Thanksgiving is fast approaching and sometimes you can’t — or just don’t want to — stay at home. Whether it’s the lack of community in the area or the desperate desire to avoid hours cooking and cleaning, Orange County offers ample alternatives. Regardless of the reason, you won’t regret Thanksgiving at the best restaurants in the area for Thanksgiving.
The Clay Oven
15435 Jeffrey Road
Irvine CA 92618
Let’s say that not only do you not want to cook, but also you don’t want to have a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner. The Clay Oven offers excellent Indian food. Just think, while everyone else is dining on the same old turkey and mashed potatoes, you could be enjoying delicious Tandoori dishes. Though this isn’t a dine-in option, preorder and stop by on Thanksgiving to pick up your 10- to 12-pound turkey, rice and cranberry chutney, all fully prepared for $69.95. You’ll still have to set the table, but this option spares you the stress of prepping a turkey while providing all of the delicious leftovers.
Don the Beachcomber
16278 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach CA 92649
Don the Beachcomber is the place to dine on thanksgiving dinner in a tropical setting. Don the Beachcomber will start with a salad or a squash soup on Thanksgiving. For dinner, you can get all your Thanksgiving favorites: turkey or ham, tropical stuffing, potatoes (sweet and mashed) and green beans. Top your dinner off with a slice of pumpkin pie. This is a reasonable prix-fixe dinner: $24.95 for adults, $19.95 for seniors, and $10.95 for kids.
2100 W. Oceanfront
Newport Beach CA 92663
If you’re looking for a place to take a Thanksgiving date, 21 Oceanfront promises perfection. Start with a salad, clam chowder or pumpkin soup. For your entree, choose between turkey and prime rib au jus served with all of the Thanksgiving sides you love: stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and green beans. The dessert options are pumpkin pie, pecan pie or a warm apple tart. This Thanksgiving dinner is $49 per adult excluding tax and gratuity. You may bring the kids too. Children ages 2 to 10 eat for $20.
Summit House Restaurant
2000 E. Bastanchury
Fullerton CA 92835
Variety is the key to the Thanksgiving dinner at Summit House. To start, choose one of three salads or a butternut squash soup. You have five options for your entree: prime rib (the cost from $42 to $51 depends on the cut), turkey ($42), lamb shank ($43), Skuna Bay salmon ($43), or Australian barramundi ($44). For dessert, choose from: pumpkin cheesecake, a three-chocolate torte, English trifle or creme brulee. If you want to bring the kids (age 10 and younger), three entrees are available: turkey, prime rib or sliders.
3801 E. Coast Highway
Corona del Mar CA 92625
Let’s say the kids have gone to grandma’s house, or perhaps they’ve gone away to college. If you want to have a memorable Thanksgiving with your significant other in a landmark setting, Five Crowns is the place to go. It has been around for nearly 50 years, so its reputation stands on its own. Entrees range from $23 to $55, so it’s not necessarily something you can do on a regular basis, but it is available if you want to treat yourself on this holiday.
Related: Best Autumn Desserts in the O.C.
Gary Schwind is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on Examiner.com.