This story was updated at 1:42 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020, with more information.
At the risk of stating the obvious, this Thanksgiving will be different from any we've ever experienced. Due to COVID-19, many families will celebrate the day via Zoom or some other virtual format. But there are many people who want to dine out, and there are restaurants that will accommodate them or have someone else do the cooking on turkey day.
The list isn't as long as in previous years, but if you can get out and support local restaurants by dining in or taking out, it would be a blessing — something for which they will be truly thankful.
If you plan to order takeout, whether a whole meal or a couple of favorite sides, pay attention to reservation deadlines. Some are as early as next week.
Here's a look at some Chattanooga eateries that will be open and offering full Thanksgiving feasts:
* Bridgeman's Chophouse at the Read House, 107 W. M.L. King Blvd. Thanksgiving dinner will be served tableside at the historic hotel from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and will feature a menu of rosemary butter-basted turkey or cider-braised Berkshire pork shank along with your choice of three sides: caramelized onion and tasso bread pudding dressing; brown sugar sweet potatoes; green beans with mornay sauce and crispy Cajun onions; or autumn spiced blood orange-cranberry compote. For a sweet finish: caramel apple cheesecake or pumpkin roll with cream cheese icing. For reservations, call 423-643-1240 or go online to bridgemanschophouse.com.
* Cracker Barrel will open for breakfast at 7 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, then turkey and fixings will be served up from 11 a.m. till 9 p.m. The three Chattanooga-area locations are at 2346 Shallowford Village Drive, 50 Birmingham Highway in Tiftonia and 1460 Mack Smith Road in East Ridge.
* Food Works, 205 Manufacturers Road, will open its doors Thanksgiving with seatings at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., and again offer its tremendous buffet with roast turkey and all the sides and other trimmings you can imagine. Since the restaurant will be working at 50% seating capacity, make reservations ASAP. 423-752-7487.
* Olive Branch Mediterranean Foods, 3992 Ringgold Road. If you're wanting your Turkey Day meal a day early, Olive Branch will be serving a sit-down feast of turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, cornbread stuffing, mac and cheese, green beans, broccoli casserole and homemade cranberry sauce from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25. 423-805-5295.
* Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant, 2 W. Aquarium Way, will serve its down-home Thanksgiving meal family-style rather than buffet. The menu will feature smoked turkey, pulled pork and Southern-fried catfish, along with sides such as mashed potatoes and green beans, along with pie for dessert. Seatings: 11 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. Reservations: 423-708-8505.
* Ruth's Chris, 2321 Lifestyle Way, opens its doors from noon to 9 p.m. for its annual Thanksgiving four-course turkey feast. For more details, log onto ruthschris.net and follow the links, or call 423-602-5900.
* Whitebird at The Edwin, 102 Walnut St. Rather than its traditional buffet, Whitebird will be serving Thanksgiving dinner at your table family-style. Choose from one of four entrees — roasted turkey, roasted chicken, pork belly or prime rib — then choose your sides and dessert. There will be seatings from 2 to 8 p.m., and the bar will be open until 10 p.m. The public is welcome, but priority will be given to guests staying at the hotel over Thanksgiving. Make reservations pronto at whitebirdchattanooga.com, where you'll also find a complete menu.
The following restaurants are among those offering Thanksgiving to go:
* The Acropolis Grill, 2213 Hamilton Place Blvd., has several offerings available for pickup through Thanksgiving eve, Nov. 25. A full dinner with turkey and three sides, such as sweet potato casserole, dressing and mashed potatoes will be offered. Also available are spiral hams, additional assorted sides and a bevy of dessert choices, including the restaurant's popular strawberry cake, cheesecake, pumpkin pie, pecan pie and baklava to bring your Thanksgiving dinner to a deliciously sweet finish. Orders must be placed no later than Monday, Nov. 23. 423-899-5341.
* Bluff View Art District, 411 East Second St. Chefs at Bluff View will prepare a meal your family and friends this Thanksgiving and all you need to do is pick it up. Let them make the entire meal or just a few sides or dessert. Choices include slow-roasted turkey breast, sour cream mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and more, including mouthwatering desserts from Rembrandt's Coffee House and house-roasted coffees from Rembrandt's Roasting Company. For a complete menu or to order, go to bluffviewartdistrictchattanooga.com or call 423-321-0235, extension 4. The deadline for ordering is Monday, Nov. 23.
