I used to be opposed to eating out on Thanksgiving. Growing up, my family traveled to my aunt’s house in Pennsylvania every year for an all-day homemade feast, with four generations of family members contributing side dishes and dessert. I would wake up every Thanksgiving morning on a green, crushed velvet couch too narrow for an adult to sleep on, and the scent of turkey would already be in the air. We ate for hours, and the following day, we had turkey sandwiches for lunch.
As a child, this was bliss. As an adult, I would discover years later (when Thanksgiving involved the actual cooking of said turkey and the laborious cleanup), my opinion on going out to eat on a holiday pulled an abrupt U-turn. And for the last several years, I’ve spent Thanksgiving seated across from my mother on the porch of a Georgian Revival mansion in Cape May, facing the ocean.
This year, it’s back to a family gathering, but for those of you who don’t want to cook on vacation (or simply don’t want to cook), here’s our roundup of where you can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner this year, minus the cleanup.
Congress Hall has two Thanksgiving offerings: a traditional plated dinner from 2pm to 8pm in the Blue Pig Tavern, or a holiday buffet from 1pm to 5pm in the Grand Ballroom. $45 adults; $19 children ages 3-12. For reservations, call 609-884-6574.
The Ebbitt Room has a 3-course dinner menu for $65 per person, with the option of a whole roasted turkey served family style for groups of six or more (advanced reservations required). For reservations, call 609-884-5700.
Harbor View is serving Thanksgiving dinner from 2pm. Call 609-884-5444 for reservations.
Hemingway’s at the Grand Hotel is hosting a Thanksgiving buffet. Call 609-884-5611 ext 550 for information and reservations.
The Merion Inn is offering an a la carte menu or a 3-course sit-down dinner from 12:30pm to 8pm. Live piano music all day. For reservations, call 609-884-8363.
Peter Shields Inn is offering a 3-course, fixed price dinner menu from Executive Chef Carl Messick. $55 adults; $25 children. For reservations, call 609-884-9090.
If you don’t mind a short drive, Rio Station (in Rio Grande, exit 4 off of the Parkway) is offering turkey, ham, or ham & turkey Thanksgiving platters from 1pm to 7pm. $18.99 adults; $10.99 kids. For reservations, call 609-889-2000.
And although they aren’t serving turkey, Uncle Bill’s Pancake House is whipping up pumpkin pancakes on Thanksgiving Day until noon.
If you want to host a large gathering but skip the cooking…
The Depot Cafe offers Thanksgiving Dinners to go! Roasted turkey breast, mashed potatoes, gravy, relish, stuffing, vegetables, corn, rolls, and pie–$22.95 per person. Place orders by November 22; pick up November 24 between 12 and 2pm. Call 609-884-8030.
Lucky Bones offers a Thanksgiving feast to-go that includes a 20lb turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, apple stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls, gravy, dressing, pumpkin spice coffee, and two pies. Plenty for 12 people and only $330, plus tax. Order by November 20th by calling the Washington Inn (they’re sister restaurants) at 609-884-5697. Pick up at Lucky Bones on November 24 from 11am – 12:30pm.
Rio Station (Rio Grande, exit 4) offers a whole turkey dinner for takeout that serves up to 6 people. $124.99. Advanced order required. Call 609-889-2000.
Wishing a safe and happy Thanksgiving to you and your family from all of us at CapeMay.com.