Eliminate the risk of a beer can turkey disaster.
Considering food and football are already sacred in Texas, it follows that Austin is bound to come through for everyone’s favorite holiday of overindulgent eating and game-watching. But plans for loafing away Thanksgiving day can often run up against that whole “make a multi-course meal for a large group of people” thing. Never fear, this collection of restaurants in the city will cover the cooking for you—most even offer a pick-up option, so you can gobble it all up in the comfort and safety of your own home (and in sweatpants). Happy feasting!
If you want to pull a fast one on your friends and relatives, there’s no better option than picking up a Take + Heat Farmhouse Feast Colleen’s Kitchen and pretending you made their classic take on the Thanksgiving meal yourself. Not only can you impress your crew with the centerpiece of a herb buttered turkey breast, but they will rave over such sides as orange cranberry sauce, cornbread stuffing, haricot verts, garlic roasted mashed potatoes, and roasted sweet potato casserole. The buttermilk biscuits are one of the restaurant’s signature dishes and a must-order. Colleen’s will even cater your order—choose from dinners serving four-to-six or two-to-three people.
Cost : The Farmhouse Feast (feeds four-six) runs $145, while the Farmhouse Dinner (feeds two-three) is $80. You can also order the Trimmings Package, which includes just the sides, for $54, as well as a dozen buttermilk biscuits ($24), a Pecan Pie ($24), and a dozen salted chocolate chip cookies ($24). Place your order online here .
Anyone who has taken on the task of making an entire Thanksgiving meal knows it requires more than just subpar kitchen skills. In other words, if your cooking repertoire starts and ends with scrambled eggs, you might want to leave this to a professional—specifically, Arlo Grey’s Executive Chef, Kristen Kish, whose culinary talent crowned her winner of “Top Chef” Season 10. This year, the restaurant will be offering an a la carte menu from 3-10 pm, featuring such highlights as confit turkey press with broccoli & brioche stuffing, herbed vinaigrette Yukon Golds, and currant jus. Close out your meal with a delicious Texas pecan-caramel tart with pumpkin ice-cream, brown butter, and cinnamon chantilly—which is guaranteed to beat anything you can make at home.
Cost : Special Thanksgiving menu items run between $14-$32. Reservations are available on OpenTable , and for larger bookings, email [email protected]
You have to love a place that understands the importance of knocking out the savory and sweet components of the Thanksgiving menu with equal gusto. South Congress Hotel is such a place—a one-stop location with a variety of restaurants, with a motorcycle shop to boot. On Thanksgiving day, Café No Sé, one of their three eateries, is open for reservations and walk-ins from 7 am-7 pm—which means early birds can grub on breakfast versions of the holiday flavors, like pumpkin pie French toast, while night owls can take in dinner selections, like turkey confit with rosemary focaccia stuffing. Additionally the hotel’s bakeshop, Mañana, is offering pre-orders for their unique treats, like curry pumpkin pie and burnt cinnamon ice cream, through November 22.
Cost : Prices run for the Café No Sé specials run between $4-$17, call (512) 942-2061 to reserve a table. Pies from Mañana run from $30-$32 and ice cream is $7. You can place an online order through November 22 for dessert pick-up.
Put a Texas spin on Thanksgiving by theming your meal around the state’s staple cuisine—barbecue. Southside Market & BBQ, which has locations in Austin, Bastrop, and Elgin, has options for pick-up that will not only fulfill any meat-lover’s dreams, but also all but guarantees the necessity for a post-meal nap. Choose from sausage dressing, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, farm fresh green beans, turkey gravy, and rolls, which you can then round out with the option of either a 12-14 pound whole smoked grade A turkey, a 4-5 pound boneless smoked turkey breast, or a 4 pound smoked pork loin half. All meats are slow smoked over Texas Post Oak and all sides are handmade because that is the Lone Star way (duh).
Cost : Depending on which meat you choose, meals can run between $55-$85 minimum. Food is available to order through November 22, 2020. You can order online for their Elgin location here , their Austin Arbor walk location here , and their Bastrop location here.
The casual atmosphere of Austin diner chain Kerbey Lane Cafe is a perfect place for anyone who is seriously committed to multiple plates. Not only can you get their Thanksgiving special, which includes oven roasted turkey with gravy, as well as such sides as cornbread stuffing and mashed potatoes, but you can take a step further by topping it with a side order of their famous queso. For those who prefer to release their gluttons spirit in private, you can grab their Thanksgiving Family Package, alongside extras like a carafe of mimosas, for pick-up instead.
