What Restaurants Are Open on Thanksgiving?

Opting out of cooking this year? You have dining options.

November 01, 2022

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Photo by: NurPhoto/Getty Images

NurPhoto/Getty Images

After a couple socially distanced Thanksgivings, many families are eager to gather together and celebrate big this year. Even so, you might 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 relax and enjoy a day off, this would be it.

The good news? Our favorite 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.


Photo by: Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Tim Boyle/Getty Images

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 new specials like the Glitter Globe Spritzer and Country Fried Turkey, in additional to favorites such as roasted turkey breast with gravy, cornbread dressing, country green beans, sweet potato casserole topped with pecans and made-from-scratch buttermilk biscuits. Keep the party going on November 25 and enjoy a traditional Homestyle Turkey n’ Dressing meal for only $14.99.

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 order a three-course turkey dinner with sides like sausage and apple stuffing and pumpkin cannoli or tiramisu for dessert from Romano’s Macaroni Grill.

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 percent 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? A special prix-fixe menu includes a starter (choice of Caesar steak salad, house salad or lobster bisque), entree (sliced oven roasted turkey, Ruth’s sausage and herb stuffing with homemade turkey gravy and cranberry relish), side (choice of garlic mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, sweet potato casserole or green beans with roasted garlic) and dessert (pumpkin cheesecake with vanilla ice cream). The restaurant will even send you home with an extra portion of your favorite side to take home.

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.

Bob Evans: Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every Thanksgiving, Bob Evans’ comforting, homestyle cooking will be available for dine-in and carryout. Enjoy all-day breakfast options or a Holiday Celebration Platter with slow-roasted turkey, three farm-fresh sides, an endless choice of freshly baked bread and a slice of pie.

Panda Express: If you’re just not a fan of typical Thanksgiving dishes, 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 roasted turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, vegetable stuffing, dinner rolls and pumpkin pie.

Maggiano’s: Maggiano’s will be doing all the work this Thanksgiving and cooking up a multi-course menu. Kick off the meal with balsamic tomato bruschetta and salad. For your main course, choose two family style entrees, such as traditional roasted turkey and parmesan crusted tilapia, as well as two pastas, like pumpkin mascarpone ravioli and baked ziti, and two additional sides. Dinner comes with two desserts; take your pick from tiramisu, warm apple crostada and pumpkin praline cheesecake.

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

Buca di Beppo: All locations of this group-friendly chain open at 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving. In addition to their massive plates of chicken parmesan, meatballs and pasta, you can order sliced turkey, homestyle gravy, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, spicy Italian sausage stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.

Denny’s: Denny’s serves up diner classics 24/7, but expands the menu every Thanksgiving. Their Thanksgiving turkey dinner includes favorites like dressing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce.

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 offers the ultimate spicy holiday staple: Cajun Style Turkey. Because it’s pre-cooked, all you have to do is pop it in your own oven to heat up. Participating restaurants will be taking orders via phone or in person while supplies last. (And yes, they do sell out).

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.

Pizza Hut: More into Pizza Hut? Don’t worry – you’ll be able to order up their Stuffed Crust Pizza and boneless wings, too.

Sonic Drive-In: Need a pick-me-up on the way to grandma’s house? Dash through sonic for an order of tater tots and a shake – most locations are open on Thanksgiving.

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.

Fogo de Chao: Carnivores rejoice: the cult favorite churrascaria will be offering their signature fire-roasted meat on Thanksgiving, in addition to turkey, Brazilian sausage and apple dressing, pao de queijo and a market table with seasonal items including butternut and sweet potato soup.

IHOP: Begin the celebration early in the day with Thanksgiving-themed Pumpkin Spice Pancake Combo including eggs, hashbrowns and more.

Subway: Looking to get a turkey sandwich in before your turkey dinner? Fortunately for you, many Subway locations are open on, well, Turkey Day.

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 may vary per location, always call ahead to confirm and check for adjusted hours.

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