While inviting the entire family over and spending the entire day crafting the perfect holiday meal has its own appeal, there’s something wonderful about being able to skip the chopping, stirring and especially the dishes. This Thanksgiving, gather your group and head out on the town to one of these local restaurants, which will be open and serving holiday delights. While it probably won’t be the thing you’re most thankful for, these lavish menus will definitely be high on the list.

 Best Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving In Orange County

(Credit: Sapphire Laguna)

Sapphire Laguna
1200 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 715-9888

Holiday diners at Sapphire Laguna will enjoy a three-course meal, full of Thanksgiving favorites. For a starter, choose from duck terrine, butternut squash bisque, cauliflower salad, kampachi tiradito and a goat cheese tart. Then, guests will select a main entrée—herb roasted turkey, oven roasted salmon, curry, beef tenderloin, pork chops or risotto—which each come with a variety of sides and seasonings. For the final course, dessert choices include the traditional pumpkin pie, the fall-inspired warm spiced apple cake and a rich dark chocolate ganache.

the loft montage laguna beach Best Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving In Orange County

(Credit: Montage Laguna Beach)

The Loft
30801 Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 715-6080

Chef Michael Campbell has crafted a four-course menu just for Thanksgiving Day, with these special offerings available until 9 p.m. An appetizer course will include items like the festive pumpkin and leek soup or the whole grains salad. Another course will feature bites of artisanal cheeses. For the main course, a traditional turkey meal will be offered while guests can also choose from things like lobster cavatelli. Follow up the hearty meal with sweet treats. The dessert menu, crafted by The Loft’s pastry chef, includes a classic pumpkin pie as well as spiced pumpkin cheesecake or chocolate pudding.

flemings steak house 2 Best Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving In Orange County

(credit: Flemings Steakhouse)

Fleming’s Steakhouse
455 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 720-9633

While the full menu will be available at Fleming’s Steakhouse on Thanksgiving Day, the restaurant will also host a special prix fixe holiday meal. Once seated, the table will share buttermilk biscuits complete with a unique pumpkin butter before starting on the first course: a choice between a salad and the lobster bisque. The main course will be an herb roasted turkey breast served with gravy, brioche bread stuffing and a cranberry sauce crafted with orange and cinnamon. Guests will also enjoy roasted sweet potatoes, green beans and mashed potatoes during the traditional meal, with a choice between carrot cake and pumpkin cheesecake for dessert.

the ranch the ranch restaurant saloon Best Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving In Orange County

(Credit: The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon)

The Ranch
1025 East Ball Road
Anaheim, CA 92805
(714) 817-4200

Make sure to book your reservations for Thanksgiving at The Ranch, as the $85 dinner will only be served from 2 to 7 p.m. The four-course meal starts with your choice of goat cheese ravioli, sea scallops, ahi tuna or slow roasted pork belly. The second course also features a choice, though there are fewer options: clam chowder or a pear and endive salad. For the main course, the traditional turkey with gravy and stuffing is available, but guests may also opt for trout, pheasant pot pie or a cut of buffalo prime rib from Wyoming. Don’t forget dessert; guests may select pumpkin cheesecake, pecan pie, apple crostata or a chocolate pot de crème.

mrs knotts knotts berry farm Best Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving In Orange County

(Credit: Knott’s Berry Farm)

Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant
8039 Beach Boulevard
Buena Park, CA 90620
(714) 220-5055

Though Knott’s Berry Farm’s famous restaurant is known for chicken rather than Thanksgiving turkey, it is still a fantastic spot for a holiday meal. First opened in the 1930s, it offers a unique history—and sits right next to a theme park for post-meal entertainment. On Thanksgiving, the restaurant will host a special Champagne buffet with home-style options like fried chicken, mashed potatoes, candied yams, dinner rolls and more. But it also features salads, breakfast dishes, a carving station, baked goods and seafood as well as Mexican and Italian cuisine. In addition, the eatery offers take-home dinners for those that prefer to eat at home without all the prep.

