Don’t skip Thanksgiving. Let these Orlando Restaurants do all the cooking and cleaning for you!
** This post was originally published on November 2014 and has been updated for 2016 with new awesome choices for Thanksgiving Celebrations in Orlando!**
It seems Christmas is everywhere! From department stores decorations up since well before Halloween, Starbucks peppermint and gingerbread lattes in stores, Christmas events at theme parks, to Christmas carols heard on the radio. It appears we have skipped over Thanksgiving. Don’t even get me started on Black Friday shopping now starting on Thursday afternoon. I don’t understand the rush. Isn’t it time we slowed down? Enjoyed and celebrated life a bit more? Stopped to be thankful just a bit more?
Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays of the year to gather with family and friends and celebrate around the dinner table. The purpose of Thanksgiving is to be thankful for the bounty (and all the many blessings it provides). So, let’s enjoy the bounty and be thankful for it. I do admit however, all the cooking and cleaning required is not always something to be thankful for.
If you’re looking for an amazing foodie feast, worthy of replacing your home cooked meal, here are my picks for Best Thanksgiving Celebrations in Orlando. They include both All-American feasts and around the world flavors. You deserve to take it easy. Slow down, relax and enjoy the Thanksgiving feast with your family and friends. Let these Orlando culinary geniuses do all the work for you. They are worthy of all your gratitude. Seriously, GO! Make reservations and enjoy the Best Thanksgiving Celebrations in Orlando!
The Alfond Inn at Rollins College
Winter Park’s charming-chic boutique hotel, The Alfond Inn, offers a sumptuous buffet menu highlighting the very best of the holiday and reflecting Florida’s rich bounty with locally sourced ingredients served at two seatings 12noon or 3pm in The Conservatory and Park Avenue Ballrooms. Highlights include an extensive antipasto display, tapas, salads, pumpkin soup with cinnamon crouton, chilled oysters & crab claws, carved local turkey with cranberry-cumquat sauce, local wild mushroom and truffle oil risotto, lavender crème brulee, and fresh made crepes. For more information, visit TheAlfondInn.com For reservations call 407-645-6604. 300 East New England Avenue, Winter Park, FL. GO for a charming-chic Thanksgiving Celebration in Orlando!
Art Smith’s Homecoming Kitchen
Celebrity chef Art Smith brings all the flavors of home this Thanksgiving! Located at Disney Springs, the restaurant feels like you’re dining in the chef’s farm house, cozy comfortable and full of charm. The menu: Fresh-carved smoked turkey, old-fashioned country stuffing laced with minced fresh vegetables, from-scratch gravy with herbal nuances just like your momma used to make, slender pole beans steamed just until crisp-tender, a buttery cheddar biscuit, and house-made cranberry chutney with just the right amount of tart and sass to tame the richness of the meal. $28 for adults. And save room for dessert. The Hummingbird cake is fantastic! (but you also get to choose the Shine Cake which is made with Moonshine!) While your celebrating, don’t miss the Moonshine cocktails like Shine Tea or be really adventurous with Shine Flight. For more info, visit website. GO for a Southern Homecoming Thanksgiving Celebration in Orlando!
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse
Known for their killer prime-aged steaks around the world, this elegant addition to the Orlando restaurant scene on International Drive will be serving a three course prix fixe menu including choice of savory butternut squash soup or holiday salad, slow roasted turkey with sweet onion apple-sausage stuffing along with all the trimmings. Finish the meal with pumpkin cheesecake or classic pecan pie a la mode. This is a perfect option for families where not everyone at the table wants the traditional turkey dinner. The a la carte menu with a variety of steaks and seafood will be available as well. 407-351-5074 DelFriscos.com GO for a steak dinner Thanksgiving Celebration in Orlando!
The new French inspired brasserie in Downtown Orlando hosts its first Thanksgiving dinner from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The family style meal prepared by Chef Proprietor Clay Miller will feature DoveCote signature dishes plus Thanksgiving classics, including various hors d’oeuvres like Chicken Liver Pate, Frisse Salad, Pork Terrine Plate with Pickles, Pain Maison and Baked Brie & Red Wine Soaked Raisins, as well as Harrison Farm Roasted Turkey with Turkey Gravy & Cranberry Port Chutney with Whipped Yukon Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Braised Kale, Bacon, Chili & Garlic, and Cornbread Stuffing. For reservations call (407) 930-1700, for more information visit DoveCoteOrlando.com GO for a Delightfully French Thanksgiving Celebration in Orlando!
Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
Eddie V’s has become a Orlando Restaurant Row favorite for good reason. Classical fine dining service, well prepared inventive steakhouse fare and a relaxed setting with beautiful lake views, make Eddie V’s a must-visit luxury experience in Orlando, worthy of the splurge. Open from 11am-8pm on Thanksgiving Day, they will be offering their full a la carte menu as well as a traditional Thanksgiving turkey menu with all the trimmings. Make this a true celebration with your choice of bubbly including Roederer Champagnes. Free valet parking. For reservations call 407-355-3011. 7488 W. Sand Lake Road, Orlando, FL. Read about my dining experience at Eddie V’s. GO for a Glam Thanksgiving Celebration in Orlando!
Emeril’s Tchoup Chop
If you want more exotic flavors on your holiday table, Emeril’s Tchoup-Chop (pronounced chop chop) offers a creative menu of American favorites with South Pacific flair. From Noon – 9 pm, Chef Ryan Vargas and his team are cooking-up some tasty Thanksgiving specials, in addition to the regular menu. Start with Butternut Squash Pumpkin Bisque with apple cinnamon donut holes, Traditional Roast Turkey Feast and end your meal with Pumpkin Pie tartlet with Tahitian Vanilla Rum Sauce. Free valet parking. For reservations call 407-503-2467. Loews Royal Pacific Hotel, 6300 Hollywood Way, Orlando, FL. GO for an exotic Thanksgiving Celebration in Orlando!
Fogo de Chao
Although Thanksgiving is an American holiday, it doesn’t mean you can’t spice it up with flavors from around the world. Enjoy the Brazilian flair at Fogo de Chao with a gourmet salad bar of over 30 dishes including cured meats and Brazilian side dishes and let the gaucho chefs bring over 16 cuts of fire roasted meats right to your table. The pao de queijo (warm cheese bread) and garlic Picanha signature top sirloin steak are a must-eat but don’t miss the traditional Thanksgiving favorites included in the regular dinner price. Menu price includes all selections of fire-roasted meats carved tableside, Roasted turkey breast with au jus, Market Table & Feijoada Bar, Traditional Brazilian side dishes, Homemade cranberry relish, Brazilian sausage and apple dressing, and Sweet potato casserole. Kids under 6 eat free for an added bonus. For reservations call 407-370-0711. 8282 International Drive, Orlando FL. GO for an International Thanksgiving Celebration in Orlando!
Four Seasons Orlando Resort
Orlando’s only five diamond resort has your Thanksgiving holiday covered with a variety of dining options:
Thanksgiving at Ravello:
Get ready to eat with your eyes and delight your taste buds. This posh Italian restaurant at The Four Seasons Orlando Resort at Walt Disney World Resort is serving up a lavish buffet with an extensive selection to please more than just your turkey cravings. Antipasto and charcuterie display, seafood on ice including oysters, shrimp, crab, charred tuna, and sushi! Action stations and carvings, soups and desserts galore. Don’t miss the Lobster and Shrimp Ravioli, grilled mahi mahi, rotisserie chicken, Chef Fabrizio’s risotto with butternut squash, a selection of soups and salads including a special borlotti bean with spicy pomodoro and prosciutto soup. Of course, there will be delicious turkey with all of the fixings, including cranberry sauce, focaccia and sausage stuffing, giblet-sage gravy, charred sweet potato puree, roasted Brussels sprouts, and more. 407-313-6161 FourSeasons.com/Orlando
Thanksgiving at Capa:
For those looking for a unique way to celebrate the holiday, Capa, the exquisite rooftop steakhouse with spectacular views, will be offering a Thanksgiving special in addition to an a la carte dinner menu available from 6:00 to 10:00 pm. The special includes roasted turkey confit, served with a side of potato puree, stuffing, winter vegetables, and cranberry and port gravy sauce, USD 56 per person. To end the meal on a sweet note, Capa’s dessert special is a festive duo of pumpkin bourbon custard and cinnamon tres leches, USD 14. To view the special menu, click here.
For those who wish to celebrate Thanksgiving but perhaps not necessarily with turkey, there are several additional options available at Four Seasons Resort Orlando. Guests can celebrate with Goofy & His Pals at the Character Breakfast in Ravello, offered on Thursday, November 24, 2016 from 7:30 to 11:00 am. PB&G the pool bar and grill which just unveiled a new menu, will offer its standard menu from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, as will Plancha at the Tranquilo Golf Clubhouse. For Dining Reservations, call 407 313 6161
GO for a Five Diamond Thanksgiving Celebration in Orlando!
Hemisphere’s at Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport
Thanksgiving travel may give you pause and cause you to hesitate going to the Orlando International Airport, however you may miss out on one of the most unique dining spots in town. Here you can indulge in a fantastic buffet spread in a relaxed, newly re-designed setting after a $3 Million dollar renovation with spectacular views of the airport runways. Located on the 9th floor of the airport hotel, it is the complete antithesis of the hustle and bustle of holiday travel occurring just outside their doors. As you watch the planes coming and going off the runway, this dinner may inspire your next family vacation. Valet parking is complimentary. 407-825-1315 OrlandoAirport.Hyatt.com GO for a Travel Inspired Thanksgiving Celebration in Orlando!
