Best Restaurants Open on Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving dinner is the best meal of the entire year, hands down. As splendid as it is to eat roasted turkey, pumpkin pie and as many sides as you can fit on your plate, actually preparing the meal is hard work.
If you need a little something to start the day right or you simply don't want to cook this year, we don't blame you. Make this Thanksgiving a self-care day, and order a hot meal from one of these radiant restaurants instead. If the in-laws are coming, just throw away the takeout boxes and pretend you made it yourself. Easy as pie.
Note: Hours vary by location, so call the restaurant closest to you to confirm its holiday schedule.
23. Einstein Bros Bagels
What to order: Look, are bagels a typical Thanksgiving food? No. But you have to eat something in the morning to hold you over until Thanksgiving dinner, so why not a perfectly toasted bagel smothered in cream cheese? Einstein Bros has countless bagel flavors to choose from, but we'd recommend the breakfast sandwiches loaded with bacon and eggs.
Find an Einstein Bros Bagels near you.
22. Dunkin' Donuts
What to order: The world runs on Dunkin' even on Thanksgiving. Nothing like grabbing a hot cup of Jo and a fresh donut to get your Thanksgiving off to a good start. We recommend the chocolate frosted donut or a jelly-filled one (or really anything off this list), but you do you.
Find a Dunkin' Donuts near you.
What to order: It's McDonald's. It's not fancy, and they're not going to magically add a McThanksgiving Dinner to the menu. As long as you know what you're getting, there's nothing wrong with making a McDonald's run this holiday. Pick up a classic Big Mac and an order of the thin, crispy fries that made this fast-food chain famous.
Find a McDonald's near you.
What to order: We'd argue that Sonic is the better version of McDonald's, but that's a matter of personal preference. The burgers are great, and an order of mozzarella sticks or onion rings makes for a tasty snack. Don't snack too much, though, or you'll run out of room for pie. (If that's even possible...)
Find a Sonic near you.
What to order: Cooking both Thanksgiving breakfast and Thanksgiving dinner is overkill. At IHOP, you can order pretty much any kind of pancake your heart desires on Turkey Day. To match up with the fall theme, you can't pass up the seasonal pumpkin spice pancakes with fresh whipped cream.
Find an IHOP near you.
What to order: At Domino's, there aren't many thrills. It's good, cheap pizza, and you can get one in any size from a personal pan pizza to an extra-large one that'll feed the whole family. They also have tasty chicken nuggets, side salads and pasta to complete the meal. They don't serve pie, but you can try the mini chocolate lava cakes if you don't mind abandoning tradition.
Find a Domino's near you.
What to order: Does one need a Frosty before chowing down on an entire Thanksgiving feast? Probably not, but there also isn't a law against it. If you feel like pregaming with a Classic Chocolate Frosty or an entire burger, no one's stopping you.
Find a Wendy's near you.
16. Buffalo Wild Wings
What to order: Turkey is a Thanksgiving tradition, but true meat lovers usually favor more flavorful meats. If you can't stand the thought of another year of turkey dinners, pick up an order of hot wings instead. Buffalo Wild Wings also serves delicious sandwiches, plus enough chips and dip to feed an army.
Find a Buffalo Wild Wings near you.
15. Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
What to order: Popeyes's updated slogan, "Louisiana fast," tends to be off. Most locations are busy, but that's only because the food is so dang delicious. Every Thanksgiving, they offer a Cajun Style Turkey with sides to go with it, including macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes.
Find a Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen near you.
What to order: The entree options at Chili's are almost endless. If you're going with family, try ordering several plates to share so that you don't have to pick just one. Don't forget to try the white spinach queso as an appetizer.
Find a Chili's near you.
13. T.G.I. Friday's
What to order: Most T.G.I. Friday's locations are open on Thanksgiving, and the menu is huge. The whiskey-glazed ribs fall off the bone, and the burgers are to die for. For dessert, enjoy a slice of Cinnabon Caramel Pecan Cheesecake topped with cream cheese frosting and vanilla bean ice cream.
Find a T.G.I. Friday's near you.
