Don’t Cook, Go Out: Your Guide to Alternative Thanksgiving Meals

Where to dine out or take-out for Thanksgiving dinner.

Photo Courtesy of The Wine House
Urban Pantry Thanksgiving Dinner/Photo Courtesy of Erin Pedati

By Susannah Black

From classic Thanksgiving fare to non-traditional menus, from eating out to take-home meals, Northern Virginia’s dining scene offers many alternatives for your Thanksgiving needs.

Traditional and Mostly-Traditional Thanksgiving Meals
America Eats Tavern
This traditional Thanksgiving meal with a focus on highlighting local farmers and vendors, and will include turkey sourced from Wiffletree Farm of Warrenton, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, bourbon corn pudding and sweet potatoes with house-made marshmallows. / 1700 Tysons Blvds., Mclean.

BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier
A three-course Thanksgiving meal will be available at this Old Town dining spot for $70. BRABO’s Chef de Cuisine Harper McClure along with Pastry Chef Erin Reed have designed the holiday menu, from roasted turkey breast to sweet potato gnocchi, guests may choose from both traditional and unique menu items. Additional information regarding reservations is available online. / 1600 King St., Alexandria.

Gadsby’s Tavern
Served in their 19th century ballroom, Gadsby’s Tavern offers a four-course Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving Day for $49. Dishes like peanut soup, glazed Virginia ham and pumpkin pie can be expected. Additional details available online. / 138 N. Royal St., Alexandria.

Girasole in The Plains will host a mostly-traditional Thanksgiving dinner with optional chef specials for $70 a person. Classic Thanksgiving items like turkey will be available, but there’s also oysters and seasonal fish. Seatings will commence from noon until 5 p.m. / 4244 Loudoun Ave., The Plains.

The Grille at Morrison House
A three-course Thanksgiving meal will be available at The Grille at Morrison House in Old Town. For $65 ($35 for children 12 and under), guests can experience Thanksgiving favorites like pumpkin soup and roasted turkey as well as beef bourguignon and pan seared scallops. An extensive Thanksgiving Dessert Sampler is also available. The menu as well as event details can be viewed online. / 116 S. Alfred St., Alexandria.

Willow Restaurant
From 12-6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Willow will serve a traditional meal of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy and dressing for $55. A chicken or pork dish is also available upon request. A relish tray is included as is a choice of pumpkin, pecan or apple pie for dessert. / 4301 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington.

The Wine House
On November 22, The Wine House in Fairfax will host their Thanksgiving Bacchus Festival, featuring 40 wines that will compliment traditional Thanksgiving menu items. Admission is $15 upon arrival, refundable with the purchase of one case of wine. / 3950 University Drive, Suite 212, Fairfax.

Thanksgiving Meals with Flare
Butternut squash velouté, Chilean sea bass, pan-seared foie gras and crab salad are just a few of the options on 2941’s Thanksgiving menu. Guests may opt for three-course prix fixe meal for $68 or a three-course vegetarian meal for $50 (children 12 and under may dine for $25.) Seating times extend from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. / 2941 Fairview Park Drive, Falls Church.

Bracket Room
Opening in time for the Eagles vs. Cowboys game at 4 p.m., Clarendon’s Bracket Room will offer a Thanksgiving meal. / 1210 N. Garfield St., Arlington.

Dandy Restaurant Cruise Ships
For $70, guests may experience a two and a half hour cruise of our Nation’s monuments along with a traditional Thanksgiving meal of roasted turkey, Virginia ham, green beans, yams, mashed potatoes and more. / 1 Prince St., Alexandria.

Il Fornaio
In Reston, Il Fornaio offers an Italian-influenced Thanksgiving Day feast. Guests order a four-course menu option or order from the main menu. $42 for adults and $18 for children under age 12. Reservations may be made online. / 11990 Market St., Suite 106, Reston.

Jackson 20
Jackson 20 offers a Thanksgiving menu with southern flare on Thanksgiving Day. Participants may either eat a la carte or choose a $50 prix fixe/$25 wine pairing option. Slow roasted porchetta, North Carolina mountain trout amandine and housemade pimento cheese ravioli are just a few options. Details regarding reservations and event information are available online. / 480 King St., Alexandria.

Urban Pantry
For $75, Urban Pantry hosts a Thanksgiving wine dinner on November 17th. Guests can expect a family-style, multi-coursed meal—brie and cranberry puff, stuffed artichokes with bacon, arugula salad with local honey dressing and other dishes will be paired with select wines—as well as an informative discussion regarding the Virginia wines featured at the dinner. / 2121 N. Westmoreland St., Arlington.

Take-Out Thanksgiving Options
Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery
Bayou Bakery offers a to-go specialty menu consisting of Thanksgiving sides consistent with the bakery’s Louisiana flare like braised collards, spiced pecans, cornbread muffins, buttermilk biscuits and mac-and-cheese. Several types of Thanksgiving pies—Virginia peanut, sweet potato, bourbon chocolate-chip, classic pecan, apple crumble, bacon and cayenne—will be available. The final day of pick up is by 1 p.m. on November 26th, and orders may be made 48 hours before pick up. / 1515 N. Courthouse Road, Arlington.

This Alexandria-based catering and culinary service offers a catered Thanksgiving meal for $79 for up to four people. It’s menu will include turkey, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole and other traditional Thanksgiving items. Those interested may place their orders now through Monday, November 17th. Additional information online. / Alexandria; 202-487-4414

Society Fair
Eaters may choose from a couple of different package options, including a choice of sides and desserts as well as a wine selection from beverage director Todd Thrasher. Orders can be made over the phone or in person and will be available for pick up November 25-26. / 277 S. Washington St., Alexandria.

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