In Tallahassee, you can find several restaurants open on the holiday, whether you want Indian or French cuisine, a turkey dinner or prime rib. If you prefer to get a meal or sides to go, there are plenty of choices for carryout, too.
Many families who canceled their holiday gatherings last year seem to have their heart set on a more social celebration in 2021. At least that’s what we’re hearing from marketers, analysts — and many of you.
Armed with vaccines and more knowledge about staying safe, the goal is a return to more normal holidays, as normal as possible, anyway.
While home cooks may be eager to dig out their family recipes, there are plenty of others who would prefer to leave the cooking and cleaning to someone else. Luckily in Tallahassee, you can find several restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day, whether you want Indian or French cuisine, a turkey dinner or prime rib.
Takeout is still a popular option. You can order a complete Thanksgiving meal or sides and desserts to go that will spice up your home-cooked meal. Bacon jam collards, sausage pecan dressing, a turducken or chocolate bourbon pie are just a few of the creative additions you’ll find locally.
Given the issues with staffing during the pandemic, some restaurants have opted to close this year. A few, like Reangthai and Ted’s Montana Grill, said they wanted to give their hard-working employees a day off with their families.
But plenty of places are already booked, including the always popular Lodge at Wakulla Springs, so whatever you do, order or make a reservation as early as possible — and have a wonderful holiday.
Aaru’s: You can dine on the outdoor patio, the deck or inside at this multicultural restaurant. The menu is far-ranging, with Indian, Indochinese, Thai and Indian-Mexican choices as well as vegan and vegetarian options. Hours: 11:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. 1108 S. Magnolia Dr.; 850-350-0129.
Chow Time Grill & Buffet: The all-you-can-eat buffet offers dining in as well as carry-out by the pound. The lineup showcases dozens of dishes from Mongolian shrimp to honey-glazed ham. Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 1849 Capital Circle NE; 850-765-2961.
The Edison: The stellar view of Cascades Park is a big draw at The Edison, which offers indoor and patio dining, starting at 1 p.m.. Customers can order the Thanksgiving menu, with roast turkey and ham, stuffing, sides and dessert for $50 per person, $25 for kids (includes tax, gratuity, seconds and leftovers). The regular menu is also available. 470 Suwannee St.; 850-765-9771.
Essence of India: Listen to Bollywood music while savoring fine, traditional cuisine of North India. From the same owners as Aaru’s. Open 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. 1105 Apalachee Pkwy.; 850-656-7200.
Georgio’s Fine Food and Spirits: Open more than five decades, the upscale restaurant offers Mediterranean fare as well as steak, seafood and American dishes. There’s dining inside or on the outside, covered terrace. Georgio’s is no longer taking reservations but walk-ins are welcome. Just know there could be a wait, so aim to be here at 2 p.m. Hours are 2 to 6 p.m. 2971 Apalachee Pkwy.; 850-877-3211.
Joy Luck Place: Customers may find duck instead of turkey at this Chinese restaurant, which will be serving specialties along with its regular menu. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. 1002 N. Monroe St.; 850-222-1115.
Junction at Monroe: The music venue is serving a prime rib dinner and drinks starting at 6 p.m. “Dine-In Karaoke Thanksgiving Night” starts at 7 p.m. You can sit at your table or the bar to sing. The Junction will provide sanitized, wireless microphones and lyrics on multiple big screens. No cover charge. Reservations suggested for both events. 2011 S. Monroe St.; 850-629-9526.
Little Paris: Executive chef/owner Herve Alcesilas and his brother, chef Loic, will be presenting a three-course dinner available inside, on the patio or for takeout. The courses are a thinly sliced pumpkin pie, bacon, garlic and honey confit in puff pastry with a petite salad; a turkey stew with basmati rice and roasted potato; and the “chef’s pecan spectacular” for dessert. $42 per person. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 1355 Market St.; 850-765-7457.
Mayuri Indian Restaurant: You can load up on classic Indian fare at the buffet for lunch and order from the menu at dinner. Mayuri offers an extensive lineup with curries, dosas, vindaloos, tandoor items and vegan and vegetarian entrees. Outside dining available. The lunch buffet is open from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner is from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. 1324 Simpson Ave.; 850-402-9993.
Tastee Turkey Leg: This new restaurant specializes in smothered turkey legs but there’s more. The Thanksgiving menu includes turkey wings and turkey legs, sides such as “Bodacious greens,” cornbread stuffing and sweet potato pie. For vegan options: basil leaf meatball spaghetti, vegan fysh and vegan mac ‘n cheese. Cost $50 per person with family deals available, $25 for kids 6 and older and free for kids 5 and under (includes tax and gratuity, seconds and leftovers to go). Selections available from the regular menu. Open from noon to 8 p.m. 2810 Sharer Rd.; 850-765-1975.
Zingales Billiards & Sports Bar: Liven up your holiday or post-holiday meal at this large pub, which will have a full kitchen menu available on Thanksgiving Day, open from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. 1147 Apalachee Pkwy.; 850-629-4343.
Other restaurants open for dining on Thanksgiving include Boston Market, Denny’s, Waffle House and Cracker Barrel.
The Bark: Vegan take-home Thanksgiving meals are available, with a vegan seitan roast roulade, several sides and pies. Order ala carte or packages by 5 p.m. Nov 21. Pickup between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. Nov. 24 or 10 a.m. to noon Thanksgiving Day (open for pickup only). 507 All Saints Street; 850-900-5936.
