Chefs Put a Global Spin on Thanksgiving Dining Around DC

Where to find Mexican turkey mole, Filipino lechón, Lebanese-style lamb, and more.

Try a plant-based spin on Thanksgiving from Latin American chefs at Mita. Photograph courtesy of Mita

These international takes on the Thanksgiving table look deliciously different from the usual turkey and stuffing (though you’ll find that, too). Here’s where to celebrate Thanksgiving—dine in or to-go—with flavors from Mexico, Lebanon, Malaysia, and beyond.

Bad Saint
3226 11th St., NW
Celebrate the holiday Filipino-style with beautiful passionfruit/kalamansi pies ($33). Owner Genevieve Villamora also arranges artful floral centerpieces for the table ($130-$175). Order by Saturday, November 20. Takeout only

Filipino-American chef Paolo Dungca is preparing some of his favorite childhood Thanksgiving dishes in a takeout meal for two ($85), which previews his forthcoming restaurant. The meal, sold with reheating instructions, stars roasted duck with anise and sweet soy, dirty Java rice, palabok noodles with prawns, fresh ube rolls, and cassava cake. Add on lechon (crispy pork belly) for an extra $25. Takeout only

La Famosa
1300 Fourth St., SE
Chef/owner Joancarlo Parkhurst’s Puerto Rican restaurant in Navy Yard brings American and Caribbean island traditions to the mainland with a family-style takeout meal ($180; serves six). Turkey is roasted and seasoned like lechón, with garlic, adobo, annatto, and oregano. Side dishes include sweet plantains, Puerto Rican rice and peas, and more. Add on a bottle of homemade coquito—think PR’s answer to eggnog—to get the party started. Takeout only

Lebanese Taverna
Available at the Tysons Corner, Woodley Park, Pentagon Row, Rockville, and Baltimore locations
Put a homey Lebanese twist on your Thanksgiving spread this year with catered platters from this local mainstay. The family-style meals are easily customizable: choose centerpieces like spice-roasted leg of lamb or a Lebanese-style roast turkey with spiced rice and gravy. Add sides like za’atar potatoes or pilaf, and dessert choices such as baklava-crusted pumpkin cheesecake. Takeout only

3400 11th St., NW
The Malaysian restaurant in Columbia Heights is serving a takeout package ($95) centered around nasi ganja: confit turkey legs with ganja sauce, coconut chutney, sambal tumis, and jasmine rice. Side dishes include green bean rendang casserole and acar mimau cranberry sauce. You can also opt for Thanksgiving beverage packages with wines and to-go cocktails—likely a hit at your friendsgiving dinner. Order online by Thursday, November 18. Takeout only

1346 Florida Ave., NW
Not a turkey fan? The tawle (family-style) meals from this wood-fired hearth star either a pomegranate-glazed or roasted cauliflower, which comes with snacks, dips, fresh breads, salads, vegetables, and dessert ($85 per person). Order online via Tock. Takeout only

Grilled carrots at Maydan. Photograph by Scott Suchman

1280 Fourth St., NE
Chefs Miguel Guerra and Tatiana Mora prepare an alternative Thanksgiving at their plant-based Latin American restaurant in La Cosecha. A takeout package ($175 for two, $260 for four) stars a vegetable pot pie centerpiece accompanied by sides like wild rice, mashed potato gratin, and pumpkin cheesecake. Takeout only

1101 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
The Capitol Hill Mexican restaurant is cooking up a package for four ($148) or eight ($264) with dishes like turkey in mole negro, homemade corn tortillas, tamales, Brussel sprouts, and more. Diners can also add on large sides for eight to ten, including mole gravy, turkey enchiladas, and blue cornbread with ancho-honey butter. For dessert: dulce de leche cake. Order online by Sunday, November 21. Takeout only

3311 Connecticut Ave., NW
Cleveland Park’s Israeli spot is serving a la carte dishes like roast turkey marinated in white wine with cumin and cilantro, served over Israeli couscous ($28); green bean casserole with parmesan, tahini, and preserved lemon; and honeyed sweet potatoes with tomato, chickpea, and spinach stew. Takeout, dine-in, and delivery

Spanish Diner
7271 Woodmont Ave, Bethesda
José Andrés’s Bethesda diner puts a Spanish accent on Thanksgiving appetizers, sides, and desserts, Start your evening with croquetas ($23), available by the dozen and ready to fry, and finish it with a whole tarta de queso con calabaza ($60), a pumpkin version of Andrés’ beloved Basque cheesecake. Dishes are available to order via Tock. Takeout only

Succotash and Succotash Prime 
915 F St., NW; 186 Waterfront St., Oxon Hill (National Harbor)
Chef Edward Lee plays to his Korean and American south roots at Succotash. For Thanksgiving, that means cranberry sauce spiked with ginger, deviled eggs with green tomato-kimchee, and veggie options like smoked tofu alongside the more traditional turkey, ham, and stuffing. The meal is $65 for adults and $28 for kids 12 and under. Dine-in

Rasika and Bombay Club
633 D St., NW and 1190 New Hampshire Ave., NW (Rasika); 815 Connecticut Ave., NW (Bombay Club)
Restaurateur Ashok Bajaj’s refined Indian restaurants all offer riffs on turkey, pumpkin, and other traditional holiday ingredients. At the Bombay Club, try malai turkey tikka, marinated in yogurt with cashews, black pepper and mace, grilled in a tandoori oven, and served with cranberry korma, Brussels sprouts, and sweet potato-kale bhaji ($26). At Rasika, you’ll find dishes like coconut-turkey stew or braised lamb. Dine-in, takeout, and delivery

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.