Dining Out on Turkey Day: Where to Eat This Thanksgiving

Let's face it, sometimes a "home-cooked" meal in a restaurant is better than anything we can whip up at home. Thanksgiving dinner is one of the most difficult, time-consuming and stressful meals to make if you don't normally cook meals at home.

But, there's one thing to be thankful for this year, and that is you can have a wonderful and delicious home-cooked meal without the stress and anxiety of burning the turkey, messing up the gravy or serving cold food that should be hot. Here's a running list of places to dine in Houston on Thanksgiving Day. You can't go wrong with a home-cooked meal by a professional on Thanksgiving.

Open on Thanksgiving Day:

024 Grille 945 Gessner, 281-501-4300

At just $35 per person, 024 Grille at the Westin Houston offers a Thanksgiving Day menu of one first course, one entrée with three sides and one dessert. The classic Boston bibb lettuce and heirloom tomato salad with bacon and smoked blue cheese sounds like a winner in my book. Try something other than turkey and choose their prime rib or Cuban-mojo roasted pork leg with the traditional green bean casserole, or adventurous truffle mac and cheese. It'll be hard to choose just one dessert when you have choices like pumpkin crème brulee or a simple pecan pie with vanilla ice cream.

Bistro Alex 800 Sorella Court, 713-827-3545

The Brennan's family restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner this Thanksgiving Day. Sample their holiday-related specials for lunch and dinner.

Bistro Provence 13616 Memorial between Wilcrest and Kirkwood, 713-827-8008

You don't have to eat turkey at Bistro Provence for Thanksgiving dinner. Try their roast beef or Novia Scotia grilled salmon, served with delicious French sides like cauliflower puree or maple roasted potatoes. Choose from a petit chocolate pot de crème or pumpkin bread pudding after this three-course French dinner.

benjy's on Washington 5922 Washington Avenue, 713-868-1131

This modern-style restaurant offers a three-course dinner from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for $38 per person. Just like their daily menus, benjy's offers bold ingredients to change each item from a typical Thanksgiving dish into a delicious and enticing plate of food. Choose from their chilled roasted beef salad with truffled potato, arugula and a mustrard vinaigrette, or their roasted pork rack with a maple cranberry compote. Every main entrée comes with green bean casserole, challah dressing and mashed potatoes. Complete this delicious meal with Mom's Chocolate Cake and you'll be sleeping like a baby for the rest of the day.

Boston Market All locations

Although every day is like Thanksgiving at Boston Market, they are one of the only chain restaurants open on turkey day. You can dine in or take your feast to go. Choose from a variety of meal packages to help you have the best Thanksgiving dinner. This year, Boston Market offers sweet potato cheesecake, spinach-stuffed Portobello mushrooms and mashed potatoes five ways along with their everyday menu.

Branch Water Tavern 510 Shepherd Drive, 713-863-7777

If you're not into the sit down and order style of service, bring your family to Branch Water Tavern for a buffet-style Thanksgiving dinner from 11 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. It's only $40 per person and kids under 12 get in for half price. Choices include pork roast, roast turkey, oyster stuffing, orange glazed carrots, sweet potato gratin, a cold buffet of salads and seafood cocktails, and a dessert buffet with bread pudding, brownies and classic pies.

Haven 2502 Algerian Way, 713-581-6101

This year at Haven you and your family can dine in (reservations required), or order by Monday, November 19, to pick up by Wednesday. If you choose to dine in, enjoy Chef Randy Evan's Modern Texas Cuisine featuring a 3-course menu of house-made turducken terrine, a variety of meats and fish paired with potatoes, sausage dressing, cornbread pudding and risotto.

Houston Texans Grille 12848 Queensbury Lane, Suite 208, 713-461-2002

For all you die hard Texans fans, visit Houston Texans Grille for tailgate grub and cheer on the Houston Texans as they play the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day. No need to worry about tryptophan making you sleepy, because there's no turkey served in this tailgate Thanksgiving Day meal.

Hugo's 1600 Westheimer @ Mandell, 713-524-7744

There's no rule against eating authentic Mexican food on Thanksgiving Day. Hugo's offers a delicious menu filled with ceviches and a variety of tamales, served with authentic accompaniments like mole cornbread and of course, guacamole. Wrap up this Mexican feast with a classic tres leches dessert or a delicious flan de queso.

