Thanksgiving is right around the corner and sometimes cooking a huge dinner seems like such a chore. If you’re studying or working full-time, the time and effort to grocery shop and prepare a massive holiday feast just might not be worth it. Or you may not be going home for the holidays due to COVID-19. As a single gal who has spent quite a few holidays alone, I totally get you! When things get busy, it can be hard to muster the motivation to throw together a simple salad let alone roast an entire turkey.
It can also be difficult to prepare a holiday feast if your cookware and kitchen situation is on the minimal side. Ask yourself - do I even want to be the kind of person who owns a rolling pin? If the answer is no, the great news is we live in an age where a ton of to-go options are at your fingertips. Supporting small local businesses during the holidays is even more vital this year so ordering local is key. The fabulous City of Angels is home to some of the world’s most delicious dining establishments and some of them are offering Thanksgiving takeout. You get all the benefits of restaurant food while dining in the comfort of your own home. (A big win, in my opinion.) Whether you want to stay traditional or go totally unconventional, read on to discover a few picks for great restaurants offering Thanksgiving to go.
Can’t go wrong with the classics: Tallyrand (Burbank)
Roasting 200 pounds of turkey on a normal day, it’s safe to say this restaurant knows a thing or two about the bird. Their special holiday menu includes the choice between roast turkey and baked ham, and a selection of your classic Thanksgiving sides like stuffing, yams, and mashed potatoes. Of course, no proper Thanksgiving meal would leave out pumpkin pie, so rest assured that’s included. If you’re looking for a classic, homestyle Thanksgiving meal to go, this is a top pick!
Best roast chicken: Great White Rotisseria (Venice)
Okay, hear me out: turkeys are really, really big! Unless you’re planning on embarking on an all-turkey diet for the next few weeks or have a ravenous crew joining you for the holiday, a roast chicken is the perfect poultry substitute. Great White Rotisseria is a cult favorite for their delectable rotisserie chickens and array of side options. All items are available a la carte, so this is a good option if you’re on your own for Thanksgiving.
Vegan and gluten-free pick: The Source (Manhattan Beach)
Photo from the @the.source.cafe Instagram
Is tofu more your speed than turkey? Look no further than The Source for a delicious plant-based Thanksgiving meal, far from lackluster health food dishes of the past. They also have gluten-free options for those with dietary restrictions. The menu is full of scrumptious, colorful dishes that are sure to please vegans and omnivores alike.
Tropical Thanksgiving: Damon’s (Glendale)
This fun and funky establishment will be offering a special Thanksgiving menu with classics as well as its regular seafood and steak staples. While you’ll be missing out on the signature quirky decor by ordering to go, the real attraction here is the famous Mai Tai, available by the pitcher! Need I say more?
French food to make you say oh là là: Marche Moderne (Newport Beach)
Transform your dining room into a luxurious chateaû when you set the table with French classics like duck confit and haricot vert to accompany your tukey. This is the chicest option on the list, but worth it to feel like a dauphine for the evening. The desert menu is absolutely to die for and includes macarons and pumpkin mousseline, plus mouthwatering drink options like calvados-spiked spiced cider.
Tandoori Turkey: Clay Oven (Irvine)
Add some savory spice to your Thanksgiving with this Irvine restaurant’s to-go offering. These turkeys (cooked in a clay tandoori oven) are a big to do, apparently being ordered up to a year in advance by loyal fans. They are however still available at time of press, even if you don’t quite have that level of foresight. Add in an array of classic Indian side dishes and you’ve got an exciting twist on holiday classics. This is my top pick for comfort food that’s a little elevated from your standard turkey-stuffing-sweet potato fare.
Halfway to Homemade: Meal Kit (options include Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, etc.)
If you’re torn between the tradition of a home cooked meal and the convenience ordering something to go, a meal kit is the perfect option. These services have become popular as a way to save time on grocery shopping whilst assuaging the guilt that can come from having a meal delivered. The number of companies offering these has multiplied ad infinitum in the past few years, so you can be sure you’ll have plenty of options to choose from if you decide to go this route. However, using a grocery delivery service like Instacart might give you greater flexibility on menu planning.
Whether you decide to do take-out or not for Thanksgiving, having an apartment with a good kitchen is paramount! You don’t want to be improvising and sticking things in the microwave at the last second out of desperation. Renting through a coliving company like Tripalink ensures you won’t get stuck with a janky oven that only turns on during the full moon and on select Tuesday afternoons. (Trust me, I’ve been there and it’s a nightmare!) Tripalink apartments have modern kitchens with high-end appliances, like ovens big enough to roast a turkey and refrigerators with enough space for leftovers. If you decide to cook for Thanksgiving, here are some yummy recipes to inspire your menu. Tripalink has properties all over West LA, Koreatown, and USC. They are co-living properties so you will be able to celebrate the holidays with other roommates if you’d like! Students and young professionals have been absolutely loving all that Tripalink has to offer.
No matter what you choose to eat for Thanksgiving, you can rest assured you’ve got a seemingly infinite array of options. Besides the restaurants listed here, LA has plenty more to satisfy whatever you’re craving this year. The important part is making the holiday memorable by seeing people you love, even if it’s just via video call. If you’re celebrating with close friends or roommates, you can check out our two blogs: how to host a Friendsgiving and what movies to watch on Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving!