa macha, bibb salad, sweet corn tamales, Parker House rolls, and more. Order online here for pickup on Wednesday, November 25. Add a whole carrot cake or pecan pie for an additional fee.
Commodore Perry Estate
Make it a holiday to remember with a staycation at the Commodore Perry Estate. Executive chef Bradley Nicholson and executive pastry chef Susana Querejazu are creating an onsite Southern-style Thanksgiving, complete with smoked Richardson Farm turkey, apple pie a la mode with Texas cheddar, oysters on the shell, and foie gras, among other dishes. Book a room at the hotel's website.
Contigo has a variety of options, including prix fixe dinner with a brined/uncooked turkey, sides, and dessert ($255, serves eight). Customers can also grab a 14-pound bird ($75, serves eight) or order the robust sides-only meal, a good option for those who have the turkey, but want to outsource the rest ($180, serves eight). Side dishes are also available a la carte (prices vary) and include baked brie with maple soaked dates, cinnamon, and fennel crackers; green beans; double garlic and cream mashed potatoes; roasted sweet potatoes with hot honey brown butter and smoked pecan crumble; kumquat, orange, and black pepper marmalade; gravy; and pull-apart rolls with flaked salt. Pies and wine also available. Order online by Friday, November 20, for pickup or delivery.
This bake shop and beer garden is offering all sorts of goodies, beginning with a grazing platter filled with cheese and charcuterie from Antonelli's served alongside spiced candied walnuts, fruit, Easy Tiger mustard, salted whipped butter and seasonal jam, plus Easy Tiger breads. Order a complete Thanksgiving dinner with house-smoked herb roasted turkey breast, potato au gratin, Easy Tiger Stuffing Kit, roasted carrots, Brussels sprouts, cranberry jam, kale salad, and house gravy ($175, serves four-six).
Easy Tiger is also offering pies, pull-apart rolls, Easy Tiger Stuffing Kit, and even a leftovers kit with all the things to turn your homemade leftovers into the ultimate post-Thanksgiving sandwich. Order online for pickup at the Linc or South Lamar locations or delivery.
Emmer & Rye
Make it a Thanksgiving to remember with meal kits from the all-star team behind Emmer & Rye and Hestia. Main options include whole roast chicken, glazed Yonder Way Farm ham, smoked Lion's Mane mushroom, or prime rib. Sides include sourdough stuffing, mashed potatoes with fermented butter and shallots, gravy, roasted acorn squash, smoked green beans, and a mixed green salad. Kits for two include one main, sides, and dessert ($150) and kits for four include two mains, sides, and dessert ($250). Parker House rolls and pumpkin Basque cheesecake are available a la carte and Old Fashioned and wine kits are also available. Pickup is Wednesday, November 25. Order online or call 512-366-5530.
Fresa's Chicken al Carbon
Fresa's is offering two versions of the classic Thanksgiving meal: the Signature Roasted Turkey Meal ($285, serves 8-10 people) or the Roasted Turkey Breast Meal ($185, serves 4-6 people). Or, order up sides like sweet potato mash, Doña’s mac 'n' cheese, chorizo stuffing, roasted Brussels sprouts, and gravy a la carte. And don't forget dessert from famed pastry chef Laura Sawicki, including classic apple pie, caramel pumpkin pie, and homemade vanilla ice cream. Order online here or call 512-915-0362. Orders must be placed no later than November 23 for pickup on November 25.
Goodstock by Nolan Ryan
This boutique butcher shop in Round Rock is offering a little cheat for Thanksgiving Day. Forget about roasting a bird and instead order up a fully-cooked, slow-smoked turkey in either Cajun or traditional style ($59.95-$69.95). Or buck tradition all together and get a spiral-cut honey ham instead ($69.95). Order by November 20 for pickup. Reheating instructions included. Call 512-521-4663 or order online.
Head to the Hotel Zaza for a four-course menu on Thanksgiving Day. Surf-and-turf crostini appetizer, soup, and salad kick off the meal. For mains, choose "The Feast" with all the traditional dishes or go wild with a New York strip. Desserts include a pecan pie with salted caramel or a s'mores bar. Choose one soup/salad, one entree, and one dessert for $70, or a la carte. For reservations, call 512-542-9292 or OpenTable.
Make it a Thanksgiving to remember with meal kits from the all-star team behind Hestia and Emmer & Rye. Main options include whole roast chicken, glazed Yonder Way Farm ham, smoked Lion's Mane mushroom, or prime rib. Sides include sourdough stuffing, mashed potatoes with fermented butter and shallots, gravy, roasted acorn squash, smoked green beans, and a mixed green salad. Kits for two include one main, sides, and dessert ($150) and kits for four include two mains, sides, and dessert ($250). Parker House rolls and pumpkin Basque cheesecake are available a la carte and Old Fashioned and wine kits are also available. Pickup is Wednesday, November 25. Order online or call 512-366-5530.
Are you a senior spending the holiday alone? Juliet is offering free meal kits for those age 70 and over. The kits feed two and include ingredients for the restaurant's famed fettuccine alfredo along with a caesar or butter lettuce salad. To place an order, seniors can call Juliet at 512-479-1800, or email general manager Emily O’Connor at email@example.com. Juliet will deliver the meal kits on Wednesday, November 25.
