While many Americans will sit down and enjoy a traditional turkey dinner on Thanksgiving, some will opt to skip the tradition.
Although many, if not most, major chain restaurants will be closed on Thanksgiving, there will be plenty of options for those opting to skip a meal at home. While some restaurants will be offering their standard menu, others will provide a special Thanksgiving Day menu for those who just do not want to cook.
Note that some national chains that are not listed — especially fast food restaurants — are franchised, in which case the decision to open is often left to local ownership.
Here is a list of major chain restaurants opting to open for Thanksgiving (hours and participation vary):
Bar Louie: The gastropub has 67 locations nationwide and some will be open Thanksgiving evening if you need some relief from your relatives.
Bob Evans: This restaurant chain is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner on Thanksgiving. Check out their holiday menu here.
Boston Market: Boston Market might not have its Thanksgiving Day buffet anymore, but it does offer holiday catering so you don’t have to cook a single thing.
Buca di Beppo: Buca di Beppo offers diners the option of enjoying a traditional Thanksgiving meal in the restaurant or by catering. Click here to read more.
Cracker Barrel: Cracker Barrel calls Thanksgiving its "busiest day of the year” as it is open for its normal hours and menu. For those looking for catering, Cracker Barrel is offering a full Thanksgiving meal for 10, including turkey, dressing, gravy, cranberry relish, choice of two sides, rolls and two pies. The price varies by location.
Denny's: You can always count on Denny's to be open all day, every day of the year, including Thanksgiving.
Dunkin': Many locations will be open during Thanksgiving. Check the location nearest you for operating hours.
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse: Starting at $56 per person, guests can enjoy a three-course turkey dinner that includes all the traditional fixings. If you prefer steak, customers can order a filet mignon for an extra charge. To RSVP, click here.
Golden Corral: Golden Corral will be open with a special Thanksgiving buffet, among other entrees. Prices vary by location. Click here to see the buffet menu.
IHOP: The house of pancakes will be serving up unique turkey dishes for the holiday, including a homestyle turkey and stuffing melt. It does not appear they will be offering turkey and stuffing pancakes with cranberry sauce. Maybe next year?
Metro Diner: You can order a feast to-gofrom Metro Diner, or dine-in and try their turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy on a stuffing waffle. Yes, a waffle made from stuffing.
Popeye's: Hours at this fast food joint's locations may vary for the holiday, but you can order an entire cajun turkey ahead of time from your nearest location to heat up for your Thanksgiving feast.
Red Lobster: All locations will be open Thanksgiving Day. The holiday meal will include a side of stuffing made from their famous Cheddar Bay biscuits.
Ruth's Chris Steak House: The steakhouse will have a special three-course dinner with all your holiday favorites including oven-roasted turkey breast, sausage and herb stuffing, homemade turkey gravy, and pumpkin cheesecake. Reservations are available by clicking here.
Sheetz: If you're just looking for a good ol' hamburger or slice of pizza, this will be a safe bet. All of the gas station's restaurants are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Starbucks: Many Starbucks locations will be open on the holiday for those who need a caffeine pick-me-up. Check your individual location for hours.
TGI Fridays: The chain said it will be open for "pregamers, friend seekers and family escapers" on Thanksgiving. Hours will vary by location.
Waffle House: Almost every Waffle House location offers hash browns and other classic items 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including Thanksgiving.
Wawa: The "hot turkey gobbler" at this gas station restaurant is a classic alternative to a big Thanksgiving meal.
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