Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and for so many across the nation, that means two days of cooking, four hours of hosting, one hour of eating and three hours of cleaning. Of course in between, there’s wonderful family and friend time and oodles of culinary goodies, but still—it can be exhausting. Enter Thanksgiving option #2: Dining out. Yes, it’s a little unorthodox for those who are sticklers for tradition, but a “Thanksgiving Out” can also be a warm, unforgettable (and delicious) way to celebrate the holiday. But where to go? Well in California, there are countless options. In fact, the only stress you may face this Thanksgiving is deciding which exquisite restaurant to choose for your feast.
To make that choice a little easier, we’ve put together a list of five of California’s best Thanksgiving-friendly restaurants (in no particular order). From the gem of the Central Coast to a Wine Country favorite, we have some amazing spots ready to dazzle your Thanksgiving palate. Dine on!
The Girl & The Fig
110 West Spain Street, Sonoma
For 16 years, the rustic-French cuisine of The Girl & The Fig has been spellbinding food lovers all over wine country. The menu only features seasonal ingredients, which means their Thanksgiving dinner is brimming with farm fresh, local fare that is prepared to perfection. The special holiday menu is available between 12 pm and 8 pm and features delicacies like Butternut Squash Soup, Fig & Arugula Salad, Roasted Turkey Roulade and Pumpkin Cheesecake. The price is $57 per person ($20 for children 10 and under) for a four-course menu. Wine pairing is an additional $18 per person.
2. San Francisco
1 Market Street, San Francisco
If you want your Thanksgiving dinner with a dose of true sophistication, the award-winning One Market is the destination you’ve been dreaming about. Farm-to-table dining has been the restaurant’s foundation for 20 years and that distinction is evident in their incredible Thanksgiving feast. Make a reservation and you’ll be treated to dishes like Golden Lentil Soup, Pumpkin Risotto, Roasted Willy Bird Turkey and Sweet Potato-Pumpkin Tart. The cost is $64 per person and $29 for children aged 12 and under.
3. Los Angeles
27400 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
Is there anything better than having Thanksgiving dinner with the beautiful Pacific as your backdrop? At Geoffrey’s, that’s your reality—along with a fabulous meal, of course. Geoffrey’s Thanksgiving feast gives you mouth-watering options including Sautéed Maryland Lump Crab Cake with Cranberry Relish, Grilled Filet Mignon with Blue Cheese Potatoes, Miso Braised Tofu (for vegan Thanksgiving fans) and Pumpkin Cheesecake. The cost for the holiday meal is $56 per person and $35 for children under the age of 12.
4. San Diego
Pacifica Del Mar
1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar
One of the most beautiful restaurants near San Diego is also one of the top places to go for an unforgettable Thanksgiving dinner. Not only are the sea-views and atmosphere spectacular, but the food 100% lives up to the hype. The Thanksgiving feast features a Prix Fixe three-course menu with dish options that include Autumn Squash Soup with Herbed Mascarpone, Slow-Cooked Angus Prime Rib, Wild Mushroom Ravioli and Homemade Pumpkin Pie with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream and Cranberry Coulis. Happy Thanksgiving, indeed. The holiday dinner is $39 per person for the Turkey entrée and $49 per person with any other entrée. There is also a children’s menu (aged 12 and under) at just $16.00 per child.
Monte Verde at Seventh, Carmel-by-the-Sea
Last but absolutely not least is the Aubergine Carmel at the legendary L’Auberge Carmel. Not only does this premier Central Coast restaurant receive non-stop accolades from adoring fans, but their Executive Chef (Justin Cogley) is also Food & Wine’s 2013 Best New Chef. So you can imagine just how out-of-this-world their Thanksgiving feast will be. Their special three-course holiday menu gives diners the choice of Willie Bird Turkey, Maine Day Boat Lobster or Dry Aged Ribeye as main dishes with equally delectable side dishes, first courses and desserts (Pumpkin Custard Tart, anyone?). Prices for the three-course meal are $99 per person and an additional $75 per person for wine pairings. *They also feature a Thanksgiving-to-go menu.
Are you planning a traditional Thanksgiving dinner or will you be out on the town at one of these fabulous restaurants? Let us know your plans—and Happy Thanksgiving whatever you do!