16 Restaurants Open on Thanksgiving Day — In Case You Don’t Want to Cook This Year

published Nov 14, 2022
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Male chef preparing salad in kitchen. Gourmet chef making delicious dish in restaurant kitchen.
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Thanksgiving is almost here, and that means you’re probably planning out where you’ll enjoy one of the most delicious meals of the year. This time around, my family and I are hosting family — but in previous years, we’ve gone to someone else’s home or ordered takeout at our place without any guests. A few times, we’ve also thrown tradition to the wind and reserved a table at one of the many restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day. 

While there’s nothing like enjoying a turkey and all the fixings at home, there’s also something special about letting someone else take care of the cooking, serving, and cleanup — all the best parts of the holiday without the added stress. The only problem? Your go-to spots might not be open on this holiday.

If you’re entertaining the idea of going out, it’s a good idea to do some recon beforehand so you don’t drive around town trying to find a spot to eat. While you might be surprised by the number of restaurants open on Thanksgiving, they can get crowded quickly, so try to call ahead or reserve online if you can. Additionally, some Thanksgiving Day hours vary by location, so even if you can’t make a reservation, call ahead to be sure these spots are open in your area.

To give you a head start on where to look first, we’ve compiled a list of restaurants that will be open this year on Thanksgiving Day — so you can enjoy this special holiday sans stress. And if you want to do a portion of your Thanksgiving meal at home — say, apps, drinks, or pie — then you can head to one of the grocery stores open on Thanksgiving, too.

Applebee’s

Many Applebee’s restaurants will remain open on Thanksgiving. Check your neighborhood location in advance to be sure!

Boston Market

For those who don’t want to cook, but still want to eat at home, Boston Market has you covered with an array of Turkey Day favorites available for takeout.

Buca di Beppo

Whether you’re hungry for pasta, turkey, or both, satisfy your Thanksgiving Day cravings family-style at your neighborhood Buca di Beppo.

Buffalo Wild Wings 

Open to a different kind of bird? Most BWW locations will be open on Thanksgiving. 

Capital Grille 

Enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with all the sides you love, or anything from the regular menu at Capital Grille. You can also grab sides to-go if you’re cooking the main dish at home. 

Cracker Barrel

You can’t go wrong stopping at Cracker Barrel at any time of the year, but if you’re looking to get a good meal without making it yourself this Thanksgiving, the restaurant will be open on the big day.

Firehouse Subs

In the mood for a sandwich? Many Firehouse locations will be open on Thanksgiving Day. Call ahead to make sure, as hours vary by location. 

Fleming’s Steakhouse

Whether you want a classic turkey dinner or something off the regular menu, now’s the time to reserve a spot at your local Fleming’s location. 

Fogo de Chao

Brazilian fare awaits you at this tasty spot, along with special Thanksgiving turkey and sides. 

Golden Corral

There’s something for everyone at Golden Corral, including a special Thanksgiving Day spread. Many locations are open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.. 

IHOP

If you’re not eating dinner until later on — or you’re just craving pancakes — look no further than IHOP. Many locations will be open on Thanksgiving, but it’s best to look up your location beforehand. 

McDonald’s

McDonald’s may not offer classic Thanksgiving fare, but if you’re looking for something fast and familiar, there’s probably an open location near you. Check your store’s hours before heading over though.

Romano’s Macaroni Grill

Turkey dinner with cannoli for dessert? Say no more. Romano’s Macaroni Grill locations will also be offering their regular menu on Thanksgiving. 

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse

Between the hours of 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., you can savor a three-course Thanksgiving meal at the restaurant or take it to go. Whichever option you choose, just be sure to call ahead as hours vary by location. 

Sullivan’s Steakhouse

Enjoy a traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

Waffle House

This breakfast favorite is open 365 days a year, so you’re in luck if you find yourself craving waffles on at any point on Thanksgiving Day.