Perhaps the most coveted food holiday nationwide, Thanksgiving Day in D.C. marks the start to a festive season of decadent meals, family gatherings, and sometimes frantic planning and logistic-strategizing.
For the whole month of November, late night TV hosts pass jokes about crazy relatives, grocery stores stock the shelves with unusual amounts of canned pumpkin, and countless families realize their oversized, too-proud turkey won’t fit in the newly purchased All-Clad roasting pan, only to make an emergency trip for the cheap, doubled-up tin foil roasters.
Table of Contents
- 1 What makes a great Thanksgiving in D.C.?
- 2 Why You Should Skip Thanksgiving at home
- 3 Best D.C. Restaurants for a Thanksgiving Meal
- 4 Fiola
- 5 Fiola Mare
- 6 Unconventional Diner
- 7 Osteria Morini
- 8 Blue Duck Tavern
- 9 Bidwell DC
- 10 Imperfecto
- 11 Sfoglina
- 12 CUT by Wolfgang Puck
- 13 Founding Farmers
- 14 Corduroy
- 15 Gravitas
- 16 Central Michel Richard
- 17 Equinox Restaurant by Todd Gray
- 18 Kinship
- 19 Mintwood Place
- 20 Via Sophia
- 21 Del Mar
- 22 BRESCA
- 23 The LINE Hotel
- 24 Charlie Palmer Steak
- 25 Art and Soul at YOTEL Washington DC
- 26 La Vie
- 27 City Cruises Thanksgiving Lunch Cruise
- 28 Alternatives to Thanksgiving Dinner in DC
- 29 Where to Find a Take Out Thanksgiving Dinner in D.C.
What makes a great Thanksgiving in D.C.?
A successful Thanksgiving meal relies on dependable nostalgic flavors, that somehow as a nation, are universally agreed upon. Sweet potato casserole with toasted marshmallows is not liked across the board, but recognized as a classic. Savory soaked bread cubes accurately represent the steadfast nature of the American people.
And cranberry sauce is irreplaceable, but divide those who make it fresh from those who demand only the canned stuff.
My family falls into the former, and every year it’s the cranberry sauce production that solicits the strongest memories from Thanksgivings past…when my grandma and I followed the expertly precise recipe from an Ocean Spray cranberry bag, before throwing caution to the wind and chucking a whole sliced orange into the pot.
I look forward to slicing those oranges all year long.
Why You Should Skip Thanksgiving at home
But if there’s one thing Thanksgiving does NOT do well, it has to be the kitchen’s elusive capacity for an ungodly amount of dirty dishes. There’s rarely a year they don’t pile up at an aggressive rate, only to be sitting in and around the sink when we’re all way too full to move, let alone load the dishwasher.
The task is so daunting, it’s often bumped to the subsequent Friday morning, before or after Black Friday madness.
Best D.C. Restaurants for a Thanksgiving Meal
If you’re looking to avoid the holiday clean-up, don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen, or crave a Thanksgiving meal with a restaurant refresh, check out these amazing DC restaurants culinary offerings, who will cook—and clean—so you and your family can just enjoy the day.
- Address: 601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington DC 20004
The ‘Thanksgiving Harvest Feast’ at downtown’s Fiola celebrates the season of giving and thanks with a promise to represent the generosity of their Italian roots and heritage. The 8-course menu includes an amuse bouche, appetizer, pasta, entree and side, and dessert—all prepared with autumnal ingredients from partner Chancellor’s Rock Farm.
The Thanksgiving feast is offered from 2pm to 8pm.
- Address: 3100 K St NW, Washington, DC 20007
Another Fabio Trabocchi child and sister restaurant to Fiola, Fiola Mare honors the holiday with a feast of their own. The Turkey Day meal, coined ‘A Celebration of Thanksgiving’, empowers diners to choose from an a la carte selection or indulge in a 4-course Italian Mediterranean coastal spread.
- Address: 1207 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Thanksgiving dinner at Unconventional Diner makes sense in every possible way. Comforting fundamentals are reimagined on a limited menu from 11am to 8pm in the groovy and cozy modern dining room. NOTE: Unconventional Diner also has a ‘Thanksgiving Dinner At Home’ option for pick-up only.
- Address: 301 Water St SE, Washington, DC 20003 (The Yards Park)
Navy Yard’s resident waterfront Italian destination is capturing the essence of Thanksgiving with a 3-course family-style dinner from 12pm to 8pm on Turkey Day. Italian inspiration merges with American staples for a new but recognizable Thanksgiving feast. Kids menu available. NOTE: Osteria Morini offers a ‘Thanksgiving To-Go Package’ available for pick-up only.
