Thanksgiving has always meant “home-cooked meal” to me…until this year, when it turns out virtually every meal for the last eight months has been cooked at home, and I am more than ready to cede control. I love my family, and I love to cook, but I am not just a little burnt out — and I’m confident I’m not the only one!
Luckily, there is a host of local restaurants that can’t wait to come to the rescue this year, providing the roast turkey and all its trimmings— everything from mushroom soup to pumpkin pie. What better time to take advantage of the plethora of culinary talent in our area? And win-win, it can be a boon for your favorite restaurant as well in these trying times.
Here are some of our favorites:
Not married to turkey, and looking for a Mediterranean twist on the traditional meal? Chef CJ Jacobson is offering Pumpkin Hummus, with House-Made Pita Bread, Village Salad, Truffled Baked Orzo, Grilled Chicken Kebab, Beef Tenderloin Kebab, Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Green Beans with Almonds & Mushroom Aioli, and Crème Brûlée Pie.
Price: Aba’s Thanksgiving, $48.95 per person
Order Deadline: Monday, 11/23
Pick-up Date: Tuesday, 11/24 and Wednesday, 11/25 from 11 am – 4 pm
Pick-Up Location: Aba, 302 N. Green St., Chicago
This Logan Square favorite always brings the yummy, and since Chef Joe Frillman’s brother is a local farmer, you know the produce is always exemplary. The big dinner includes Roast Turkey Breast and Confit Leg/Thigh, Candied Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallow, Green Bean Casserole, Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, Brussels Sprouts with Grapes and Bacon Vinaigrette, Sage and Maple Sausage Stuffing, and your choice of Erika Chan’s Apple, Pumpkin, or Pecan Pies.
Price: Take-Home Thanksgiving Meal for 4, $240; Thanksgiving Kit for 4, $180
Order Deadline: Thursday, 11/19
Pick-up Dates: Monday, 11/23 – Wednesday, 11/25, 10 am – 3 pm; Thanksgiving Day 9 am – noon.
Pick-Up Location: Daisies, 2523 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
Chef Danny Grant’s casual Italian outpost (your choice of River North or Bucktown location) takes full advantage of the wood-fired oven for their feast, including Fire-Roasted Focaccia with Ricotta, Truffle and Honey, Little Gem Salad, Spicy Meatballs, Fire-Roasted Turkey Breast with Brown Butter Gravy, Whpped and Buttered Potato, Bolognese Stuffing, Cacio e Pepe Mac & Cheese, Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potato & Autumn Squash with Maple and Sage, and Pumpkin Cake with Pecan Glaze and Spiced cream cheese for a sweet ending. Bonus: A bottle of red, rosé or white wine is also included.
Price: Italian-Accented Thanksgiving Meal for four, $135
Order Deadline: no cutoff date
Pick-up Date: Thursday, 11/26 from 10 am – 1 pm
Pick-Up Location: Bucktown: 1840 W. North Ave., River North: 700 N. Clark St.
James Beard Award-Winning chef Debbie Gold is all about the Midwestern Thanksgiving. Her family dinner include a 12-15 pound Roasted and Brined Turkey, pre-sliced with gravy, Classic Thanksgiving Dressing with lots of sage and thyme, Honey-Buttered Sweet Potato with Sesame Seed, Fried Onion-Topped Green Bean Casserole, Orange Cranberry Sauce, and either Pumpkin or Chocolate Pecan Pie with Sweetened Whipped Cream.
Price: Family Meal $350, serves 8
Order Deadline: Sunday, 11/22 at 5 pm
Pick-up Date: Wednesday, 11/23 from 3 – 8 pm, or Thursday, 11/26 from 10 am – 2 pm
Pick-Up Location: Found, 1631 Chicago Ave., Evanston
Two options from this Avondale hotspot: Honey Butter’s Take and Bake Thanksgiving is a scrumptious option for those questioning turkey as a main dish. Why not Fried Chicken with Corn Muffins and Honey Butter, Pimento Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Garlic Bread Crumbs, Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallow Fluff and Balsamic, or Smashed Potatoes with Rosemary Gravy? They’ve partnered with Bang! Bang! Pie and Biscuit’s Honey Pie for dessert.
Sunday Dinner Club’s holiday offering is more along the lines of a seasonal, contemporary take on the traditional Thanksgiving meal, with Garlic Confit Turkey with Lemon Rosemary Gravy, Chive Butter Mashed Potatoes, Wild Mushroom & Cavolo Nero Sourdough Bread Stuffing, Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Apple Cider, Cranberry Orange Sauce, and a Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake with Pumpkin Seed Brittle. Only 100 meals will be available, so make that call soon.
Price: HBFC varies by order; Sunday Dinner Club Thanksgiving Dinner is $42.50 per person.