L'Olivier 240 Westheimer, 713-360-6313

Have a French-style Thanksgiving dinner with the delicious offerings from L'Olivier. Choose from an array of appetizers, entrees and side dishes, including baked brie and corn soufflé. Add their apple wheat rolls or French baguette and a pumpkin roulade to complete your Thanksgiving feast. Call or email Adrienne@olivierhouston.com by Thursday, November 15 for reservations.

Line & Lariat 220 Main Street, 713-224-4266

Visit the Hotel ICON's restaurant for a pre-fixe dinner on Thanksgiving Day from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. for $27 per person ($12.99 for kids ages six to 12, free for kids under five). Executive Chef David Luna has created a menu featuring starting with roasted butternut squash soup and candied spiced pecans, followed by an arugula salad, then a roasted turkey dinner with cornbread dressing, gravy and roasted cranberry relish. Finish this meal with either pumpkin pie or a bourbon pecan pie and caramel ice cream. Reservations are required.

Mockingbird Bistro Wine Bar 1985 Welch, 713-533-0200

Dine in for a three-course menu featuring unconventional entrees like sea bass and grilled prime rib eye, all paired with delicious elegant side dishes. End your Thanksgiving dinner with their classic crème brulee or pumpkin cheesecake with huckleberry sauce. You can also order one of their four packaged meals, or build your own a la carte by Tuesday, November 22 before 2 p.m. Dining-in reservations are required.

Monarch Bistro at Hotel ZaZa 5701 Main Street, 713-527-1800

Join the Monarch Bistro for a four-course Thanksgiving Day meal for just $55 per person. From 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., you and your friends and family can sophisticatedly dine on roasted squash soup, quail with cornbread sage sausage and cherry stuffing, the classic turkey with giblet gravy or smoked duck breast with shepherd's pie, and finish with a twist on pumpkin pie: pumpkin panna cotta.

Philippe Restaurant + Lounge 1800 Post Oak Blvd., 713-439-1000

From noon to 8 p.m., French Cowboy Chef Philippe Schmit will feature his take on Thanksgiving dinner: sweet potato flan, coleslaw with horseradish, braised collard greens with bacon and almonds and chocolate pecan pie. Philippe's also offers to-go dinners including a 12-pound whole cooked turkey serving 12 to 14 people. Orders must be placed Thursday, November 15 by 5 p.m.

Quattro at Four Seasons Houston Hotel 1300 Lamar, 3rd floor, 713-276-4700

Whether you prefer brunch or dinner, Quattro at the Four Seasons has you covered. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., enjoy their brunch buffet for $79 per person, but kids under five eat free. Starting at 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m., you and your family can dine in for Thanksgiving dinner featuring an antipasti buffet of various cold salads, cheeses and fruits, followed by plated entrees and an assortment of desserts, all for $58 per person. Reservations are required.

Roost 1972 Fairview, 713-523-7667

Roost will be open for Thanksgiving Dinner at 4 p.m. serving its latest regular local / seasonal menu, plus a few special dishes just for Thanksgiving: seared allspice duck breast with roasted beet and rye bread panzanella; honey-brined turkey breast with sweet potato purée, braised greens, jalapeño cornbread and cranberry chutney; and an appetizer of country fried local quail, butter biscuit, cream gravy and sweet pickled jalapeños. Reservations are required, and parties of six or more are subject to a credit card deposit.

Head to the next page to see which restaurants are offering holiday meals to take home.

Order your Thanksgiving dinner to-go:

Backstreet Café 1103 South Shepherd Dr., 713-521-2239

Whether you want to dine in or take your meal to go, Baskstreet Café has got your back with a delicious menu of soups, sides and desserts. This year's menu features a wide range of side dishes featuring brioche bread pudding, cornbread and andoille sausage dressing, butternut squash puree and wine-poached pears stuffed with blue cheese and dried fruit. Stick with the classic apple or pumpkin pie, or venture out of the Thanksgiving comfort zone and try their pumpkin cheesecake with pumpkin seed brittle. Order by Monday, November 19 to pick up by Wednesday.

Central Market 3815 Westheimer, 713-386-1700

Let Central Market do all the work for you this Thanksgiving. Pick up one of their wonderful dishes and desserts including hickory-smoked ham or herb-roasted rib eye with all the fixings, and bourbon pecan and pumpkin cream cheese pies. Pair any of these meals with wine and beer.

