Restaurants Open for Thanksgiving Dinner in Boston
By all means, spend 12 hours cooking for cranky, judgmental, travel-weary family members this Thanksgiving. Or, alternatively, luxuriate in a few hours spent far away from the kitchen, savoring a meal prepped by chefs far more talented than yourself (sorry). Oh, and have we mentioned the singular joy that comes from the knowledge that you won’t have to wash a single dish afterwards?
Luckily, Boston restaurateurs understand the occasional need to toss the apron and dine out on Thanksgiving Day. Lots of spots are open for the day, serving either traditional turkey plates, creative twists on the classics, and even a few buffet options for those who still crave gluttony. But book early: Most restaurants are keeping reduced hours and offering limited seating. And the last thing you need is a hangry familial mob on Thanksgiving.
If you’re looking to eat early so as to get in a full day of football viewing, Aura is your ticket. Their Thanksgiving buffet is open for biz at 11am and includes both breakfast and holiday classics. Start with French toast and eggs Benedict. Pause. Then dig into traditional dishes like roast turkey breast with gravy, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, and roasted Brussels sprouts. Gluttony is encouraged, and there’s also a raw bar and a dessert buffet that includes a chocolate fountain.
Price: $85 per person; call 617-385-4304 for reservations
Connect with a younger crowd and enjoy a no-fuss menu that includes roasted turkey or sweet glazed ham, loaded Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes with chicken noodle gravy (yum!), pumpernickel stuffing, and cranberry sauce with cherries. Each meal also comes with a house salad and dinner rolls for the table, officially making this one of the best Thanksgiving deals in town.
Price: $30 per person; make your reservations online
The Beehive is here for you all day. The restaurant opens at 11am, serves dinner until 10pm, and offers an all-day menu that features a prix-fixe three-courser with apps like lobster chowder and country-style paté, entrees including organic turkey with country stuffing (duh) and rack of lamb, and a classic pie lineup for dessert. Live music fills the space, so even if you just need a little break from the fam at the end of the day, you can slip out for a nightcap and a little jazz. Bonus: There's also a leftovers menu from 10pm-midnight and you don't have to polish off your drinks until closing time at 1am.
Price: $70 per person ($20 for children under 10); call 617-423-0069 for reservations
They call this one the Thanksgiving Grand Brunch for a reason. Chef Daniel Bruce puts out a singular spread of both breakfast and Thanksgiving classics, from a cider-basted roast Vermont turkey to brioche French toast with Vermont maple syrup. The seafood spread deserves its own shoutout, with dishes like Nantucket scallops, sesame-roasted salmon, and Atlantic seafood paella. While the classic desserts are all here, this is a great opportunity to expand your sweet horizons with offerings like maple crème brûlée and salted caramel cheesecake.
Price: $115 per person; call 617-439-3995 for reservations
We’re all for pasta enhancing the traditional Thanksgiving meal. The three-course, prix-fixe affair includes appetizers like gnocchi alfredo and squash cacio e pepe. If you’re wanting to mix things up this year, you can forgo the roasted turkey entree for braised short ribs or even eggplant involtini. Desserts range from classics (pumpkin or apple pie) to a bit more upscale (torta di chocolate or tiramisu).
Price: $50 per person ($25 for children), with dishes also available a la carte; call 617-993-8080 for reservations
Chef Daniel Kenney really wants you to save room for dessert. His three-course spread begins fittingly (if deliciously) enough, with starters like roasted sugar pumpkin and chestnut bisque and entrees like cider-glazed free range turkey and a center cut NY sirloin with Cabernet jus. But then comes the main event: the dessert buffet that includes homemade pies, crisps, cobblers, and cakes.
Price: $70 per person; call 617-224-4004 for reservations
If you’re looking to keep it simple this year, Dante can oblige. In addition to its usual a la carte Italian menu, the restaurant is offering a single, bulging platter of turkey with stuffing, potato puree, gravy, sweet potato fries, maple Brussels sprouts, and cranberry sauce. Just be aware that this is a limited-time affair, with the restaurant only open from 3-9pm.
Price: $39 per platter; reserve online
Ready to go all out? Chris Coombs is here to serve. You could start with the spiced heirloom pumpkin and lobster soup or get even more decadent with the pavé of duck confit. Will you stick with the traditional Misty Knoll turkey plate or try the turducken? Maybe this is the year you eschew poultry entirely for the braised bone-in beef short rib. And while we’re partial to the bourbon pecan pie, both the pumpkin cheesecake and the apple tatin sound pretty delectable.
Price: $99 per person; call 617-517-5915 for reservations
What, you thought the casino would shut down for the holiday? Have another think, then have another drink. Garden Cafe, Rare Steakhouse, and Sinatra will all be offering prix-fixe Turkey Day menus at various price points, with many a classic side represented (sausage and fennel stuffing and pecan pie, for example).
