It doesn’t matter why you’re not dining at home for Thanksgiving. Maybe the oven isn’t working. Maybe unexpected guests joined the party late and there just isn’t enough food. Maybe you simply don’t want to spend the day cooking and the night cleaning. Whatever the reason, there’s no one forcing you to sit around the table at home on Thanksgiving Day. You can spend the holiday with family or friends or completely alone at any one of these local restaurants and have a meal just as good, if not better.

Check out where people were going last year: Best Minnesota Restaurants Open On Thanksgiving 2013.

Faces Mears Park

Faces Mears Park
373 N. Sibley St.
St. Paul, MN 55101
(651) 209-7776

Traditional and non-traditional meat at this Moroccan-inspired restaurant is served up in St. Paul’s Lowertown. Faces Mears Park has Thanksgiving dinner for you, and it will be a mix of the classics; think harvest vegetables and wholesome cooking with that near east twist that has made the flavors here so memorable and vibrant. Bring in the whole family (but probably good to make a reservation if you do) or come alone. Either way, it will be a modern Thanksgiving that just may set a new standard.

Jax Cafe
1928 University Ave. N. E.
Minneapolis, MN 55418
(612) 789-7297

One of Northeast Minneapolis’ finest restaurants is a safe bet any time of year. But when you need something a little extra on a holiday like Thanksgiving, it really steps up its game. Jax specialties like corn chowder and crab rolls supplement holiday classics like turkey and gravy, stuffing and cranberries. Or choose from entrees like roasted pheasant, strip steaks and other plates of wholesome goodness made with the expert touch of Jax’s chefs. It’s a guaranteed hit for the whole family.

Basil's Restaurant

Basil’s Restaurant
710 Marquette Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(612) 376-7404

Mary Tyler Moore will be with you on Thanksgiving if you dine at Basil’s in downtown Minneapolis. For $42 a person, you can dine overlooking the IDS Center’s Crystal Court in a setting perfect for this classic American holiday. No need to stress. The views are beautiful, the food is classic and delicious and the service is impeccable. Is there a better reason to skip the pots and pans and go out for a meal as big as this one?

Related:  Best Restaurants In Minnesota Worth The Hype

Little Tijuana
17 E. 26th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 872-0578

Are you fed up with all of these “traditions” and want a break from the norm? Why do we have to eat the same thing year after year anyway? Eat Street’s Little T’s is open all day long on Thanksgiving to serve up its famous tacos, enchiladas and enormous platters to share. This place is sure to get you full the way you would at grandma’s, but without the heart-stopping turkey, stuffing, green beans and football dominating the television all day long. Sometimes you have to break with tradition to really appreciate what you’re thankful for.

Basil's Restaurant

Saint Paul Grill
350 N. Market St.
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 224-7455

If you’re looking to go a little more high-end for Thanksgiving, the fixed-price menus at this St. Paul institution are sure to leave you full and happy, and the whole family impressed. You’re not coming here for a shoddy meal, you’re coming here for the best. That’s something to be thankful for in itself. The timeless elegance, the impeccable food and service and the scotch on the rocks that just might help you digest better after such a big meal are all good reasons to head here for Thanksgiving. And even though your wallet might be a little lighter, you’ll feel a lot better knowing it’s not you doing the dishes.

Related: Best Restaurants For Valentine’s Day

Adrian Schramm is a resident Saint Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.