More than just a catchy holiday jingle, The Carpenters hit the nail on they head when they sang in sweet harmony, “There’s no place like home for the holidays.” They also spoke for all of us when they said that there’s nothing like a homemade pumpkin pie. What I finally realized, however, was that The Carpenters weren’t singing about actually making pumpkin pie. The idea of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner tugs on our heartstrings. I’d reckon most of us look back on our childhoods with fond memories of those delicious dinners: mashed potatoes piled high next to marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes, and finally, the juicy and golden turkey in the center. I’m here to admit that the last thing I want to do on a Thursday off work is slave over an extravagant 12-hour meal. Yet, that’s what we do year after year after year.
Well, this year I’m boycotting Thanksgiving. I just can’t wake up every two hours in the middle of the night to baste some bird that will never taste as good as it does from a Texas barbecue joint anyways. So what am I to do? Well folks, there are lots of restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day with turkey dinners worthy of your holiday. Here are 20 options for a Thanksgiving meal you don’t have to cook, no matter where you live in the United States.
1. Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill
Sip on a Long Island Iced Tea and let your cares wash away as you down their Quesadilla Burger. Football will be on the televisions and the best part? You don’t have to do your own dishes when you’re finished. Now that is a real Turkey Day treat in my book.
2. Bahama Breeze
The Caribbean-inspired restaurant is just where you need to go if the dreary November weather blues got you down already! Have one of the fun tropical drinks to whisk you out of Wisconsin and into paradise, or something like that.
3. Bob Evans
Breakfast food at Bob Evans is a given, but the three Thanksgiving specials are very enticing indeed. Try the Ham Farmhouse Feast, the Turkey Farmhouse Feast, or the Premium Farmhouse Feast and be terribly glad you didn’t have to turn on the oven yourself.
4. Boston Market
The complete family-style Thanksgiving menu from Boston Market reads like a picture-perfect American holiday meal with turkey breast, mac & cheese, and green beans. That’s not even the half of it! See the full menu here.
5. Buca di Beppo
Skip the traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu they offer for one of their pasta dishes, your stomach will thank you.
6. The Capital Grille
For a more traditional Thanksgiving dinner out on the town, The Capital Grille is serving up more than mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce from noon to 9 p.m.
7. Cracker Barrel
Pick up their Homestyle Turkey n’Dressing Meal that comes with sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, and Cracker Barrel‘s own tasty gravy.
That’s right, y’all, Denny’s is more than flavorful syrups and jokes about Moons Over My Hammy.
9. Golden Corral
The special Thanksgiving buffet includes both whole and slice turkey, ham fresh for carving, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, and some seriously tasty desserts. Choose between pumpkin pie, pecan pie, or hit the bakery bar for a spread you would never see at home.
Maybe waffles aren’t your Thanksgiving style, but pancakes are — IHOP is clearly here for you.
11. Macaroni Grill
Why mess with a good thing? Macaroni Grill is holding their traditional prix fixe menu at $25 per person. Feast on turkey, buttermilk mashed potatoes, and a fresh apple-cranberry chutney that tastes like your grandma’s got a serious makeover. Also, pumpkin pie with amaretto mascarpone cream. Need I say more?
12. Maggiano’s Little Italy
The Italian chain is offering a Thanksgiving Carryout package, though location restrictions apply.
13. Marie Callender’s
You can pre-order entire Thanksgiving feasts from the brand that are ready for reheating in only a few hours.
14. McCormick & Schmick’s
Who wants turkey when you can have seafood? For those still partial to the traditional bird, the national chain is offering a special roasted turkey dinner, too.
Don’t lie. You know you’ve considered it…
16. Ruby Tuesday
Because let’s be honest, it’s just easier to dine-in this year than firing up the Excel spreadsheets to juggle oven space.
17. Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Honestly, forget turkey and treat yourself to a goshdang steak this year, am I right?! Ruth’s Chris is serving up a three-course dinner that could feature last year’s favorites of sweet potato casserole and sausage and herb stuffing on the special Thanksgiving menu.
18. Ted’s Montana Grill
Ted’s own Thanksgiving Roast Turkey Feast is a reasonable $29 per person, which is still cheaper for a family of four than making everything from scratch. Although, who needs roast turkey with steak on the menu?
19. TGI Friday’s
Potato skins are the new Thanksgiving delicacy in my book. Let the feast begin.
20. Waffle House
America’s favorite escape is always open and Thanksgiving Day is no different with their regular menu!