Holiday Food and Drink

Thanksgiving Dining and Deals in Houston

Brennan's can put the finishing touches on your Thanksgiving celebration.
Brennan's can put the finishing touches on your Thanksgiving celebration. Photo by Kimberly Park
With Thanksgiving only days away and many families gathering for the first time this holiday since the pandemic began, we are all craving the hugs and smiling faces of our loved ones even more than Maw-maw's ambrosia salad. Some of us love the chaos and the clutter that comes with hosting a loud and full house of guests. For others, it's a time to delegate the hard work to those in the hospitality industry who remember to take the giblets out of the turkey and won't burn the marshmallows on the sweet potato casserole.

And even for those who love to host, this could be the year to save the time and energy for catching up with loved ones rather than sweating in front of an oven for ten hours straight. For some, that may mean taking their closest loved ones out for a celebratory fine dining meal at one of Houston's nicest restaurants. For others, it may mean impressing out-of-state relatives with some true Texas barbecue or tasty tamales. And for those who are expecting a heck-of-a lot more people this year, like this writer, it doesn't hurt to supplement the feast with a few restaurant-quality extras.

Whether you opt for ordering the whole shebang for the fourth Thursday in November or just picking up some fabulous pies to make your life easier, supporting local restaurants during the holidays can ease the stress for hosts and provide some much-needed income for the hospitality industry and its employees.

So, set an extra seat at the table for the friend who cannot make it back home for Thanksgiving or even that cousin third-removed who talks too loud and drinks too much. It's a holiday to be grateful for what we have - before the next upcoming holiday, where we think we need even more.

Backstreet Cafe, 1103 S. Shepherd, has a multitude of meats, sides, soups and desserts to make Thanksgiving less stressful. A spiral glazed ham ($85) or a roasted turkey breast ($105) can be ordered to keep the oven free or customers can customize a whole meal from dishes like Wild Mushroom Soup ($35, 6-8) and sides such as Cornbread and Andouille Sausage Dressing, Scalloped Potatoes, Pan-charred Brussels Sprouts and much more. desserts like Chocolate Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Cheesecake and Orange Pound Cake are available to take home as well.

Orders must be placed by November 21 for pick-up November 24 at a pre-determined time.

B&B Butchers & Restaurant, 1814 Washington, will be open Thanksgiving Day from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and is offering a prix-fixe menu as well as its dinner menu. The prix-fixe ($85) includes an amuse bouche, appetizer, entree, dessert and family-style sides. There will be complimentary apple cider and pumpkin cookies, as an extra treat. For children 11 years and under, the prix-fixe is $35. Reservations are required and can be made on OpenTable or at 713-862-1814.

The Butcher Shop at B&B will have ready to roast or pre-made meals available as well.
click to enlarge Bosscat Kitchen is open for a Thanksgiving dine-in feast. - PHOTO BY MEGAN PHAM
Bosscat Kitchen is open for a Thanksgiving dine-in feast.
Photo by Megan Pham
Bosscat Kitchen & Libations, 4310 Westheimer, will be open for Thanksgiving Day with a dining menu that includes a choice of two to three proteins (Maple Bourbon-Brined Turkey, Brown Sugar Ham, Prime Rib Roast), along with accompaniments and desserts for the table. Sides include Autumn Harvest Salad, Caramelized Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Pecan-Crusted Sweet Potatoes, Cornbread Stuffing and more. There is a choice of apple or pumpkin pie for dessert. The cost is $60 to $70 per person (depending on protein choice) and $15 for kids, 12 and under. Seating will be from noon to 6 p.m. and reservations may be made online at its website.

Bosscat is also offering its Thanksgiving Take Home Feast as well. Customers can order online for pick-up between 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.

Brennan's of Houston, 3300 Smith, has its famous soups and sides available in quantities to feed a crowd. Its holiday catering menu offers its famous Turtle Soup or Shrimp and Okra Gumbo by the quart, half gallon and gallon. There's also a menu of sides such as Jalapeno Cornbread Pudding, Creole Oyster Dressing, Candies Sweet Potatoes, Bacon-Braised Mustard and Collard Greens and Turkey Gravy. Make yourself the best guest on Thanksgiving by bringing its Creole Bread Pudding, White Chocolate Bread Pudding or Brennan's Pecan Pie to your host. And don't forget enough Brennan's Pralines to go around.

