11 Restaurants That Are Open On Thanksgiving

by Kat Kuehl

Thanksgiving is all about gathering around the table with your loved ones and digging into some delicious turkey, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole. But, if nobody in your family can cook (or you run into some sort of horrible turkey mishap), you might want to be armed with a list of fast food and casual dining restaurants that are open on Thanksgiving. Admittedly, I've never been to a restaurant on Thanksgiving Day — or really any sort of holiday. But, whenever I think about it, I immediately picture the family from A Christmas Story sitting in that Chinese restaurant with the cooked duck.

Luckily for all of us, dining out on Thanksgiving isn't actually like that — at least not usually. In fact, plenty of fast food and casual dining establishments open their doors on the holiday. Even better? Many of them actually switch up their menus to offer traditional dishes like turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, and — of course — pumpkin pie.

Sure, going out for Thanksgiving dinner might seem a little taboo. But, the more I think about it, the more appealing it seems. Not only do I no longer have to worry about helping out in the kitchen, but I can also enjoy my meal without dreading the inevitable pile of dirty dishes that follows.

So, if you're beginning to think this sounds like a good plan too, here are 11 restaurants that are open on Thanksgiving Day. Whether you want a full-blown meal or just a quick snack after Friendsgiving, these are sure to fit the bill. Just remember, availability and hours may vary with location. Call ahead to ensure that your location is open — you want to avoid any nasty Thanksgiving surprises!

1. Bob Evans

I never need an excuse to enjoy some delicious breakfast food. Plus, Bob Evans' banana bread? It's out of this world. But, if you're craving some more traditional fare, they're also offering a huge holiday dinner for just $14.99. That's well worth it, if you ask me.

2. Cracker Barrel

Starting at 11 a.m., Cracker Barrel is offering a delicious, traditional turkey n' dressing meal for just $11.99. You can also order the whole thing to-go if that's more your style. If you want to be extra sneaky, you can make the whole thing look homemade with a few simple tricks.

3. McDonald's

As you might suspect, it takes a lot to shut the golden arches down. So, if you were hoping to get some chicken nuggets on your way home from the bar, you're in luck. Most McDonald's locations are open on Thanksgiving Day.

4. Pizza Hut

If you want to break with tradition and trade in that turkey for pizza this Thanksgiving, Pizza Hut is available to help. Most (but not all) locations will be open on the holiday.

5. Denny's

Craving a Grand Slam breakfast on Thanksgiving? Denny's prides itself on being open every hour of every day, so you're more than welcome to stop in on the holiday. If you want to be extra festive, order something off of its Taste of the Holidays menu.

6. Burger King

If you want to celebrate with a Whopper, Burger King is set and ready to take care of you. Apparently you really can have it your way on Thanksgiving.

7. Applebee's

Your favorite neighborhood grill will have select locations open on Thanksgiving, so check to make sure your local Applebee's restaurant is participating.

8. Golden Corral

Golden Corral is offering a a Thanksgiving Day buffet at participating locations, including everything from carved turkey and ham to pot roast and fried shrimp.


If you're more in a pancake mood, IHOP is open 24 hours on Thanksgiving. So, you can eat delicious pancakes no matter what the time is.

10. Waffle House

The restaurant is famous for never closing. So, naturally, Waffle House will be dishing out plenty of tasty waffles on Thanksgiving Day.

11. Ruby Tuesday

Whether you want a burger or a salad, this casual restaurant is open to serve you on Thanksgiving Day. Plus, you can kick back and relax with one of Ruby Tuesday's signature sangrias or a delicious margarita.

For more Thanksgiving ideas, check out Bustle on YouTube.

Images: Bob B. Brown/Flickr; Giphy (6)