Micklethwait Craft Meats
Offering family-style meals to-go that can be reheated. Whole turkey ($105, serves eight-10) or whole brisket ($160, serves nine-12), with choice of two sides and either seasoned giblet gravy or pickles/onions/sauce/bread. Sides include: green bean casserole (half-gallon available), stuffing (half-gallon available), mac 'n' cheese, jalapeño cheese grits, chili beans, country potato salad, lemon poppy slaw, and citrus beet salad. Pecan and pumpkin pies and cheesecake also available. To order email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit craftmeatsaustin.com.
For those who want a unique way to celebrate Thanksgiving, both the North Austin and east side locations of Old Thousand are offering Lucky Family Meals with two egg rolls, hot and sour soup, green beans, Xian Mian noodles, General Tso’s chicken, Mongolian beef, and cabbage pickles. ($88, feeds four. Vegetarian menu also available.) Order online.
Who doesn't want Thanksgiving cooked by a James Beard-nominated chef? This campus-area staple is offering Olamaie's Everything but the Turkey Dinner menu, which includes chef Michael Fojtasek's renditions of classic sides like broccoli and cheese casserole and cornbread sage stuffing. Biscuits are included (naturally!), plus a bonus batch of biscuit cinnamon rolls for the next morning ($150, feeds six). Biscuits by the dozen, pumpkin spice loaf with buttered pecans, and batch cocktails mixed by the in-house beverage director are also available. Orders must be placed by Sunday, November 22, and can only be made online.
Head to the Austin Proper for a Mediterranean twist on the American holiday. The Peacock is offering both in-house dining and to-go options. For those dining in the restaurant, Thanksgiving dishes are available a la carte, or take part in a special Thanksgiving menu for $38 per person. Visit OpenTable for reservations.
Those looking for to-go options can choose from dishes like whole turkey roasted with lemon and herbs; cornbread stuffing with pecans, cherries, and andouille sausage; and baklava with walnut, pistachio, and cardamom syrup. Orders can be placed via the Peacock website and must be in by Friday, November 20, at 5 pm.
Second Bar + Kitchen
Head to the Domain for a prix-fixe family feast. Start the meal off with jalapeño-garlic hushpuppies with maple cream cheese, rosemary corn bread muffins with honey butter, and cucumber salad bouquets before moving on to one of three main options (smoked turkey, pork loin, or salmon filet). Sides include innovative spins on all the classics, like garlic roasted mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes with goat cheese. End the meal with lemon tarts, blueberry-apple cobbler, pecan bread pudding, or classic pumpkin pie. ($58 per adult, $24 per child, kids under 5 free.) Alcohol available a la carte. Seatings available from noon to 6 pm. Tables of two to 10 will be socially distanced. Call 737-300-4822 to reserve.
Stella San Jac
This downtown restaurant is offering fresh, ready-to-heat meal kits that serve four and include all the Thanksgiving classics. A fried turkey is accompanied by mashed potatoes, green beans, roasted Brussels sprouts, and mini pies for dessert. $129 for the meal kit, and each includes a $25 gift certificate to Stella. Order online here by Sunday, November 20 or call 512-792-5648
Stella San Jac is also accepting reservations for a prix fixe Thanksgiving meal between 11 am and 8 pm. $55 per adult/$28 per child. Book online or call 512-792-5648.
Another non-traditional Thanksgiving meal that we're eyeing. Turkey shawarma is complemented with squash hummus, smoked green beans, roasted sweet potatoes, green lentil salad, grilled Brussels, and a Lebanese bread salad. Vegetarian option with stuffed collard greens also available. Top it off with a dessert of tahini ice cream with chocolate chips and candied pumpkin. (Kit for two, $100. Kit for four, $175.) Order online for pickup Wednesday, November 25.
This fried-chicken favorite is offering a special pumpkin pie to-go option from its new Tarrytown location on Lake Austin Boulevard. Order by November 22 for pickup on November 25 (the day before Thanksgiving). Place orders by emailing email@example.com or calling the restaurant at 512-953-8482.
Got the bird covered but need sides? Uchiko is cooking up Brussels sprouts, Japanese sweet potato, green beans, cauliflower, and Japanese cheesecake. Each of the dishes serves four and will be available as a package of six ($100) or a la carte ($20 each). Reheating instructions included. Orders begin Monday, November 16, through Monday, November 23. Call 512-916-4808 to order.
Wheatsville carries all-natural, locally sourced heritage turkeys and Pederson's Natural Farms ham for those looking to cook up a high-quality main dish. Those tasked with the sides this year can consider Wheatsville a kind of cheat-sheet. Choose from already made classics like garlic mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, mac 'n' cheese, and cornbread, or pick up something a little more fancy, like coconut mashed potatoes or mushroom gravy. As a bonus, both the South Lamar and Guadalupe locations will be open from 7 am to 1 pm, so make sure to hit this locally owned market for any last-minute Thanksgiving needs.