For many families, the Thanksgiving meal is the highlight of the year. For many cooks, it's also the most stressful. Have you ever waited too long to defrost the turkey? Or chosen one so big it wouldn't fit in the deep fryer? Or you couldn't get all the sides and breads and desserts to finish at the same time?
Or maybe you've simply reached a point where you just don't feel like cooking a four-course meal for Thanksgiving this year.
Whatever the case may be, Chattanooga-area restaurants have an answer for you: Let them do the cooking. You can plan on dining out, or you can order all of the fixings to go and enjoy a stress-free Thanksgiving in your own home. We're about two weeks out from the holiday, which falls on Thursday, Nov. 23, so it's already time to be thinking about placing an order or making a reservation.
Here are some of your options.
— Acropolis Grill, 2213 Hamilton Place Blvd. Whether you're feeding a crowd or just the two of you, Acropolis has you covered. Order a 20- to 22-pound turkey, a 14- to 16-pound bird or 2 pounds of carved turkey or ham. Spiral hams are also available, as are numerous side dishes and desserts. Orders must be placed by Wednesday, Nov. 15, online at acropolisgrill.com, or call 423-899-5341.
— The Bakery, 9408 Apison Pike, Ooltewah. This artisanal, vegan/vegetarian bakery has an online order form for mouthwatering confections such as pumpkin bread, apple pie and pecan pie. For a complete list of offerings or to place orders, visit thebakeryintn.com, or call 423-498-3100.
— Bluff View Art District, 411 E. Second St. Let the team at Bluff View do the cooking for you. As in years past, the Thanksgiving To Go menu is up and running at bluffviewartdistrictchattanooga.com, or call 423-321-0235, ext. 4. There are some new items on the menu this year, including honey bourbon-glazed ham, roasted garlic and Parmesan mashed potatoes, farro salad and pumpkin upside-down cake. But of course, the regulars will be on the menu, too: turkey, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, mac and cheese, green bean casserole and Italian cream cake. The deadline to place orders is noon Monday, Nov. 20.
— Bread & Butter Bakery, 3955 Dayton Blvd. This popular bakery in Red Bank specializes in artisan croissants, sourdough breads and baked-from-scratch pastries and will add a host of Thanksgiving confections to its daily offerings, such as cheesy grits bread, pecan pie, salted honey chess pie, chocolate pumpkin pie and pumpkin chocolate chip bread. Deadline is Wednesday, Nov. 15, so get your orders in at butterthebread.com and follow the links.
— Bridgeman's Chophouse at the Read House, 827 Broad St. In addition to its plentiful menu of steaks and seafood, the much-loved steakhouse will have Thanksgiving offerings added to its regular menu, as well as extended hours, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., for both Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Make reservations at 423-266-4121 or online at bridgemanschophouse.com.
— Carrabba's Italian Grill, 2040 Hamilton Place Blvd. Celebrate an early Friendsgiving this year, Italian style! It happens Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 6:30 p.m. and will feature a Friendsgiving Bourbon Dining Experience with spicy Palermo wings, rosemary-garlic cream rigatoni with grilled chicken, bone-in veal steak topped with bourbon-bacon butter and, for dessert, bourbon cinnamon panna cotta. Each of the four courses will be paired with a bourbon picked specifically to marry with the flavors of each dish. For reservations, visit carrabas.com and follow the links.
— Cashew, 149 River St. Go vegan this Thanksgiving with dishes on your table from Cashew. The menu includes mac and cheese, stuffing, green bean casserole, vegan gravies, quiche, veggie and "chicken" potpies, dessert pies, pumpkin cheesecake and apple spice cake. Orders need to be in by no later than Saturday, Nov. 18. Place orders at 423-355-5486 or cashewchattanooga.com.
— City Café, 7641 Lee Highway in Chattanooga and 919 25th St. NW in Cleveland. Both locations will be open 7 a.m to midnight, so sit down to a different kind of Thanksgiving with the cafe's World-Famous Moussaka or an Irish Benedict with corned beef and poached eggs on an English muffin blanketed with hollandaise. For more information, call the Lee Highway location at 423-485-8222 or the Cleveland location at 423-790-7460.
— Cracker Barrel. All locations will be ready to serve you with a traditional Thanksgiving meal. You can have it made to go or eat it in house from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Learn more at crackerbarrel.com.