Order Deadline: HBFC: Friday, 11/20; SDC: Sunday, 11/22 or until gone
Pick-up Date: HBFC Tuesday, 11/24 and Wednesday, 11/25 from 1 – 8 pm; SDC Wednesday, 11/25 from 5 – 7 pm
Pick-Up Location: HBFC, 3361 N. Elston, Chicago
Choose your own Thanksgiving culinary adventure at this Lincolnwood stalwart. Oven Roasted Turkey Breast and Gravy can be accompanied by their famous Chopped Salad, Mashed or Au Gratin potatoes, House-made Stuffing, Mac & Cheese, Green Beans Almondine, Creamed Spinach, Turkey Gravy, Cranberry Sauce and more. Sweeten the deal with Pecan, Pumpkin, Key Lime and Banana Cream Pies.
Price: varies with order
Order Deadline: Friday, 11/20
Pick-up Date: Wednesday, 11/25 from 9 am – 4 pm
Pick-Up Location: L. Woods, 7110 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincolnwood
Talk about swanky! If you really want to do it up on Thanksgiving, this is the high-roller feast edition for you. We’re talking Autumn Greens Salad, Wild Black Tiger Shrimp Cocktail, Lobster Bisque with Tarragon Crème Fraîche, Pull-Apart Milk Buns, Brined Whole Slagel Farms Turkey (ready to cook at home) stuffed with herbed butter, Whipped & Buttered Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Roasted Chanterelle Mushrooms, Sausage & Apple Stuffing, Brown Butter Gravy, Cranberry Ginger Compote and Harvest Apple Pie. If money (and stomach capacity) are no object, opt for the $200 “IDGAF” option with caviar, king crab, filet mignon with truffle jus, and brie en crôute.
Price: $295 for 4-6 people, $495 for 7-9 people, $715 for 10-12 people
Order Deadline: no cutoff date
Pick-up Date: Tuesday, 11/24 and Wednesday, 11/25 from 9 am – 1 pm, or Thursday, 11/26 from 9 am – noon
Pick-Up Location: Maple & Ash, 8 W. Maple St., Chicago
This Northbrook bistro, helmed by chefs George Bumbaris and Sarah Stegner, has been in the forefront of the farm-to-table movement from its beginning. They work closely with local farmers to showcase seasonal produce, meats, and dairy. Start this special meal with Butternut Squash Soup, followed by Organic Mixed Greens with Pumpkin Seeds, Parmesan, and Pomegranate. Next, the centerpiece: Oven Roasted Turkey with Mashed Potatoes, Homemade Gravy, Apple-Chestnut Stuffing, Green Beans, Sweet Potato and Squash Casserole with Homemade Marshmallow topping, and Cranberry Sauce. For dessert, opt for Pecan Pie, Mom’s Pumpkin Pie, or a show-stopping Double Chocolate Cake. An a la carte Family-Style Dinner is also available to mix or match.
Price: Thanksgiving Dinner Package for 2, $140
Order Deadline: Thursday, 11/19 or until sold out
Pick-up Date: Thursday, 11/26 from 2:30 – 4:30 pm
Pick-Up Location: Prairie Grass Café, 601 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook
If you’re looking for a locavore Thanksgiving, this meal will push all the right buttons. Choose from pasture-raised turkey or ham (bold move!), Sausage Stuffing, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chile-Citrus Glaze, Corn Pudding, Sweet Potatoes with Spiced honey and Pecans, Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, and Pumpkin, Chocolate Cream or Dutch Apple Pie.
Price: varies with order
Order Deadline: none listed, so get your order in ASAP
Pick-up Dates: Tuesday, 11/24 or Wednesday, 11/25 from 10 am -6 pm
Pick-Up Location: PQM, 825 Fulton Market, Chicago
This is their first time ever offering the Thanksgiving meal, and aren’t we lucky that we can order a Michelin-starred meal for the big day? Chef Andrew Zimmerman food is always thoughtful and beautifully executed. Pique your appetite with Celery Root Soup with Lobster and lack Truffle Crème Fraîche, then on to an Apple Cider-Brined, Roasted Turkey Breast and Confit Turkey Leg, accompanied by Whipped Sweet Potatoes, Sage and Rye Bread Stuffing, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Smoked Bacon and Chestnuts, Turkey Gravy with Cognac and Whole Grain Mustard, and an Orange-Cranberry Compote. Will you have room for the Pumpkin Custard Tart with Spiced Nuts and Bourbon Caramel? Doubtful… but give it your best shot.
