Thanksgiving Without the Hassle

Thanksgiving is a day for gathering with loved ones, feasting and reflecting on all that you’re thankful for. Well… it’s supposed to be. But for the host, it’s a day that marks the culmination of hours of laborious preparation: meal planning, shopping, cleaning, sending invites and dear lord, the cooking

You may have to cook over the course of several days, thanks to the sheer number of recipes that call for an oven. Or you might have the opposite problem: Your celebration has gotten more intimate in recent years, and now you’re trying to figure out if it’s worth cooking a whole turkey for two people.

Our solution? Outsource the effort. No one said you have to be the one sweating in the kitchen. Let the professionals do some — or all — of the food preparation so you can spend your time and energy on other things. 

A number of Albany-area restaurants are offering special Thanksgiving menus and meals to go, saving you the hassle and giving you the chance to enjoy the holiday however you choose. Heck, you might even get to sit down this year. Here are some area dine-in or takeout options:

Mr. D’s Restaurant at the Crowne Plaza Albany-The Desmond Hotel: The recently rebranded Mr. D’s is going all out for Turkey Day this year. It’ll be open for breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m., and will kick off the holiday feast at noon with a variety of specials in addition to the regular dinner menu. Reservations are required and seating is limited. Or, if you prefer, Mr. D’s is also offering a Thanksgiving dinner to go that serves eight to 10 people for under $300. It includes a fully cooked 18 pound turkey and side dishes, but quantities are limited so be sure to place your order before November 18.

The Century House is offering takeout for those of you who like your Thanksgiving dinner fancy (dine-in options are already fully booked). The complete dinner package is available hot or ready to reheat and feeds 10. You can also choose additions like lobster mac and cheese or a quart of chocolate mousse.

Innovo Kitchen in Latham offers an in-house, prix fixe menu on Thanksgiving from noon to 7 p.m., featuring dishes like roast pumpkin bisque and pan-seared tenderloin alongside the ubiquitous roasted turkey. The takeout options include a Thanksgiving package that feeds five or six people for $256, or you can order a la carte to get everything exactly how you like it.

Takeout Only:

2Shea Catering is offering the quintessential Thanksgiving menu to go, and it looks absolutely drool-worthy. It serves 10 to 12 people and has all the sides and two pies. Order by November 17.

677 Prime almost has too many Thanksgiving options to choose from. They provide “everything but the turkey” packages and dozens of a la carte options that are ready to heat and serve with instructions.

Arsenal City Tavern always has great wings and fabulous live music, but for Thanksgiving the tavern is kicking it up a notch with a complete Thanksgiving family meal for 12 to 15 adults for $299. Pickup is at the restaurant or at the Melvin Roads American Legion in Rensselaer.

Cardona’s Market offers a Thanksgiving dinner with a pre-carved turkey. There are two options based on the number of servings, so you can order the dinner that best fits your group.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que has two options for ordering their pit-roasted birds: Turkey Deluxe (the whole shebang) and Flying Solo. (Just be careful when looking at the online Thanksgiving packages: one of their options, the Half Turkey Deluxe, is available only at their Harlem and Brooklyn locations.)

Farmhouse Tap + Tavern makes it possible to feed a full, locally sourced Thanksgiving dinner to either six to 10 people, or 14 to 18. And, if you know your crowd will demolish a typical serving of one of the sides, they have the option of ordering extras a la carte.

Garden Bistro 24: If you’re only trying to feed two people, this is the one for you! Garden Bistro‘s Thanksgiving order form includes a main dish (choose from herb-roasted turkey, pecan-crusted salmon or autumn vegetable lasagna) for two people and three side dishes. The prices are reasonable and the side options look amazing.

Route 20 Cafe and Deli in Albany has a Thanksgiving menu with sides and appetizers sure to please a whole crowd.

Ruggiero’s Pizza, Deli & Catering has three menus with sides to select from. The last day you can order is November 20 (which is one of the latest order-by dates we’ve seen).

Saati Deli and Catering offers a diverse Thanksgiving menu with items like baked brie in puff pastry with fig preserves — yes, please! — and they will even deliver.

Signal 30 BBQ offers a Thanksgiving dinner for those of us who like things smoky. You can get a whole smoked turkey and pitmaster gravy for up to 24 people, but order early because they will sell out.

Top image: © fortyforks from Getty Images, via

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