— Dari Dip, 302 W. Villanow St., LaFayette, Georgia. This family-style restaurant will take custom orders for its entrees, sides and desserts through Saturday, Nov. 18. To order, call 706-638-3274.
— Feed Co. Table & Tavern, 201 W. Main St. This downtown restaurant is offering a Thanksgiving take-and-bake menu. There's a choice of two proteins — ham or turkey with gravy — priced at $10 per pound; seven sides, $15-$30, ranging from green bean casserole to cranberry relish to dinner rolls with herb butter; and four desserts, $10-$20, including banana pudding and sweet potato pie. Sides feed eight to 10 people. Orders must be placed by noon Friday, Nov. 17, for pickup on Wednesday, Nov. 22. To make it easy, Feed will offer drive-thru pickup at the event space behind the restaurant from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Go to feedtableandtavern.com and click on Feed Blog to find the complete menu.
— Fernando's, 5308 Ringgold Road, East Ridge. Fernando's buffet will be all about Thanksgiving with roasted turkey, fried turkey, baked ham, chicken and dressing, chicken and dumplings, traditional sides, cakes and pies. Dine in or get it to go. Hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Find out more at fernandos.net.
— Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, 2017 Gunbarrel Road, will feed the whole family with its Thanksgiving feast for six. You can choose from turkey, ham or a combination of both as your entree. They come with coordinating sides, as well as dessert, for $160. Orders should be placed by Saturday, Nov. 18, at firebirdsrestaurants.com. Pickup is available the Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
— FoodWorks, 205 Manufacturers Road. This North Shore hot spot is ready to serve your family on Thanksgiving Day, so get ready to gobble 'til you wobble. The buffet will feature turkey, ham and prime rib, along with numerous Thanksgiving side dishes and desserts. Seatings are at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. Reservations: 423-752-7487. If you prefer seats in the bar area, seating is first-come, first-served. No reservations are necessary.
— Forge Restaurant at The Chattanoogan, 1201 Broad St. The Chattanoogan's main restaurant, The Forge, has long been known for its incredible buffets, and this year promises to be no different, filled with traditional fare as well as dishes with a creative edge. Hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Reservations: 423-756-3400 or opentable.com.
— The Fresh Market, 2288 Gunbarrel Road. Let the market do your cooking for you. Pick up the Ultimate Holiday Meal with all the trimmings, enough to serve 12 to 14 people for $200. Smaller meals are also available, serving eight to 10 ($100), three to five ($75) or just the two of you ($20). And if the two of you would rather have prime rib, go ahead! It's $25 per person. Online ordering is available through 2 p.m Tuesday, Nov. 21, at thefreshmarket.com. Pickups are available Monday, Nov. 20, through Thanksgiving Day, when the market is open 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
— Hair of the Dog, 334 Market St. This downtown hot spot will be serving American and British favorites, such as fish and chips, bangers and mash, fried chicken and meatloaf. Thanksgiving Day hours are noon to 3 a.m. Questions? Call 423-265-4615.
— Huddle House, 9401 Reco Drive, Soddy-Daisy, and 5611 Brainerd Road, will be serving its regular menu from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Try the prime rib tips with a loaded baked potato on the side. They're new to the menu and quickly becoming a Huddle House favorite. They can also be ordered as a sandwich, omelet or stuffed hash browns. Learn more at huddlehouse.com.
— IHOP, 5814 Brainerd Road and 5113 Highway 153. Both locations will serve from the regular menu, which includes a turkey dinner, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Learn more at ihop.com.
— Jim n' Nick's, 2040 Hamilton Place Blvd., will be adding to its lineup of smoked meats to celebrate Thanksgiving with takeout feasts. Orders for its smoked turkey breast or smoked country ham need to be placed by Friday, Nov. 17. While you're at it, order some collard greens, mashed potatoes and gravy, mac and cheese, green beans, sweet potato casserole or cornbread dressing to round out your meal. Orders may be placed at jimnnicks.com or call 423-498-6969. The same offerings will be available for your Christmas feast, too. Just make sure orders are in 72 hours in advance because the folks at Jim 'n Nicks need time to get smokin'!
