Your Complete Guide to Thanksgiving 2015 in and Around Washington, DC

From chef planned menus to to-go trimmings, here’s what’s offered for Thanksgiving this year in Washington, D.C.
pana cotta

Facebook/The Oval Room

Executive chef John Melfi is serving a stellar three-course Thanksgiving menu at the Oval Room that includes this savory pumpkin panna cotta.

For many Americans, Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday, and who can blame them — there are many reasons to enjoy this annual feast. Kids love it because there are parades with balloons, marching bands, and music. Football fans love the all-day TV binge, and almost everyone is relieved that it’s a holiday free of obligatory gift giving. Thanksgiving is instead a holiday devoted to togetherness and sharing a meal with friends and family.

It’s also a holiday that lets us celebrate our diversity by blending dining styles and cuisines. America is a country made up of people from other places, and celebrating it is quintessentially American whether you’re serving turkey stir fry, chicken tikka, or Southern ham. The Thanksgiving menu lends itself to individual culinary expressions of what being American means and the range of side dishes and menu interpretations means everyone can share their culture, history, and food in harmony.

See if our Thanksgiving lineup can convince you to escape the kitchen and let someone else do the cooking. We’ve compiled a list with diversity in mind, so this year’s list of dining options for Thanksgiving offers a selection of options for vegetarians, gluten-free adherents, and lovers of international cuisine.

We acknowledge turkey isn’t for everyone too, so rather than trot out a list of expensive places to eat that focus solely on the traditional bird and sides; our list includes restaurants where turkey isn’t the only choice on the menu.  And if going out is still too much to bear, there is a list of places that offer Thanksgiving to go.

Note: This is a busy time of year so make a reservation, place your orders, and confirm if prices include tax and gratuity charges), and verify menus to ensure you won’t be disappointed.

A BREAK FROM TRADITION
If you prefer something different for Thanksgiving, we have a few suggestions that include fantastic food that’s packed with flavor and spice.

Agora
Agora is a wonderful restaurant that is the perfect alternative to Thanksgiving dinner. They will be open for dinner only and their menu features classic Turkish, Greek, and Lebanese inspired food, as well as a meze feast, that will make you forget about turkey and stuffing.

The Bombay Club
If want an alternative to the typical Thanksgiving turkey and trimmings, book a table at The Bombay Club. They are offering a delightfully different turkey special with hints of spices from southern Asia, in addition to the full a la carte menu. Once you try executive chef Nilesh Singhvi’s take on turkey you will be a convert. His achari turkey tikka is first marinated in yogurt and pickled spices to seal in the flavor and keep the meat moist and tender, and then the hallowed bird is roasted in a tandoor oven to reveal a juicy bird with plenty of flavor. It’s served with cranberry chutney, Brussels sprouts foogath, and sweet potato bharta—for just $20.50 and if you want to add dessert, try the pumpkin brûlée for an additional $9 — it will make for quite a meal.

Mitsitam Café at the National Museum of the American Indian
If you are looking to pay homage to our nation’s first people and enjoy authentic American Indian food, Mitsitam Café at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian is hosting Thanksgiving dinner in the Potomac Atrium or as take out. Service is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., main courses range from $12.50 to $19.95 with side dishes priced $3.59 to $12.95.

Rasika (VEGAN)
We are devoted fans of both Rasika locations and can always count on chef Vikram Sunderam to prepare an incredible meal. This is one restaurant where everyone, vegan or not, can enjoy a lovely meal. While there are special Thanksgiving dishes on the menu like the Turkey Salli, which is cooked with apricots, straw potatoes, and basmati rice ($16), you may also order from the a la carte menu and satisfy your vegan and vegetarian cravings too.

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