Blue Duck Tavern
- Address: 1201 24th St NW, Washington, DC 20037
Blue Duck Tavern presents memorable fine-dining year round, but the a la carte 3-course meal on November 25 is truly something special. The prepaid menu changes year-to-year, but dinner guests can rest easy with a guaranteed bounty of warm fall flavors. The audaciousness ranges from adventurous to conventional classics, so diners can choose the nature of their Thanksgiving meal.
- Address: 1309 5th St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Union Market’s Bidwell Restaurant is making a statement with a feast true to traditional Thanksgiving table classics. From 2pm to 7pm, guests can enjoy a selected appetizer and shareable feast of turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes for the entire table. Reservations and walk-ins are both welcome.
NOTE: Bidwell also offers ‘Bidwell Thanksgiving Dinner In Your Home’ available for pick-up only.
- Address: 1124 23rd St NW, Washington, DC 20037
The goal at Imperfecto is never to seek perfection, which seamlessly aligns with the nature of a busy and poetically imperfect Thanksgiving Day. But even if not ‘perfect’, the meal at Imperfecto is pretty darn
close. Enjoy a 5-course Thanksgiving dinner that combines traditional staples with twists spearheaded by renown Seven Reasons Chef Enrique Limardo. Seatings begin at 3pm and 6pm and reservations can be made for parties of one to seven people.
- Address: multiple locations
- Van Ness: 4445 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
- Downtown: 1099 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
- Rosslyn: 1100 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22209
Sfoglina pasta wafts way beyond the District limits, but on Thanksgiving Day, feasters can dine at any location and order both full all-day menu items and holiday specials. From 2pm to 8pm, butternut squash agnolotti, roast turkey, and a pumpkin cream dessert grace the Italian-kissed tables.
CUT by Wolfgang Puck
- Address: 1050 31st St NW, Washington, DC 20007
The food at Wolfgang Puck’s steakhouse CUT lives up to his celebrity status. The Thanksgiving 3-course prix-fixe menu highlights refreshed classics like cornbread, a roasted beet Napoleon, and homemade pies in the modern ethereal dining room.
- Address: 1924 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC 20006 (Also available at sister restaurants Farmers Fishers Bakers and Farmers & Distillers)
Founding Farmers is a favorite among both locals and tourists, so diehard enthusiasts can flock to the Pennsylvania Avenue venue to enjoy fresh breads, roasted turkey or honey-glazed ham, and an overall Thanksgiving comfort food spread. NOTE: Vegan main available.
- Address: 1122 9th St. NW Washington, DC 20001
Thanksgiving dinner will undergo a farm-to-fork New American makeover on November 25th at Corduroy. A 3-course pre-fixe menu details holiday favorites like turkey, giblet gravy, and loaded sides.
- Address: 1401 Okie St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Gravitas is a little off the beaten track, but a 4-course tasting menu is expected to draw from all over the city for a reimagined Thanksgiving meal. Family-style sides mimic crowded dining room tables at home, but course selections modernize traditional plates. Reservations are available from 12pm to 8pm.
Central Michel Richard
- Address: 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004
Skip the hassle of Thanksgiving day prep and instead join Central for an autumn meal of thanks with French influence. Bites of pumpkin, turkey, and sweet potato rally behind French favorites like steak frites and French Onion Soup. Dinner is offered from 11am to 7pm.
Equinox Restaurant by Todd Gray
- Address: 818 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20006
A varied mix of Mediterranean and American flavors collide at Equinox’s November 25th Thanksgiving celebration. A complimentary ‘Oyster & Oyster Mushroom Roast’ is offered for all reserved diners on the Equinox patio from 3pm to 6pm. NOTE: Plant-based menu options are also available.
- Address: 1015 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
As a recent Oprah 2021 Favorite Things inductee, Kinship is ready to ring in all holiday festivities with their ‘Dining Room Thanksgiving’. The 4-course prix-fixe menu steals inspiration from the everyday ensemble with a first course and second course, a main dish for the table, an
d dessert. Much like Kinship’s everyday menu the Thanksgiving spread changes every year, but some current highlights include a Maine lobster French toast with a toasted sesame mousse, pumpkin soup with apple fritters, and garlic thyme bread pudding.
- Address: 1813 Columbia RD. NW, Washington, DC 20002
Thanksgiving meets broad European influence at Mintwood Place for their annual ‘Mintwood Place Thanksgiving’. Each guest can choose one appetizer, entree, and dessert and choose two a-la-carte sides for the entire table. Fall fruits and squash, toasted brown butter, and warm herbs exemplify the best of seasonal cooking in quaint bistro fashion.
NOTE: Mintwood Place has a ‘Thanksgiving at Home’ for four generous portions available for pick-up only.
- Address: 1001 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Take part in Via Sophia’s modern osteria atmosphere inside the famous Hamilton Hotel for a 3-course pre-fixe Turkey feast. Cider glazed squash, gingerbread tuile, and pumpkin cheesecake capture the creativity at Via Sophia’s Thanksgiving feast.
