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Seven Amazing Not-so-Traditional Places to Dine Out on Thanksgiving in San Diego County

Instead of making recipes, make reservations.

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Honestly, we would rather have an ice cream version of any feast. Image: Salt & Straw

If your kind of Thanksgiving meal doesn’t include shopping, cooking, or cleaning up, celebrate the holiday at these local restaurants, shops, and bars.

PRIX FIXE OPTIONS

BBQ-Style Thanksgiving

Meat lovers will give thanks for the buffet-style Thanksgiving dinner at International Smoke.

The hip barbecue restaurant overseen by celebrity cook Ayesha Curry and chef Michael Mina in Carmel Valley’s One Paseo will offer a sizable spread of hearty proteins, including smoked turkey, American style BBQ ribs, and brown sugar and chili prime rib—plus hot and cold seafood dishes, creative spins on traditional Thanksgiving sides, and a host of sweets.

Price per person:  $70, Kids age 4-10, $35

Upgraded Tradition

Great Maple’s three-course prix fixe Thanksgiving dinner highlights seasonally appropriate, elevated comfort foods like spiced lobster bisque, rosemary roasted prime rib, forest mushroom risotto, Moroccan-spiced Cioppino, and yes, roast turkey with all the trimmings.

For dessert, choose pumpkin apple butter flake pie or warm chocolate butterscotch bread pudding with salted fudge sauce.

Price per person: $49 (add optional wine pairing for $25), $15 for kids 13 and under

Urban Tradition

Union Kitchen & Tap Gaslamp’s Thanksgiving menu highlights traditional dishes with a twist, like butternut squash bisque with chipotle coconut crema, smoked turkey breast with truffle mashed potatoes, and sausage sage sourdough stuffing.

The suggested cocktail pairing is an Apple Pie Mule, made with ginger beer, bourbon, apple bitters, and a dash of cinnamon.

Price per person: $29.95

ALA CARTE OPTIONS

Italiano Thanksgiving

Cesarina will celebrate Thanksgiving with a special a la carte menu of seasonally-inspired dishes like turkey and butternut squash lasagna, sweet potato ravioli with turkey sausage and cranberry, and roasted brussels sprouts and pumpkin.

Super Casual Thanksgiving

North Park’s 619 Spirits is taking a decidedly casual approach to turkey day celebrations with a special menu of classic takes on Thanksgiving leftovers and football playing in the background on the big screen from 11am-close.

Thanksgiving for Dessert

If your idea of the perfect Thanksgiving dinner consists solely of ice cream, Salt & Straw’s Thanksgiving celebration series has your cravings covered with inventive flavors like sweet potato casserole with maple pecans, salted caramel Thanksgiving turkey, and spiced goat cheese and pumpkin pie, available by the scoop or pint. Get a taste at the Little Italy or One Paseo (Carmel Valley) scoop shop.

Chef-Style Friendsgiving

If your timing is flexible, consider an early Thanksgiving feast at chef DJ Tangalin’s Friendsgiving celebration at Gaya Gaya on Friday, November 22nd.

Price per person: $30 (Tickets available on Eventbrite)

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS
Erin Jackson
Erin Jackson is a food writer & photographer and the founder of Friendly Feast, a nonprofit organization that produces food and drink events to benefit the local community.
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