Updated November 16, 2017. Come back for more restaurants and info. If you own, work for, or have a favorite restaurant that’s open on Thanksgiving but isn’t on this list, please let me know what’s going on at your restaurant by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanksgiving is the greatest feasting day on the calendar. It includes everybody in America–even those who don’t want to be included. For most people the menu is traditional and homestyle, using ingredients that are neither expensive nor unusual. Still, we all expect Thanksgiving to be a grand feast. The everyday is not good enough.
If you’re cooking at home, you have generations of experience behind you and millions of recipes to refer to. Still, every year, every cook tries to make the dinner better. Fortunately, there’s not just one way to prepare a turkey or a ham or all the side dishes that make Thanksgiving so rich and plentiful. That makes the holiday better still.
But the biggest change in Thanksgiving feasting in my lifetime is the growth in the number of people who dine out on that day. Not all that long ago, only the lonely and travelers were found in restaurants on Thanksgiving. No more. Restaurants are full of Thanksgiving diners now, most in large family groups. The holiday has become one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants that choose to open. Unfortunately, the number of restaurants open on Turkey Day is not enough to handle the demand. You should make reservations as soon as you decide to dine out on Thanksgiving. And get ready for prices that will probably be a bit more expensive than the ones you’re accustomed to.
Below is our annual list of Thanksgiving restaurants. It is still in flux. You’d be surprised how long some restaurant wait before making their Thanksgiving plans. Or how late they’ll change them. I’ll update the list daily to keep up with interesting last-minute openings. Many restaurants book up the 1-3 p.m. seatings very quickly. So be ready to take another time.
Andrea’s. Metairie 2: Orleans Line To Houma Blvd: 3100 19th St. 504-834-8583. Special menu: three courses, $45. Regular menu also available. 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Annadele Plantation. Covington: 71518 Chestnut St. 985-809-7669. Three courses from a special menu, $48, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Arnaud’s. French Quarter: 813 Bienville. 504-523-5433. A special four-course menu for $47, with a mix of traditional Thanksgiving dishes and Arnaud’s specialties.
Borgne. CBD: 601 Loyola Ave (Hyatt Regency Hotel). 504-613-3860. A special four-course menu, plus a limited regular menu.
Bourbon House. French Quarter: 144 Bourbon. 504-522-0111. Regular menu and Thanksgiving specials, entrees $26-32.
Brennan’s. French Quarter: 417 Royal. 504-525-9711. Open, but fully committed.
Broussard’s. French Quarter: 819 Conti. 504-581-3866. An especially beautiful setting, with the courtyard open.
Cafe Adelaide. CBD: 300 Poydras St. 504-595-3305. Special menu, 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. A large a la carte menu at regular prices (entree in the mid-$20s) is abetted by a special three-course, $38 menu whose centerpiece is turducken–a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey, with stuffings. It’s a dish more talked about than cooked, but if you want to try it, here it is.
Café B. Metairie 1: Old Metairie: 2700 Metairie Road. 504-934-4700. Special menu, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Three courses, $32-$46.
Chophouse. CBD: 322 Magazine St. 504-522-7902. This high-end steakhouse is promoting its steaks as an alternative to the standard turkey dinner. If that appeals to you, there they are. Handsome place.
Commander’s Palace. Uptown 1: Garden District & Environs: 1403 Washington Ave. 504-899-8221. Special menu. Very likely already to be sold out.
Compere Lapin. CBD: 535 Tchoupitoulas. 504-599-2119.
Criollo. French Quarter: 214 Royal. 504-523-3341. The new restaurant in the Monteleone Hotel serves its second Thanksgiving. It’s a handsome restaurant with an imaginative, current New Orleans-style menu.
Crystal Room. CBD: Le Pavillon Hotel, 901 Poydras. 504-581-3111. Buffet, a bit less expensive than in the other hotels, and for that reason fills up early. Food is good as buffets go.
Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse. French Quarter: 716 Iberville. 504-522-2467. Regular dinner menu and Thanksgiving specials, 3-9 p.m.
Domenica. CBD: 123 Baronne (Roosevelt Hotel). 504-648-6020. Special menu, $55.
Five Happiness. Mid-City: 3605 S Carrollton. 504-482-3935.