Price: Thanksgiving Dinner for 2, $160
Order Deadline: Wednesday, 11/18
Pick-up Date: Wednesday, 11/25 or Thursday, 11/2
Pick-Up Location: Sepia, 123 N. Jefferson, Chicago
There’s always something “fishy” happening at Shaw’s… even on Thanksgiving! Their four-course holiday meal starts with seafood appetizers (Shrimp Cocktail, Fresh Alaskan Cod Ceviche, Chilled Mussels, Lobster Bisque), followed by a Traditional Herb Roasted turkey Breast with Brioche Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, and Sweet Corn Casserole. Steamed Alaskan King Crab Legs with drawn butter is the third course, and dessert is a choice between Pumpkin Pie with Praline Caramel Sauce and Dutch Apple Pie.
Price: $59 per adult, $15 for kids aged 6 – 12
Order Deadline: Wednesday, 11/25
Pick-up Date: Thursday, 11/26 from noon – 6 pm
Pick-Up Location: Shaw’s Crab House, 21 E. Hubbard St., Chicago
The whole Thanksgiving kit and kaboodle is on offer, whether as a whole, or a la carte. But if you opt for the Heat & Eat Package, you’ll get Butternut Squash Soup and a Honeycrisp Apple & Goat Cheese Salad to start. The free-range heritage turkeys from Amish country are roasted and sliced (and also folded into a delicious Pot Pie) and joined by Smashed Potatoes, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Orange zest, Apple Brioche Stuffing, Cranberry-Orange Jam, Turkey Gravy and Brioche Dinner Rolls. Apple pie and Sticky Toffee Pudding end the meal on a sweet note.
Price: Feast for 2, $120; Feast for 4, $240; Feast for 8, $480
Order Deadline: none listed
Pick-up Date: Wednesday, 11/25 and Thursday, 11/26
Pick-Up Location: The Smith, 400 N. Clark St., Chicago
Heat up a customized a la carte Soul Food Thanksgiving meal courtesy of this Evanston favorite. Chef D’Andre Carter is offering Herb-Roasted or Smoked Turkey Breast, Rosemary-Braised Duck, Holiday Ham, Braised Brussels Sprouts, Candied Yams, Sautéed French Green Beans, Green Bean Casserole, Braised Collard Greens, Traditional Herb Stuffing, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Mac & Cheese, Cranberry Sauce, Sweet Potato Pie, Apple Cobbler and more!
Price: Varies with order
Order Deadline: Monday, 11/23
Pick-up Date: Tuesday, 11/24 and Wednesday, 11/25 from 1 – 6 pm
Pick-Up Location: Soul & Smoke, 1601 Payne St., Suite C, Evanson
This River North contemporary Latin-leaning Indian is ready to spice up your Thanksgiving meal! Namely, Smoked Fenugreek and Black Cardamom Spiced Roast Turkey Breast, Cranberry Spinach Salad with Burnt Orange Dressing, Garlic-Cilantro Quinoa and Naan Crisps Stuffing, Chipotle-Corn-Curry Soup, Cumin Cauliflower (or Chorizo) Empanada, Ginger-Cranberry-Jalapeño Chutney, Saffron Star Anise Tres Leches, Clove-Ginger-Pumpkin Mousse and Spiced Churro Mega Donut. Order some of their innovative add-on cocktails for the complete spice experience.
Price: Herb & Spice Thanksgiving to Go, $85 for 2, $160 for 4, $240 for 6.
Order Deadline: Sunday, 11/2
Pick-up Date: Wednesday, 11/25 from 3 – 8 pm or Thursday, 11/25 from 10 am – noon
Pick-Up Location: Vermilion, 10 W. Hubbard St., Chicago
Chef Erick Williams’ award-winning Southern comfort food is just what the doctor ordered for your holiday. His T Feast includes a whole Brined and Roasted Turkey, Collard Greens, Giblet Gravy, Candied yams, Cranberry Sauce, Mashed Potatoes, and a truly decadent Pecan Pie. You’ll want to add a side of Mac & Cheese as well, because his is simply the best.
Price: $189 for 4-6 people, $79 for “Just the Bird”
Order Deadline: Sunday 11/22
Pick-up Date: Wednesday, 11/25, 4 – 9 pm
Pick-Up Location: Virtue, 1462 E. 53rd St., Chicago
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Julie Chernoff, Better’s dining editor since its inception in 2007, graduated from Yale University with a degree in English — which she speaks fluently — and added a professional chef’s degree from the California Culinary Academy. She has worked for Boz Scaggs, Rick Bayless, and Wolfgang Puck (not all at the same time); and counts Northlight Theatre and Les Dames d’Escoffier International as two of her favorite nonprofits. She currently serves on the national board of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, an advocacy group addressing hunger issues in the U.S. and Israel for the nearly 46 million people — veterans, children, seniors, tribal nations, and more — who go to bed hungry every night.