Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday in which we take a moment to be thankful for the important things in our lives. While it's a holiday that is traditionally marked with a large meal as an opportunity for people to gather together, the holiday looks a little different in 2020. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, people have been advised to forego the big gatherings this year and while many are choosing to still enjoy a homecooked feast at home even if on a smaller scale, others are looking for a more subdued way of enjoying the holiday while still others, for countless reasons, just don't want to spend the day cooking. That means many are looking for a way to enjoy a meal out -- and fortunately, there are options.
There are plenty of restaurants and chains that are open for Thanksgiving and many of them even offer traditional Thanksgiving fare such as turkey and all the trimmings. Other establishments may not offer traditional holiday foods but are open just the same to provide a dining alternative for those looking to celebrate a bit different. To help those people, we've put together a list of various national chains and restaurants that will be open for Thanksgiving. It's by no means a fully exhaustive list, but it's a pretty good representation of places you can get a bite to eat.
There are a few things to note about this list, however. While we've included an specific information about hours or other restrictions where applicable, if you are planning to pay any of these establishments a visit on Thanksgiving, we encourage you to give the location you're intending to visit a call just to double check -- some locations may have their own, regional-specific hours or offerings, not to mention that different cities and states have their own restrictions regarding dining establishments due to the pandemic. Your mileage may vary, but at least this is a good place to start.
Now, onto the eats!
Coffee, doughnuts, and bakery
No matter what your plans for the Thanksgiving holiday are -- be it holing up on the couch with some Netflix or getting together for a socially distanced meal -- Thanksgiving still falls on a day that ends in "y" which means you probably need coffee. For those not wanting to make the bean brew themselves or those wanting a little sweet treat to start their day, some coffee chains and bakery restaurants are going to be open on Thursday. Most of them will operate with reduced hours, potentially a reduced menu, or may have other restrictions depending on location so you'll want to check your local location before arriving. Here's a short list of the chains that are planning to be open on Thanksgiving to get your day off to a good start.
Einstein Bros. Bagels -- open, but with reduced hours. Check your local store for specifics.prevnext
Looking to pick up something quick? Craving a burger and fries? Just not wanting to deal with making a giant meal? Here are the fast food establishments we've found are set to be open on Thanksgiving but, again, check your local stores. A few of them have their hours set not by individual owners and franchisees.
Jack in the Box
Steak 'n Shake
Sometimes you just want pizza, but if you're looking for a slice on Thanksgiving this year your options are going to be limited. Unlike last year where multiple major pizza chains were open for business, our research indicates that only Papa John's will be open, but not all locations. You will want to double check with your local restaurant just to be sure (and remember to tip your delivery driver.)prevnext
Other Restaurants and Buffets
Applebee's -- make sure you call on this one. While all Applebee's are expected to be open on Thanksgiving Eve, most should be open on the holiday itself though local regulations could impact this.
Buca Di Beppo -- they're even offering a special, Italian twist on the Thanksgiving meal for 2020.
Boston Market -- call before going. Some locations are open only for catering orders on Thanksgiving.
Cracker Barrel -- this is famously their busiest day of the year so you can bet they'll be open.
Romano's Macaroni Grill -- call first. The restaurant chain had offered a Thanksgiving meal that could be ordered ahead and picked up so they may be carry-out only.
IHOP -- check your local restaurant before going
Ryan's, Old Country Buffet, HomeTown Buffet, Country Buffet -- these are all owned by the same parent company and are all expected to be open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and serving a holiday menu all day.
Ruth's Chris Steak House
Golden Corral -- call your local restaurant before going as hours may vary by location
Waffle House -- they literally never closeprevnext
Food delivery services have grown in popularity since last Thanksgiving and, as you might guess, they will be available for the holiday as well. Postmates, Door Dash, and Uber Eats all will likely have some drivers working on Thanksgiving though how many will vary by city. It's also likely that some local restaurants may be open on the holiday as well so be sure to check on your favorites.