It’s Thanksgiving week and underneath all that excitement about spending time with family is a slight sense of dread. You haven’t bought your turkey, or a single sweet potato, stick of butter, loaf of sourdough, or pack of fancy napkins, for that matter. And the thought of a day of cooking for 20 minutes of active eating followed by a massive cleanup effort has you feeling a little less than festive.
This year, ditch the dishes, the mess, and the hours of chopping and take your clan out to dinner. It’s an increasingly popular choice among families that want the celebration—and the food—without the prep and post-meal pain of cleanup. There is also no shortage of upscale California restaurants willing to oblige. Here are our recommendations across the state if you’re looking to eat out instead of stay in this Thanksgiving.
Why not celebrate Thanksgiving with exquisite food in an incredible setting? The award-winning Patina at Disney Concert Hall offers three-course and four-course meals from famed chef Joachim Splichal. Savor Bay Scallop with potato gnocchi, pumpkin puree, and bacon lardon; roasted confit turkey with chestnut stuffing; braised pork belly; and pumpkin chiffon.
View the full menu and make reservations here.
Three-course and four-course meals, $59 and $75, respectively; $35 for children 10 and under; served 1:30–7pm
Patina at Disney Concert Hall
141 South Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012
This award-winning Rancho Santa Fe French-American hybrid is serving up a traditional four-course meal featuring salmon tasting three ways, prime beef carpaccio, and oven-roasted Diestel Farm turkey, as well as an a la carte menu.
View the rest of the menu and make a reservation here.
$69.50 per person, children $25; served 1:30-7:30pm
6009 Paseo Delicias
Rancho Santa Fe
For something a little different, head to Koreatown to enjoy chef Roy Choi’s Native Spirit Feast at Commissary. This “Un-Thanksgiving” is a vegetarian buffet featuring tamales, pumpkin gumbo, roasted corn chowder, and pumpkin cream cheese cake.
You can make a reservation here
$45 per person; served 3–8pmCommissary at the Line Hotel 3515 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA
If you have an opportunity to enjoy a day of thanks with a view of the ocean, it only heightens the experience. The St. Regis thinks so too; the hotel is serving Thanksgiving meals at two of its noted restaurants: a four-course prix fixe turkey dinner at chef Michael Mina’s Stonehill Tavern with Maine lobster bisque, heritage breed turkey, potato-parsnip gratin, and pecan-butterscotch pie, and a Thanksgiving buffet at Motif Restaurant.
Stonehill Tavern: $135 per person; $195 per person with wine pairings; served 11am–8:00pm
Motif: $115 per Person, $35 for children ages 5-12; served 11am–8:00pm
St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort
One Monarch Beach Resort
Dana Point, CA
This new local fave will open its doors for its first Thanksgiving meal, offering a four-course menu featuring a traditional turkey dinner along with prime rib and sea bass entrees.
Make a reservation here
$67 per personThe Black Sheep Santa Barbara 26 E. Ortega St. Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Food & Wine Magazine’s Best new chef for 2013, Justin Cogley, is preparing a four-course Thanksgiving meal to remember in an unforgettable Carmel setting.
Make a reservation here.
$115 per person; wine pairings an additional $89; served 2–9pmAubergine at L’Auberge Carmel Monte Verde at Seventh
Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, 93921
The Bay Area
Celebrate Thanksgiving with your inner hippie and original Grateful Dead member Phil Lesh and friends at Terrapin Crossroads. Chef Jason Arbusto will be preparing butternut squash bisque, slow-roasted heritage turkey, pippin apple and sourdough stuffing, and salted caramel pecan pie. Live music begins just after 4pm, with musci from the Terrapin All-Stars starting at 9pm.
Four-course prix fixe meal $49 per person, children $19; served 2pm-9:30pm
Make a reservation hereTerrapin Crossroads 100 Yacht Club Drive San Rafael, CA
There’s traditional Thanksgiving fare, and then there’s the London-inspired menu of The Cavalier, the San Francisco brasserie from the creators of Marlowe and Park Tavern. The menu features lamb scrumpets, ale-brined Berkshire pork loin, bacon stuffing, cranberry chutney, and pumpkin steamed pudding.
Make a reservation here.The Cavalier 360 Jessie Street San Francisco, CA
If one of your goals on Thanksgiving is to fill your belly with as much deliciousness as possible (and, who are we kidding, it absolutely is), you might want to head for Meritage. A full chilled buffet including a seafood display and dim sum, a complete hot buffet, an omelet station, a carving station with turkey and all the trimmings, and a build-your-own-bloody-Mary bar awaits.
See entire menu here.
$95 per person, children 6–12 half price; served 11am–4:30pm
Meritage at The Claremont Resort
41 Tunnel Road
The Grange has a reputation for delicious farm fresh food and Thanksgiving is no exception. This year, the holiday service features a three-course prix fixe menu with several dishes to choose from for each course, like smokey pumpkin soup, beet cured salmon, rib of beef Yorkshire pudding, and pumpkin crème brûlée.
See the entire menu here.
$59 per person; non-alcoholic drinks included.
Grange Restaurant & Bar
926 J Street
Located inside the Ritz Carlton, Lake Tahoe, Manzanita offers classic California cuisine with French influences. But aside from the exceptional food, it’s the rustic mountain ambiance that makes this a perfect Thanksgiving setting – exposed wood beams, natural textures and large central fireplace…it’s like having a personal gourmet chef in your living room.
$75 per person, $110 per person with optional wine pairings; seatings 11am-9:30pm
13031 Ritz Carlton Highlands Court
étoile Restaurant is a great place for a sophisticated yet cozy Thanksgiving dinner. For starters, there’s plenty of bubbly for many a Thanksgiving toast, while the beautiful grounds provide the perfect family photo backdrop.
See the entire menu here.
$80 per person; children’s menu options available.
1 California Drive