Cost : The Thanksgiving Special will run you $14.95 per plate. The Thanksgiving Family Package , which feeds six, costs $89 and is available for pre-order through November 24. Place a pre-order by calling whatever Kerbey Lane location which is most convenient for you.
Go all-out suit-and-tie fancy by celebrating the day at one of Austin’s most famous landmarks, The Driskell. The hotel was founded in 1886 by a cattle baron and, with its grand staircase, brown leather seating, and walls plentiful with taxidermy, looks every bit the part. This year, they are serving their famed Thanksgiving prix-fixe meal at The Driskill Bar, an enclave of the building whose wood-paneled walls and cowhide barstool setting practically requires you to order a whiskey drink in order to fit in. You can either order the full shebang of their set menu—which includes a choice of soup or salad, followed by Turkey with sides of bacon wrapped haricot verts and gratin dauphinois, and concluding with a slice of pie—or pick and choose a la carte. More than one Old Fashioned is optional, but encouraged.
Cost: Full prix-fixe menu is $40 per person, while individual courses run between $7-$28. Seating is on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Fulfill your childhood dreams of having ice cream for dinner by picking up a Thanksgiving ice cream pie from Lick Honest Ice Creams. Started in 2011, Lick has become a favorite among Austinites with a sweet tooth—no doubt in part to their one-of-a-kind flavors, like goat cheese, thyme, and honey, which are made with locally sourced ingredients and hand-packed into pints. This year, they are offering two limited-edition, sugar-filled holiday specials. The first, Hazel’s pumpkin ice cream pie, which has a buttery crumb crust filled with ice cream made from roasted pumpkin and topped with house made caramel sauce, is a tribute to the time-honored Turkey Day flavor. Their other option, the Chocolate Chocolate, is a vegan and dairy-free treat that still retains all the decadent the name implies.
Cost : Pies are $22 + tax, and can be ordered online for pick-up through November 15th.
With the influx of new development in the city, there are few places left that could still be considered old school Austin institutions. However, Mattie’s, located in a magnificent Victorian home which has been a beacon of fine-dining since 1946, is one of the select that can claim such a title. This restaurant, formally known as Green Pastures (and still called that by many long-time locals), is a total visual knock-out—you can literally take in your dinner while spotting peacocks that make their homes among the branches of the property’s gigantic oak trees. The Southern-inspired cuisine equally packs a punch—their drool-worthy Thanksgiving menu, available for dine-in or pick-up, features such dishes as cider brined turkey breast, sweet potato casserole with maple brown sugar streusel, and gouda whipped potatoes.
Cost: Their in-house menu is served family-style and costs $68 per person, exclusive of tax, beverages, and service charges. For pick-up, you can order the Thanksgiving Curbside Menu ($220) through November 19. You can make reservations or order to-go by emailing [email protected] or calling 512-444-1888.
If the classic turkey-and-pie spread strikes you as far too boring and basic, you might want to consider Bao’d Up’s take on the standards. For those who may be unfamiliar, baos are warm, fluffy, filled-bread dumplings which originated in Chinese cuisine—be prepared for a full-scale addiction from the first bite of their pillow-soft dough. For the holiday, Bao’d Up has combined traditional Thanksgiving meal staples into an untraditional format, offering a turkey and potato mixture encased in a carrot bao bun, as well as a pumpkin pie bao for dessert. For a whole group fed up with the gravy and cranberry routine, their Special Thanks Family Pack includes six of the turkey and potato baos, plus two chicken leg quarters, and their famous Szechuan fries with spicy mayo—we wouldn’t be surprised if you never went back to the tried-and-true favorites ever again.
Cost : The Special Thanks Family Pack costs $32.99. The Thanksgiving specials are available from November 16 through December 31, and will be exclusively offered on the Bao’d Up website, mobile app, and in-person orders (i.e., not available on third-party menus).
We’ve been grieving over the loss of the delicate, homemade pasta at L’Oca d’Oro, hands-down the best Italian restaurant in Austin, which has been closed to guests since the beginning of the pandemic. That said, their subscription boxes, which can be ordered weekly or monthly, featuring meals prepared by Chef Fiore Tedesco, bottles of paired wine, and speciality pantry ingredients, have given us hope there is some light at the end of the COVID-inflicted tunnel. For Thanksgiving, Chef Tedesco is putting together a special edition of the subscription box which honors the spirit of the holiday—while the exact contents may be a surprise, it is bound to be a welcome (and undeniably tasty) one.
Cost : Subscription boxes start at $60 per week, and include three dishes that feed two to four people, as well as one or two bottles of wine and pantry ingredients. To receive the Thanksgiving box, sign up for the service online by November 22.
