Why toil away to cook a Thanksgiving dinner that will be eaten within hours? Why make three kinds of potato dishes just because all the cousins have different potato preferences? Atlanta has plenty of restaurants open for Thanksgiving. (And we're not talking about Thanksgiving dinner to-go.) Take your pick.
The Palm, located in the Westin Atlanta, offers three courses and one favorite side dish, priced at $55, adults; $24, children younger than 12. An à la carte menu also is available. The restaurant is open noon until 8 p.m. on Turkey Day.
Located in Downtown Atlanta, Hyatt Regency Atlanta’s Sway Southern restaurant offers a Thanksgiving buffet with roast turkey, braised short ribs, grilled asparagus, cornbread stuffing, green been casserole, pecan pie and more traditional favorites. Buffet is open from 1 to 4 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Since the Atlanta Falcons play Thanksgiving night, note that The hotel’s Twenty Two Storys lobby bar features $6 shrimp Po Boys with all 17 TVs tuned to your favorite game.
Fogo de Chão Brazillian Steakhouse
Think turkey is overrated? No problem. Go to the land of beef, Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse. In addition to the regular fire-roasted meats and a huge salad bar, the restaurant offers some holiday-themed dishes as well. It opens at 11 a.m. and closes at 9 p.m. Cost is $55.95.
You know that Thanksgiving brunch in the Grand Ballroom at the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta will be special. From 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. diners can enjoy festive stations that include artisan style breads, morning bakeries, regional cheese selections and international and domestic charcuterie selections; a seafood spread featuring a sushi and sashimi station, jumbo shrimp, shucked oysters, smoked and cured fish and a selection of caviar. Finally, the chef’s butcher block selection showcases a roasted whole turkey, sage gravy and cranberry sauce, and garlic and herb-crusted prime rib with red wine jus and horseradish cream as well as ham with a WhistlePig peach glaze. Costs is $98 adults; $45 per child, ages 3 through 12.
Give thanks with family and friends as you celebrate time together with Thanksgiving at the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feast on bourbon glazed turkey with cranberry sauce and cornbread stuffing along with traditional herb crusted prime rib with creamy horseradish. Festive stations offer autumn salads and dim sum, along with an array of sweet delights including tiramisu cheesecake, triple chocolate trifle, pumpkin pie and more. Cost is $105, adults; $48, children.
To kick off the holiday season, Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead plans an exceptional Thanksgiving Wine Series on Nov. 22. This themed series focuses on the art of wine pairing with autumnal delicacies, including small bites such as heritage black turkey leg croquettes with cranberry compote, a gourmet Thanksgiving feuilleté and a house-made turkey breast galantine with spices and truffles. This limited time event begins promptly at 6 p.m., runs through 7:30 p.m. and is priced at $78 per person.
For Thanksgiving, families can retreat to the hotel’s Cafe & Bar for a Thanksgiving brunch buffet. Holiday favorites include sweet potato and goat cheese quiche, butternut squash soup, roasted root vegetables and bourbon glazed ham, roasted beef prime rib and fresh turkey from the carving station, alongside traditional Southern sweets. Cost is $95, adults; $50 children ages 5 to 12; complimentary for children age 4 and younger.
5Church Atlanta, located at Colony Square, offers a special Thanksgiving buffet with sage-rubbed oven-roasted turkey, slow-roasted prime rib, seasonal sides such as corn soufflé, sweet potato casserole and collard greens, desserts and much more. The buffet, served from noon until 8 p.m., is priced at $65 for adults and $18 for children.
Virginia-Highland’s Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar is pulling out all the stops once again, serving its famous Big Green Egg-smoked turkey breast with caramelized apple and sage stuffing and cider gravy; braised pork shoulder with roasted root vegetables and a bourbon glaze; green bean casserole with crispy onions and roasted mushrooms; roasted garlic mashed potatoes; cranberry Grand Marnier compote; and sweet potato biscuits. For dessert, choose between pumpkin cheesecake or Southern pecan pie. Prices are $30 for adults; $18 for young adults; $10 for kids younger than 10. Doors open at 4 p.m.
HOBNOB Neighborhood Taverns in Brookhaven and Dunwoody are open for a traditional Thanksgiving buffet. Menu highlights include prime rib, honey-glazed ham, slow-roasted turkey breast, Mother Nature salad, pimento cheese crostini, fire-roasted cauliflower, cornbread dressing, sweet potato soufflé, house-made apple cobbler and more. The menu is priced at $44.95 for adults and $17.95 for children ages 5 to 12.
Cheer on the Falcons at Buckhead’s favorite sports bar. Irby’s Tavern opens at 7:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, just in time for football.
Dance the night away and work off that Thanksgiving feast at Johnny’s Hideaway. The iconic Buckhead nightclub opens at 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening.
Livingston Restaurant + Bar plans a Thanksgiving brunch buffet in the Grand Ballroom of The Georgian Terrace from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Features include carved-to-order Cajun-roasted turkey breast and peppercorn-crusted prime rib, along with offerings including sautéed haricots verts with pomegranate seeds and mandarin orange segments; oven-roasted Brussels sprouts and rainbow carrots; maple butter-baked acorn squash; garlic cheddar biscuits and artisan rolls; and more. Chow down for $52, adults; $26, children ages 3 to 12.