Fountain Lounge. CBD: 123 Baronne, Roosevelt Hotel. 504-648-1200. The Roosevelt Hotel will certainly serve a Thanksgiving buffet somewhere, but they haven’t announced the details. My guess is that it will be in the Blue Room and expensive.
Heritage Grill. Metairie 2: Orleans Line To Houma Blvd: 111 Veterans Blvd. 504-934-4900. Buffet 11 a.m.-5 p.m. $45 adults, child’s menu available. This is a sleeper, a Ralph Brennan restaurant with very good food and one of the only buffets in Metairie.
Latil’s Landing. River Parishes: In Houmas House Plantation. 225-473-9380. This is the grand restaurant in Houmas House Plantation, on the River Road, halfway from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. Buffet, noon-4 p.m. $55, $25 children.
Lebanon’s Cafe. Uptown 4: Riverbend, Carrollton & Broadmoor: 1500 S Carrollton Ave. 504-862-6200.
Lüke. CBD: 333 St Charles Ave. 504-378-2840. John Besh’s most popular restaurant. Special menu.
M Bistro. French Quarter: 921 Canal. 504-524-1331. The flagship dining room of the Ritz-Carlton offers a high-end buffet 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Maple Street Cafe. Uptown 4: Riverbend, Carrollton & Broadmoor: 7623 Maple. 504-314-9003. Both locations, special menu. Three courses, $25, $13 children. under 12. Noon-7 p.m.
Mr. B’s Bistro. French Quarter: 201 Royal. 504-523-2078. Special menu, featuring free-range turkeys. Noon-8 p.m.
Muriel’s. French Quarter: 801 Chartres. 504-568-1885. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Special menu, three courses, $45.
Palace Cafe. French Quarter: 605 Canal. 504-523-1661. Regular menu with Thanksgiving specials (entrees $26-42), 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Ralph’s On The Park. City Park Area: 900 City Park Ave. 504-488-1000. Very substantial special menu, three courses $46-54.
Red Fish Grill. French Quarter: 115 Bourbon. 504-598-1200. Buffet 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m., $59, kids $15, under 6 free. It’s not an enormous hotel-style buffet, but the food is fresh and distinctly Creole. Lots going on for the kids.
Restaurant des Familles. Marrero To Lafitte: 7163 Barataria Blvd. 504-689-7834. Way out on the bayou twenty minutes from downtown, and quite an environment. Special menu.
Rib Room. French Quarter: 621 St Louis St. 504-529-7045. Special menu. four courses, $37-51. 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Roosevelt Hotel Ballroom. CBD: 123 Baronne, Roosevelt Hotel. 504-648-1200.
Roux On Orleans. French Quarter: 717 Orleans (Bourbon Orleans Hotel). 504-571-4604. The restaurant of the Bourbon Orleans, a block in back of St. Louis Cathedral. Buffet from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Adults $59, tax and tip included (!).
Royal Sonesta Ballroom. French Quarter: 300 Bourbon. 504-553-2278. Now that R’evolution is the main dining room at the Sonesta, the holidays bring forth special arrangements. The buffet you remember from the days of Begue’s is now in the hotel’s big ballroom. $75 is the price; $35 6-12 years, free under that. Seatings begin at 10:30 a.m., with the final seating at 1:30 p.m.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Metairie 2: Orleans Line To Houma Blvd: 3633 Veterans Blvd. 504-888-3600. Thanksgiving specials ($40, complete dinner) and regular menu, both locations. Noon-8 p.m.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House. CBD: 525 Fulton St. 504-587-7099. Thanksgiving specials ($40, complete dinner) and regular menu, both locations. Noon-8 p.m.
Tujague’s. French Quarter: 823 Decatur. 504-525-8676. Usual table d’hote dinner, with fresh turkey and other Thanksgiving dishes, about $40. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Vacherie. French Quarter: 827 1/2 Toulouse St. 504-207-4532. This boutique hotel in the French Quarter (it’s where Louis XVI used to be) hase continually expanded the reach and goodness of its restaurant, particularly on holidays. Thanksgiving brings a buffet from noon until 4 p.m. The price is $39 adults, $18 children.
Windsor Court Grill Room. CBD: 300 Gravier. 504-522-1994. Special menu, four courses, $95. It’s offered all day long: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.