Orders must be made by noon November 19 for curbside, contactless pick-up November 23 or November 24 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
click to enlarge Caracol's spiral ham is too pretty to eat. - PHOTO BY PAULA MURPHY
Caracol's spiral ham is too pretty to eat.
Photo by Paula Murphy

Caracol, 2200 Post Oak, has chef Hugo Ortega's take on traditional Thanksgiving classics. The Family Feast offers a choice of Pineapple & Habanero Whole Spiral Ham ($225) or Roasted Turkey Breast ($245) with sides including Sweet Cranberry & Spicy Jalapeno Relish, Coal-Roasted Sweet Potato and Tamal Azteca Tortilla Casserole. For dessert, there's a choice of pumpkin pie with meringue and cajeta, tres leches cake or pecan chocolate tart. There's a Couple's Feast ($95) that offers a choice of protein, two sides and a dessert for two people.

The restaurant is also offering a variety of a la carte items by the pan and tamales by the dozen ($24). Holiday items and feasts must be ordered by November 24 for pick up November 24 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. with a designated time slot. Phone orders may be done at 713-622-9996.

Dozier's BBQ, 8222 Farm to Market 359, is smoking hot for Thanksgiving and picking up a to-go whole smoked turkey from this historic pit-stop in Fulshear will make your in-laws like you best. The whole smoked turkeys range from nine to twelve pounds and are $4.99 per pound. Bone-in spiral hams smoked with sugar glaze are $6.99 per pound and boneless smoked pit hams are $6.29 per pound. Pre-orders may be picked up until November 24 at 2 p.m.

Fainmous Barbecue, 1201 Oliver, has turkeys ($75) smoked, fried or smoked and fried. Owners Karen and James Fain are also offering Thanksgiving dinners for $140 which include a turkey of your choice, three quart-sized sides and a sweet potato pie. Its Cornished Hen Dinner ($70) with two stuffed Cornish game hens over a bed of rice and three pint-sized sides is perfect for a more intimate celebration. Orders must be made by November 22 for pick up before 1 p.m., November 24.

click to enlarge Taste for yourself why the Brazos Bottom Pecan Pie is famous. - PHOTO BY PAULA MURPHY
Taste for yourself why the Brazos Bottom Pecan Pie is famous.
Photo by Paula Murphy
Goode Company Barbecue, has a large selection of holiday dishes and treats that can be ordered online, from smoked turkeys to its famous Brazos Bottom Pecan Pie. Orders may be made at by November 18 and picked up at drive-thru pie booths November 23 and November 24 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at a chosen restaurant location: Armadillo Palace parking lot on Bartlett, Goode Company Barbecue, 8911 Katy Freeway, or Goode Company Kitchen and Cantina, 8865 Six Pines, in The Woodlands.

The Thanksgiving Feasts and a la carte items are chilled and include reheating instructions.

Indianola, 1201 St. Emanuel, will be open for Thanksgiving with a seated buffet from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The buffet will offer delicious starters such as Wild Gulf Shrimp Cocktail, deviled eggs and Spanish chorizo, smoked Cheddar boudin balls and wood-roasted oysters. There will be meats including smoked heritage turkey, mesquite-grilled Angus filet and smoked apple-glazed pork loin. A bounty of sides will also be available with green bean casserole, organic mushrooms, dressing with crispy onions, jalapeno, cheddar and chorizo, pecan-toasted Brussels sprouts, pull-apart rolls, mashed potatoes, glazed sweet potatoes and more. Dessert choices include pecan pie, pumpkin pie, Caramelized Pear Coffee Cake and Tollhouse Crunch Cake.

The buffet dinner is $55 for adults and $20 for kids 12 and under. Children under three eat free.

