Let’s face it: Cooking Thanksgiving dinner can be a pain. Sure, for some it’s a joy to spend two days in the kitchen making every guest’s favorite side dish and squeezing a giant, expensive bird into the oven. And then there are those who’d rather fake a dire illness. That’s where Philly’s restaurants come to the rescue. Restaurants open on Thanksgiving offer fine dining, family-friendly experiences, football-watching, and everything in between. Some meals are highly traditional, with turkey, potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, gravy, and pumpkin pie, while others get creative with upgraded takes on the classics and new favorites to add to the holiday rotation.Read More
Thanksgiving in Philly: Where to Dine Out
This year, leave the turkey, stuffing, and candied yams to the pros
Elwood, chef Adam Diltz’s Fishtown BYOB highlighting Pennsylvania’s culinary history, will be open for its first Thanksgiving with a feast that includes an apple and spinach salad, turtle soup, a choice of roast served family-style (turkey, pork, venison, goose, duck, or rabbit) mashed potatoes, stuffing, sauces, pickles, vegetables, and potato buns. Diltz is also baking up pumpkin, apple, and sweet potato pies. $75; 5-10pm.
2. The Plough & The Stars
With its big fireplace and autumnal decor, The Plough & The Stars is ready for Thanksgiving. The menu for the holiday includes a salad with walnuts, apple, and quinoa, a turkey and Irish ham combo plate that comes with stuffing, potatoes, veggies, and house-made cranberry sauce. Pricing is a la carte; noon-8:15 pm.
In the Starr Restaurants family, Americana-themed Jones is offering a good deal on Thanksgiving with a three-course menu that starts with soup or salad, moves into a turkey dinner with traditional sides, and ends with pie or cake for dessert. $35; 11am-8pm.
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4. P. J. Clarke’s
The Thanksgiving deal at P.J. Clarke’s is one of the best in town at just under $40 a head for a three-course menu that includes oysters Rockefeller, turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato gratin, sourdough stuffing, and caramelized Brussels sprouts, plus pie, cobbler, and ice cream for dessert. Don’t forget to get some oysters from the large raw bar in the back. $39 ($19.50 for kids); noon-8pm.
5. Smokin' Betty's
The classics are the menu at Smokin’ Betty’s, including butternut squash soup, roasted turkey, glazed ham, and all the favorite sides: mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, cornbread muffins, and more. Choose between pie and bread pudding for dessert. Sister restaurant Devil’s Alley in Rittenhouse will be open with a similar setup. $35 ($19.95 for kids); 2:30-8 pm.
6. Bank & Bourbon
Bank & Bourbon in the Loews hotel has a Thanksgiving buffet planned with raw bar items, carved turkey and prime rib, local cheeses, autumnal salads, and a selection of pies. $70 with an optional $35 wine pairing ($22 for children).
For a buffet in a convenient and beautiful space head to Aqimero at the Ritz-Carlton on Broad Street. Expect a raw bar, salads, soups, carving station, sides, desserts, and a hot chocolate bar. $95 ($45 for children under 12, free for children under 3); noon-6pm.
8. Square 1682
Square 1682 at the Hotel Palomar is planning a five-course menu with Caribbean flair from chef Mackenson Horebe. Among the offerings: bone marrow ravioli, cornbread, crispy Brussels sprouts, turkey breast, smoked country ham, vegan cauliflower curry, challah stuffing, and whipped sweet potatoes. Dessert brings a choice between apple biscuit bread pudding or frosted beignets. $65; 4-9 pm.
9. Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse
Italian steakhouse Davio’s will serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal with turkey, butternut squash, cranberry stuffing, and pumpkin pie. The a la carte menu is also available for anyone looking for pasta instead. $65 ($23 for children under 12); 11am-8pm.
10. Chez Colette
Start at the raw bar at the Sofitel’s Chez Colette to sample clams and oysters on the half shell before moving onto a generous buffet with a carving station, corn and crab chowder, sweet potato casserole, cornbread stuffing, and a salted caramel apple tart. This meal comes with a free glass of bubbly. $65 ($32.50 for kids under 12); noon-4pm.
