Sure, you can cook Thanksgiving dinner at your house, burying your bird in a pot of brine 24 hours before and rising long before the sun to stuff it and bake it and keep a very close watch on it all day while scrambling to prepare mountains of side dishes (because every single family member has that one particular dish they simply must have) so that, by the time you sit down to eat, you’re exhausted and frankly sick of food.
Or you could sleep in, go to a matinee movie, and go out for a delicious dinner that you’ll actually be thankful for. Not that fond of turkey? No problem.
Note: reservations are strongly recommended, and double-check open times, as some may change.
St. Paul Grill
350 Market St
Open Thanksgiving Day 11-7
It’s hard to beat the St. Paul Grill for a luxurious dining experience. Adjacent to the historic St. Paul Hotel, the St. Paul Grill will serve a sit-down, three-course dinner on Thanksgiving Day that’s sure to please.
276 So. Exchange St
Open Thanksgiving Day 11-4
Not far from the St. Paul Grill is Forepaugh’s, housed in a historic home just on the edge of downtown St. Paul, with several small, intimate dining rooms providing a cozy dining experience. An elegant prix-fixe menu will be available.
Nicollet Island Inn
95 Merriam St
Open Thanksgiving Day 10:30-6:30
Across the river, another historic site offering a Thanksgiving spread is the Nicollet Island Inn. If the weather cooperates, a stroll along the riverfront before dinner will whet your appetite; afterwards, you might be too full to move.
601 First Ave No
Open Thanksgiving Day TBD
For a change from the more historic properties, check out Cosmos Restaurant at the Graves 601 Hotel. Its sleekly contemporary interior is also reflected in its stellar menu.
Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
1010 Nicollet Mall
Open Thanksgiving Day 5:30 p.m.
The Dakota does such an exemplary job contributing to the local music scene that it’s sometimes easy to forget that it’s also an excellent place to eat as well.
2719 Nicollet Ave So
Open Thanksgiving Day 11-9
If turkey and stuffing just doesn’t interest you, pop on over to Quang on Eat Street for a less traditional dinner—at least in the American sense. Enjoy a big steaming bowl of pho or one of many tantalizing Vietnamese platters.
Buca di Beppo
Open Thanksgiving Day
Or you could do traditional family-style Italian and visit one of the many Buca di Beppo locations open across the Twin Cities. Fill your plate with chicken parmigiana, garlic mashed potatoes—even pizza.
Amy C. Rea lives with her family in the Twin Cities. She’s the author of Backroads & Byways of Minnesota and Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Lakes: an Explorer’s Guide. She can also be found chatting about Minnesota travel topics at flyover-land.com.