Don't feel like cooking? Restaurants like Denny's and Popeyes are open on Thanksgiving

These restaurant chains will keep their doors open Thanksgiving Day.
Popeye's Thanksgiving staple, the Cajun Style Turkey hand-rubbed with Louisiana seasonings has returned starting at $40.
Popeye's Thanksgiving staple, the Cajun Style Turkey hand-rubbed with Louisiana seasonings has returned starting at $40.Popeyes
/ Source: TODAY

As people plan this year's Thanksgiving festivities a little differently with smaller groups and virtual gatherings, a big spread of roast turkey and all the fixings may feel like too much work. And that's OK!

There are plenty of chains, from fast casual to higher-end sit-down restaurants, that will keep their doors open on Thursday, Nov. 26. Whether you decide to ditch the dishes and enjoy a meal out or order a fully prepared feast to enjoy from the comfort of your couch, there are plenty of ways to stay connected through food this holiday, regardless of who makes it.

With COVID-19 cases spiking again, it's important to call restaurants before ordering or popping in, since local mandates govern restrictions and some stores may have different hours or dining protocol.

Applebee's

Many Applebee's restaurants across the country are open on Thanksgiving but some will have different holiday hours. A spokesperson for the chain advised diners call ahead before heading out to dinner, where you can snag the limited-time offer for two entrées and full-sized appetizers for just $20.

Bahama Breeze

Select locations of the Island Grille will be open from noon to 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and will be serving up a tropical twist on the classic holiday meal. So for those who don't feel like whipping up chef Nina Compton's Caribbean-influenced Thanksgiving recipes at home, Bahama Breeze is the place to go.

Bob Evans

The homey chain will be open until 8 p.m. for breakfast, lunch and dinner on Thanksgiving Day and offers several options for a pre-made Thanksgiving meal, both to go and dine-in. The chain's Farmhouse Feast feeds eight and includes turkey or ham and all the sides, starting at $54.99 and is available for delivery or pick-up. If you’d rather leave the prep work to the pros, there’s a $15 dine-in special on Thanksgiving Day that includes a main course, three sides, endless bread and a slice of pie.

Boston Market

Boston Market is known for their chicken, but they get into the swing of things on Thanksgiving and roast up some turkeys. Folks can order for dine-in or takeout at most locations and offer individual meals or get catering for the whole fam with all the fixings.

Buca di Beppo

For an Italian twist on Thanksgiving classics, visit your local Buca di Beppo, which has several options to suit your needs, including Thanksgiving catering starting at $199 for 10 people or Thanksgiving dinner to go, starting at $68.99 for three people. You can also dine in on a meal of sliced white meat turkey, homestyle gravy, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, spicy Italian sausage stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Buon appetito!

Buffalo Wild Wings

For all the football fans who want to skip the roast turkey and just feast their eyes on the game with some rounds of chicken wings and beers, most Buffalo Wild Wings around the country will remain open.

Chart House

The higher-end seafood restaurant known for its amazing views around the country will offer a three-course pre-fixe turkey dinner with all the trimmings on Thanksgiving Day. Call ahead to see which locations are participating and for specific hours. For those who want Thanksgiving to-go for a family of three to four, pre-order by Friday, Nov. 20 at 3 p.m. Options include traditional turkey or slow-roasted prime rib.

Chevy's Fresh Mex

The Tex-Mex fast-casual dining chain is offering a three-course Thanksgiving meal from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at select locations. The feast starts with a mixed greens salad followed by roasted turkey with mole sauce, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, jalapeño-cheddar bread and cranberry sauce. There's even mini pumpkin pies for dessert.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

For 50 years, Cracker Barrel has been serving customers convenient options to make Thanksgiving Day more enjoyable, and this year will be no different. There’s a Heat n’ Serve Holiday Family Meal To-Go, a complete Thanksgiving meal that serves 10 people and can be prepared in two hours or less for $124.99. The restaurant recommends ordering it in advance. There’s also a Homestyle Turkey n' Dressing or Country Fried Turkey dish that is a fun Southern spin on the tradition available for those who dine in. If you pickup early (Nov. 23. or 24), you'll earn a $10 bonus card.

Denny's

Even though this chain had to shutter dozens of locations during coronavirus lockdowns in spring, they're still serving their Sweet Holiday Delights Menu and the Festive Holiday Feasts Menu in all their 24-hour locations. The chain also has carry-out options like its Turkey and Dressing Dinner Pack, available for both Thanksgiving and Christmas at participating locations. People are encouraged to reserve it 24 hours in advance.

Fogo de Chao

This nationwide Brazilian steakhouse will spoil customers with their traditional sliced meats but also tag some Thanksgiving-themed items onto their selection, including turkey!

Golden Corral

Known for its extensive buffet available year-round, this chain has even more options for the holiday season. Golden Corral’s Holiday Feast, which is already available for a limited time, includes options like roasted turkey, spiced ham, cornbread stuffing, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce and candy cane cheesecake or chocolate candy cane cake. The chain also beefed up its to-go and curbside pick up options this year to help people enjoy the holidays safely.

Hometown Buffet

Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, the buffet chain will have a special holiday menu with items such as carved turkey and ham, holiday dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, honey cornbread and pumpkin and pecan pie.

McCormick and Schmicks

This seafood and steakhouse is serving a roasted turkey dinner on Thanksgiving Day for $29.50. It includes butternut squash bisque or walnut mixed greens, cornbread stuffing, apple squash casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, seasonal vegetables and cranberry sauce. If you’re looking for something lighter, you can always order individual items from the chain’s holiday à la carte menu.

Mimi's Cafe

All of the locations of this Southern chain will be open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and they will be serving a three-course meal for $20. Start with your choice of soup or salad, followed by a traditional Thanksgiving spread and end it with a slice of pumpkin or pecan pie. Mimi’s Café also has a take-home feast option for $105.

Popeyes

This Louisiana-based chicken chain is cooking up whole, roasted Cajun turkeys for Thanksgiving Day.Popeyes

This fast casual chain known for its fried chicken, particularly its food war-igniting fried chicken sandwich, is ringing in Turkey Day with a few fun specials. It's Thanksgiving staple, the Cajun Style Turkey hand-rubbed with Louisiana seasonings has returned starting at $40. Just order the whole turkey and your favorite sides by calling ahead or visiting in person. The chain also partnered with Uber Eats to deliver an eight-piece "Churkey' special (it's fried chicken served in a turkey dish), one large side and four biscuits for $20. Just order through Uber Eats starting Wednesday and you'll get a free Chicken Sandwich Combo with it.

Ruth's Chris Steak House

Sure, you can enjoy the steak and sides, but they will also be offering a traditional three-course meal with oven-roasted turkey and homemade gravy.

Seasons 52

Seasons 52, a grill and wine bar, will offer traditional favorites like roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, herb stuffing and more starting at $29.95 and $14 for children.

Ted's Montana Grill

Ted's Montana Grill is known for their burgers and steaks, but they'll be open on Thanksgiving and all about the turkey. They will be serving a 3-course Traditional Roast Turkey Feast that includes everything from garlic mashed potatoes to buttered carrots, gravy, cranberry sauce and, obviously, turkey. You'll just have to call ahead to reserve your table.

Waffle House

Luckily for diners, this chain never closes ... except under rare circumstances, like a major storm. Every single Waffle House restaurant is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. While they won’t be serving up anything special for Thanksgiving Day, the tried and true classics, like Papa Joe's Pork Chops and plenty of pie options, including pecan and triple chocolate, will satisfy fans of the chain.