Toss that turkey: Thanksgiving meals you can grab on the fly

Change Thanksgiving up for a year that’s been anything but ordinary

While time-honored traditions should be revered, there are some that just don’t stand up to scrutiny. Turkey is a Thanksgiving staple and serves as the centerpiece of many a holiday meal, but when you have to put as much time and effort into making what’s really just bland poultry, you know you’re likely better off going for something that tastes better to begin with.

With that in mind, here are a few places open for the holidays that offer sumptuous spreads that you’ll be dreaming about for months.

As always, please do celebrate responsibly and keep social distancing protocols in mind when you’re out having a blast. You’ll thank yourself for it.

Eat like a Viking

There’s no two ways about it, this time of the year is one where love handles become even more fashionable and eating tons of food that would normally give you pause becomes socially acceptable. 


Vikings made waves a few months back for reopening in the middle of quarantine, but the buffet resto showed that you don’t have to spend the holidays locked up in your condo and stressing over what to make.

A ragin’ un-cajun

Besides enjoying a landmark career in easy listening music, Kenny Rogers also opened one of the best chain restaurants in the business. There, I said it, and you can’t change my mind.

Their cajun roast is always impeccably cooked and warms you right up to help stave off the cold, plus the accompanying polenta and barbecue beans bring everything together into a proper feast for both your taste buds and eyes.

A good excuse to hit the road(house)

Nothing beats the taste of home for the holidays, but sometimes inexplicable events scupper even the best-laid plans. That’s where Roadhouse Cafe comes in to save the holiday spirit. They’ve got a ribs platter that’s sure to bring you back next time you come around.

8 Cuts above the rest

Sometimes you want to be fancy when you’re celebrating something, but other times you just want to stuff your face with a burger. Fortunately for everyone there’s an option that lets you have both and a happy belly besides, with 8 Cuts burgers. Also, if you’re trying to cut back on your red meat, there’s a falafel burger that doesn’t leave you hanging.

The good kind of bad

For those who want a more aggressive flavor profile, Bad Bird offers that and way more in a set that doesn’t embarrass itself when pitted against haute cuisine. It’s the kind of flavor explosion that you get when people who know what they’re doing are behind the counter..Given that not everyone has a lot of skills in the kitchen (cough), having this option at hand is definitely something to be thankful for.

Teishoku thanksgiving

“Teishoku” is a Japanese word for a set meal where every element comes together to make a better whole. The sentiment aligns beautifully with the season, and luckily enough Yayoi leaves you spoiled for choice with a selection of carefully crafted sets that make for a thoroughly pleasant dining experience.

Memories made at the Mesa

There’s an old saying that goes along the lines of “great change begins at the dinner table,” and what a grand table it must be to bring so many people together over the years. The menu is chock full of local delicacies and classics to keep you and your loved ones warm and sated through the holiday season.

Saying grace

There’s a lot to be grateful for in spite of troubles weathered and all the setbacks encountered this year, and there’s a lot to be said for finding a warm place to sit down, relax, and just eat in tranquility. Tie off your day with the people you love in the cozy cafe, Mary Grace, where you can enjoy a spot of dessert while you’re there.

Good food often comes hand in hand with a good drink, so check out our story on the best drinks to cap off a Thanksgiving celebration for some mixes infused with holiday spirit.

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