Thanksgiving with the family can be stressful. Everybody knows this. If skipping the anxiety appeals, check out our editors’ picks for the top restaurants dishing up Turkey Day feasts. All start with the signature bird but go well beyond the same old sides with complements like chestnut-quince dressing and duck confit ravioli. Grandma might miss you, but no way will you be missing her candied carrots and green bean surprise.
Spend a classy Thanksgiving at the St. Regis Hotel over dishes like lobster medallions with caviar cream, foie gras torchon, braised halibut, and Vacherin with pear marmalade.
Price: $90 adults/$45 kids
Availability: Noon to 8:30 PM
Don’t feel like sitting down to a full prix-fixe meal? You can have beef carpaccio with black trumpet mushrooms, roast turkey with chestnut-quince dressing, and other items from the set Thanksgiving menu à la carte in the bar area.
Price: $45 per person
Availability: 11 AM to 8 PM
Art and Soul
Three carving station specialties—turkey, ham, and prime rib—and Southern sides like collards and cornbread-andouille stuffing are on offer at chef-owner Art Smith's eatery. An additional homestyle touch: Everyone gets a roast turkey sandwich to take home.
Price: $55 adults/$27 kids ages 6 to 12
Availability: 11 AM to 9 PM
Blue Duck Tavern
Buffet and entree menu
There's a mix of buffet-style and sit-down service in the open kitchen at Blue Duck. Guests wander through the dining room for starter plates and desserts. Entrées and sides like apple-cider-glazed turkey and pumpkin seed stuffing with chorizo are served in between.
Price: $90 adults/$42 children six to 12/free for children under 6
Availability: 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM
There's more steak than turkey on the menu (though you can get that, too) in the Four Seasons restaurant. Scallops with crispy sweetbreads, wild venison torte with foie gras and truffles, and a peanut butter brownie are all part of the indulgent lineup.
Price: $110 adults
Availability: 1 to 9:30 PM
Brabo by Robert Wiedmaier
Chef Robert Wiedmaier's seasonal feast includes dishes such as squash soup with duck confit ravioli, seared Chesapeake rockfish with gnocchi and mushrooms, and a braised pork shank with cabbage. There's also turkey and pumpkin pie for traditionalists.
Price: $65 adults; $100 with wine pairing
Availability: 2:30 to 7 PM
Chef Michel Richard opens the kitchen at Citronelle for his annual turkey day buffet. Traditional Thanksgiving fare shares space with raw oysters, rack of lamb with lamb jus, halibut in saffron sauce, and an extensive dessert buffet.
Price: $85 adults/$37 children under 12
Availability: 2 to 7:30 PM
Start off with chef Todd Gray's annual oyster roast in the courtyard before tucking into seasonal dishes like rainbow beets with ricotta beignets, roast heirloom turkey with chestnut-brioche stuffing, and gingerbread with Armagnac-toffee sauce.
Price: $60 adults; $80 with wine pairing/$30 children 12 and under
Availability: Noon to 7 PM
Rustic Thanksgiving favorites fill the buffet at this laid-back eatery. Look for country ham, squash soup, pan-roasted Brussels sprouts, roast turkey, and fruit pies from Northside Social.
Price: $29 adults/$12 kids under 12
Availability: 10 AM to 6 PM
The Oval Room
Chef Tony Conte does upscale takes on seasonal dishes for Turkey Day. Think warm fig salad with mozzarella and prosciutto, rockfish with carrot-orange vinaigrette, and sweet potato cheesecake.
Price: $50 adults; $75 with wine pairing
Availability: Noon to 8 PM
Turkey doesn't get more local than this: Chef Christopher Edwards uses birds raised on Patowmack Farm in everything from the gravy to turkey gumbo to the main event. There's also a whole local pig and farm-raised produce.
Price: $65 adults/a la carte for kids
Availability: Noon to 7 PM
Live jazz will accompany your meal at this New American eatery near the White House. Six choices for each course, from fried oysters to suckling pig with sage-sausage stuffing, give plenty of options.
Price: $48 adults
Availability: 11 AM to 9 PM
Three-course and a la carte menu
There are two options at this festive Georgetown location: opt for a traditional turkey dinner, or go a la carte with dishes like scallops with sturgeon caviar, Virginia ham, and desserts from pastry chef Mallory Staley.
Price: Prix-fixe menu is $50
Availability: Noon to 9 PM
Thanksgiving in the historic hotel dining room starts of with seasonal salads or chilled seafood before a menu packed with comfort items such as lobster macaroni and cheese, herb-stuffed pork loin with bacon-cider jus, and pumpkin-caramel pecan pie.
Price: $65 adults/$26 kids 10 and under
Availability: 2 to 8 PM
Trummer's on Main
Chef Clayton Miller concocts a menu with spins on classics, like rock shrimp newburg with toasted cornbread and Maryland crab, and roast turkey with savory gingerbread. There's a cheese plate option for "dessert" for those who favor savory over sweet.
Availability: 12:30 to 5:30 PM
Chef Betrand Chemel's new American menu has several choices for each course, and runs the spectrum from traditional (turkey with chestnut-mushroom stuffing; warm apple pie à la mode) to nouveau (truffled tuna tartare; pumpkin-spiced French toast).
Price: $65 adults/$20 children
Availability: 11 AM to 7:30 PM
A la carte menu
Price: Chef-owner Jeffrey Buben's regular Southern menu is on offer, with the addition of a Thanksgiving dish for each course: an oyster pan-roast with Champagne, ham, and caviar; Amish turkey, milk-poached breast, thigh roulade, and oyster-bacon dressing; and pumpkin panna cotta.
Availability: 12 to 3 PM for the first seating; 5 to 8 PM for the second