Where to Eat on Thanksgiving

Where to dine in Houston on Thanksgiving: 12 best restaurants for a holiday feast

Where to dine on Thanksgiving: 12 Houston spots for a holiday feast

Carmelo's Cucina Italiana Thanksgiving spread
Enjoy an Italian-inspired Thanksgiving at B.B. Italia. Photo by Jenn Duncan
Safina interior
Safina offers a stylish setting for Thanksgiving. Courtesy of Safina
Rosalie Italian Soul lasagna
Trade turkey for lasagna at Rosalie. Photo by Julie Soefer
Carmelo's Cucina Italiana Thanksgiving spread
Safina interior
Rosalie Italian Soul lasagna

UPDATE: The Post Oak has cancelled its Thanksgiving plans.

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Those who want a great Thanksgiving dinner but don't want to spend half their day in the kitchen should take a peek at our recommendations for dine-in Turkey Day meals. From Bayou City newcomers to some of  Houston's favorites, this list offers different cuisines and price points.

Whether diners go for a full all-you-can-eat buffet to cater to the whole family, or a more intimate, multi-course dinner served tableside for two, these offerings let diners do Thanksgiving however they want — without a sink full of dishes.

Avenida Brazilian Steakhouse
All three locations will be open from 11 am to 8 pm, serving not only the restaurant's signature Brazilian-style grilled steaks and seafood, but also traditional Thanksgiving favorites like 48-hour marinated turkey, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, and more. The all-you-can-eat dinner includes cheese bread and the restaurant's extensive salad bar. Call individual locations for reservations. 2000 Southwest Fwy; 281-277-9292,  201 W. Bay Area Blvd.; 281-557-9999, and 1400 Research Forest Dr.; 281-651-5369.

B.B. Italia Kitchen & Bar
The three-course, $45 menu at Ben Berg's West Houston restaurant puts an Italian spin on Thanksgiving. Start with autumn salad, pumpkin soup, or butternut squash ravioli. Entree options are bourbon-glazed ham or roasted turkey breast (both served with Italian sausage stuffing) and four vegetable sides: Brussels sprouts, cranberry compote, whipped potatoes, and sweet yams. For dessert, choose from three kinds of pie. Make reservations by calling the restaurant or going online. 281-531-0696. 14795 Memorial Dr.

Bisou
The swanky River Oaks District hotspot is serving a three-course menu from 12 to 8 pm on Thanksgiving Day. Diners can choose from selections such as spinach and Belgian endive salad with dried cranberries, French onion soup, Turducken roulade with sweet potato puree, pan-roasted salmon with a Dijon beurre blanc, and smoked tenderloin with sweet potatoes. Dinner includes a dessert trio of pumpkin cheesecake, brownie sundae, and pecan pie. A children's menu is also available. The cost is $55 per adult and $15 for kids. 4444 Westheimer Rd.; 713-955-3855.

The Classic
The Washington Avenue American bistro offers a menu of kicked-up comfort food for Thanksgiving dinner. The three-course dinner offers choices including Indian Creek mushroom bisque with a truffle balsamic reduction, a warm spinach frissee salad,maple-glazed turkey breast, herb-crusted butcher's cut, san san tofu, and a Maker's Mark pecan pie. Potato gratin, vegetables and challah dressing will be served family style. The cost is $45 per person, excluding gratuity and beverages. Call the restaurant for reservations. 5922 Washington Ave.; 713-868-1131.

Cleburne Cafeteria
Going out on Thanksgiving doesn't require advance reservations or a pricey prix-fixe. At least, not as long as this Houston institution is open on Turkey Day. Choose from the restaurant's full range of offerings, which always include turkey and dressing, as well as fried chicken, fish, and more. Take-out will also be available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Open 11 am - 8 pm. 3606 Bissonnet St.; 713-667-2386.  

