Editor’s Note: Feeling like a broken record here, but as of press time some restaurants were still planning dine-in options. Please consider a back-up plan or inquire on takeout options should restaurants be forced to stop in-person service.
Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends and feasting—not freaking out about meal planning or burnt birds. Skip the hassle of time-consuming food prep by treating yourself and your loved ones to a Thanksgiving dinner to-go, have Thanksgiving dinner catered or do one better, and dine out. From smoked turkeys to pumpkin pies to all the traditional fixins’, Chicago’s best chefs have you covered. You only need to decide, dine at your place or theirs?
GROCERY STORES TO THE RESCUE
Mariano’s offers a no-fuss Turkey Day with all the sweet and savory trimmings you crave. Plan your meal around the fresh-baked Butterball whole turkey then add the sides. Green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes with optional butter streusel topping, sage dressing, turkey gravy, cranberry orange relish—it's hard to choose! Mariano’s requires shoppers to schedule a pick-up date when placing their order, and requests 72 hours advance notice.
Locations throughout Chicagoland; Online: marianos.com
RESTAURANTS TO PUT ON YOUR THANKSGIVING RADAR
What could be better than feasting riverside for Thanksgiving? River Roast will be serving up a spectacular Thanksgiving dinner featuring herb brined & roasted turkey, roasted carrots & dirt, sweet potato mash, stuffing with house sausage, apples & parsnips, and more! Finish it off with carrot cake or pumpkin pie.
If you'd rather prepare dinner at home, they can prep a local free-range turkey and a selection of seasonal sides and desserts (as well as cocktail kits!).
315 N. LaSalle St., River North; Online: riverroastchicago.com
315 N. LaSalle St., River North; Online: riverroastchicago.com
Frontier, a hot Wicker Park restaurant specializing in game, oysters and tap brews brings the bounty to your home this holiday with their Thanksgiving-to-go package. Frontier is closed on Thanksgiving Day but Executive Chef Brian Jupiter will offer guests the option of ordering a whole smoked Amish turkey to-go. The antibiotic- and hormone-free turkeys are offered cooked and cooled. Available sides include five-cheese mac & cheese, traditional mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing and string beans. Orders must be placed by Fri., Nov. 20, with pick up on Thanksgiving from 9 a.m.-noon.
1072 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wicker Park; Online: thefrontierchicago.com
Prairie Grass Cafe
Prairie Grass is taking all the thinking out of Thanksgiving dinner with a preset family-style meal, with wine pairings if you'd like, available for pickup on Thanksgiving Day. Orders must be placed by November 19, but beware, they may sell out!
601 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook; Online: prairiegrasscafe.com
The Smoke Daddy
Whole turkeys at this Wicker Park BBQ bastion are slow-smoked until heady and crisp; opt for Southern-style pulled turkey if you prefer your birds on the tender side. And since families can’t exist on smoked turkeys alone, the restaurant has housemade cornbread stuffing, greenbean casserole, mac & cheese, mashed potatoes and turkey gravy at the ready, available by the quart. Orders are being taken through Nov. 20 for pickup on Nov. 24 & 25.
1804 W. Division St., Wicker Park; Online: thesmokedaddy.com
Thanksgiving is finger-licking good when you're greeted with a fire-grilled turkey feast, and Weber Grill has flavor-filled party platters featuring all your fave fixins. We’re talking about grill-roasted smoked turkey, cornbread with mollasses butter, whipped sweet potatoes, garlic mashed potatoes, sausage stuffing and classic pumpkin pie. Orders must be placed by Nov. 20 before 5 p.m.
And, if you want Weber Grill to do all the heavy lifting, the restaurants plan to be open and are accepting reservations.
Locations in Chicago, Lombard & Schaumburg; Online: webergrillrestaurant.com
Enjoy a family-style Thanksgiving dinner featuring roasted turkey, glazed salmon, beef tenderloin and all the traditional side dishes. Gluten-free items will also be available. If you’re entertaining family and friends at home, Wildfire is also offering a Thanksgiving Party Platter Menu of all your favorites for carryout.
Locations in Chicago, Oak Brook, Lincolnshire, Schaumburg and Glenview; Online: wildfirerestaurant.com
It doesn’t get any realer on Thanksgiving than insatiable cravings for roasted Amish turkey, stuffing with apples, cranberries & sage, green bean and mushroom casserole with brioche and roasted garlic mashed potatoes. There are also less commonplace items like New Orleans-style andouille-studded stuffing, cranberry-pear-orange relish and vegetable & mushroom pot pie. All these and more are on deck for Thanksgiving delivery orders, available a la carte on Real Kitchen's website.
1433 W. Montrose Ave., Ravenswood; Online: montrose.realkitchenchicago.com
RPM Steak‘s special Thanksgiving Feast features Slagel Family Farm Turkey as well as some of RPM’s signature dishes such as aged parmesan risotto, garlic whipped potatoes and other traditional holiday sides. The package is available for pickup Thanksgiving Day, noon-7:30 p.m, or you can dine-in from noon-8 p.m.
66 W. Kinzie St., River North; Online: rpmrestaurants.com
Allgauer's on the Riverfront
This North Shore family favorite of nearly 40 years is encouraging families to spend less time in the kitchen this Thanksgiving while they handle the food prep. They're taking orders until Nov. 24 for Thanksgiving to-go pickup on Thanksgiving Day, between 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The meal includes roasted turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, glazed sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce and apple and pumpkin pies.
2855 Milwaukee Ave., Northbrook; Online: allgauers-on-the-riverfront.business.site
Tortoise Supper Club
Have turkey or hand-carved prime rib, and save room for the iced oysters and decadent pumpkin pie, at Tortoise Supper Club's Thanksgiving Dinner Forget the stress of clean-up and enjoy a cozy holiday with family and friends.
350 N. State St., River North; Online: tortoisesupperclub.com
MEAL DELIVERY RIGHT TO YOUR HOME
In the spirit of their mission to make fresh, organic food readily available to everyone while supporting local farms, Fresh Picks is offering a Thanksgiving option. For those who would like to serve a locally grown feast, Fresh Picks features locally grown produce commonly found in holiday recipes. It's a great way to support local businesses, with the added benefit of skipping the grocery store lines. Plus, turkeys will additionally be available to order through two different Fresh Picks farms: Gunthorp Farms in LaGrange and All Grass Farms in Dundee Township (already sold out!). Orders can be placed now!
With limited time to prep or limited space in the kitchen to make your feast, Home Chef, one of the nation's top meal delivery services, will help make Thanksgiving easier, tastier and fast. Their Thanksgiving selection of side dishes includes loaded mashed potatoes, white cheddar and sage biscuits, pecan, cranberry and sage dressing and more!
— Maria Chambers & Amy Bizzarri
Featured photo: courtesy of Frontier