* Carrabba's, 2040 Hamilton Place Blvd., concentrates its efforts on "Friendsgiving," with handmade Italian dishes offered in family bundles or catering packages. Catering packages can be delivered to your door or picked up at the restaurant seven days a week. For these group options, you can create your own package, pick a popular bundle serving 10 or more, or opt for individually packaged meals. The family bundles feed up to five and come with salad and bread, with prices starting at $34.99.
* Charlie's BBQ & Bakery, 2309 Main St. Place orders before 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, for hickory-smoked hams and turkeys, as well as sides including coleslaw, green beans, pimento cheese grits, baked beans, potato salad, cornbread dressing, and mac and cheese. Pies too — chess, pecan, sweet potato and pumpkin. 423-541-1500.
* Golden Corral, 760 Battlefield Parkway, Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. Choose a 12- or 24-piece fried chicken meal for $49.99 or $59.99. The smaller entree comes with mashed potatoes and gravy, a dozen yeast rolls and a pie choice. The 24-piece adds two additional 32-ounce sides and another dozen rolls. Order by Nov. 22 for pickup on Thanksgiving eve. 706-866-7514.
* Herman's Soul Food, 3821 Brainerd Road. The dining room is closed, but takeout orders will be flowing at Herman's, with roasted turkey; sides such as broccoli casserole, squash casserole, collard greens and turnip greens; and desserts such as red velvet cake; Key lime cake; and pies. The deadline for orders is 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 23. 423-624-5715
* Main Street Meats, 217 E. Main St. Chef Erik Niel and his crew will offer a selection of turkeys for those who want to roast them at home, or they'll smoke them if you want someone else to do the cooking. In addition, a delicious line of sides, such as parmesan broccolini with roasted garlic and cornbread-bacon dressing with sausage gravy are on the menu. And for dessert? How about pumpkin bread pudding with cream cheese icing? Orders must be placed by Thursday, Nov. 19, and can be picked up Tuesday, Nov. 24, or Wednesday, Nov. 25. Call 423-602-9568 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Olive Branch Mediterranean Foods, 3992 Ringgold Road. You roast the turkey and let Olive Branch do the rest. The popular East Ridge deli/bakery/grocery offers a delicious variety of sides and desserts, such as sweet potato casserole; mac and cheese; broccoli casserole; cornbread stuffing; cranberry sauce; spanakopita; baklava; pecan, apple and pumpkin pies; and more. Everything will be cooked and ready for you to take home and reheat. Order by Thursday, Nov. 19, and pick up by Wednesday, Nov. 25. 423-805-5295.
* Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant, 2 W. Aquarium Way. The takeout menu mirrors what in-house diners will be served: smoked turkey, pulled pork and Southern-fried catfish, along with sides such as mashed potatoes and green beans, and pie for dessert. Orders must be placed by end of day on Wednesday, Nov. 25. 423-708-8505.
* Ruth's Chris, 2321 Lifestyle Way, is offering dinner packages, each serving four adults and including your choice of salad, roasted turkey, homemade gravy, traditional cranberry relish, sausage-herb stuffing, your choice of two family-style sides and pumpkin cheesecake. Orders must be placed by 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20. 423-602-5900.
* Shuford's Smokehouse, 11320 Dayton Pike, Soddy-Daisy. Shuford's will smoke your turkey if you bring it to them ($1 per pound), or they will be selling their own smoked turkeys along with sides, such as dressing, cranberry sauce, green beans and other Thanksgiving favorites. The deadline for bringing your turkey in or ordering one of theirs is Monday, Nov. 23. 423-451-7102.
* Sticky Fingers, 420 Broad St. You can order a whole meal to go (enough for 8 to 10 people) or individual items a la carte. The meal includes a whole smokey turkey, five sides, dinner rolls and pumpkin pie for $150. If you want ready-made portions to add to your own spread, they have whole smoked turkeys and hams, as well as sides. See the menu options at stickyfingers.com. 423-265-RIBS (7427).
Email Anne Braly at email@example.com.