maggianos maggianos Best Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving In Orange County

(Credit: Maggiano’s Little Italy)

Maggiano’s Little Italy
3333 Bristol Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 546-9550

Gather everyone you’re thankful for and head to Maggiano’s for a family-style meal that will knock your collective socks off. Upon being seated, guests will enjoy classic tomato bruschetta as well as a special artichoke and red pepper variety. They will also choose two of four types of salad: Maggiano’s, chopped, Caesar or Italian. As for entrees, more choices are available, including turkey, ham or tilapia and six different types of pasta—plus two additional sides. Finish the meal with two desserts, selected from pumpkin praline cheesecake, tiramisu, chocolate cake and apple crostada.

oak grill oak grill Best Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving In Orange County

(Credit: Oak Grill)

Oak Grill
690 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 760-4920

If you skip the cooking and dishes that Thanksgiving is sure to bring, you’ll find a luxurious meal at Oak Grill. The four-course dinner will be offered from 4 to 9 p.m., giving you only five hours to enjoy lavish entrees like a traditional turkey plate, filet mignon, pan-seared branzino or slow roasted pork chop. But aside from the main dishes, guests may find themselves selecting items like white wine steamed claims or pumpkin ricotta gnudi—yum! The restaurant’s pastry chef will also be crafting classic desserts.

shutterstock 740752504 Best Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving In Orange County

(credit: Abdul Razak Latif/shutterstock)

The Capital Grille
3333 Bristol Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 432-1140

While guests can order off of the regular menu on Thanksgiving Day, The Capital Grille will also offer a special pre-determined holiday meal for only $39 per person. The meal will feature a Thanksgiving standard: slow roasted turkey. In addition, guests will dine on fluffy brioche stuffing and French green beans with almonds as well as cranberry pear chutney and a shared bowl of mashed potatoes. Add dessert—pumpkin cheesecake—for another $10. The holiday dinner will be available from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

370 common three seventy common1 Best Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving In Orange County

(Credit: Three Seventy Common)

Three Seventy Common
370 Glenneyre Street
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 494-8686

Known for a menu that is filled with unique offerings and twists on common dishes, this communal restaurant is the perfect spot to enjoy a holiday meal with your loved ones. While many dishes are altered, the chef will prepare a traditional roasted turkey complete with a variety of trimmings. In addition to the bird, guests can enjoy sides like black pepper thyme parker house rolls, corn and potato chowder, candied yams and grilled pork loin, with a bruléed pumpkin pie for dessert. The meal can be enjoyed in the restaurant or pre-ordered and taken home the day of Thanksgiving.

five crowns and sidedoor anne watson Best Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving In Orange County

(Credit: Anne Watson)

Five Crowns and SideDoor
3801 East Coast Highway
Corona del Mar, CA 92625
(949) 760-0331

The Thanksgiving Day meal at both Five Crowns and neighboring SideDoor is sure to be combined with the warm, welcoming atmosphere of the Corona del Mar restaurants. An oven-roasted turkey will be served with mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, buttered green beans and housemade cranberry compote. Or, opt for the prime rib, which is served with au jus, Yorkshire pudding, whipped horseradish and an additional side. Guests can also choose the “Best of Both” deal, which boasts selections of both meats and the necessary accompaniments.

bistango bistango Best Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving In Orange County

(Credit: Bistango)

19100 Van Karman Avenue
Irvine, CA 92612
(949) 752-5222

An extensive menu has been developed for Thanksgiving at Bistango, a New American restaurant that has been in O.C. for more than 30 years and features a unique array of artwork within. Of the special a la carte holiday offerings, standards like organic roasted turkey and pumpkin cheesecake are joined by roasted squash soup, maple-glazed ham, whiskey bread pudding and a Waldorf salad. Guests can also enjoy an impressive selection of appetizers, salads, seafood, prime steaks and autumn-inspired side dishes. There will be an additional two-course kid’s menu with turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, roasted vegetables and a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich for dessert.

