Let’s not ask why you might want to dine out on Thanksgiving. Let’s just get to the options. Because there are a lot of them. And if nothing else, maybe we can help you get into that butter-ballin' Turkey Day mood.
- Orchids at Palm Court
35 W 5th St, Downtown
This list isn’t ranked, but here’s my #1 all the same, and it’s not especially close. Orchids goes buffet style, but the food is every bit as good as what this five-star restaurant delivers during regular dinner service. Here’s the menu. Tell me an eggs benedict with saffron hollandaise doesn’t sound scrumptious.
- Seasons 52
3819 Edwards Rd, Norwood
The turkey itself is called “Never Ever” turkey because it hasn’t ever been given antibiotics. And also, presumably, because after one bite you’ll never ever want to fiddle with your own Thanksgiving dinner again. (See what I did there?) Sommelier wine picks are offered as is a cranberry and sage cocktail that looks very tempting.
- The Golden Lamb
27 S Broadway St, Lebanon
This has been a popular Thanksgiving destination since Thanksgiving was enshrined as a national holiday in 1870, more than 60 years after The Golden Lamb opened. Make sure to book well in advance, because it can get crowded!
- Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
100 E Freedom Way #160, Downtown
By her own admission, the eponymous Ruth didn’t believe a holiday should get in the way of a great dinner. Her namesake restaurant agrees. You’ll be treated to a three-course meal with all the highlights of Thanksgiving, and they’ll even send you home with extras.
- Parkers Blue Ash Tavern
4200 Cooper Rd, Blue Ash
One of the best restaurants in suburban Cincinnati opens its doors for Thanksgiving, and it’s supremely popular. Don’t like turkey? No problem. Their carving station also features slow-roasted prime rib with au jus and horseradish cream. (You had me at, well, horseradish. So, just at the end there…)
- Prime Cincinnati
580 Walnut St #100, Downtown
It’s a brunch buffet at one of our favorite dining spots downtown. Sounds just about perfect, especially with apple sausage cornbread stuffing, roasted shallot and garlic mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, mascarpone and berry French toast, an Amish turkey carving station, and Grippo’s pretzel-crusted Ghiradelli brownies. Yum.
- Maggiano’s Little Italy
7875 Montgomery Rd, Kenwood
How difficult is it for an Italian restaurant to recreate an American classic? Apparently, not that difficult. Maggiano’s offers a four-course meal that you can eat in or, interestingly enough, carry out. The menu might be the most expansive of any on this list; there’s a lot to choose from.
609 Walnut St, Downtown
The food here is already exceptional. I can only imagine what the family-style prix fixe Thanksgiving menu is like… It’s highlighted by an Elmwood Stock Farms roasted turkey (which provides the lead image to this article; i.e. scroll to the top) and is accompanied by sides like chorizo jam, cheddar crisps, and stuffing with fennel. Not your traditional turkey day treats, but nonetheless delicious.
- Eighteen at The Radisson
668 W 5th St, Covington
There isn’t a more unique place in the city than this rotating rooftop restaurant. They offer a special Thanksgiving buffet, so you can have your choice of light or dark meat while enjoying the city in panorama. Put your camera phone away, though. This is Thanksgiving, after all. A time to be spent with family, not attached to our digital devices.
505 Vine St, Downtown
This iconic restaurant overlooking Fountain Square boasts a menu of non-Thanksgiving favorites like steak and lamb. But they also have a more traditional course offering that features stuffing, garlic mashed taters, and, of course, turkey. Burn it off afterward with a skate at Fountain Square.
- La Petite France
3177 Glendale Milford Rd, Evendale
This might be Cincinnati’s best suburban French restaurant, and they do Thanksgiving right. Several proteins are offered besides turkey: beef tenderloin with mushroom demi-glaze, pork loin with Dijon mustard sauce, shepherds’ pie, frog legs Provencal, baked ham in champagne, escargot and mushrooms, bacon-cheese quiche, and mussels. I don’t know about you, but I’m keen on the frog legs.
8170 Montgomery Road, Kenwood
You've probably been to Embers on a Wednesday night. It's half-price sushi in the bar; and thus, it's the place to be and be seen. But did you know they're also rocking a lovely Thanksgiving feast? 'Tis true. The restaurant opens at 3pm on turkey day. Call to book your reso: 513-984-8090.
- The Presidents Room
812 Race St, Downtown
This isn’t just a Thanksgiving dinner, it’s a Thanksgiving event. That’s mostly thanks to the live music, but you know the food will be fantastic as well. Because, after all, The Presidents Room is a super underrated restaurant, if they don't mind me saying so.
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Don't forget to scroll back to the top and get a sampling of what these restaurants have to offer in the gallery above. Happy (upcoming) Turkey Day, friends!