25 Restaurants Open on Thanksgiving This Year

If your idea of whipping up Thanksgiving dinner is making reservations, these chain restaurants will have you covered this Turkey Day.

If you’ve ever hosted Thanksgiving dinner, you know it’s a lot of work. Not only does the prep and cooking feel like an exhausting three-ring circus, but then there’s the clean-up with which to contend. There’s also likely someone running around to one of the stores open on Thanksgiving to grab some last-minute items, including the classic Costco pumpkin pie. But the benefits are clear—precious moments with family and friends, time-honored traditions, delicious food, and incredible leftovers. But, guess what? You can have all of this without the hustle by taking advantage of one of the many chain restaurants open on Thanksgiving in 2021.

When you’re feeling the urge to hang up your apron, maybe just this once, give one of these institutions a try for a warm plate and great company without the fuss. Or start some new Thanksgiving traditions. Check with your nearest location of any given restaurant to make sure they are indeed participating.

Applebee’s Grill & Bar

Casual and kid-friendly, most Applebee’s locations will be open on Thanksgiving, but you should always check with your local chain. Just as you might at home, wear your stretchy pants!

Golden Corral

As one of the restaurants open on Thanksgiving every year, Golden Corral advertises their Thanksgiving Day Buffet, and it looks like a not-to-be-missed feast. You’ve got all of the trimmings and absolutely no reason not to go back for seconds. Even if you’re eating out, you can still make your home festive with these fun Thanksgiving decorations.

Denny’s

Denny’s is one restaurant that never closes on Thanksgiving—or any day, for that matter. If you’d prefer to pick up your meal to go on Thanksgiving, some locations will even offer delivery, too.

Marie Callender’s

A Marie Callender's restaurant sits on a corner in Concord, California on a sunny dayKimberly White/Getty Images

With their year-round assortment of incredible pies, it only makes sense that Marie Callender’s is one of the restaurants open on Thanksgiving. Groups can either dine in at their nearest participating location or grab a feast to go, with five different menu options to choose from.

T.G.I. Friday’s

T.G.I. Friday’s serves up their regular menu on Thanksgiving Day. But, hey, who wouldn’t mind making those rectangular mozzarella sticks a new Thanksgiving tradition? We’re in. Before you head out to dinner, make sure you tune into this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade to witness a tradition that has continued for the last 95 years.

Boston Market

Every day can feel like Thanksgiving at Boston Market, with its comforting menu of dishes reminiscent of the food-fueled holiday. With the option to either dine-in or carry out, the chain has a fabulous array of heat-and-serve options and à la carte items to make this year’s dinner a breeze (and delicious, too).

Hooters

At first glance, Hooters might feel like an odd choice for restaurants open on Thanksgiving, but if your crew is all about football, then this option is the place to be. Take in all of the big games while dining on the chain’s infamous wings.

Maggiano’s Little Italy

Thanksgiving at an Italian restaurant? Oh, yes. Maggiano’s is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. for catering, take-out, and dine-in options. You can even suggest Italian food as one of your Friendsgiving ideas this year.

Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store in Stuart, FloridaJeff Greenberg/Getty Images

You can dine-in or take-out this Thanksgiving at Cracker Barrel. They even have freshly baked pie!

Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Ruth’s Chris is offering a full turkey dinner for dine-in or pick-up this year.

Bahama Breeze

If you’d like to pretend you’re soaking up the salty ocean air this Thanksgiving, many Bahama Breeze locations are serving guests this holiday; check with your local chain to be sure they’re open. With an island-infused Thanksgiving menu, it’s like a vacation for your taste buds and away from holiday stress.

Buca di Beppo

With doors opening at 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Buca di Beppo is already taking reservations and online orders. This year’s classic menu will feature sliced white meat turkey, home-style gravy, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, spicy Italian sausage stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie.

The Capital Grille

Options abound at The Capital Grille on Thanksgiving Day. Eat as much as your heart (and your tummy) desires. Reservations recommended. Make sure to snap a ton of photos and if you decide to post them, use one of these clever Thanksgiving Instagram captions that are just too witty.

Waffle House

Waffle House in Thornton, Colorado on a sunny dayMatthew Stockman/Getty Images

When you crave the comforts of something very familiar, Waffle House is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. So, yes, that also means Thanksgiving.

Chart House

Chart House is planning to be busy this Thanksgiving Day so make sure to schedule a reservation ahead of time for all the steak, seafood, and ribs you’ve been dreaming about.

Chili’s

How about some Chili’s baby back ribs this holiday? Most Chili’s will be operating normal business hours, but double-check with your local Chili’s to confirm.

Dunkin’

Need a coffee and a donut to get you through all the meal preparation? Dunkin’ has you covered. You know what they say: “America runs on Dunkin.'”

Starbucks

America may run on Dunkin’, but that doesn’t mean you do. Get your caffeine fix at Starbucks and maybe a slice of pumpkin bread while you’re at it. Turn on one of these Thanksgiving movies after dinner to end the night right.

IHOP

IHOP logo seen at one of their restaurantsSOPA Images/Getty Images

IHOP is ready to serve up some pumpkin pancakes this Thanksgiving for you and the whole family. Feel free to get some waffles and omelets too.

Legal Sea Foods

Dine on some fish this Thanksgiving if you’re not in the mood for turkey. Legal Sea Foods is a classic with something on the menu for everybody.

Pizza Hut

There is never a wrong time to have pizza—including Thanksgiving. Pizza Hut hours of operation depend on the location so call ahead to your local spot to make sure they are open.

Popeyes

Pick up some fried chicken for a no-stress Thanksgiving meal this year. Popeyes will be open and ready to serve.

Ruby Tuesday

This classic chain will be serving up its regular menu on Thanksgiving day, including its extensive salad bar. Ruby Tuesday even has catering opens, but you may want to call ahead to check local availability.

Subway

Cooking is exhausting. If you can’t wait until Thanksgiving dinner for a bite to eat, pick up a sandwich at Subway to tide you over. No judgement from us if you want to have turkey twice in one day.

Tony Roma’s

Spice up your Thanksgiving with some steak and ribs this holiday if turkey isn’t really your speed. Tony Roma’s also has seafood if you’re not a beef person. Now that you know which restaurants are open on Thanksgiving, read up on these reasons to be thankful for this Thanksgiving that you’ll want to share at the table.

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