Not feeling up to hosting Thanksgiving this year? Here's something to be thankful for: There are plenty of restaurants open throughout the state on Thanksgiving Day. Having your holiday out means that you can sit back and enjoy the party – and you won't have to wash a single dish. We've chosen 16 of New Jersey's best spots to enjoy a holiday feast. You can use some of your extra time to plan a fun outing with the family, or try out one of these Thanksgiving crafts.
Liberty House – Jersey City
Thanksgiving got you in a New York state of mind? You can enjoy panoramic views of the Big Apple while you dine at Liberty House, located right on the Jersey City waterfront. The restaurant will serve dinner from 1–6 p.m. $58 for adults; $28 for children. For reservations call 201-395-0300.
Amanda’s – Hoboken
This Hoboken favorite is serving a three-course prix fixe menu from 1–7 p.m. Offerings include a traditional turkey dinner, prime rib with smashed marble potatoes, pumpkin soup with mushroom chips, and nutella-stuffed beignets (yes, please!). $55 per person. For reservations call 201-798-0101.
Madeleine’s Petit Paris – Northvale
Put a little ooh-la-la in your gobble gobble with this French twist on a traditional Thanksgiving. Try the buffet, or go a la carte with special holiday items. $42.50 for adults; $27.50 for kids. For reservations call 201-767-0063.
McLoone's Boathouse – West Orange
Celebrate Turkey Day in this lodge-like restaurant that overlooks the picturesque Orange Reservoir. Sample dishes from the buffet, or order a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Buffet: $36.95 for adults; $14.95 for kids ages 3-11. Turkey dinner: $26.95. For reservations call 826-252-7108.
Morris Tap & Grill – Randolph
Enjoy a family-style feast from noon – 6 p.m. at this popular bar and grill known for its New American menu and extensive craft beer selection. $34 for adults; $15 for children under 12. For reservations call 973-891-1776.
Salt Creek Grille – Rumson
This local fave will serve up an all-you-can-eat traditional roast turkey dinner and other select holiday dishes for the big day. The dinner will be served from noon – 7 p.m. $35 for adults; $14 for kids 12 and under. Make reservations online or call 732-933-9272.
Olde Mill Inn and Grain House Restaurant – Basking Ridge
This restaurant offers two options for Thanksgiving Day: a four-course sit-down dinner at the Grain House restaurant and a Thanksgiving Buffet in the historic Olde Mill Inn’s Washington Ballroom. Both include an all-you-can-eat dessert buffet. $58 for adults; $24 for kids 4-11. For reservations call 908-696-2335.
The Bernards Inn – Bernardsville
The elegant Bernards Inn offers a Grand Buffet and a 3-Course Prix-Fixe menu, both of which include organic turkey as well as beef, seafood, and more. For reservations call 908-766-0002.
Gladstone Tavern – Gladstone
Enjoy a family-style meal at this cozy tavern housed in a restored 19th century farmhouse. The menu features turkey, ham, and salmon, along with sides such as buttermilk whipped potato and bacon Brussels sprouts. $46 for adults; $16 for children under 10. For reservations call 908-234-9055
Nassau Inn – Princeton
Celebrate Thanksgiving at the historic Nassau Inn with a buffet in the Yankee Doodle Tap Room. $40 for adults; $19 for kids 3-12; free for kids under 3. For reservations call 609-688-2600.
Cranbury Inn Restaurant – Cranbury
The Cranbury Inn offers a sit-down dinner that includes soup, salad, entree with potato and vegetable, dessert, and beverage. $37–$45 for adults; $20 for kids 5-10; $15 for kids 3-4; free for kids under 3.
Ye Olde Centerton Inn – Pittsgrove
This steak and seafood restaurant has been around a while – 310 years, to be exact. The historic inn and restaurant continues its Thanksgiving tradition by serving dinner from 1–7 p.m. Diners can choose from the a la carte holiday menu, which includes lamb, prime rib, lobster, and lots of other delicacies from the land and sea; or opt for the traditional turkey dinner, which will be available for $25. For reservations call 856-358-3201.
Ponzio's Diner – Cherry Hill
Family-owned and extremely kid-friendly, Ponzio's is a beloved Cherry Hill fixture that's been around since the 1960s. Its Thanksgiving menu features two entrees – roast turkey ($24.99) or baked ham ($21.99) – both of which include soup or salad as well as two vegetables and dessert. Kids under 12 are $12.99. No reservations required!
Enjoy Thanksgiving at the shore at Peter Shields Inn and Restaurant in Cape May.
Peter Shields Inn and Restaurant – Cape May
For an elegant seaside holiday, try this gourmet restaurant situated in a 1907 Georgian Revival mansion. Peter Shields will offer a three-course prix fixe Thanksgiving dinner served from 2–7pm. $55 for adults; $25 for kids. For reservations, call the restaurant at 609-884-9090.
Bahrs Landing – Highlands
This Jersey Shore restaurant isn't just seafood. It serves up a traditional turkey dinner with all the favorites, including stuffing, carrots, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. You can also order off the regular full menu. Don’t forget to try the hot spiked cider or a caramel apple martini! Reservations from 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. only. $25 for adults; $10.95 for kids under 12. For reservations click here or call the restaurant at 732-872-1245.
Rooney's Oceanfront Restaurant – Long Branch
Rooney's Thanksgiving buffet menu reflects its oceanfront location, with a raw bar and lobster Mac A "Rooney" complementing more traditional fare like turkey and stuffing. Carb-loaders rejoice: the buffet includes a potato station featuring spuds served four different ways. Hours are noon – 7 p.m. $39 for adults; $17 for children ages 4-12. For reservations call 732-870-1200.
Updated October 2016
Originally published 2012
Top photo via Bigstock. All other photos courtesy of the restaurants.