Not everybody looks forward to cooking on Thanksgiving. Maybe the holiday sort of crept up on you this year and caught you unprepared. Maybe you just don’t relish the idea of doing all that prep work that’s required when you’re hosting a holiday crowd. Maybe it’s just you and your significant other and you don’t see the point of making so much food (and having so many leftovers) for a single meal.

Well, you have plenty of options available for your feast from local restaurants, whether you’d prefer to skip the mess and dine-in or want carry-out for your table at home.

Big Lug Canteen – 1435 E. 86th St.

If turkey really isn’t your thing, head over to Big Lug. They’re serving steak and eggs, with $5 mimosas and Bloody Mary’s for the asking. While definitely not traditional, it could suit you if you just can’t handle all that holiday fuss. (They also have a take-and-bake traditional meal available.)

Bob Evans – 4441 Southport Crossing Dr. and 25 S. High School Rd.

Bob Evans believes in family, good food, and holidays made simple and right. They’re offering their “Farmhouse Feast” in various sizes if you’d like to take your Thanksgiving dinner home, or you can dine-in on all the usual good stuff, like turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes, and mac n’ cheese.

Cracker Barrel – 4350 E. Southport Rd., 3840 Eagle View Dr. and 2340 Post Dr.

Cracker Barrel has always specialized in homestyle meals, and they don’t let up on Thanksgiving. You can get your meal to-go or dine inside their restaurant with your family — all for reasonable prices. On Thanksgiving, they’re giving you the option of a traditional turkey and dressing meal, or you can order the country-fried turkey plate for something extra special.

The Iron Skillet – 2489 W. 30th St. #2268

For a real family-style Thanksgiving dinner, you can’t go wrong at the Iron Skillet. You can have turkey with cornbread dressing, baked ham with cherry sauce, or an eight-ounce filet mignon, plus salad, apple cider, apple butter and bread, sweet potatoes, whipped potatoes, green beans, corn, and your choice of pie or ice cream.

Maggiano’s Little Italy – 3550 E. 86th St.

Maggiano’s has pick-up packages that are heat-and-eat, or dine-in (reservations required), and they’ve been making Thanksgiving fantastic for years. They offer a three-course meal that starts with salad, ends with pumpkin praline cheesecake, and is stuffed with turkey, ham, spaghetti, and meatballs and tons of side dishes in-between.

McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks – 110 N. Illinois St.

If you want options, McCormick & Schmick’s will give you options! You can get anything you’d like off their regular menu, while the purists in your group can get a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings. (They also have carry-out.)

Metro Diner – 7225 U.S. Highway 31 S.

Available for dine-in and to-go service alike until 2:30 p.m., the Metro Diner is offering a complete Thanksgiving dinner with your choice of ham or turkey, plus all the usual trimmings. They also have some Thanksgiving seasonal specials, like turkey breast with mash potatoes over a “stuffing waffle.”

Morton’s Steakhouse – 41 E. Washington St. 

If you’d like to celebrate Thanksgiving with some style and flair, Morton’s Steakhouse may be the right place for you. You can get a family-style dinner to go, or you can dine in for $59 per person on delicacies like their winter salad, turkey roulade with sage and cranberry stuffing, gouda au gratin potatoes, baked corn souffle, green bean almondine, and creamed spinach. And — of course — there’s pumpkin cheesecake with sea salt caramel topping for dessert.

Rick’s Cafe Boatyard – 450 Dandy Trail

Reservations are required for dine-in service, but Rick’s Cafe has the turkey feast of your dreams: mashed potatoes, sage dressing, fresh rolls, green beans, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie are being served from 11 in the morning until 9 at night. Adult plates are $29, while kids and seniors are a bargain at just $16.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House – 2727 E 86th St. and 45 S. Illinois St.

If you’d love to have your meal cooked for you but still want leftovers to snack on the next day, try Ruth’s Chris. They’re serving as traditional a Thanksgiving meal as it comes, including starters, sides, cranberry relish, dessert, and more — with plenty to go home with you later.

Smokey Bones – 780 U.S. Highway 31 (Greenwood)

Throw tradition to the wind and head over to Smokey Bones to experience the delights of their seasonal menu instead of the usual Thanksgiving fare. You can get a pork porterhouse or meatloaf, along with green bean casserole, bourbon apples, and heavenly desserts any time between 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Seasons 52 – 8650 Keystone Crossing

Whether you choose dine-in or carry-out, Seasons 52 has all of the Thanksgiving favorites covered, including roasted turkey (antibiotic-free), pan gravy, Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, sage stuffing, green beans, butternut squash, cranberry relish, and pumpkin pie. Adult feasts are $32.95 and child meals are $16.

The Capital Grille – 40 W. Washington St.

If you’re feeling fancy, head over to The Capital Grille for a Thanksgiving meal with some elegance. Dine-in guests can get turkey breast with brioche stuffing, cranberry-pear chutney, mashed sweet potatoes, French-cut green beans with shaved almonds, and pumpkin cheesecake for dessert.

The Oceanaire Seafood Room – 30 S. Meridian St.

If you’re looking for a true feast with plenty of opportunities to fill your plate, head to the Oceanaire. At $50 per adult and $18 for kids, this is among the pricier options in the area, but your turkey dinner comes with unlimited sides, so it’s definitely worth it!

As always, here at Talk to Tucker, we wish you a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving. We hope it kicks off your holiday season just right!

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