The top reasons?
Convenience and the chance to enjoy family freed from hours of cooking. But the pleasures of good eating (cooked and served by attentive strangers) are right up there, too.
75 Chestnut (Boston)
Enjoy a New England Thanksgiving at 75 Chestnut in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood.
Courtesy 75 Chestnut
Deep in New England blueblood country, this converted redbrick townhouse is a cozy local bistro with a much-ballyhooed bar.
And it hasn’t shied away from serving old-school American comfort food faves such as quahog chowder to its regular Beacon Hill clientele on the fourth Thursday of the month — or doing something equally creative with a goose.
The Thanksgiving menu includes harvest pumpkin bisque, oven roasted turkey and a dessert sampler with nibbles of numerous sweets.
The Skillet (Mountain View, Arkansas)
The most inviting-looking public Thanksgiving event in the heart of Arkansas mountain country will be in full force again this year at Ozark Folk Center State Park.
This a living history facility dedicated to preserving the rich natural and cultural heritage of the Ozarks and the scenic town of Mountain View, aka “The Folk Music Capital of the World.”
The huge Thanksgiving buffet at the park’s restaurant, The Skillet, is a no-nonsense assortment of Southern staples. Typical for past feasts: fried chicken, beef tips, roast turkey, ham with grilled pineapple and a host of veggies and desserts.
Georgia Brown’s (Washington, D.C.)
Georgia Brown’s brings South Carolina Low Country cuisine to D.C.
Courtesy Georgia Brown’s
Could Washington, D.C., the embodiment of America’s differences as a nation, possibly provide an amiable setting for a holiday reputed for its dinner-table discord?
Well, a reassuring cast of Washingtonians will be joining hands and giving thanks together at this South Carolina Low Country cuisine institution that’s hosted one of the heartiest Thanksgiving feasts for the past couple of decades just two blocks away from the White House.
Starters include she-crab soup and fried green tomatoes. Then you can choose from various entrees, including seafood favorites, if you want to depart from turkey. And how about some cobbler to finish off the meal?
Akasha (Culver City, California)
Akasha’s tempting holiday fare.
If you in the Los Angeles area, it’s OK to feel good about gluttony at this hip Culver City restaurant renaissance leader that specializes in New American comfort food with all the organic, locally sourced fixings you desire.
A sampling of Akasha’s creative and relatively guilt-free Thanksgiving feast includes a roast cauliflower bisque, herb-roasted turkey from a local farm accompanied by chestnut and sage stuffing (and a West Coast sable fish if turkey’s not your thing) and a pie buffet that includes pumpkin, maple pecan and coconut custard among others.
Hyeholde Restaurant (Caraopolis, Pennsylvania)
Hyeholde Restaurant is outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Downriver from Pittsburgh in Caraopolis, the Hyeholde was built as a home and a restaurant in the 1930s from several old barns. Today, you’ll find four acres of gardens and winding stone paths here.
Its traditional Thanksgiving menu includes roast turkey, baked salmon, prime rib, glazed sweet potatoes, root vegetable gratin, plenty of other sides and pumpkin pie along with other desserts.
Cadot Restaurant (Dallas)
This North Dallas restaurant has been serving fine French cuisine since 2009, but chef Jean-Marie Cadot comes from a family that’s been in the food and hospitality industry since the 1700s.
The Thanksgiving menu includes wild mushroom brie soup; roasted turkey breast with cranberries, apples, green beans, sweet potatoes and corn bread stuffing and pumpkin panna cotta. And you’ll have other options if these don’t strike your fancy.
Wrigley Mansion (Phoenix)
Courtesy Wrigley Mansion
The former winter residence of chewing-gum goliath William Wrigley is now an event space, ghost house and Thanksgiving Day staple, with 360-degree mountainside vistas over greater Phoenix.
Thanksgiving brunch is served buffet-style, offering breakfast items as well as traditional Thanksgiving fare.
In previous years, the buffet has featured turkey, prime rib and leg of lamb, but also omelets, salads and a cold seafood assortment.
Magnolias (Charleston, South Carolina)
Magnolias helped lead Charleston’s charge onto the international culinary map in the 1990s, and this seafood-focused restaurant promises to deliver tasty offerings for Thanksgiving.
A few of the special items on the menu in this Southern port city: A Down South egg roll (with collard greens, chicken, tasso ham, red pepper purée, spicy mustard and peach chutney); Brussels sprouts salad; slow-roasted turkey; pecan-crusted salmon; Low Country succotash (butter beans, hominy, bell peppers and sweet corn). The dessert special: bourbon buttermilk pumpkin pie.
Pelican Club (New Orleans)
To know New Orleans is to take time to know the people who live there. On its 300th anniversary, the pride and passion of New Orleanians is clear.
The Pelican Club provides a pleasing mix of Louisiana classics with some New York panache. Set in a 19th century townhouse, rustic stone walls and cypress panels provide a perfect Thanksgiving atmosphere.
A sampling of the menu to whet your appetite: Turtle and alligator soup with aged sherry, slow-roasted turkey roulade, paneed Gulf fish with blue crab and bourbon pecan pie.
Napa Valley Wine Train (Napa, California)
Combine some wine country tourism with your Thanksgiving Day meal on the Napa Valley Wine Train.
Courtesy Napa Valley Wine Train
Sometimes a moveable feast is in order. You can take in Napa Valley’s gorgeous fall scenery while enjoying a Thanksgiving spread on rails.
The Napa Valley Wine Train has a special all-day trip planned, and your options on the menu include a honey roasted acorn squash bisque, roast turkey with chorizo savory herb stuffing and a chocolate tartelette with strawberry ricotta mousse and berry compote.
CNN’s Forrest Brown contributed new material for the 2018 update of this story.