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 21 of New Jersey's best spots to enjoy a holiday feast. Call ahead for a reservation, and then use your extra time to plan some fall fun with the family, or try out one of these Thanksgiving crafts. Happy Thanksgiving!
Amanda’s – Hoboken
This Hoboken favorite serves a three-course prix fixe menu featuring oven-roasted turkey (or your choice of four other options), plus an assortment of delectable appetizers and desserts. The price is $55/person. For reservations call 201-798-0101.
Celebrate Thanksgiving surrounded by gorgeous views of New York City at Liberty House.
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 three-course prix fixe menu costs $62 per adult and $30 per child. For reservations call 201-395-0300.
Madeleine’s Petit Paris – Northvale
Put a little ooh-la-la in your gobble gobble with this French twist on a traditional Thanksgiving. Order in advance (by November 14) from the takeout menu, or try the buffet $45 for adults; $25 for kids. For reservations call 201-767-0063.
Enjoy dinner by the fire and views of Orange Reservoir at McLoone's Boathouse in West Orange.
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: $39.95 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 at this popular bar and grill known for its New American menu and extensive craft beer selection. The buffet (11 a.m.-6 p.m.) includes turkey, ham, salmon, plus both vegan and vegetarian options. $29.95 for adults; $15 for kids 5-12. For reservations call 973-891-1776.
Pantagis Renaissance – Scotch Plains
You won't go hungry at this extensive Thanksgiving buffet, featuring a carving station, seafood, a huge selection of hot dishes and sides, plus a Viennese pastry table. Reservations are required for seatings at noon, 2pm and 4pm. (larger parties of eight or more at 12:30pm, 2:30pm, and 4:30pm), and the meal costs $45 for adults, $22.50 for kids 10 and under, and free for 5 and under. A la carte dining is also available. For reservations call 908-322-7726.
Perona Farms – Andover
Dine on Thanksgiving favorites amid beautiful fall scenery at Perona Farms. The buffet includes carving stations with turkey; sides such as stuffing and potatoes; salads, and desserts. Diners pay $49.95 per adult and $18.95 for children under 12. Takeout family-style meals are available as well. For reservations call 973-729-6161.
Summit House – Summit
Want some options beyond the typical bird? Check out this Summit spot that focuses on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Its three-course prix fixe Thanksgiving Day menu features four choices per course, with main course options including pork loin, salmon, and steak (plus turkey for the traditionalists). Family-style sides include mashed potatoes, spelt-grain sourdough stuffing, roasted fall veggies, cranberry sauce, and gravy. Dinner will be served from noon–5pm and is $85 per adult and $25 per child. For reservations call 908-273-6000.
The Bernards Inn – Bernardsville
The elegant Bernards Inn offers a Grand Buffet, 11:30am to 5:30pm, featuring organic Griggstown turkey with all the trimmings as well as beef, seafood and pasta selections. $69 for adults, $35 for children 6–12, and $15 for children 2– 5. The Inn also has a three-course prix fixe menu (noon to 6pm) that includes chef selections from the fall menu plus organic Griggstown turkey. $79 for adults $35 for children 12 years and under. For reservations call 908-766-0002.
Cranbury Inn Restaurant – Cranbury
The Cranbury Inn offers a sit-down dinner that includes homemade soup, salad , an entrée selection with the accompanying vegetable and potato du jour, a dessert selection, and beverages. $37–$46 for adults; $20 for kids 5-10; $15 for kids 3-4; free for kids under 3.
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Gladstone Tavern serves up a family-style meal in a cozy setting.
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 mashed potatoes and kale gratin. $48 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, with seatings at noon, 2pm, and 4pm. $40 for adults; $19 for kids 3–12; free for kids under 3. For reservations call 609-688-2600.
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. $59 for adults; $24 for kids 4–11. For reservations call 908-696-2335.
Rat's Restaurant – Hamilton
The charming restaurant at Grounds for Sculpture, named for a character in The Wind and the Willows, serves a traditional Thanksgiving feast prepared with ingredients from regional growers and farms. Enjoy an appetizer buffet, and then select an entree (turkey, prime rib, or salmon) for your seated meal. Don't forget to save room for the dessert buffet! $59 for adults; $24 for kids 5-11.For reservations call 609-584-7800.
Dine on a traditional Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings at Salt Creek Grille.
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–7pm. $35 for adults; $14 for kids 12 and under. Make reservations online or call 732-933-9272.
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!
Ye Olde Centerton Inn – Pittsgrove
This steak and seafood restaurant has been around a while—since 1706, to be exact. The historic inn and restaurant continues its Thanksgiving tradition by serving dinner from 1–7pm. 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. For reservations call 856-358-3201.
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 11:30am–4:30pm only. $29 for adults; $11.95 for kids under 12. For reservations, call 732-872-1245.
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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. Enjoy a three-course prix fixe menu with entree options like roasted leg of venison, pan-roasted golden tilefish, filled NY strip steak, day boat scallops, and, of course, turkey. Adults $65, children $35. 609-884-9090
Rooney's Thanksgiving dinner includes a raw bar and lobster mac and cheese.
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 three different ways. Hours are noon–7pm. For reservations call 732-870-1200.
Tim McLoone's Supper Club – Asbury Park
If you're looking for Thanksgiving fare with a sophisticated yet family-friendly flare, bring the crew to this upscale supper club by the shore. Diners can choose from a wide variety of carving stations and chafing dishes, including turkey and desserts. The buffet (open 11am–7pm) is $37.95 for adults and $14.95 for children. For reservations call 732-774-1155.
Originally published 2012; updated October 2018.
Top photo via Bigstock. All other photos courtesy of the restaurants.