Photo by Susan Pierce / Cracker Barrel has a turkey-and-dressing special every Thursday that includes your choice of two sides.

It's T-Day and you're counting down the hours until the family's ringing the doorbell. But the turkey hasn't thawed. Or it's overcooked and dry. Or maybe you just aren't in the mood to do all that cooking — or listen to the mother-in-law's critiques.

It's not too late to go out for a Thanksgiving meal. There are restaurants open Thursday that don't require reservations. Others that do require reservations might still have space available if you give them a call.

According to 2018 figures from the National Restaurant Association, one in 10 adults surveyed said they planned to enjoy their Thanksgiving meal in a restaurant.

Here are several restaurant options for last-minute dining out — letting you get stuffed without the stress of cooking the meal.



* City Cafe Diner, 901 Carter St. and 7641 Lee Highway in Chattanooga; 919 NW 25th St. in Cleveland, Tenn.: A roast turkey dinner with cornbread dressing, gravy and cranberry sauce ($18.45) is one of three Thanksgiving Day specials. The others are Roast Spiral Ham with dressing and fruit sauce ($15.95) or Yankee Pot Roast with potato pancakes ($16.95). All Thanksgiving specials are served with a cup of soup or salad, bread, two sides and a complementary slice of pie (apple, pecan or pumpkin; no substitutions).

* Cracker Barrel, multiple locations: Thanksgiving is said to be Cracker Barrel's busiest day of the year. Perhaps that is because the restaurant's daily special on Thursday is turkey and dressing with your choice of two sides and bread. Hours: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

* Hair of the Dog Pub, 334 Market St. Burgers, soups, chili, meatloaf, steaks, fried chicken and more are on the menu Thursday. Hours: 6 p.m.-3 a.m.

* The Honest Pint, 35 Patten Parkway. A mix of traditional Irish fare such as fish and chips and shepherd's pie are on the menu along with burgers, fish tacos and wings. Hours: 5 p.m.-2 a.m.

* Terminal Brewhouse, 1464 Market St. While the popular brew house will not be serving a special Thanksgiving menu, it will be open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. So if you want to celebrate Turkey Day with a burger, pizza or other tavern fare alongside a good craft beer, here's the place to find them.



While the following locations request reservations be made for seatings, it never hurts to call and see who might still have space available.

* Ruth's Chris, 2321 Lifestyle Way. This popular steakhouse will serve a three-course Thanksgiving meal that includes choice of soup or salad, turkey with made-from-scratch gravy, cranberry relish, your choice of sweet potato casserole, creamed spinach or mashed potatoes, along with roasted garlic green beans and cornbread stuffing served family-style. The meal also includes pumpkin cheesecake with vanilla ice cream for dessert. Dinner is $41.95 adults, $14.95 children. Seatings 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Reservations: 423-602-5900.

* The Read House, 107 W. M.L. King Blvd. From chilled seafood and an array of salads to roasted turkey, baked ham, pork tenderloin and brown sugar-roasted salmon, plus all the sides you could ever desire and a separate buffet overflowing with desserts, the buffet at The Read House will make you truly thankful. Hours: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Price: $51.95 adults, $25.95 children ages 4-12. Reservations: 423-266-4121.

* Bluff View Art District, 411 E. Second St. This year's menu includes many traditional offerings from turkey and dressing, prime rib and sour-cream mashed potatoes to green bean casserole. But you'll find the unexpected, too, such as lobster mac and cheese, grilled ginger sesame chicken chopped salad, challah French toast and assorted quiches. A wide assortment of savory breads, sweet pastries and desserts will be served. Price: $36.95 adults, $19.95 children 12 and younger. Prices do not include tax, gratuity or alcohol. A full bar is available, but soft drinks, tea, coffee and orange juice are included. Hours: 11 a.m-4 p.m. Reservations: 423-265-5033, ext. 4.

* The Chattanoogan, 1201 Broad St. This buffet spreads across the ballroom to include numerous salads, cedar-planked salmon, whiskey-glazed pork tenderloin, turkey and hand-carved prime rib. Sides include dressing, green bean casserole, buttermilk mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, slow-cooked collard greens and white-cheddar mac and cheese. For dessert, take a spin around the pie a la mode station. Cost is $45 adults, $22 ages 5-12, free for children under 5. Hours are 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Reservations: 423-424-3700.

* Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant, 2 W. Aquarium Way. Diners will find a down-home Thanksgiving buffet featuring smoked turkey and ham, fried chicken and pulled pork, sides of corn pudding, mashed potatoes, dressing, sweet potato casserole, green beans and mac and cheese. For dessert? Pumpkin and pecan pies, along with seasonal cobblers. Cost: $26.99 adults, $13.99 for kids 12 and younger. Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Reservations: 423-708-8505.

* Food Works, 205 Manufacturers Road. The restaurant offers three seatings Thursday for a feast of soups and salads, prime rib, roasted turkey, spiral ham and all the sides and delicious desserts you'd expect to find on the buffet. Seatings are 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. at a cost of $37 ages 12 and up, $17 children under 12. Reservations: 423-752-7487.

* Beast + Barrel Gastro Smokehouse, 16 Frazier Ave. The Thanksgiving buffet is $39.95 adults; $18.95 for kids, free for children 5 and younger. Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Reservations: 423-805-4599.

* Herman's Soul Food, 3821 Brainerd Road. Thanksgiving's special meat-and-three menu offers choices ranging in price from $12.99 to $15.99. Hours: noon-5 p.m. Reservations: 423-624-5715.

* Sticky Fingers, 2031 Hamilton Place Blvd. One of Chattanooga's favorite places for barbecue will change course for Turkey Day, offering a buffet with turkey, ham and all the trimmings. Sticky Fingers' regular menu will also be available. Buffet price: $20 adults, $10 children ages 12 and under. Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Information: 423-899-7427.

Email Anne Braly at abraly@timesfreepress.comStaff writer Susan Pierce also contributed to this story.


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