Highball & Harvest at Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes Orlando
With a modern approach to Southern cooking, featuring locally sourced product, some of it grown at the on-site Whisper Creek Farms, this casually swanky eatery at The Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes Orlando Resort has the rustic feel of the season. Enjoy a festive family style feast of traditional dishes complemented with their own Cider Press Punch, seasonal micro-brews and sparkling wine. 407-393-4648. Highball & Harvest GO for a rustic chic Foodie Thanksgiving Celebration in Orlando!
Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
The Lake Buena Vista resort offers multiple options to celebrate the holiday:
Enjoy a special Thanksgiving four course plated lunch or extensive dinner buffet menu at LakeHouse, the newest eatery at this classic Florida resort, overlooking panoramic views of private Lake Windsong. Chef Craig Steffenson even shines the spotlight on cranberries with an inventive cranberry sauce bar during the resort’s lavish Thanksgiving Day Feast. Traditional cranberry sauce, flavored with oranges, cinnamon and anise is joined by a variety of off-the-wall flavors like guava, Florida key lime and whisky bacon made with Palmetto Creek Farms bacon, to complement the beautifully brined Joyce Farm’s all-natural, free-range roasted turkey. The 11-year Hyatt veteran joined the Orlando team this year and is excited to introduce his fun holiday bar, originally inspired by fresh jams he would taste at Santa Monica farmers market. Guaranteed you won’t skip the cranberry relish at this Thanksgiving table.
Dinner at the iconic Hemingway’s includes a plated as well as family style service with Rosemary-Citrus Brined and Roasted Fresh Free Range All Natural Turkey, Apple, Leek, Celery and Sage Stuffing, Classic Yukon Gold Potato Mash with Butter and Crème, and much more, including dessert. For more information and reservations, click here. GO for classic Florida style Thanksgiving Celebration in Orlando!
The speakeasy / New Orleans inspired steak and seafood eatery tucked away on the second floor of Pointe Orlando, serves a four-course Thanksgiving dinner with a “Southern contemporary” flair including charbroiled oysters and turducken from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Call 407-757-2910 or click Reservations. GO for a speakeasy Thanksgiving Celebration in Orlando!
This Memphis style music & dining joint with Southern-inspired menu, located at Pointe Orlando, is open for Thanksgiving. Serving a Southern style buffet with deep-fried turkey, andouille and cornbread stuffing and all the traditional favorites, as well as their a la carte choices like drool-worthy Lobster Mac n Cheese, it’s a great option for a casual family outing with live music entertainment. 407-930-1655 Lafayettes Orlando GO for a NOLA style Thanksgiving Celebration in Orlando!
Mitchell’s Fish Market
Known for their fresh seafood and attentive staff, this hidden gem in Winter Park will be open offering their full a la carte menu as well as a delicious three-course traditional Thanksgiving meal of oven-roasted turkey with all the trimmings, a choice of starter and dessert. For reservations, click here or call 407-339-3474. 460 North Orlando Avenue, Winter Park, FL. Read about my experience at Mitchell’s Fish Market. GO for a traditional Thanksgiving Celebration in Orlando!
For a unique twist on “unlimited dining”, this new culinary hotspot celebrating all things local at Gaylord Palms Resort is featuring an unlimited a la carte menu where you order from an extensive selection of small plates, fresh fruit dishes, cheeses, waffles and biscuit creations like chicken and waffles and country ham biscuits, and larger plates including Key West Benedict with yellow tail snapper and Crab Cake Benedict. All this in addition to a local Turkey Carving Station, Bacon Bar with varieties of house-cured bacon. And if that wasn’t enough, you get to indulge in a Bloody Mary Bar and Bacon Cinnamon Rolls. Everything included for a set price per person. Eat up! When they say MOOR (Mindful Of Our Resources) they really meant MORE! Request to dine on the 60ft sailboat docked in the lagoon for an extra special treat for the kids and kids at heart. Valet parking complimentary. 407-586-1101 Gaylord Palms GO for a one-of-a-kind Thanksgiving Celebration in Orlando!
Award-winning chef and culinary legend, Norman Van Aken, together with Executive Chef Andres Mendoza bring you a Thanksgiving Feast worthy of indulgence. In addition to the New World Cuisine a la carte menu which features a fusion of Latin, Caribbean and Asian recipes with traditional European technique, a special four course menu with various delicious choices for each course is offered from 5pm-9pm on Thanksgiving Day. Highlights include Thai butternut squash bisque, Sheep Empanadas, House Bacon Wrapped Turkey, Snapper al ajillo, and pumpkin semifreddo to close this amazing dinner. Free valet parking. Reservations required, call 407-393-4333. 4012 Central Florida Parkway, Orlando FL. GO for an award-winning Thanksgiving Celebration in Orlando!
Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant
For an Irish twist to your holiday, this authentic Irish Pub in the newly revamped Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) is serving celebrated master chef Kevin Dundon’s Bunratty Mead glazed turkey with whipped potatoes, apple, sage and sweet onion stuffing and braised brussels sprouts with traditional gravy. In addition to their extensive pub fare menu, housemade brews and the entertaining Raglan Road dancers. I guarantee this will be the most festive spot on the block. 407-938-0300 RaglanRoad.com GO for an Irish Hooley Good Time Thanksgiving Celebration in Orlando!
Rosen Centre Hotel
Executive Chef Mike Rumplik and his team at Rosen Centre Hotel are masters of Holiday brunch buffets. By far the best value in town, guaranteed to have you as stuffed as the Thanksgiving turkey when you finish this dining extravaganza of over 55 dishes. Offering an insane selection of antipasto, seafood, sushi, tapas, soups, salads, pasta station, holiday favorites roasted Tom Turkey with all the trimmings, Island rum glazed ham, and a full breakfast station with Eggs Benedict, omelet and waffles made to order. Save room for the extensive dessert display including warm spiced apple & cranberry compote over vanilla ice cream, a flowing chocolate fountain and lots of mini Swiss sweet shots. If that was not enough, unlimited champagne and mimosas are included. See the full menu here. Open from 11am-7pm. Free valet parking. For reservations call 407-996-2385. 9840 International Drive, Orlando, FL. GO for the most extensive champagne brunch Thanksgiving Celebration in Orlando!
Another wonderful option for Thanksgiving is Harry’s Poolside Bar & Grill, Rosen Centre’s contemporary poolside restaurant, is featuring a special Thanksgiving Day Prix Fixe menu showcasing the venue’s Caribbean Cuban fusion fare. The special menu will be available Thanksgiving Day from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. for $29.95 per adult and $13.95 per child, plus tax and service charge.
The seasonally inspired Seasons 52 Altamonte Springs and Dr. Phillips locations serve up a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, featuring Plainville Farms Roasted turkey raised on family farms never, ever given antibiotics. Full menu also available. Don’t miss the seasonal cocktails like the Cranberry Sage with Prairie Organic Gin and of course the mini indulgences are a must! For more information and reservations, visit Seasons52.com GO for a Seasonally Terrific Thanksgiving Celebration in Orlando!
You’ll find a traditional taste of Spain for your Thanksgiving holiday at this new I-Drive 360 eatery. Don’t miss checking out the Paella Pit. Holiday menu includes Paella and dessert, full Spanish Tapas menu also available. Their nightly Flamenco dancers will have you make-believe you have traveled to Spain. 407-226-2929 TapaToro.Restaurant GO for a Spanish infused Thanksgiving Celebration in Orlando!
If you are not a fan of turkey, Taverna Opa is the perfect place to celebrate Thanksgiving in Orlando! Give the holiday a Grecian twist and indulge in lamb instead with a three course menu featuring Greek favorites horiatiki traditional Greek salad, spanakopita spinach pie and keftedes Greek meatballs, and roasted lamb. For reservations call 407-351-8660. Pointe Orlando, 9101 International Drive, Orlando, FL. GO for the non-turkey of Thanksgiving Celebrations in Orlando!
Bonus: After Thanksgiving Celebrations
Once you’ve recovered from your food coma and done all the holiday shopping, check out these fun after Thanksgiving celebrations in Orlando:
Portofino Bay Hotel Holiday Harbor Nights
On the Friday after Thanksgiving, kick off the season at Holiday Harbor Nights, a wine and music event designed to capture the ambiance of the Mediterranean. Featuring select wines and sparkling wines, gourmet foods from the various resort restaurants, live music and the grand illumination of the majestic Christmas tree! For more information, visit their website or call 407-503-1200. Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando, 5601 Universal Blvd, Orlando FL.
Royal Pacific Resort Wantilan Luau
On Saturday after Thanksgiving, Royal Pacific Resort will host a special tree-lighting Wantilan Luau featuring an all-you-can-eat buffet of authentic Polynesian specialties, live Hawaiian music, traditional hula dancing and fire dancers. Menu price includes gratuity, non-alcoholic beverages, wine, beer, and Mai Tais! Reserve online or call 407-503-3463. Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando, 6300 Hollywood Way, Orlando, FL.
With these great Thanksgiving celebrations in Orlando, there is no reason to skip Thanksgiving!
GO be thankful for the bounty and enjoy the best Thanksgiving feast with family and friends! And, then we can move on to Christmas…