seasons 52 seasons 52 Best Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving In Orange County

(Credit: Seasons 52)

Seasons 52
3333 Bristol Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 437-5252

The upscale Seasons 52 will offer a special, pre-determined menu for the holiday, complete with—you guessed it!—roasted turkey. However, this turkey is known as a “never ever” turkey, as it has never been given any antibiotics. Also with the holiday bird, diners will enjoy savory gravy, Yukon mashed potatoes, herb stuffing, mashed butternut squash, French green beans and a housemade cranberry relish. For dessert, the restaurant will offer a mini indulgence pumpkin pie. In addition to the food, Seasons 52 has selected four red and white wine pairings for the meal and will also be offering two cocktails: the gin-filled Cranberry & Sage and the New Old Fashioned with apple bitters.

selanne steak tavern selanne steak tavern Best Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving In Orange County

(Credit: Selanne Steak Tavern)

Selanne Steak Tavern
1464 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 715-9881

One of the more interesting settings in Laguna Beach, the renovated house is the perfect place for a comfortable, homey Thanksgiving meal—without the dishes. Guests who visit Selanne can enjoy a holiday dinner from 1 to 8 p.m., with choices of three main dishes: turkey, ribeye roast or sugar and spiced ham. To go along with the entrees, Chef Joshua Severson has imagined a variety of family-style sides crafted with ingredients that are straight from local farms. For dessert, there is, of course, pumpkin pie, but guests may also opt for the chocolate pecan coconut pie. The restaurant also has an impressive list of wines with which to pair your meal.

the winery the winery restaurant wine bar Best Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving In Orange County

(Credit: The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar)

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar
2647 Park Avenue
Tustin, CA 92782
(714) 258-7600

Speaking of spectacular wines, what better place to wine and dine on Thanksgiving than The Winery? The three-course holiday meal gives guests a choice of a variety of starters, from butternut squash bisque, a house salad or smoked salmon to pumpkin and ricotta ravioli or fresh burrata with heirloom tomatoes. Then, for the main dish, another choice: Maple-glazed turkey is joined on the menu by salmon, jumbo shrimp with scallops, a pork chop or grilled flatiron steak. Don’t leave without some sugar—the streusel pumpkin pie is a twist on a classic as is the vanilla bean crème brulee.

wildfish seafood grille wildfish seafood grille Best Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving In Orange County

(Credit: Wildfish Seafood Grille)

Wildfish Seafood Grille
1370 Bison Avenue
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 720-9925

Wildish Seafood Grille will toss aside their typical fish dishes in favor of serving a traditional holiday dinner on Thanksgiving. Sliced turkey breast will be covered in gravy and served alongside hand-whipped potatoes and brioche sage stuffing. Also a part of Wildfish’s meal, diners will savor roasted butternut squash, baby green beans served with sun-dried tomatoes and sweet cranberry chutney. If a turkey dinner isn’t what you’re craving this holiday season, dishes from the standard menu will also be available.

orange hill restaurant orange hill restaurant Best Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving In Orange County

(Credit: Orange Hill Restaurant)

Orange Hill Restaurant
6410 Chapman Avenue
Orange, CA 92869
(714) 997-2910

A good holiday buffet is hard to find, but what’s even more impressive is the view you’ll experience from the top of Orange Hills. Luckily, Orange Hill Restaurant is one of the few places where you’ll find both the view and the buffet this Thanksgiving. Sip Champagne while gathering food from a carving station, a waffle bar, a raw bar filled with seafood, traditional holiday sides, delicious desserts and unique fall-inspired options like apple brined pork loin and orange glazed ham. In addition to the food, enjoy football games, a photo booth and a Bloody Mary bar.

studio montage laguna beach Best Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving In Orange County

(Credit: Montage Laguna Beach)