— Main Street Meats, 217 E. Main St. Again this year, Main Street will be making a full turkey meal to go: Joyce all-natural, free-range turkeys, brined and ready for you to bake or they'll smoke it for you; organic turkey breasts brined and ready or already smoked; and Black Heritage turkeys brined and ready to bake, or smoked in-house for you to take home. Sides, such as cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes and collard greens seasoned with bacon, as well as desserts, including sweet potato bread pudding with cream cheese frosting, will also be available. Phone: 423-602-9568. Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for orders is Thursday, Nov. 16. Learn more at mainstreetmeats.com.
— Puckett's Restaurant, 2 W. Aquarium Way. Sit down to a meal served family-style at Puckett's featuring turkey, meatloaf or pulled pork as your entree. Side dishes include green bean casserole, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, dressing, sweet potato casserole, cranberries, a salad choice or soup and, for dessert, maple pecan pie, apple cobbler or pumpkin pie. It's an all-you-can-eat feast. Or place takeout orders for roasted, smoked or fried turkeys, smoked brisket, pulled pork, baby back ribs, sides and desserts no later than 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18. Puckett's will be open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. Reservations: 423-708-8505.
— Rodizio Grill. The Brazilian steakhouse has two, separately owned locations in Chattanooga. The downtown location, at 439 Broad St., will celebrate Thanksgiving for two days, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Order from the regular meaty menu or enjoy the all-you-can-eat specials of turkey, grilled shrimp, roasted yams, green bean casserole, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pies — pecan, apple and pumpkin. For reservations, call 423-777-4999. The Rodizio at Hamilton Place, 2100 Hamilton Place Blvd., will be serving their Delmonico steak, turkey, stuffing cranberry sauce and the other 16 meats they serve for their dinner 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. Reservations are strongly recommended. Call 423-498-3999.
— Ruth's Chris Steak House, 2321 Lifestyle Way. A four-course Thanksgiving meal of soup or salad, roast turkey with stuffing, gravy and cranberry relish, a choice of sides and pumpkin cheesecake for dessert will be served along with the regular menu of steaks and other favorites at this acclaimed steakhouse. Take-home dinners and sides to go are available. For reservations or to-go orders, go online to ruthschris.net or call 423-602-5900.
— Smokey Bones, 2225 Gunbarrel Road. Get your turkey to go, as well as other fixings too. The restaurant's turkey feast features a smoked 12- to 14-pound turkey with gravy and all the sides and desserts you'd expect on Turkey Day. Get your orders in ASAP by emailing email@example.com, or call the Chattanooga store at 423-893-7850.
— Sticky Fingers Rib House, 420 Broad St., will serve up a Thanksgiving feast, enough to feed eight to 10 people, for $160. The menu features a whole smoked turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, mac and cheese, cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. For details, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Whitebird at The Edwin, 102 Walnut St. Thanksgiving dinner will be served family-style from 1 to 7 p.m. with a wide range of choices. Select four side dishes per table, one main entrée and one dessert — turkey with gravy and cranberry sauce, prime rib with classic accompaniments, stuffing, a goat cheese mash, mac and cheese and deviled eggs are among the varied offerings. Dessert options include pumpkin or chocolate walnut pie. Reservations: 423-269-8539. Also, Whitebird is offering Thanksgiving to go with the same dishes. Orders must be placed by Friday, Nov. 17.
— Road trips: Finally, if you're looking for a scenic drive, two area Tennessee state parks will be serving up Thanksgiving meals. Enjoy Thanksgiving with a view at Fall Creek Falls, 2539 Lakeside Drive in Spencer. The menu features turkey and ham with all the trimmings plus mouthwatering desserts. Specialty cocktails also will be offered. Reservations will be taken through Saturday, Nov. 18. Call 423-881-5241. Cumberland Mountain, 24 Office Drive in Crossville, will be serving turkey, ham, dressing, sweet potatoes, green beans and more sides, along with pumpkin pie, pecan pie and its famous banana pudding. Reservations are necessary for groups of 10 or more. Call 931-484-7186. To find more about the menus and other information, including what's offered at state parks in other areas of Tennessee, log onto tnstateparks.com/blog.
If you know of another restaurant open for Thanksgiving, email Anne Braly at email@example.com to be included in continuing coverage.