When travel is stressful enough, skip cooking and feast at one of these hotels instead.
On Thanksgiving, hotels can be a godsend—they allow everyone a little extra space. They also provide us with an alternative to cooking dinner for 20 or cramming our extended family around the not-so-large kitchen table in our city apartment. More and more, hotel restaurants are offering Thanksgiving dinner for guests and non-guests alike, usually with a prix fixe menu or something family-style.
So if you're visiting family this year, need a place to stay, and really don't want to deal with the stresses of cooking a feast for a crowd, consider one of these hotels—all of which are serving Thanksgiving dinner and a little bit of relief.
If you’re spending Thanksgiving on the loud and twinkly island of Manhattan, you’ll be smart to try for a room at the swanky and wood-paneled NoMad Hotel, or at least head to their restaurant for a four-course dinner. Because if you’re going to spend $145 a person, you’re going to want a foie gras option for your first course. For the main course you can go full-on turkey, or try the venison if you’d like something a little gamier. For those not committed to sitting down to dinner, the Elephant bar will once again be serving “leftover” turkey sandwiches all day.
Brooklyn’s go-to hip hotel is also home to Reynard, part of the Tarlow restaurant empire that has defined the borough’s current dining scene (think an ever-changing local menu and really great wine). This year they’ll be serving a four-course menu ($85 a head for adults, $42 for kids), served mostly family style. You’ll start out with platters of housemade sausage, oysters, and pickled vegetables, of course, because you’re in Brooklyn. There’s an individual soup course, a few protein options, a “cornucopia of vegetables,” and three types of dessert to choose from. Don’t miss their A+ wine list.
The five-star St. Regis is shirking the four-course turkey-dinner trend at its Ame restaurant this year by offering six (count ‘em, six!) courses, with stuffed quail filling in for the more traditional bird and an amuse bouche standing in for a bread basket. They’re not even serving pie! But they are serving a baked Alaska, with pumpkin-pie ice cream, and if you can’t be thankful for a baked good filled with frozen custard—a true feat of culinary science—shame on you. Other hotel perks: spacious rooms, rainforest showers, and a pool. It’s also a short walk from Corey Lee’s sleek, Michelin-starred Benu restaurant; try your best to get a reservation.
If you’re going to be in Los Angeles for Thanksgiving, that holiday dominated by New England’s oranges and yellows, you might as well go full-on Bel Air and hurry over to the hotel’s white-tablecloth restaurant owned by the man who invented Barbecue Chicken Pizza. Their $155-per-adult four-course menu skews traditional (pumpkin soup, roasted organic heritage turkey, Brussels sprouts); for no additional fee, you get to make as many Fresh Prince references as you like. Just don’t do the Carlton dance until you’re back in the privacy of your own room.
Sure, it’s totally acceptable to only eat oysters and po' boys and beignets on Thanksgiving if you’re in New Orleans. But if you don’t go that route, try The Fountain Lounge at the historic Roosevelt Hotel, which is just a short walk from the French Quarter. Here, the four-course menu goes both traditional and very New Orleans: for your first course you can go with pumpkin bisque or gumbo; for your protein, you’ll choose between “sugar cane heritage black turkey” and char-grilled pork tenderloin. Finish your night with the city’s signature cocktail at the hotel’s Sazerac Bar.
The Drake—a classically ritzy hotel located on the Magnificent Mile—calls the Thanksgiving feast hosted in their Gold Coast Ballroom a “timeless tradition,” a tradition which includes both a charcuterie station and sushi. Parents, take note: perhaps the Drake’s most alluring turkey day offering is the designated children’s room, “complete with a craft station, caricaturist, face painter and balloon twister.” Keep yourself full of sushi and your children covered in paint, just like our ancestors wanted it.
Chef Andrea Reusing won a James Beard award for Lantern, her gem of a restaurant in Chapel Hill, NC; in 2015, she opened a second spot in the new Durham Hotel, where she will be serving a Family-Style Feast for the holiday, preceded by a 2 PM cocktail hour featuring freshly shucked oysters and hors d’oeuvres. Be sure to stop by the nearby Scratch bakery the next morning for some of the best baked goods Durham has to offer. (The pie is great, if you’re not already all pied out.)
Because Miami generally seems to exist in its own special sunny universe, it’s a great city for unconventional choices—like Thanksgiving ramen for two at Talde, from chef Dale Talde, at the Thompson Miami Beach. The dish includes creamed spinach wontons, stuffing croquets, pickled cranberries, kizami-nori, young corn, sliced turkey breast, and mushroom gravy tare; for those looking for something a little more conventional, the Thompson’s Seagrape restaurant will also offer a family-style dinner.
Here, at Goodall’s Kitchen, you get the south’s patented combination of decadence and generosity (a buffet!) combined with Austin’s penchant for putting smart and cheeky spins on classics. Such as: Honey biscuits spiced with Aleppo pepper, roast sweet potatoes topped with ricotta salata and mint, and a double chocolate pumpkin pie. And, yes, two kinds of turkey. Stave off the imminent tryptophan coma (or accelerate it) with a trip to the Parlor Bar for a Hot Toddy or an “Under the Pecan Tree”: pecan-infused bulleit bourbon, absinthe rinse, luxardo, and charred orange. On Friday, rally and go out for breakfast tacos.