Black Fig: You can order a whole holiday meal from the catering service, which also offers gourmet meals to go in its storefront. Options include a whole roasted turkey or turkey breast, sweet potato casserole with maple pecan crisp topping and chocolate bourbon pie. Orders must be in by 3 p.m. Nov. 18 Pick up dates are Nov. 23-24, from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 1400 Village Square Blvd.; 850-727-0016.
Blu Halo: Customers can pick up dinner at the fine dining restaurant on Thanksgiving Day . The four-course meal offers choices for each course with the entree being either brined turkey with stuffing and gravy or a spiral ham with a mango chutney glaze. Cost: $35 per person, with a four-person minimum. Call 850-999-1696 between 10 and 6 p.m. to place an order by Nov. 22. Pickup is between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. 3431 Bannerman Rd.
Coosh’s Bayou Rouge: Owned by Louisiana transplants, Durand “Coosh” Willis and his wife, Margaret, the casual restaurant offers carry-out orders of fried turkeys, turducken (a deboned chicken stuffed into a deboned duck stuffed into a deboned turkey), dressing and sides. The deadline for orders is Nov. 17, with pickup before closing on Nov. 24 at 6267 Old Water Oak Rd.; 850-894-4110. Coosh’s College Town location is at 705 S. Woodward Ave.; 850-597-9505.
The Hawthorn Bistro & Bakery: If you don’t have time for baking, Hawthorn has your back. You can order pies, half and whole quiches, dinner rolls or pumpkin-shaped sourdough and cookies to go. Order by 4 p.m. Nov. 21. Pickup between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Nov. 24. 1307 N. Monroe St.; 850-354-8275.
Jeri’s Midtown Cafe: You can supplement your holiday meal with sides like bacon jam collards, spicy pimento cheese and crackers and smoked apple grits with apple butter. Half and full pans available. Order in advance and pick up between 4 and 7 p.m. Nov. 24th. 1123 Thomasville Rd.; 850-385-7268.
Lively Café at St. John’s: Chef Fran has put together a catering menu with appetizers, holiday sides, and desserts. Order now for pickup between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Nov. 22 or 23. Check out the menu: https://livelycafe-holiday-catering.square.site/ 211 N. Monroe St.; 850-222-2636.
Lucilla: Order a Thanksgiving dinner that’s ready to heat, prepared by chef/co-owner Joe Richardson. The menu: roasted turkey breast and pork tenderloin plus sides (including sausage-pecan dressing) and black pepper tarragon gravy for $65 per couple. A la carte extras are available. Order by Nov. 20. Pick up from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. 1241 E. Lafayette St.; 850-900-5117.
RedEye Coffee: You don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving evening to start your feast. RedEye is offering holiday morning treats — cinnamon rolls, muffins, grazing boxes, cold brew and Coquito, often called a Puerto Rican eggnog. You add your own rum at home. Orders placed by noon Nov. 19 will be ready for pickup between 1 to 6 p.m. Nov. 24; order at https://bit.ly/holidaymorningtreats. Place orders for coquito by noon Nov. 20, also ready for pickup 1 to 6 p.m. Nov. 24. https://bit.ly/redeyecoqui RedEye is located in Midtown, Capital Circle and Capital Center Regional Medical Center. For more info, contact 850- 425-5701 or 850-999-8278.
Riccardo’s Restaurant: If you’re looking for an alternative to turkey or ham, Riccardo’s is providing full and half trays of lasagna you can serve for the holiday or while feeding family over the weekend. Their “take and bake” pizzas are another quick option. Order lasagna by Nov. 23 for pickup Nov. 24. Take and bake pizzas can be ordered and picked up any time before Thanksgiving. 1950 Thomasville Rd.; 850-386-3988.
Smartucci Italian Food: You may have met Stefania Martucci, originally from Turin, Italy, at the Frenchtown Farmers’ Market, where she sells homemade baked goods including focaccia and pastries. For Thanksgiving, she’s offering a lineup of Italian items that you can order and pick up from her: pumpkin, gorgonzola and ricotta quiche, a bari focaccia, pumpkin lasagna and single servings of chocolate and amaretto bounet and tiramisu. Order by noon Nov. 22 with pickup by 3 p.m. Nov. 24. Contact 850-363-5408 or email [email protected] for more details..
Tastebudz Catering and Takeout: My friend Rick raves about the dinners from Tastebudz. Customers can order a full Thanksgiving meal or supplement your meal with sides from Tastebudz. Turkey, with white and dark meat and gravy, or prime rib au jus are the entrees in the complete dinner. Both packages include three sides, rolls and your choice of pie. The turkey dinner is $16.99 per person. The prime rib dinner is $21.99. A la carte options, which include sliced ham and vegan squash, come in small, medium and large portions. Orders accepted until Nov. 21. Pickup times are 2 to 6 p.m. Nov. 23, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 24 and 8:30 to 11 a.m. Thanksgiving Day. 2655 Capital Circle NE; 850-309-7348.
Treva’s Pastries and Fine Food Enhance your holiday meal with a variety of side dishes and desserts from Treva’s. Options include sweet potato casserole with cranberry chutney, brie en croute, mac ‘n cheese and cherry pie. Order by 6 p.m. Nov. 19 with pickup from noon to 6 p.m. Nov. 24. 2766 Capital Circle NE; 850-765-0811 or [email protected]