Enjoy a Thanksgiving to remember at Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails in historic Crabapple, with a three-course prix fixe menu that includes butternut squash bisque, kale salad or turducken meatballs; Applewood-smoked turkey breast, spiral-cut ham, Southern-fried chicken breast, shrimp and grits, sesame-crusted mountain trout or grilled Wagyu flank steak; and bourbon pecan pie, chocolate chess pie or apple pie. The Thanksgiving menu is served 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and priced at $45 for adults and $22.50 per youngster.
Thanksgiving in Atlanta wouldn’t be the same without the legendary buffet offerings at Ray’s Restaurants. There’s plenty to be thankful for like whole-roasted turkey with thyme gravy, Big Green Egg-smoked beef brisket, fresh seafood and an assortment of breads and salads, among many other delicious options. At Ray’s in the City, choose from such appetizing options as carved turkey, braised beef Burgundy and seafood Alfredo and desserts including sweet potato pie. The cost is $50 for adults and $25 for children ages 5 to 10. the Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Your friendly neighborhood Taco Mac opens at 4 p.m., serving its full menu of award-winning Buffalo wings, burgers and other tavern favorites as well as 100 great craft beers on tap. It may not be turkey, but it’s perfect for winding down the day while catching the Buffalo Bills take on the Dallas Cowboys and our own Atlanta Falcons facing off against the New Orleans Saints.
From Nov. 14 through the 30, Apron at Kimpton Overland Hotel plans a "Friendsgiving." When guests order off the special Friendsgiving menu, offered from 5 to 11 p.m., a portion of the proceeds benefit No Kid Hungry. After enjoying the special menu, head out to the patio and roast s’mores around one of the three fire pits and enjoy a special fall cocktail during Campfire & Cocktails. Friendsgiving Thanksgiving hours are breakfast: 7 to 10:30 a.m.; lunch: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; dinner: 5 to 9 p.m.
Heading to Mercedes-Benz Stadium to watch the Dirty Birds play? Stop by Dos Bocas before and enjoy a non-traditional meal filled with Cajun and Tex-Mex favorites, specialty tequila and New Orleans themed cocktails.
Southern Art at the InterContinental Hotel offers its signature brunch on Thanksgiving. A ticketed event, Southern Art's offering incorporates family-friendly action stations with Southern classics, brunch favorites, a carvery, seasonal sides, salads, seafood bar and gourmet pastries. Festive live music sets the mood for a memorable holiday. Choose from three seatings: 10 a.m., 12:30 or 3 p.m. Cost is $105 for adults; $55 for kids ages 4 to 12; complimentary for children younger than 4.
This Thanksgiving, Tiny Lou’s at the Hotel Clermont features a prix-fixe menu full of Turkey Day classics with a French twist.
Barnsley Resort’s newly appointed executive chef Nicolas Lebas has effortlessly combined Southern specialties with five-star resort flair. Highlights from the menu include cracked pepper buttermilk biscuits, harvest green salad, fall salad with roasted butternut squash, a bountiful seafood display, carved pear-thyme brined roasted turkey, carved prime rib, vegan turkey fricassee. Thanksgiving brunch is available from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Cost is $72 for adults; $26 for kids ages 6 to 11; and complimentary for children younger than 5.
Bogartz Food Artz is serving a free Thanksgiving dinner to any Sandy Springs first responders who are working on Thanksgiving. Others can enjoy a feast that includes oysters, Caesar salad, turkey, house-smoked salmon as well as eggnog flan and pumpkin bread pudding. Price is $35 for adults; $20 for children 6 to 12 years old.
Einsteins, the long-standing Midtown restaurant, is open on Thanksgiving for a delicious Thanksgiving feast. Priced at $45 per person, the menu includes pumpkin soup with rosemary creme fraiche and spiced pepitas; cheddar cheese curds with cranberry dipping sauce or Honey Crisp apple salad. The second course includes crispy turkey leg with sweet potato and sausage hash, and cranberry jelly; stuffed acorn squash with vegetarian-stuffing, honey-glazed baby carrots, smashed garlic red potatoes and oven-roasted turkey breast.
Sports fanatics can head to Dantanna’s Buckhead and Downtown locations at 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day to dive into its Shuck and Shell Appy Hour featuring $1 raw oysters and 50 cent peel and eat shrimp until 6 p.m. In addition to fresh seafood, Dantanna’s full menu is available.
Park 75 at the Four Seasons Hotel will host a Thanksgiving Brunch from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Cost is $110 for adults; $48 for children ages 6 to 12; complimentary for children age 5 and younger.
Park Tavern, next to Piedmont Park, will not only be open for Thanksgiving, it will be the first day of the Fire & Ice at The Rink Powered by Bubly, so you can have a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner and then ice skate away the calories.
Wafffle House, of course, is always open, always welcoming, even on Thanksgiving.
Journalist Mary Welch writes business and lifestyle stories for local and national publications.