The only acceptable place to go downtown for a margarita, La Condesa serves up modern Mexican dishes so renowned that it earned them a James Beard nomination back in 2010. While COVID restrictions have resulted in a paired-down menu from their usual bounty, as long as their deeply satisfying Chicken en Mole remains available, we won’t complain. For Thanksgiving this year, La Condesa is blending their neo-Mexican culinary influences, with quintessential holiday dishes, in a to-go meal which is perfect for sharing with a crew of six to eight people. We’re talking confit chicken with masa-based gravy, chorizo and cornbread stuffing, sweet potato tamales, and jalapeño Brussels sprouts with bacon jam. Now all you need to do is invent a pumpkin-flavored margarita (too gross?).
Cost : La Condesa’s Thanksgiving meal kit costs $185 and is available for pre-order online through November 17.
Austin only recently acquired their very own outpost of this Chicago-based Mediterranean restaurant, but its constantly packed patio is a testament to how locals have already deemed it a choice spot. While you won’t be able to sip a cocktail in person on Thanksgiving day (as the restaurant will be closed for dine-in), they haven’t left those who crave their hummus, the perfect dip for literally anything, completely in the dust. Their Thanksgiving Feast to-go features a Pumpkin version of the aforementioned hummus, as well as truffle baked orzo and green neans with almonds and mushroom aioli, beef tenderloin kebab, Brussels sprouts, and creme brûlée pie. Since it is practically a crime to have a meal without wine in any Mediterranean country, you can add a bottle or two to your order for an additional cost. You can also choose from a meal which feeds either two, four, or six guests—depending on how willing you are to share your hummus with others.
Cost : Aba’s meal will run you $48.95 per person plus tax. Orders must be in by November 23 and can be placed either by calling 737-273-0199 or online for pick-up or, in some locations, delivery.
Is there any better part of the Thanksgiving feast than pie? Just the fact that, after eating our fill of the main courses, we still make room for one or two slices speaks volumes about the significance of the holiday’s dessert. This importance is certainly understood at the completely adorable Bakery Lorraine, an award-winning San Antonio-based pastry shop that graced Austin with its own location a few years ago. Their Dutch apple pie, made with five different apple varieties and decorated with a delicate lattice design, can evoke the warm-lit nostalgia of Grandmother’s kitchen. Also available is another Thanksgiving classic, the roasted in-house pumpkin pie, as well as a Jack Daniel’s pecan pie for those looking for more than just a sugar buzz at the end of the meal.
Cost : Pies are $26 each and all orders must be placed by November 22 at midnight. You can order online here. On Thanksgiving day, extra pies will be available at the store on a first-come-first-serve basis.
| Jake Holt
With the noticeable beauty of Hotel Ella’s white marble Greek columns and large wrap-around porch, get ready for your mom to delay the Thanksgiving meal until she gets the perfect photo for the holiday card. The outdoor vibes of this boutique hotel are somewhat misleading though—the decor inside feels contemporary, but approachable, and is accented with the artwork of Texas Modernists. This intersection of the old and new can truly be felt at the hotel’s restaurant, Goodall’s, which is offering throwback Thanksgiving dishes in the very current requirements of social distancing. Their offerings, which are also available for pick-up, include not only the standard roasted turkey, but the favorite protein of Texas—brisket. Sides, such as bock beer braised collard greens and whipped yams with pomegranate gastrique, are further nods to the charm of the past mixed with the innovation of the future. After a round or two of their green tea mojitos, you won’t even mind the family photo shoot.
Cost : Reservations for dine-in can be made online and cost $75 per person. Takeaway meal kits can be ordered online through November 16 and differ in cost depending on how many people they feed—$150 for two, $300 for four, and $450 for six.
North Lamar and South First
The outside of Fresa’s, which is marked with a huge neon sign of a chicken, should be an obvious clue that this is a place that knows how to cook a bird. However, considering the star of Thanksgiving is undoubtedly turkey, Fresa’s Thanksgiving offerings highlight their ability to apply their techniques to a protein of a different feather. They give you the selection of either ordering the full monty of a whole roasted turkey to serve a large group, or a roasted turkey breast meal for a more intimate affair. Both options come with turkey pan gravy, citrus-serrano cranberry sauce, chorizo stuffing, and additional pan sides of your choosing. Considering their excellent use of seasoning, you should probably run, not trot (get it?), to insure you get a second helping.
Cost : The Signature Roasted Turkey Meal, which serves eight to 10 people, costs $285. The Roasted Turkey Breast Meal, which serves four to six, runs $185. Individual sides are available in half pan or full pan sizes and run from $8-$32, while dessert selections can be ordered for an additional $10-$30. Orders must be placed, either online or by calling 512-915-0362, by November 23.