Here’s another neighborhood fave that wants you to eat simply and well this holiday. The Southern restaurant is mixing up the Northeast traditional (roast turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie) with some serious low country comfort fare (mac and cheese, collard greens,
Price: A la carte; call 857-203-9462 for reservations
The annual farm-to-table Thanksgiving buffet is a tradition for many a Cambridge family -- so book your spot ASAP. It’s impossible to rattle off every offering from chef Peter Davis, but here are some teasers: oysters, smoked salmon, paté, lamb shank, coffee-rubbed ribeye, and, of course, a roasted cage-free turkey with a traditional bread stuffing. Just save some room for the seven different dessert offerings, from flourless chocolate cake to a homemade apple pie.
Price: $95 per person; reserve online
Because sometimes you want your Thanksgiving to be all about dark-wood paneling and ice-cold martinis. This is decadent dining at its holiday finest: a three-course prix-fixe spread with indulgences like crab cocktail, beef tenderloin, and pumpkin mousse tart on top of more traditional fare lime the Misty Knoll Farms turkey with all the fixings.
Price: $78 per person, call 617-542-2255 for reservations
Come for the fireplace, stay for the bacon oyster stuffing. The three-course, prix fixe menu starts with roasted sugar pumpkin soup and then leads into an Amish-raised roast turkey dinner with truffled mashed potatoes, heirloom orange-cranberry relish, and the aforementioned stuffing. And don’t you worry: The restaurant’s famous pie cart will once more be on hand, along with a small a la carte menu for those who seek more variety.
Price: $60 per person; call 617-399-0015 for reservations
This is the place to shake up your holiday palate. Lydia Shire is not one to stick with the stalwart. Many items on her prix-fixe Thanksgiving menu are a delightful surprise, from the purple cauliflower soup and the cod with lobster succotash to the grilled veal porterhouse and the apple brie crustata. But yes, the classics are represented and done right, especially the roast heritage turkey with muscat gravy and a celery heart or the sausage and golden raisin stuffing. Feel like skipping turkey entirely this year? Scampo’s limited a la carte menu includes tandoori-fired scallops and a nearly two-pound, pan-roasted lobster with handmade cotechino sausage on top of stone ground polenta. You’ll surely leave grateful.
Price: $70 per person; call 617-536-2100 for reservations
It’s the tres indulgent Thanksgiving dinner that includes a foie gras supplement. In keeping with its culinary traditions, the Back Bay bistro is serving a three-course, France-meets-New England menu that starts with the likes of tuna tartare Nicoise and Kobe beef tartare before moving onto crusted halibut with lump crab, filet mignon, and bien sur, roast turkey. Drink deep those Public Garden views while you savor the aforementioned foie gras, an optional add-on for a mere $22.
Price: $78 per person; reserve online
It’s never not a festive day at Oak Long Bar + Kitchen, but on Thanksgiving they’re going all out, all day. In the morning is an a la carte breakfast menu; that’s followed by a traditional, three-course spread features classics like lobster bisque, pot roast, and bacon Brussels sprouts on top of a heritage roasted turkey. Come evening, they’re staying open until midnight for those who seek a little away time from family.
Price: $65 per person; call 617-585-7222 for reservations
Downtown Crossing is usually a ghost town on Thanksgiving (the calm before the Black Friday madness). But The Merchant is still open for business with a simple but satisfying three-course prix fixer with dishes like jumbo shrimp, steak frites, roasted almond and apple tart, and of course, a roast turkey dinner.
Price: $55 per person; call 617-482-6060 for reservations
Chef Tyler Kinnett isn’t resting on his laurels just because three-course, prix fixe menu featuring roasted delicata squash, Misty Knoll Farm turkey breast, pecan financier and more. An optional course-by-course wine pairing is available for an additional fee.
Price: $75 per person; call 617-868-2255 for reservations
What better way to show off your hometown to out-of-towners than by treating them to the best view in town? Once you’ve all stopping gaping at the city skyline, you can dig into a four-course prix-fixe spread of fall gnocchi, butternut squash soup, free range Vermont turkey, and sweet potato tart. (For the family’s resident vegetarian, there’s a lovely entree of beet and caramelized onion ravioli.)
Price: $79 per person; call 617-536-1775 for reservations
Lovely setting, lovely food, lovely day. The luxurious Harvard Square restaurant treats you to a prix fixe menu that lets you go classic -- turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce -- or a bit heretical, with prime rib, black bass, pumpkin risotto.
Price: $65 per person; call 617-714-3206 for reservations
You can have your steak and eat turkey, too. The Downtown Crossing restaurant is offering a special Turkey Day plate with roasted turkey breast and thigh, Yukon gold whipped potatoes, stuffing, and roasted veggies. But all the raging carnivores in your family can turn their attentions to the a la carte steak menu, which includes filet mignon, prime ribeye, and the $185 Japanese A5 Wagyu sirloin.
Price: $55 for Thanksgiving plate;; call 617-670-2515 for reservations
Some years you have no desire to reinvent the Thanksgiving wheel. Enter Davio’s, here to pile your plate with all the stalwarts of a traditional meal, from creamy potatoes to creamed Cipollini onions to challah bread herb stuffing to homemade apple pie to a big ol’ oven-roasted turkey. But the best part may be their leftover turkey sandwich to go, complete with stuffing, cranberry apple chutney, and gravy.
Price: $75 per person; call 617-357-4810 for reservations
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