For the first time, A.Kitchen will be open for Thanksgiving. Expect a seasonal three-course menu from chef Eli Collins featuring pumpkin curry soup, macaroni gratin, turkey confit, salmon with mussels sauce, and winter root vegetable lasagna with perfectly paired wine. The icing on the cake? This meal ends with slices of Pennsylvania apple and maple pecan pies from High Street on Market’s bakers. $65, wine pairing additional; 11am-7pm.
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Lacroix on Rittenhouse Square has one of the best brunches in town and on Thanksgiving, it’s going all day long. The staples — including raw bar options and caviar, house-made charcuterie, giant diver scallop sausage, and a chocolate fountain — will be there, along with Thanksgiving favorites like turkey with cognac gravy, coffee-glazed ham, duck confit, buttermilk biscuits, and more holiday treats. $105 per person; 11am-6:45 pm.
Scarpetta at the Rittenhouse hotel is doing a four-course prix fixe menu on Thanksgiving with Italian-inflected choices like chestnut soup, tagliatelle Bolognese, pancetta-wrapped turkey, branzino, and espresso budino. $68; 2-8 pm.
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14. Jean-Georges Philadelphia
Head to the 59th floor of the new Four Seasons hotel for Philly’s most luxurious Thanksgiving dinner. At Jean-Georges, known for its 40-foot windows and city views, Maine lobster and wagyu beef are part of the four-course meal. $148; noon-9pm; reservations recommended.
15. Urban Farmer
At the Logan hotel on the Parkway, Urban Farmer’s Turkey Day feast includes dishes like seared potato gnocchi, herb-and-mushroom-crusted prime rib, turkey, cornbread turkey stuffing, and, for dessert, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bourbon cheesecake, and chocolate pecan tart. $75 ($37.50 for children 12 and under); 4-9pm.
16. Misconduct Tavern (multiple locations)
One of the most affordable Thanksgiving meals in town can be found at both of Misconduct Tavern’s locations in Center City. It includes roast turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green beans, glazed carrots, and mashed potatoes. They’ll also have options like a venison burger with mushrooms and a turkey burger with stuffing gravy and cranberry relish. All of the day’s NFL games will be on the TVs. It’s $16.95 per Thanksgiving plate in advance and $19.95 if you don’t pay in advance.
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Serpico will serve its regular menu on Thanksgiving, but the avant garde restaurant also has a holiday entrée planned that includes a whole meal on one plate: roasted turkey breast, braised dark meat, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, roasted squash, fried Brussels sprouts, and a dinner roll.
$34 for the Thanksgiving plate; 4-9pm.
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18. The Twisted Tail
Headhouse Square’s Twisted Tail will serve a family-style meal all day on Thanksgiving. Diners can choose from turkey, prime rib, pineapple-glazed ham, salmon, and sides for the table. For dessert, an array of mini-pies. $49 ($25 for kids under 10, children under 3 are free); noon-10 pm.
19. CO-OP Restaurant & Lounge
In University City, CO-OP is cooking up all the traditional fare — turkey breast, mashed potatoes, stuffing, Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce, gravy, and pumpkin pie — in a family-style feast that serves four or five people and includes a bottle of wine. $125; individual plate for $25 does not include wine or dessert.
20. Dim Sum House by Jane G's
Off the traditional turkey path, it’s an all-day dim sum affair at University City’s Dim Sum House. along with seafood dishes including a comically large Norwegian whole king crab (done three ways) that feeds six to 12 people. The crab is market price; currently around $450.
21. The Bercy
French restaurant The Bercy in Ardmore, will be open with a three-course menu that includes French onion soup, truffle gnocchi, turkey roulade, pie, and ice cream. $65; 5-10 pm.
22. Denim BYOB
In Haddonfield, Denim will serve a four-course Thanksgiving dinner that includes gussied-up takes on the holiday staples, plus pumpkin gnocchi and lobster bisque to start and vegan meatloaf with beet Bordelaise for those skipping the turkey. $45; reservations required.