Haven 2502 Algerian Way, 713-581-6101

You can dine at Haven on Thanksgiving Day, but you can also order your meal ahead of time and take it home. If you choose the latter, you can pick from meals that serve six to eight or 12 to 16 people,depending on the size of each dish. Bring home a vegetarian gumbo or their wild boar chili (obviously not vegetarian), with jalapeno sausage dressing and cornbread pudding, all topped with one of their many gravies, chutneys or dressings. Finish the meal with their goat's milk buttermilk chess-pecan pie and call it a night.

Kenny & Ziggy's 2327 Post Oak Boulevard, 713-871-8883

Place an order from Kenny and Ziggy's by November 16 and pick up your customized Thanksgiving Dinner on Wednesday. Choose from their a la carte menu featuring a whole roasted turkey, Jeanne's carrot soufflé and whipped sweet potatoes with pecans. Kenny and Ziggy's also offers meal packages for 10 to 12 people including all the regular fixings and your choice of two sides.

Luby's All locations, 877-465-8297

Luby's always delivers when it comes to serving a smorgasbord of delicious comfort foods. Bring your family and friends a pre-made to-go feast from Luby's filled with prime rib, roasted turkey or a deep fried turkey and all the typical Thanksgiving sides: cornbread dressing, candied yams, cranberry sauce and pecan pie. Order 48 hours in advance to secure your Thanksgiving meal.

Nino's, Vincent's and Grappino 2817 West Dallas, 713-522-5120

Vincent and Mary Mandola and their two daughters always close the popular Nino's, Vincent's and Grappino's restaurant trio on Thanksgiving Day to host their own private family feast, but fans of the restaurants can enjoy the same Thanksgiving Italian-Style in their own homes. The restaurants have put together a menu of foods to order in advance and take home for Turkey Day. Feeding anywhere from six to 20 people, the whole meal can be ready to just pick up at the restaurants and then heat up following the provided instructions. The menu includes all the traditional items prepared with the restaurants' flair. There are also a number of Mandola family Italian favorites like lasagna, spit-roasted chicken, beef and pork tenderloin, homemade bread and garlic mashed potatoes. All orders must be made at least 48 hours in advance and picked up no later than November 21. Credit card confirmation is required upon ordering.

Ousie's Table 3939 San Felipe Street, 713-528-2264

If you're planning on having a lot of friends and family over for Thanksgiving, order a feast to go from Ousie's Table. Choose from a selection of beef tenderloin, smoked salmon, roasted turkey and various dressings, potatoes and desserts to serve 15 to 20 people. Order by Thursday, November 15 to pick up the day before Thanksgiving.

Prego 2520 Amherst, 713-529-2420

Bring home an Italian Thanksgiving dinner from Prego featuring veal and beef meatball lasagna and their savory macaroni and cheese. Stick with the Italian classics and end your meal with tiramisu or Italian cream cake. If you can't live without the traditional desserts, order individual pumpkin pies paired with cinnamon whipped cream and candied pumpkin seeds.

Sparrow Bar + Cookshop 3701 Travis, 713-524-6922

Monica Pope offers a to-go Thanksgiving dinner featuring butternut squash soup, pork loin, quail, cornbread stuffing and cranberry-apple-walnut crisp. Order in a package with a soup, three sides, one protein and a dessert for $50 per person, or order a la carte to get all of your favorites. Place your order by Monday, November 19 at 5 p.m. to pick up on Wednesday, November 21.

The Capitol at St. Germain 705 Main, 713-492-2454

Take home "The Capitol Holiday Dinner" for Thanksgiving from The Capitol at St. Germain packed with turkey and gravy, cornbread stuffing, mac 'n' cheese, cranberry compote and pecan pie. It's a classic dinner to-go that your family will love. Order at least 48 hours in advance.

Tony Mandola's 1212 Waugh Drive, 713-528-3474

They're not open on Thanksgiving Day, but buy a pre-made dinner for six the day before Thanksgiving. Step out of the box a bit and try their Cajun Fried Turkey served with all the fixings. Finish your meal off with their famous Banana Key Lime Pie, or pumpkin pie if you can't have Thanksgiving without it. Mandola's also offers Grandma's Meat Lasagna if you can't eat at their restaurant without some Italian food. Place your orders by 5 p.m. on November 19.

Check back throughout the week and in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, as we'll update this post as new dining information comes in.

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