Etoile
Put some French flair into this American tradition with Chef Philip Verpiand's three-course dinner. Choose from options such as mushroom and leek velouté, Gulf shrimp with avocado and grapefruit, braised short ribs with butternut squash, seared salmon and green lentils, roasted turkey with French-influenced trimmings, and a pear tart or butternut squash rolled cake for dessert. The cost is $56 per adult and $25 per child, with a special kid's menu available. Call the restaurant for reservations. 1101-11 Uptown Park Blvd.; 832-668-5808.

Himalaya
Chef Kaiser Lashkari hosts an Indian-spiced Thanksgiving. The plate includes masala-spiced turkey, chickpea and rice casserole, tamarind cranberry sauce, dhamaka mashed potatoes, and white chocolate rice pudding topped with raisins and cashews for only $19.99 per person. Walk-ins welcome and to-go options available, 11:30 am - 9:30 pm. 6652 Southwest Fwy; 713-532-2837.

Indianola
The Thanksgiving Brunch at this EaDo eatery offers options for the whole family. From the smoked natural turkey and glazed Revival Market bone-in ham to a series of sides including green bean casserole, sage stuffing, butternut squash, mac n' cheese, marinated beets with goat cheese, and a wild rice salad with pecans and dried cranberries, not to mention multiple h'ors doeuvres and desserts options (orange cranberry panna cotta with hazelnut rye crumble, anyone?), this feast shows off the flavors of the season. The cost is $55 per adult and $20 per child under 12. Kids under three eat free. The restaurant is open from 10 am to 5 pm on Thanksgiving Day and reservations are recommended. 1600 West Loop S.;83282-7202.

Jonathan's the Rub Memorial Green
While the regular menu won't be available, there's a special Thanksgiving pre-fixe where guests can opt for a main course of deep-fried turkey for $45 per person or beef tenderloin for $65 per person, excluding  tax and gratuity. Both options come with family-style sides and choice of dessert.  The cost for kids 12 and under is $25 plus tax and gratuity. The restaurant is open from 11 am to 6 pm. Call for reservations. 12505 Memorial Dr.; 713-808-9291.

The Post Oak Hotel (Cancelled)
Tilman Fertitta's Galleria-area hotel is serving up a Thanksgiving buffet worthy of its AAA Five-Diamond status. The grand ballroom hosts carving stations that include turkey, prime rib, ham, and whole salmon. Other stations feature vegetable sides, a raw seafood bar, salads, charcuterie, 12 different types of cheese, and 12 different breads. Boucheé Patisserie, the hotel's sweets shop, will host a dessert buffet with pie, cobbler, cheesecake, cookies, and more. Football fans can take in the day's action at Craft F&B. At $125 for adults and $60 for children aged 5 to 14, the meal ranks as a splurge, but it will be a good way to make some holiday memories. Call or go online to reserve. 1600 West Loop South; 346-227-5041.

Rosalie Italian Soul
Chef Chris Cosentino's spot in the newly renovated C. Baldwin Hotel rolls out the red carpet for Thanksgiving. In addition to classics such as slow-roasted turkey and mashed potatoes, guests will also find Italian favorites from lasagna to meatballs. There's also red fish with sage and brown butter, candied yams, and apple, pecan or pumpkin pie. Diners will choose a first, main and dessert course, with sides served family style for the table. The three-course meal is $60 per person. Seatings are available from 1 to 8 pm, with the last seating at 8 pm. Make reservations online. 400 Dallas St.; 713-357-5790.

Safina
The Rice Village/TMC-area newcomer serves up a Thanksgiving feast, including a carving station with roast turkey, prime rib, and cedar plank salmon. Guests will find a sprawling salad bar and an array of side dishes such as mashed potatoes, candied yams, stuffing, haricot vert, baby carrots, cornbread, turkey gravy, demi-glace, cranberry sauce, and butternut squash soup. A la carte desserts available include pumpkin pound cake with gingersnap crumbleand apple browned butter cake with apple butter. The cost is $55 per adult, plus $12 for dessert. The cost is half the price for kids ages six to 12, and children five and under eat free. The restaurant is open from 11 am to 2 pm. (The adjacent Naturalist bar is open its regular hours for those looking for a spot to catch up with family and friends after celebrating). 6570 Main St.; 713-422-2779.