Le Jardinier, 5500 Main, will offer a four-course, prix-fixe menu ($150) November 25 from noon to 7:30 p.m. with dishes like Winter Squash Risotto, Heritage Turkey Ballotine, traditional stuffing and buttery mashed potatoes. Dessert choices include Pumpkin Tart with Cranberry Crumbles and Dulce de Leche Ice Cream. The full Thanksgiving menu can be found on its website and reservations may be made through Resy.
click to enlarge Liberty Kitchen starts Thanksgiving with tacos. - PHOTO BY JUSTIN YOAKUM
Liberty Kitchen starts Thanksgiving with tacos.
Photo by Justin Yoakum
Liberty Kitchen & Oysterette is offering patrons a different type of Thanksgiving to-go. The Prime Rib Package ($299) feeds 4 to 6 people and offers a seven-pound prime rib, green bean casserole, Boursin mashed potatoes, oyster stuffing, a gallon of gravy (that's a lot of gravy), horseradish sauce and au jus. Cooking instructions are included.

The Thanksgiving Starter Package ($75) includes J&B Tacos, chips and queso, Parker rolls with bacon jam and butter, oyster stuffing and two dozen deviled eggs. The turkey's up to you, Boo.

Orders must be placed by November 21 at 9 p.m. and picked up by November 23 or November 24, as designated. The packages are available for ordering from both the River Oaks location, 4224 San Felipe, and the Memorial restaurant, 963 Bunker Hill.
click to enlarge Pecan Pie is a Thanksgiving must in Houston. - PHOTO BY AMANDA NATHAN
Pecan Pie is a Thanksgiving must in Houston.
Photo by Amanda Nathan
Local Foods, 2424 Dunstan, is offering all that one needs for a Thanksgiving bonanza. The Whole Roasted Organic Turkey (10 to 12 pounds) is served with one quart of Bubba's Turkey Gravy (gluten and dairy-free) for $85. There's also a Roasted Salmon option ($70) and a 44 Farms Smoked Roast Beef (two pounds) available at the Rice Village location only, for pick up November 24 and November 25. For vegetarians, Local Foods has Mopu Tofu with Carolina Gold Rice ($20) which serves 4 to 6 people.

There are also sides like gluten and dairy-free Cornbread Turkey Stuffing ($15), Garlic Green Beans with Marcona Almond Spiced Crunch ($14) and Butternut Squash Kale Salad ($14). For a starter to keep guests out of the kitchen, order a Houston Dairymaids Cheese Platter with four cheeses, seasonal fruits, crackers, nuts and jam. For $40, it serves 6 to 8 people.

Dessert options include TX Pecan Maple Pie, Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake and Mom's Cake + Pecan Fudge Icing. All orders must be made by November 21.

The Original Esther's Cajun Cafe & Soul Food on Yale, 5204 Yale, has three packages to choose from for Turkey Day. The Holiday Meats ($64.99) is a choice of Cajun Fried Turkey or Spiral-Sliced Ham and serves 8 to 10 people. The Basic Package ($120.99) is a choice of turkey or ham plus two 2-quart sides, one quart brown gravy and one pint cranberry sauce. The Premium Package ($159.99) adds an extra side and a choice of sweet potato or pecan pie.

Customers can add a dozen rolls ($4.99) and additional sides. Orders can be made by phone at 713-699-1212 or in person by November 20 for pick-up by 6 p.m. November 24.

We don't know who first fried a whole turkey but we do know that it has become a Thanksgiving staple for many a transplanted Cajun or lover of crispy turkey skin. Fortunately, this writer has a brother, Cowboy Clint, who has mastered the art of turkey frying with very few injuries. However, for those who do not want to attempt the dangerous feat or spend $30 on peanut oil, Orleans Seafood Kitchen, 20940 Katy Freeway, is offering Cajun Fried Turkey ($79) for pre-order and pick-up. The 12 to 14 pound bird will feed 10 to 12 people. The Cajun-inspired restaurant also has turkey gravy, boudin stuffing (ai-eee!) smothered green beans and 3-Cheese Mac & Cheese with smoked sausage for purchase as well as desserts like bread pudding and pecan pie. They also have a Cajun Family Thanksgiving Feast with all the trimmings for $179.99.

Orders must be placed by November 19 and customers can choose a pick-up date from November 22 to November 24.

Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille, seven Houston-area locations, will have dine-in and to-go specials for Thanksgiving. Guests can celebrate its Rare and Well Done experience with a holiday dining menu from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for $45 per person. The dine-in special includes a choice of Butternut Squash Soup or Honeycrisp Apple Salad to begin, followed by Smoked Trukey Breast with pan gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean almondine, cranberry relish, sage and sausage dressing and its homemade bread. Guests can add a slice of Pumpkin Cheesecake for $8. Reservations can be made online.

For to-go, Perry’s will begin taking pre-orders November 18 with pick-up scheduled from November 23 through November 25. The individual Thanksgiving Dinner is $45 per person and the Family-Style Thanksgiving Dinner is $139. The Family-Style includes a choice of family-style soup or salad, entree and sides. A three-pound Encrusted Prime Rib may be added for $129 and a P_umpkin Cheesecake for four is $20. There is a Kids’ Thanksgiving Plate for $15 for children ages 12 and under. Pre-ordered meals may be prepaid online and picked up curbside.

Or why not let the pitmasters at The Pit Room, 1201 Richmond, do the heavy work? The barbecue restaurant is offering Whole Turkey ($85) that has been brined for 48 hours in brown sugar, sage and apples then seasoned with its house poultry rub and smoked over post oak. each turkey averages 12 pounds. Or, for a true barbecue experience, give your out-of-town guests a treat with a Whole Brisket ($110). Each averages between 6 and 8 pounds and comes with one quart of barbecue sauce. And quit whinging about whether or not brisket should be served with sauce. For the piggies in the family, the Smoked Ham ($60) will satisfy the non-turkey eaters. Sorry, no nut loaf available.

The meats are sold cold and unsliced with reheat instructions. There are also sides like1751 Smoked Oyster Stuffing ($40) made with smoked oysters, bacon, cornbread, giblets and fresh herbs. It serves up to 12. The traditional stuffing ($30) made with sausage, onions, celery and fresh herbs also serves 12. For dessert, there's pumpkin ($20) or apple ($25) pie. Orders must be placed by November 20 for pick up. Call 281-888-1929 or go to
click to enlarge State Fare has two locations to order from. - PHOTO BY JUSTIN YOAKUM
State Fare has two locations to order from.
Photo by Justin Yoakum

State Fare, 947 Gessner and 15390 City Walk, has several Thanksgiving packages including its Southern Style ($225) which includes deep-fried carved turkey( enough for six people), Bacony Green Beans, mashed potatoes, mac 'n cheese, cornbread stuffing, turkey gravy and cranberry sauce. Additional sides may be purchased. Orders must be made by November 21 for pick-up Tuesday, November 23 or Wednesday, November 24. Credit card required for order.

For those entertaining overnight guests, State Fare is offering brunch kits as well. For $55, it includes six cathead biscuits, one pound Applewood-smoked bacon, one pound fresh-made sausage, one dozen fresh eggs, one quart white country gravy, pancake mix, mixed berry jam, whipped butter and one pint maple syrup. Cooking instructions are included. The brunch kits must be ordered at least 24 hours in advance. The brunch kits will be available through the holidays until January 1, 2022.

The Texas BBQ Lab, 13521 Jones, opened last year in Cypress. This family-owned business can customize its Thanksgiving offerings to fit different gatherings. It is offering two meals for pick up and time slots are limited. All orders must be picked up by noon on Thanksgiving.

Meal No.1 ($119.99, 6-8 servings) offers a 12 pound smoked turkey and half pans of mac and cheese, green beans or collards, homemade stuffing and banana pudding. It also comes with 12 dinner roll and a gallon of sweet or unsweetened tea. Meal No. 2 ($209.99, 16 to 20) doubles the sides, pudding, rolls and tea and offers a 16-pound smoked turkey and a 16-pound smoked ham. Orders require a $50 deposit and can be made by email, phone or in person.
click to enlarge Traveler's Table gives Thanksgiving some international flavors. - PHOTO BY TRAVELER'S TABLE
Traveler's Table gives Thanksgiving some international flavors.
Photo by Traveler's Table
Traveler's Table, 520 Westheimer, is offering Thanksgiving to-go with a global twist. There's Island-Spiced Roasted Turkey Breast ($50 for three pounds) and Island-Spiced Roasted Turkey Legs are $12 each. Customers can also add flavor bombs like Madeira Island Gravy and Turkish Fig& Cranberry Chutney. Side choices bounce from country to country with options such as Peruvian Purple & Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes, Cardamom & Rum Candied Sweet Potatoes, Curried Green Bean & Rice Casserole, Tahitian Taro & Coconut Stuffing and Brazilian Pao de Queijo. Dessert offerings include Moroccan Pumpkin Pie and Caribbean-Spiced Honey Chess Pie. There are also a couple of cocktails available to-go as well as wines by the bottle.

