Food

Where to Dine Out on Thanksgiving Around DC

We've got a restaurant for every mood.

Thanksgiving dinner at The Smith. Photograph courtesy of The Smith.

Need Thanksgiving dinner plans? There’s still (a little!) time to lock down a reservation. Here, some enticing options for all your turkey day needs.

If you’re looking for something…

Super-fancy: Fiola
601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Sure, Fabio Trabocchi’s Penn Quarter Italian spot serves turkey on Thanksgiving. But we’re here for the lobster ravioli, truffle-showered risotto, Kusshi oysters, and chestnut “cappuccino.” The three-course menu is $115 for adults, $50 for children.
Also good: Eric Ziebold’s $95 menu at Kinship (1015 Seventh St., NW) includes his famed lobster French toast, plus herb-roasted turkey with sides like cassava with yuzu kosho aioli, or sour-cream-and-chive mashed potatoes.

Classic American: 1789
1226 36th St., NW
Around here, few places convey old-school dining like this antique-crammed Federal rowhouse restaurant in Georgetown. Chef Tracy O’Grady’s three-course menu ($75 per adult; $35 for children under 12) starts with Caesar salad and pumpkin bisque, and moves onto (among other things) roast turkey with glazed carrots, pearl onions, and cornbread stuffing. For dessert, there’s pumpkin cheesecake, flourless chocolate cake, and an apple tart.
Also Good: The Riggsby (1731 New Hampshire Ave., NW) is doing an $80 three-course menu featuring turkey with sausage stuffing and jalapeno cornbread, plus a $20 wine pairing.

For friendsgiving: American Son
Eaton DC, 1201 K St., NW
New head chef Hamilton Johnson serves a moderately-priced, family-style meal ($45 per person with an optional punch or wine pairing). Bring buds and dig into three courses with options like she-crab bisque, heritage turkey, and pecan pie.
Also good: Italian-style Friendsgiving at Nicoletta (901 Fourth St., NW)—$35 per person plus $25 carafes of wine. Or if you want to hang before family time, the early celebration—happening November 19 through 21—at Little Pearl (921 Pennsylvania Ave., SE).

Vegetarian/vegan: Equinox
818 Connecticut Ave., NW
Chef Todd Gray already offers an upscale “plant-based” menu at his seasonal restaurant near the White House. For Thanksgiving weekend you’ll find a three-course tasting menu ($75) with both omnivorous and vegan options such as rice-stuffed collard greens in harissa broth and apple spice cake with maple-pecan “ice cream.”
Also good: Vegan Thanksgiving to-go (savory and sweet) from Sticky Fingers (1370 Park Rd., NW) and Fare Well (406 H St., NE). Or the extensive vegetarian options—plus turkey korma—at Rasika (633 D St., NW; 1190 New Hampshire Ave., NW).

The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm. Photograph by Scott Suchman

In the country: The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm
42461 Lovettsville Rd., Lovettsville
Chef Tarver King’s greenhouse-turned-dining room near Harper’s Ferry is a destination for food lovers and naturalists—a place where ingredients are both grown and foraged on the property. The chefs are still creating the family-style Thanksgiving menu ($85 per person), but if it’s like other meals there, it’ll be memorable.
Also good: Field & Main‘s three-course Thanksgiving dinner ($75 per person), a lovely farm-to-table restaurant with great Virginia wines (8369 West Main St., Marshall, VA).

Elegant in a hotel: Blue Duck Tavern
Park Hyatt, 1201 24th St., NW
The word that comes to mind when we think of the Park Hyatt restaurant’s Thanksgiving spread is bountiful (It helps that cheeses, salads, appetizers, and desserts are lavishly arrayed in the open kitchens.) Aside from sorghum-glazed turkey and buttery whipped potatoes, the menu ($135 per person) offers crab cakes, braised short rib, and seared scallops.
Also good: The opulent Plume (1200 16th St., NW) inside the Jefferson Hotel is offering a three-course menu ($108 per person), plus a vegetarian version.

Kid-friendly: The Smith
901 F St., NW; 1314 U St., NW
This New York export has all the makings of a kid-friendly dining experience: Big booths, a loud, tile-lined room, and a photo booth to stave off meltdowns. The three-course menu ($53 per person) is a something-for-everyone mix: There’s traditional turkey, but also turkey osso buco and turkey pot pie. Children under 12 eat for half price.
Also good: Unconventional Diner (1207 Ninth St., NW), which, along with a $48 three-course prix fixe, is offering kid-friendly fallbacks like chicken nuggets and cheese quesadillas; Farmers and Distillers (600 Massachusetts Ave., NW), which is offering a traditional menu at a discount ($20) for children under 12.

French-accented: L’Auberge Chez Francois
332 Springvale Rd., Great Falls
Few places get into the holiday spirit like this cozy Alsatian-style cottage in Great Falls, which is kicking off the season with a five-course turkey dinner ($85 to $95 per person). There are three seatings: noon, 3 PM, and 6 PM.
Also good: Le Diplomate (1601 14th St., NW), which is open all day, is offering turkey plus dinner and brunch staples like steak frites and duck sarladaise.

Mac and cheese at Succotash. Photograph by Clarence Butts and Scott Suchman.
Mac and cheese at Succotash. Photograph by Clarence Butts and Scott Suchman

Steakhouse: Bourbon Steak
Four Seasons, 2800 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
At this Michael Mina steakhouse in the Georgetown Four Seasons, turkey and stuffing is joined with indulgences like a wagyu New York strip and pecan-glazed pork. Truffles are an optional supplement to the three-course menu ($125 per person).
Also good: BLT Steak (1625 I St., NW), which is offering both eat-in ($82 per adult; $40 for children under 12) and takeout meals (pre-order the dinner packages—$250 to $450—by November 18). The midwestern-style Rare (1595 I St., NW) is doing a three-course dinner ($75 per person), with options like oysters Rockefeller, mushroom tortellini, and turkey with sage bread pudding.

Southern-style: Succotash
915 F St., NW; 186 Waterfront St, Oxon Hill, MD
If you’ve got pickled-shrimp salad, deviled eggs, cornbread muffins, and honey ham on the brain, Kentucky/DC chef Ed Lee’s massive Penn Quarter and National Harbor restaurants are your place. The three-course menu is $65 for adults in DC ($55 at National Harbor) and half price for children under 12.
Also good: Georgia Brown’s (950 15th St., NW) is serving up she-crab soup, fried turkey, peach cobbler, and other Southern staples. The menu is $65 for adults, $25 for children 10 and under. Clarendon’s Green Pig Bistro (1025 N. Fillmore St., Arlington) is offering an affordable buffet ($38 for adults, $19 for children age three to 10). 

A la Carte: Don’t feel like committing to a set menu? Plenty of places are running a la carte menus, including lavish Spanish Wharf spot Del Mar, the pasta-focused Sfoglina, the midwestern steakhouse Rare, the French-themed DBGB and Le Diplomate, and the Mexican Mi Vida

Fried: Medium Rare Capitol Hill
515 Eighth St., SE
Owner Mark Bucher brings back his annual turkey fry for the tenth year in a row. Bring your bird to the Barracks Row restaurant between 11 AM and 2 PM and the team will fry it for free. Requirements: Birds must be completely thawed (no one wants a turkey explosion) and between 8 and 10 pounds.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.