Picture your ideal Thanksgiving. Are you imagining a delicious multi-course meal shared with family and friends? Or are you imagining hours of shopping, prepping, cooking, and cleaning while the TV is blaring football, and you're not spending enough time spent with people you already don't see often enough? This could be a good year to try something new. Go out for Thanksgiving dinner—have your feast and eat it, too, while enjoying conversation with family and friends. And best of all, someone else cleans up afterward.
All restaurants listed here feature children's pricing (typically under-10 or under-12); some have specifically kid-friendly dishes as well. Cost, food choices, and ambiance can vary dramatically—as is to be expected. Don't see a location or menu that suits you? Many, many restaurants are open on Thanksgiving; inquire in your area and you may be surprised (I was!). And don't forget the most important thing: make reservations! Waited until the last minute and can't find a reservation open? There's always Marie Callender's—it only takes reservations for groups of eight and up.
1. Akasha Restaurant
9543 Culver Blvd.
Culver City 90232
$80/$35 (10 and under) prix fixe menu
Akasha's largely locally sourced Thanksgiving menu features entrée choices of herb-roasted turkey, diver scallops, or a squash-based vegan dish. Starter and side choices are traditional. The pie buffet sounds fantastic and also offers vegan choices.
2. Back Bay Bistro
1131 Back Bay Dr.
Newport Beach 92660
$52/$25 (10 and under) buffet
Enjoy roast turkey and New York strip carved to order, a wide selection of traditional salads and sides, soups, and traditional (and not so traditional) desserts—all with a view of Newport Bay. There are three seatings on Thanksgiving day: 9:30am, 11:30am, and 2pm. For those who prefer to stay home but don't want to cook, call ahead by November 21 and order your Thanksgiving To Go (a prepared whole turkey and a selection of sides).
3. Anaheim White House
887 S Anaheim Blvd.
$40/$20 (12 and under) plated meal
After taking a break last year due to construction, the White House is back in action for 2018. The White House's Thanksgiving special is a very traditional turkey and sides plate. Dessert, appetizers, and drinks are not included, but the full menu is also available. If your family members not fans of turkey, there are lots of steak, seafood, and pasta options here.
1104 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica 90401
$95/$42 (8 and under) prix fixe dinner
Mélisse's Thanksgiving entrée choices are roast turkey, prime rib, bass, or portobello mushroom. Sides, starters, and desserts are traditional. Dinner runs from 3pm to 7:45pm, later than many restaurant Thanksgiving dinners.
5. 94th Aero Squadron
16320 Raymer Street
Van Nuys, CA 91406
$52.95/$24.95 (5-12) buffet
Dining among the vintage aircraft is always a novelty (we love the brunch), even if the flight paths are a bit quieter on Thanksgiving Day. The buffet (from 10:30am to 4:30pm) has everything from traditional turkey and prime rib to crab legs. There are bottomless mimosas and a Bloody Mary bar, too.
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94th Aero Squadron for a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat. Photo: Steven Damron via flickr
6. Pomona Valley Mining Company
1777 Gillette Rd.
$38/$14 (12 and under) buffet
Enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with a view! This traditional Thanksgiving buffet features roast turkey, fresh fish, and carved ham and prime rib as entrées. The buffet is open noon to 7pm for Thanksgiving.
7. Summit House Restaurant
2000 E Bastanchury Rd.
Three-course prix fixe meal, individually priced based on choice of entrée; kids' menu available
The Thanksgiving menu features entrées of roast turkey, prime rib, lamb shank, halibut, or lobster tails. Kids' entrée choices are roast turkey, prime rib, or sliders, with choice of appetizers and desserts, too. Seatings are from 11:30am-8pm. Before you call, know that the restaurant is fully booked on Thanksgiving -- and already has a waitlist of 590 people. However, people do cancel, so don't give up hope!
8. Terranea Resort
100 Terranea Way Dr.
Rancho Palos Verdes 90275
$105/$47 (5–10, 4 and under free)
With six seatings from 12:30pm to 5pm, Terranea does its Thanksgiving buffet in the Grand Ballroom, with live entertainment and champagne for toasting. Free-range turkey, prime rib, bass, and traditional soups, sides, and a variety of desserts are available at the multi-station buffet. A kids' buffet features pasta, chicken fingers, veggies, and a selection of ice cream and toppings. Four additional restaurants at the resort will also be open on Thanksgiving.
9. Ye Olde King's Head
116 Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica 90404
$48/$17 (12 and under)
Put an Olde English twist on an American holiday with a three-course meal that serves up turkey Wellington, fish and chips, roast beef short loin or traditional bangers, salmon, or a vegan meal. The restaurant is open from noon to 9pm.
10. Truxton's American Bistro
8611 Truxton Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90045
$29.65 (three-course set menu)
While Truxton's doesn't specifically have a kids' menu, the price for Thanksgiving dinner comes in lower than a lot of places for all ages, and the food at this warm, family-friendly, creative bistro has never let us down. The classic, three-course Thanksgiving turkey dinner with all the fixings is offered from 11am-5pm (with reservations) for both dine-in and take-out, at the Westchester location only. close at 5
Happy Thanksgiving, and bon appétit!
Photo via Bigstock
Originally published November 7, 2016