17 of Your Favorite Chain Restaurants Open on Thanksgiving

Nothing wrong with getting takeout on Turkey Day.

November 18, 2020
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Photo by: @bostonmarket/Instagram


With travel off the table and household-only meals encouraged, Thanksgiving in 2020 promises to be unlike any we’ve experienced before. Perhaps this is the year you decide to take it easy on the cooking — or not cook at all. And that’s more than okay. If there has ever been a time when we all deserve to sit back and order in, this would be it.

The good news? Our favorite chain restaurants are here for us. From a casual burger to full-fledged turkey and stuffing, a number of chains across the country will be open on Thanksgiving to help you celebrate the day however you like.

Cracker Barrel: Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is Cracker Barrel’s busiest day of the year. This time around, the fan favorite is cooking up a host of holiday specials, including a Thanksgiving Heat n’ Serve Family Dinner with one oven-roasted turkey breast, cornbread dressing, turkey gravy, cranberry relish, your choice of two country sides and sweet yeast rolls. Guests who pick up their meal the Monday or Tuesday before Thanksgiving will receive a bonus gift card — $5 with an order of a Thanksgiving Heat n’ Serve Family Dinner or $10 with an order of a Thanksgiving Heat n’ Serve Feast.

Buffalo Wild Wings: Craving some buffalo wings for the big Thanksgiving Day game? You’re in luck — a number of Buffalo Wild Wings will be open.

Romano’s Macaroni Grill: For Thanksgiving with an Italian twist, you can pre-order a turkey dinner with pumpkin cannoli or tiramisu for dessert from Romano’s Macaroni Grill. (Family-style pastas will be available as add-ons.)

McDonald’s: According to some people, the best apple pie is McDonald’s Baked Apple Pie. Fortunately for them, many locations of the fast food chain will be open on Turkey Day. Because 95% of McDonald’s are independently owned and operated, holiday business hours will vary by location.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House: Searching for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with none of the hassle? Ruth’s Chris Steak House will be offering a take-home feast for four that includes jazzed up versions of the essentials, like oven roasted turkey with sausage and herb stuffing and pumpkin cheesecake.

Waffle House: Since first opening in 1955, Waffle House has been known for being open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Thanksgiving is no exception.

Panda Express: If you’re looking for something other than turkey this year, consider feasting on kung pao chicken and honey walnut shrimp. Many Panda Express restaurants will be open, but guests should check online for adjusted holiday hours.

Boston Market: As self-described “holiday experts,” Boston Market will offer an array of festive options, including Heat & Serve meals with honey-glazed ham, prime rib or turkey, whole pies, hot side dishes and appetizers like spinach artichoke dip.

Burger King: Want to keep things simple — or just grab lunch before the big meal? Many Burger King locations are open on Thanksgiving.

Denny’s: Denny’s serves up diner classics 24/7, but will be expanding the menu on Thanksgiving. Their Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner Pack, which includes turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and choice of side, can be ordered on Dennys.com from Friday, November 20 through Wednesday, November 25, 6 p.m. ET, and will be available for pickup or delivery for guests to heat up on Thanksgiving Day.

Applebee’s: Fill up on appetizers or get a Family Bundle Meal — with favorites like riblets and mac-and-cheese — to-go from your neighborhood Applebee’s. Because each restaurant is independently owned and operated, hours will vary by location.

Popeyes: Popeyes is bringing back their ultimate spicy holiday staple: Cajun Style Turkey. Participating restaurants are currently taking orders via phone or in person while supplies last.

TGI Fridays: TGI Fridays around the country will be open on Turkey Day if you’re hungry for whisky-glazed ribs and loaded cheeseburgers.

Domino’s: Pizza is another great option if you need something extra to snack on during the football game.

Wendy’s: Is it really Thanksgiving without Spicy Nuggets? Swing by your local Wendy’s and pick some up for a less-than-traditional appetizer.

IHOP: Begin the celebration early with one of IHOP’s Family Feasts. The new holiday version includes scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon or pork sausage, pancakes and pancake toppings like sweet milk mousse, Oreo crumbles, strawberry topping and festive sprinkles.

Starbucks: If you’re anything like us, you’ll need some caffeine to finish cooking up Thanksgiving dinner. Thankfully, most Starbucks locations are open nationwide.

Because restaurants’ operating times and COVID-19 restrictions may vary per location, always call ahead to confirm and check for adjusted hours.

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