The gorgeous black and white marble studded dining room will be seating hungry Thanksgiving diners from 11am to 8pm.
- Address: 791 Wharf St SW, Washington, DC 20024
Del Mar is District Wharf’s unofficial fine-dining Spanish culinary operation, and their ‘Thanksgiving at Del Mar’ guarantees tried-and-true a la carte favorites in addition to Thanksgiving themed specials—striking a perfect balance between American tradition and Spanish seafood elegance.
Indoor and outdoor dining is available from 2pm to 8pm.
- Address: 1906 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Bresca’s contemporary Parisian bistro style and classic French culinary foundations lend well to the sumptuous American food holiday. A commitment to sourcing local ingredients in a verdant and relaxing dining room favor a special 6-course Thanksgiving dinner of foie gras, suckling pig, and dry-aged duck.
NOTE: Bresca has a ‘Thanksgiving BeeHome’ menu that feeds 6-8 people available for pick-up only.
The LINE Hotel
- Address: 1770 Euclid St NW, Washington, DC 20009
The LINE Hotel is recognized city-wide for incredible food at in-house restaurant No Goodbyes. From 12pm to 8pm, join Executive Chef Opie Crooks at The LINE Hotel for their annual ‘Thanksgiving at No Goodbyes’.
The 3-course meal is packed with reinvented favorites like sweet potato soup with toasted marshmallow, cornbread stuffing, and seasonal pies. The communal Thanksgiving essences carries over to the dining experience too—everything is served family style.
NOTE: The LINE Hotel also offers a ‘Thanksgiving at Home to-go kit’ available for pick-up only.
Charlie Palmer Steak
- Address: 101 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20001
Turkey isn’t the only entree served at Charlie Palmer Steak’s Thanksgiving Day ‘craft-your-own’ 3-course prix-fixe feast. Meat lovers can swap the turkey main for filet mignon or the ‘porterhouse for 2’. Dinner reservations are available from 12pm to 8pm.
Art and Soul at YOTEL Washington DC
This award-winning hotel restaurant spotlights Washington DC’s omnipresent modern-American food influence with a 3-course customizable meal served from 12pm to 7pm. Supplemental charcuterie boards and house made breads cost a little extra, but reinforce the ritual of a decadent holiday dinner.
- Address: 88 District Square SW 5th floor, Washington, DC 20024
The Thanksgiving spread at La Vie highlights French cuisine’s decadent potential. A 4-course prix-fixe menu notes truffle mac and cheese, candy yams with creme fraiche, and brined roasted turkey. Dinner reservations are available from 2pm to 8pm at the scenic waterfront location.
City Cruises Thanksgiving Lunch Cruise
- Address: 580 Water Street SW, Washington, DC (Pier 4 at District Wharf)
Take to the water with the City Cruises two-hour Thanksgiving lunch boating extravaganza. On board, passengers will enjoy a tasty Turkey day buffet, unlimited coffee and tea, and stunning Washington DC views from the Potomac River, all with DJ entertainment. Arrive at District Wharf’s Pier 4 by 12:30 to board the cruise for a prompt 1:00pm departure.
Reserve tickets HERE
Alternatives to Thanksgiving Dinner in DC
The following restaurants are open and serving their regular menu offerings on Thanksgiving Day.
- Bombay Club (815 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20006)
- Del Friscos (950 I St NW Suite 501, Washington, DC 20001)
- Rasika (Penn Quarter: 633 D St NW, Washington, DC 20004— West End: 1190 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037)
- Convivial (801 O St NW, Washington, DC 20001)
- Compass Rose (1346 T St NW, Washington, DC 20009)
- Le Diplomate (1601 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009)
- Cielo Rojo (7056 Carroll Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912)
- All Purpose (Shaw only: 1250 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001)
- Barcelona Wine Bar (1622 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 — 3310 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016)
Where to Find a Take Out Thanksgiving Dinner in D.C.
The following restaurants are featuring unique Thanksgiving meal options for pick-up. Meal components are designed to be reheated and served in the comfort of your own home.
- Belga Cafe (514 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003)
- Ambar Capitol Hill (523 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003)
- Little Pearl (21 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20003)
- Maydan (1346 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009)
- Duck and the Peach (300 7th St SE, Washington, DC 20003)
- Tail Up Goat (1827 Adams Mill Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009)
- 1789 (1226 36th St NW, Washington, DC 20007)
- RPM Italian DC (650 K St NW, Washington, DC 20001)
- Rose’s Luxury—Delivery also available (717 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003)
- Makan (3400 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20010)
- Colada Shop at District Wharf—offering Pumpkin Dulce de Leche and coffee pecan pie for pick-up (10 Pearl St SW, Washington, DC 20024)
- Hank’s Oyster Bar (701 Wharf St SW, Washington, DC 20024)
- Officina (1120 Maine Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024)