For Americans, there are few holidays quite as well-loved as Thanksgiving. The annual feast held on the fourth Thursday of November each year celebrates the first harvest of the pilgrims after arriving in America.

Thanks were originally paid to Native Americans who helped the pilgrims learn to grow food in their new home.

The holiday is usually celebrated with a huge feast including seasonal dishes.

The most popular Thanksgiving dishes include turkey, pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, stuffing, apple cider or sweet tea.

While it is traditional to gather the family for a huge Thanksgiving dinner celebration, for some this isn’t possible.

For example, for Americans living and working abroad, Thanksgiving has the potential to be quite difficult to celebrate.

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Equally, for those in America who are estranged from their families, Thanksgiving can be quite a lonely time. Finally, the intense pressure to celebrate the holiday in a certain way can leave some families out of sorts or even out of pocket.

For all of those people, we’ve put together a guide on how to celebrate Thanksgiving 2017 at restaurants around the world.

Restaurants open on Thanksgiving

As a nationwide holiday, plenty of restaurants will, unfortunately be closed on Thanksgiving.

However, a vast majority of chain restaurants will be open to customers. Some of these restaurants will even offer special menus or discounts to coincide with the holiday season.

However, as some of these restaurants are franchised, some branches may not be open. It’s definitely best to check in advance if you’re planning to eat there. The following chain restaurants should be open though.

Opening with special menus

  • Applebee’s will have a Thanksgiving meal with turkey breast, mashed potatoes and green beans.
  • Boston Market have a more traditional Thanksgiving offering. Guests will be able to choose between turkey or rotisserie chicken, with side dishes of mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potato casserole, green beans, and vegetable stuffing.
  • Claim Jumper Restaurants will be serving a Thanksgiving dinner from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at most locations.
  • Denny’s will be open at normal times and have a special Thanksgiving breakfast and dinner.
  • El Torito will offer an all-day buffet (11 a.m.-7 p.m.) Guests will find the usual Mexican dishes. Plus, as a Thanksgiving extra they’ll offer holiday meals along with a turkey and ham-carving station.
  • FATZ Again, they’re not doing anything special but they are open 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • Furr’s Fresh Buffet is serving up a classic Thanksgiving meal with carved turkey breast, carved ham, butterfly shrimp, pan-grilled pork chops. Guests will find all the entrees and desserts present and correct too!
  • Golden Corral is doing all its traditional offerings, plus they’ll have a special Thanksgiving buffet.
  • HomeTown Buffet will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. They’ll have all their usual favourites plus carved turkey, steak, carved ham, butterfly shrimp and roast beef.
  • IHOP restaurants is doing pumpkin spice pancakes for breakfast. They’ll also have their full menu on for the rest of the day.
  • Maggiano’s Little Italy will serve a four-course, family-style Thanksgiving meal.
  • Ted’s Montana Grill A special Thanksgiving menu is available here featuring roast turkey and the trimmings.
  • McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks isn’t serving doing Thanksgiving at every location but those that are participating will serve a roasted turkey dinner.
  • Ponderosa Still, up until their early 4pm closing they’ll serve a Thanksgiving buffet. Turkey, trimmings, ham, chicken, pork, and a salad bar. They’ve got it all!

Last minute grab-and-go options

  • Bob Evans are going to offer the Farmhouse Feast carryout menu. This special Thanksgiving menu offers a turkey or ham feast (with all the trimmings) that feed up to four ($49.99) or eight people ($79.99). Those with big appetites can get both turkey and ham for $109.99.
  • Cracker Barrel Like many of their competitors, they’ll offer a Thanksgiving dinner for $12.99 for dining in ($7.99 for children.) They’ll also have a $67.99 to-go meal and a fully catered dinner for $99.
  • Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse This one is offering a three-course Thanksgiving meal for $39.95 per adult. There’s also a special offer for children under-12 who can eat for $15.00.
  • Romano’s Macaroni Grill A three-course Thanksgiving dinner for $24.99; can’t say fairer than that.
  • Roy’s is offering a three-course Thanksgiving dinner for $39.95 for adults and $16.95 for items from a kid’s menu.
  • Ruth’s Chris Steak House has a special three-course turkey dinner for $39.95 (kids eat for $12.95).
  • Seasons 52 will be doing Thanksgiving dinner for those who reserve. For adults it’s $26.90; for children it’s $12.90.
  • Shari’s has got a special slow-roasted turkey or ham dinner for $14.99! Perfect for those on a budget.
  • Luby’s will be open for dine-in or to-go meals, serving a Thanksgiving Day Special for $11.49.
  • K&W Cafeterias will be perfect for a Thanksgiving bargain. For just $7.99 you can enjoy roast turkey with dressing, cranberry sauce, two vegetables, fresh baked bread, dessert and refillable beverage.
  • Legal Sea Foods are serving turkey breast with sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes, butternut squash, gravy and cranberry sauce for $24.95 per adult and $8.95 for children 12 and under.
  • The Dixie Cafe  will be offering a turkey feast with all the dressings for $10.99 per person from 11am to  5pm

Opening without special menus

  • Old Country Buffet Nothing special here, just the old classics.
  • TGI Friday’s restaurants are open Thanksgiving but there’s no special menus.
  • Waffle House will just be open but unfortunately without any special menu items.
  • Buca di Beppo aren’t doing anything special but they will be open 11am
  • Ruby Tuesday aren’t doing anything special but they are open.
  • Hooters will be open on Thanksgiving. They aren’t doing anything in particular for Thanksgiving, but if you enjoy some Hooters fun, look no further.

In addition, all the classics like McDonalds, Burger King, and Starbucks should be open. However, since these are often franchised, it’s a good idea to check in advance.

The best places to celebrate Thanksgiving around the world

Of course, not all Americans will be lucky enough to spend Thanksgiving at home in their native country.

Thankfully, there are plenty of restaurants open on Thanksgiving around the world which are pitching in to offer special menus.

Whether you’re an US citizen overseas or just a curious non-American who wants to see what Thanksgiving is all about, here’s a few of the top-rated restaurants around the world serving Thanksgiving meals!

restaurants open on thanksgiving





South America

North America