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Why cook this Thanksgiving? Dine out at these 11 Twin Cities restaurants instead.

This doesn't have to be you this Thanksgiving.

This doesn't have to be you this Thanksgiving. Special to the Star Tribune

Admitting that a home-cooked meal isn’t in the cards for Thanksgivingcan feel like blasphemy.

For a multitude of reasons, not everyone spends the last Thursday in November in the kitchen. Some choose to forego fighting through grocery store lines, sweating over the stove for hours, inserting leaves into a table, and fretting over particulars in an attempt to please everyone! 

But just because you and yours won't be cooking this Thanksgiving doesn’t mean foregoing the holiday of gratitude entirely

With the help of so many Twin Cities restaurants that graciously stay open to serve on the holiday, more folks are opting to dine out each year. From buffets and brunches to pay-what-you-can feasts to multi-course prix fixe menus, you and your loved ones—whether they're blood kin or your chosen family—will have ample options to gather and celebrate together this holiday season, thanks to these generous establishments and their staff. 

That said… Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away, which means time (and space!) is of the essence. Call for reservations sooner rather than later.

1. Provision, the Twin Cities’ first pay-what-you-can restaurant, will host a traditional turkey feast from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving night. If you haven’t yet been, their motto—“Come as you are. Give as you can.”—is perfectly in keeping with this holiday built on gratefulness and magnanimity. Provision’s turkeys are provided via a staff drive at the Dakota Ridge School in District 196, and their pies hail from the new, up-and-coming Vikings and Goddesses Pie Company.

2. Tullibee at the Hewing Hotel will be open for service with a special, locally sourced Thanksgiving menu served from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m, featuring roasted Wild Acres turkey, herbed gravy, cranberry sauce, and sides like butternut squash soup, pork sausage stuffing, carmelized sweet potatoes, and a variety of pies. Additionally, the restaurant's standard brunch menu of benedicts, steel cut oats, buttermilk pancakes, brisket hash, and more will be offered from 6:30 a.m. to noon.

A mere portion of D'Amico Catering's Thanksgiving spread

A mere portion of D'Amico Catering's Thanksgiving spread Instagram / Edinburgh USA

3. D’Amico Catering will be entertaining the public at their exclusive venue Edinburgh USA from 11 a.m. until 4:30 p.m Thanksgiving Day. They’re preparing a chef carving station with roast turkey breast, herb spiced turkey gravy, Berkshire ham with rum raisin sauce, and beef sirloin with horseradish cream. Included in the grand buffet are comforting dishes like shrimp cocktail, stuffing, whipped potatoes, a sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, three-cheese macaroni and cheese, Brussels sprouts with bacon, assorted breads, and a green bean casserole with fried onions, plus a variety of salads, assorted breads, and local fruit and cheeses. Would such a feast be complete without a dessert station with pumpkin and bourbon pecan tarts? Oh no it would not! Full bar service will also be available throughout. 

4. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., St. Paul’s Holman’s Table will convert their lobby into the site of a chef-crafted, gourmet buffet strewn with elevated breakfast fare for early birds and brunchers (brioche French toast with spiced custard, honey butter, and macerated berries, or maybe a little scrambled eggs with chive cream cheese?), hors d'oeuvres for fancy snackers (crudites and shrimp cocktail, anyone?), and classic holiday fare (roasted big birds and glazed yams). Scrumptious desserts round out the affair on the airfield. 

5. French Meadow will be open and serving from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m in Minneapolis and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. in St. Paul, paying homage to organic farmers who work the land with their hands and are “diligent stewards of the land” in order to provide something for everyone. Whether you’re gluten-free, a plant-based eater, or simply crave traditional favorites, the farm-to-table eatery has you covered with a morning brunch menu, followed by an evening Thanksgiving dinner designed to ethically (and deliciously) accommodate all. 

6. In keeping with tradition, the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis will host its annual Thanksgiving Day buffet. The menu's still being finalized, but envision your classic Thanksgiving meal featuring a carving station with roast turkey and stuffing. Beyond these givens, there'll also be a squash dish, potatoes, and salad. Vegetarian and gluten-free options will be available.

7. St. Paul’s Pazzaluna is offering a three-course prix fixe menu from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m with mains consisting of a choice between a couple classic options (think: oven roasted turkey or a porchetta roast), or staples from their Italian menu like Penne Arrabbiata or Spaghetti Bolognese. Starters range from butternut squash soup to various salads, and the meal culminates in your choice of dessert. 

8. Northern Italian outfit Giulia has designed a special Thanksgiving menu with wine pairings. Highlights include a panzanella salad with cranberry, foie gras, delicata squash, goat cheese, and white balsamic vinaigrette. For those who can't count it a day without turkey, they’ll have a turkey osso bucco featuring gnocchi, carrots, mushrooms, walnut chive gremolata, and apple cider sugo. There’s also a clam spaghetti, a chestnut cheesecake, and more in the works.

9. If literal cards are in the cards this Thanksgiving, why not head to Mystic Lake? Between rounds at the blackjack tables or roulette wheel, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux community's constructed not one, nor even two, but three separate holiday buffets for anyone hoping to mix a classic meal with the potential of extra-bonus-jackpot gratitude. Though offerings on each may appear similar, prices (and, likely, access) vary. Sort yourselves accordingly between the Minnehaha Cafe, “The Buffet,” and the Holiday Harvest. 

Let Culinary Director Mike DeCamp at Monello care for you this Thanksgiving. BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Chef Mike DeCamp at his downtown Minneapolis restaurant Monello on Thursday, November 9, 2017. Four Twin Cities chefs provide vegetable-based side dish recipes for Thanksgiving.

Let Culinary Director Mike DeCamp at Monello care for you this Thanksgiving. BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Chef Mike DeCamp at his downtown Minneapolis restaurant Monello on Thursday, November 9, 2017. Four Twin Cities chefs provide vegetable-based side dish recipes for Thanksgiving. Star Tribune

10. Monello at Minneapolis’ Hotel Ivy is set to host a three-course holiday dinner spread featuring a gourmet salad, your choice of entree (turkey or beef) complete with all the trimmings, and dessert. As a bonus, the dinner includes a special “take-home holiday bread"!

11. A sprawling midday spread from Herbie’s on the Park tempts refined adult palates as well as that of finicky children. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Rice Park eatery will offer classic dishes plus everything from bourbon-glazed ham to whipped sweet potatoes, sausage and wild rice stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce, a relish tray, and (of course) pumpkin pie. 

Please: If you join any of the above this Thanksgiving, just remember to say thank you.