Restaurants To Visit On Thanksgiving

Hoping For A Stress-Free Thanksgiving? Start By Ditching The Kitchen And Dine Out Instead

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Thanksgiving has long been known as a holiday meant to be spent at home, gobbling turkey and stuffing yourself with—well, stuffing—at the dinner table while giving thanks for being with the loving company of family and friends. There are some downsides to celebrating at home though, such as the added stress from shopping for different courses, the hours of prep and cooking, and lastly, that dreaded cleanup after the big meal. But don’t let the spoils of the holiday get you down. Some Coastal Virginia restaurants are staying open this Thanksgiving with some downright delicious dishes that will provide the comforting tradition of the holiday—minus the stress. Now that’s something to give thanks for.


Waypoint Seafood & Grill

Waypoint is making this year’s meal most memorable with a three-course Chesapeake Bay rendition on Thanksgiving classics. Delve into a seafood frenzy beginning with Jumbo Lump Crab Tian, Seared Diver Scallops or Roasted Tomato Crab & Jalapeno Bisque before being capped off with a main course of Seared Chesapeake Rockfish & Jumbo Lump Crab—it’s certainly a catch. Waypoint’s holiday helpings also stay true to tradition with twists on classics, such as their Sweet Potato Velouté, Autumn Garden Salad and Roasted Herb Rubbed Black Heritage Turkey. All of which surmount with a sweet ending of Chef Melissa’s Harvest Sampler indulging in portions of harvest spice mousse, sweet potato pound cake, apple fritter and pecan shortbread. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. 1480 Quarterpath Rd., Williamsburg. Reservations required, call 757-220-2228.


Swan Terrace Grill at The Founders Inn and Spa

The table is bountifully set with two extravagant and extraordinary lunch and dinner buffets in the lavish Virginia Ballroom and the Swan Terrace Grill. The traditional Founders Thanksgiving Day Buffet delightfully dishes out a forthcoming of turkey, ham, roasted steamship beef, aged cuts of prime rib with seasonally and locally grown fruits and vegetables, salad and pastries made in-house for dessert. Dinner will feature a ravishing turkey dressed with trimmings, sensibly and skillfully prepared by the culinary talents at The Founders Inn and Spa. The family affair will have an arrangement of fun activities planned throughout the day for adults and kids alike, from arts and crafts to face painting, a balloon artist, petting zoo and live music. Thanksgiving Day Buffet adults $49.50. Children 5–12 years $24.95. Children 4 years and under free. 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Thanksgiving Evening Dinner Buffet adults $26.95. Children 5–12 years $12.95. Children 4 and under free. 5–8 p.m. Reservations required; call 757-366-5777. 5641 Indian River Rd., Virginia Beach.


The Spirit of Norfolk

Feast your eyes on striking views of the Elizabeth River and Downtown Norfolk while feasting on a Thanksgiving lunch buffet aboard The Spirit of Norfolk. Bring the entire crew for this 2 1/2-hour outing on the water with a generous giving of holiday favorites like roasted tom turkey with cranberry orange sauce and homemade gravy, baked macaroni and cheese, crispy green bean casserole, creamy garlic mashed potatoes and rustic herb stuffing with a smidgen of rosemary. When it comes to dessert there’s plenty to showboat about on the boat, especially with the caramel apple bread pudding and vanilla bean mousse smothered in raspberry sauce. Live entertainment and music from a DJ with a dance floor and interactive games keep the cruise moving down the river. Adult price beginning at $54.90. Children ages 3–12 $40.95. Book online. 12:30–3:30 p.m. Cruise departs from Otter Berth at Town Point Park, Norfolk.


Colonial Williamsburg

The ’burg becomes the bearer of good tidings and tastings on the fourth Thursday in November as several of its colonial-era establishments offer celebratory meals of historic proportions. Dine like the original settlers with turkey dinners in the rustic and cozy ambiances of the taverns of Shields, Chowning's, Campbell’s or King’s Arms, all within walking distance of each other. Each will have multiple courses with starters, entrées and dessert, while King’s Arms Tavern will additionally have 18th century-style music and other harmonious tunes for the holiday season. For Thanksgiving in a more modern but still majestic setting, the Williamsburg Inn will host a daytime buffet in their Grand Regency Room, while the Williamsburg Lodge will provide their own midday feast. Both venues will have chef stations, live entertainment and beverages to purchase. Prices, times and locations vary. Purchase tickets online.


The Butcher’s Son

The popular steakhouse opens its doors this Thanksgiving with an at-home feel while sparing you the extra elbow grease you’d have to put into cleaning the pots and pans in your own kitchen. Known for their jazzy atmosphere and, dare we say, highbrow selection of steaks, The Butcher’s Son brings out the best of the holiday with an afternoon buffet. The lunch will center around its carving station with turkey, ham and sirloin complemented with horseradish sauce, cranberry, grain mustard and gravy. Signature Thanksgiving and Southern-inspired sides—sweet potato casserole, corn pudding and collard greens—also find their way into the meal. Save room for dessert, as the chophouse will be whipping up pecan pie, pumpkin pie, apple pie, chocolate cake and cherry cobbler. Adults $35. Children 12 and under $15. Noon–5 p.m. Reservations required; call 757-410-5466 (Chesapeake) and 757-500-7550 (Virginia Beach). 500 Battlefield Blvd. S, Chesapeake. 1556 Laskin Rd. #134, Virginia Beach.


The Chamberlin

Thanksgiving gets a nice touch of Virginian grandeur at The Chamberlin in Fort Monroe, with its chandelier ballrooms, ornately set dining room tables and elaborate views of blue waters on the James River and Chesapeake Bay. The halls of this former hotel converted to retirement community date back to the 1920s and still hold their splendor for the banquet of foods spread out between the salad and seafood bars, chef’s table and carving stations. Harvest meets harbor with elegant eats such as the pumpkin and crab bisque with Old Bay croutons, James River oysters on the half shell, house-made gravlax, shrimp and crab stuffed flounder, slow roasted beef brisket, Virginia country ham and slow roasted turkey. Conclude with dashing dessert platters like the sweet potato pie, pecan pie and pumpkin swirl cheesecake. $45. 11 a.m.­–3 p.m. Reservations required, call 757-637-7200. 2 Fenwick Rd., Hampton.

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