Orders should be placed by 2 p.m. November 22 with pick-up Wednesday November 23 or Thursday November 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
click to enlarge Feast like royalty at Turner's. - PHOTO BY JENN DUNCAN
Feast like royalty at Turner's.
Photo by Jenn Duncan
Turner's,1800 Post Oak Boulevard, is pulling out all the stops with a lavish dining experience curated by executive chef Robert Del Grande and chef de cuisine, Jose Valencia. There are two seatings at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Guests can expect old-world, white-glove service in the posh and elegant dining space, beginning with a complimentary glass of champagne or a Kir Royale. Gourmet appetizers will be brought out to the table for you and your guests to share, followed by even more decadent hors d'oeuvres, then a three-course menu with six unlimited traditional sides. There will be an assortment of desserts and an artisanal cheese service to end the feast. There will also be live piano music from the baby grand adding to the ambiance. The experience is $250 per person, excluding tax, gratuity and alcoholic beverages.

Reservations are required and may be made at OpenTable or 713-804-1212. A credit card is required for reserving.
click to enlarge Chris Shepherd's team has plenty of goodies for the Thanksgiving crowd. - PHOTO BY UNDERBELLY HOSPITALITY
Chris Shepherd's team has plenty of goodies for the Thanksgiving crowd.
Photo by Underbelly Hospitality
Underbelly Hospitality, 1100 Westheimer, is offering sides, desserts and smoked turkey breast for pick-up. The deadline for ordering is November 19. Pick-up is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., November 24. There's three pounds of sliced smoked turkey breast with butter ($42) plus sides like cranberry sauce by the quart ($12) and 7 inch rounds of Pepper Jack Cornbread Dressing, Mushroom and Green Bean Casserole, Chili Tater Tot Casserole and Sweet Potato Gratin for $27. Rum Sausage is $22 for one quart and gravy is $25.

Underbelly Hospitality's pastry director Victoria Dearmond and her crew have scrumptious desserts to wow the Thanksgiving table including Vinegar Pie, Pecan Pie, Apple Crumb Pie and Pumpkin Cheesecake for $32 each. Yeast rolls are $15 for 8.

Urban Eats, 3414 Washington, has Thanksgiving Bundles that will feed 2 or more people, depending on how hungry you are. Customers can pick one entree, two sides and one dessert. Garden greens and monkey bread are included. The bundle is $65 and orders are due by noon, November 20. Pick up will be after 2 p.m. November 23 or before 3 p.m. November 24.

Sides can be ordered separately and there are dishes like Bacon & Onion-Braised Brussels, Skillet-Seared Cauliflower, 3 Pig Truffled Mac & Cheese and Pork Belly & Collard Green Smashed Potatoes. Dessert choices include Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie ($29), Pecan Praline Bread Pudding ($19) and Pumpkin Chess Pie ($26).

Verna Mae's, 16010 West Road, has an expansive catering and holiday menu for Thanksgiving and the rest of the upcoming holidays. Whole turkeys can be ordered baked ($45) or fried ($58) and average between 12 and 14 pounds. It also offers baked or fried spiral sliced hams. Sides can be ordered by quarter ($15) and half ($30) pans and include options like green bean casserole, baked macaroni and cheese, dirty rice, mashed potatoes and cornbread dressing. There's also garlic bread, fried pistolettes and desserts such as bread pudding and homemade fruit cobblers. Orders must be placed by November 21 at 832-674-4976.
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Lorretta Ruggiero is a Houston Press freelance writer based in Cypress, Texas. She loves entertaining her family and friends with her food and sparkling wit. She is married to Classic Rock Bob and they have two exceptionally smart-aleck children.