30801 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 715-6030

On Thanksgiving, Chef Craig Strong of Studio will offer a menu he pre-selected. Rather than giving guests options from which to choose from, Strong’s five-course meal starts out with a healthy dose of mixed greens in a salad that features citrus, aged goat cheese and a calamansi-pecan vinaigrette. Then, diners will savor a yam agnolotti pasta with chorizo and sliced pepitas. Before the main dish (which, of course, is turkey) comes out, enjoy foie gras with Brussels sprouts and turnips before digging into the turkey entrée, complete with brioche stuffing, butternut squash compote and sage gravy. Finish it off with pumpkin cheesecake.

eats kitchen bar hotel irvine Best Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving In Orange County

(Credit: Hotel irvine)

EATS Kitchen & Bar
17900 Jamboree Road
Irvine, CA 92614
(949) 225-6780

Whether dining on the alfresco patio or inside for a warm Southern California Thanksgiving, hungry diners will enjoy the free-range turkey that will be served at Hotel Irvine’s restaurant. While this traditional entrée is the main attraction, EATS is great at combining classic with innovative, offering sides like honey-roasted pumpkin soup and seafood brodetto along with roasted vegetables from the local farmers market. Seasonal desserts will also be served before the meal is complete.

salt creek grille Best Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving In Orange County

(credit: Salt Creek Grille)

Salt Creek Grille
32802 Pacific Coast Highway
Dana Point, CA 92629
(949) 661-7799

In addition to crafting special menus for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, Executive Chef Hector Arroyo has prepared a Thanksgiving Day menu that will present local diners with an option for a traditional holiday meal. The turkey prepared at the restaurant will be hand-carved and served to guests along with things like stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes and more. Limited offerings from their standard menu will also be available on Thanksgiving.

 Best Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving In Orange County

(Credit: Gabriel Garcia Marengo)

Back Bay Bistro
1131 Back Bay Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 729-1144

Head to Newport’s Back Bay for a gourmet buffet that you’re sure to be thankful for. The carving station is the highlight of the restaurant’s offerings, with roasted turkey sitting alongside New York strip steaks, confit turkey dark meat and herb gravy. Other hot choices, which are pretty unique to Back Bay Bistro, include crab cakes, rice pilaf, roasted corn, creamed spinach, winter peas and macaroni and cheese. Before delving into these main dishes, try the butternut squash and apple soup, seafood chowder or one of nine unique salads. In addition to pumpkin pie, enjoy caramelized apple pie, bread pudding or experiment with the chocolate fountain.

claim jumper claim jumper Best Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving In Orange County

(Credit: Claim Jumper)

Claim Jumper
190 South State College Boulevard
Brea, CA 92821
(714) 529-9061

Known for savory dishes that will have you thinking it’s Thanksgiving all year round, Claim Jumper still offers a special holiday menu. Open this year from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., the eatery will serve turkey, ham or a combination of the two. Guests can also opt for The Feast, a menu item that includes both meats as well as tri-tip served with a peppercorn sauce, orange cranberry relish and roasted vegetables. Also on the Thanksgiving menu, you’ll find prime rib, seafood, spinach artichoke dip and pumpkin cream cheese pie.

il fornaio il fornaio Best Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving In Orange County

(Credit: Il Fornaio)

Il Fornaio
18051 Von Karman Avenue
Irvine, CA 92621
(949) 261-1444

For Italian food combined with fall inspiration, visit Il Fornaio on Thanksgiving. A “prezzo fisso” menu—fixed price—offers butternut squash and russet potato soup, radish and endive salad, roasted turkey with all the fixings and pumpkin pie, but the menu doesn’t end there. While selections are still limited, guests may also choose to dine on ravioli filled with butternut squash and walnuts, rice with shrimp and vegetables, hickory-smoked ham with pineapple and honey mustard sauce and a variety of seafood, from grilled salmon and seabass to calamari, prawns or scallops. They also have an extensive wine selection.

Ashley Ryan is an Orange County native that loves traveling, live music and photography. She blogs at Pure Wander and freelances for a variety of publications including Newport Beach Magazine and Laguna Beach Magazine.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s