It’s time to order Thanksgiving turkeys, and if you’re thinking beyond Butterball, there are plenty of humanely-raised local and heritage birds available.
For those new to the turkey world, heritage breeds are descendants of domestic turkeys that are closer to those used in the first Thanksgiving feast than the common factory-farmed versions consumed today. The meat is typically richer and more flavorful, making it a favorite among chef and home cooks. Most of the vendors below also carry house-made gravy, sides, and desserts if you want to make life easy.
4883 MacArthur Blvd., NW
Murray’s Turkeys—all-natural, humanely-raised birds grown in Pennsylvania—can be ordered fresh or ready-to-roast: brined, seasoned, and trussed. The market offers a holiday menu of prepared Thanksgiving fare, from sides to pies and shucked oyster appetizers, so you can make it a one-stop-shop.
Details: Turkeys range from 12 to 22 pounds ($5.50/lb. for fresh; $6.99/lb. for brined). Orders must be placed by phone through Sunday, November 22nd. Pickup by Wednesday, November 25.
1309 Fifth St., NE; 8298 Glass Alley, Fairfax; 709 D St., NW
Chef Nate Anda sources free-range heritage turkeys from Fields of Athenry farm in Purcellville, Virginia for his trio of butcher shops. Order them as-is, or brined in a mix of herbs, chili flakes, and citrus. A catering menu also includes extras like gravy, sides, and Anda’s charcuterie.
Details: Turkeys range from 8 to 22 pounds ($9/lb. for regular; $10/lb. for brined). Online orders must be placed by noon on Monday, November 23 for pickup at the three shop locations. Pickup November, 23 through Thursday, November 26 (limited hours).
1425 28th St., NW
Stop by this Georgetown butcher shop for fresh or brined heirloom turkeys, and some very fancy stuffing made with turkey confit, mushrooms, and truffles. You’ll also find gravy and a number of sides to round out the meal.
Details: Turkeys range from 12 to 18 pounds ($6.00/lb. for fresh; $7.49/lb. for brined). Orders must be placed by phone by Monday, November 23. Pickup on Wednesday, November 25 or before.
Local farmer’s markets; 3397 Stony Fork Rd., Moneta, Virginia
You may know Bev Eggleston as a pork guy, but his Virginia farm produces heritage turkeys. Order a bird in advance, and pick it up at one of three farmer’s market locations in Virginia and DC, or by appointment at the farm.
Details: Turkeys range from 8 to 30 pounds ($6.85/lb. for Broad Breast; $8.85/lb for other heritage breeds). Pickup times vary by location.
227 S. Washington St., Alexandria
The Alexandria market carries whole Amish heritage turkeys, and also offers a whole menu of sides, sweets, and cooking ingredients like house-made stocks.
Details: Turkeys average between 10 and 16 pounds ($100 for a 10 to 12 lb. bird; $150 for 14 to 16 lb.). Order by November 15th and get a free bottle of wine. Pickup on or before Wednesday, November 25.
6712 Old Dominion Dr., McLean
Kelly Bronze turkeys are the highlight of the Organic Butcher’s Thanksgiving offerings–the native British breed is known for its rich flavor. The local option is a Maryland free-range bird and bone-in turkey breasts. You’ll also find sausage, bacon, and a variety of other meats.
Details: Kelly Bronze ranges from 13 to 17 pounds ($11.49/lb.); Maryland free-range from 8 to 30 pounds ($4.99/lb.). Orders recommended by November 15; pickup on or before Wednesday, November 25.
2001 S St., NW
Dupont’s locavore market sells pasture-raised turkeys raised on organic feed from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. In addition to the birds, the shop can provide sides, local wines, and more for your meal. Reserve the birds online.
Details: Turkeys range from 10 to 18 pounds ($4.99/lb.). Order while supplies last. Pickup details are available soon.