12. Chart House
What to order: For a more upscale Thanksgiving restaurant experience, it's hard to go wrong with Chart House. The menu specializes in seafood and steak, and every dish is presented beautifully.
Find a Chart House near you.
11. Golden Corral
What to order: Buffet dining isn't what we'd call a "fine dining experience," but it's the only Thanksgiving restaurant option that lets you come back for seconds, thirds and fourths. Golden Corral always offers a classic Thanksgiving meal, and if you'd prefer to eat at home, there's even a heat-and-serve takeout option.
Find a Golden Corral near you.
What to order: Let's be clear: Denny's isn't going to serve the best turkey dinner on the planet, but its version of the classic holiday meal is way better than you'd expect. Dine in or order carryout Thanksgiving dinner for four that includes all the Turkey Day essentials.
Find a Denny's near you.
What to order: The Four Cheese Mac ‘n Cheese with Honey Pepper Chicken Tenders is equal parts sweet and spicy, and it's one of the most popular menu items at Applebee's. The Whiskey Bacon Burger is also amazing, and pasta lovers will go nuts over the creamy Three Cheese Chicken Penne.
Find an Applebees near you.
What to order: Though unavailable on the West Coast, Shoney's is a Southern staple that's famous for its "All You Care to Eat" Thanksgiving dinner. Some years, Shoney has also offered a Thanksgiving dinner to-go option, so call your local branch to see if you're in luck.
Find a Shoney's near you.
7. Cracker Barrel
What to order:Cracker Barrel is a pro at comfort food, so it's not shocking that it's just as great at making Thanksgiving dinner. Eat all your favorite Thanksgiving sides in-house, or order a meal that's the perfect size for your family. The family dinner serves four to six, while the Thanksgiving feast serves eight to 10. If you have more guests, just order two!
Find a Cracker Barrel near you.
6. Fleming's Prime Steakhouse
What to order: Fleming's Prime Steakhouse is the fanciest option on this list for Thanksgiving dinner, and it's also one of the most expensive. If you're going for an elite Thanksgiving dinner experience, however, nothing else will match up. Every year, the restaurant serves an incredible three-course meal, and most locations are open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Find a Fleming's Prime Steakhouse near you.
5. Macaroni Grill
What to order: The thing about Macaroni Grill is that every location's offerings and hours vary. Last year, however, the trendy Italian joint served three-course Thanksgiving meals, plus a takeout option so that diners could enjoy the feast from the comfort of their living room. Just call your local branch to check this year's offerings.
Find a Macaroni Grill near you.
4. Maggiano's Little Italy
What to order: If you haven't had an Italian Thanksgiving dinner, you've been missing out. Maggiano's offers not one, not two, but three different Thanksgiving options. Dine-in, carryout or have a customized meal catered with as many cheesy pasta dishes as you'd like.
Find a Maggiano's Little Italy near you.
3. Buca di Beppo
What to order: Speaking of Italian, Buca di Beppo will once again be serving up homemade turkey dinners to take home, heat and serve. If you'd like to customize the menu, just have them cater the whole meal for a stress-free holiday.
Find a Buca di Beppo near you.
2. Boston Market
What to order: Boston Market revolves around rotisserie chicken, but it makes a mean Thanksgiving dinner, too. The normal menu already includes cornbread, roasted corn, mashed potatoes and gravy, and other classic Thanksgiving sides, so the Thanksgiving turkey feast just fills in the blanks with roasted turkey and homemade pie.
Find a Boston Market near you.
1. Marie Callender's
What to order: Marie Callender's is our top choice for Thanksgiving dinner, and that's mostly because of its pie expertise. Marie Callender's has been known for its pies from day one, with whole pies starting at just $9.99, but the restaurant offers Thanksgiving dinner options, too. The classic turkey feast includes apple-sage stuffing, fire-roasted yams, cranberry sauce, fresh mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, chef’s vegetables, fresh cornbread and a whole pumpkin pie. All feasts require three hours of reheating time, so make sure to pick it up around noon. There's also a ham feast for those who aren't turkey fans.
Find a Marie Callender's near you.