Dining Out on Thanksgiving Doesn’t Have to Be Depressing
Generally, Thanksgiving menu ideas bubble up images of a home-cooked meal. But there are many people whose Thanksgiving food ideas take them to restaurants on the holiday. To find out why, we asked a group of Chowhound commenters to share why they dine out on Thanksgiving.
Some of their reasons were purely practical—dining out means there are no dirty dishes or napping relatives strewn across the kitchen floor. Others, however, said dining out on Thanksgiving creates sweet memories.
It’s less stressful.
- “People are more often grateful for not having to sweat the cooking and hosting.”
- “Everyone dines together with no running back into the kitchen to check on dessert or other dishes.”
- “I enjoy cooking, but I also enjoy being waited on—and my husband enjoys not having to clean up after!”
It’s easier for groups with dietary restrictions.
- “We've done it, and it was very positive. We have an assortment of dietary needs in our immediate family, so we chose to go to a buffet each time and could not have been happier.”
It’s an experience like no other.
- “There's a funny camaraderie spending a holiday in a restaurant, especially in a city, with so many transplants. … It's a nice feeling, I don't know why.”
- “Many restaurants are not nearly as packed on Thanksgiving, and the streets are more empty. It has this really early-morning feeling, and I just think it is different and exciting.”
The biggest problem? No leftovers.
- “I think that a restaurant that offered a full Thanksgiving menu to diners plus an added option for an additional fee for a package of take-home leftovers could probably draw a lot of business, simply because no leftovers seems to be the chief complaint against dining out for Thanksgiving dinner.”
- “I would gladly dine out on Thanksgiving if I could just find a restaurant with a take-home leftovers bundle on the menu! Turkey, cranberry sauce, dressing, and sweet-potato soufflé. That's enough. Well, maybe a takeout coffee cup of gravy.”
Halley is a Chicago writer with southern roots. When she isn't typing, she enjoys cooking without recipes and designing garments for her upcoming clothing line, Ambidestre.