How to Build the Perfect Local Thanksgiving Meal

  • 01 of 07

    How to Build the Perfect Atlanta-Made Thanksgiving Meal

    Thanksgiving-spread.Photo-credit-Heidi-Geldhauser.JPG
    ••• Serpas' Thanksgiving Feast. Heidi Geldhauser

    Thanksgiving is around the corner, but before you throw on your eating pants, you need to plan the perfect meal. Don’t reach for that box of Stouffers just yet, we have the dishes and ingredients from Atlanta’s finest restaurants and purveyors that are sure to make you and your guests gobble with glee. Everything from appetizers, side dishes and beverages, to the turkey itself can be sourced locally. What better way to show gratitude for your community than supporting it for Thanksgiving? Keep reading to see the local deliciousness in store for your holiday meal.

    Continue to 2 of 7 below.
  • 02 of 07

    Locally-Made Appetizers for Thanksgiving in Atlanta

    Locally-Made Appetizers for Thanksgiving in Atlanta

    Start your perfectly local Thanksgiving meal with appetizers that are sure to whet the palette. Storico Fresco (one of this year’s hottest restaurants) is offering delicious salads and charcuterie boards with an Italian flare. If you want a little warmth, order their creamy and comforting butternut squash soup. For more family-style options head over to Alon’s Market in Morningside or Dunwoody for an antipasto platter packed with eggplant roulades, grilled asparagus and other veggies, peppers stuffed with ricotta cheese and breads. 

    Continue to 3 of 7 below.
  • 03 of 07

    Locally-Raised Turkey for Thanksgiving in Atlanta

    Locally-Raised Turkey for Thanksgiving in Atlanta

    For the love of Charlie Brown, do not buy just any turkey. Stick to a local, non-GMO bird that spent most of its life roaming in a pasture. Not only is this better for you (no chemicals in the turkey being passed on to you), it also means the turkey was a happier bird and will taste better because of it (seriously; stressed animals do not make for tender meat). White Oak Pastures (Bluffton, GA) has free-range turkeys that are certified non-GMO (they’re also Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane and a Step 5+ in the Global Animal Partnership). Not to spoil your appetite, but they also process the birds themselves in a zero waste facility making for a cleaner experience (and less of a chance of a recall). Another option: Nature’s Garden Express in Krog Street Market will be selling Darby Farms’ heritage birds. Heritage birds are historic, wild turkeys that almost went extinct. They’re also free-range and GMO-free but have a gamier taste. Bonus point for heritage turkeys: they’re...MORE higher in omega 3 fatty acids!

    Continue to 4 of 7 below.
  • 04 of 07

    Locally-Made Side Dishes for Thanksgiving in Atlanta

    Locally-Made Side Dishes for Thanksgiving in Atlanta

    If you don’t want to head to one of Atlanta’s farmers'​ markets for seasonal veggies to make your own sides, there are other options to take a load off you. Garnish & Gather, an Atlanta meal kit delivery service, has sides to help round out your dinner. Made with locally sourced produce and ingredients their butternut squash and brown rice medley, and sweet potato and sage gratin are sure to please. South Buckhead gem, Saltyard, is offering a package of four different sides for $85. Chef Nick Leahy has a way with seasonal dishes, and it shows in these sides: blistered haricot verts with sage and brown butter; sourdough, herb, and mushroom dressing; roasted root vegetables with honey glaze and garlic butter; and roasted sweet and new potatoes with herbs de Provence and smoked sea salt.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Locally Made Bread & Butter for Thanksgiving in Atlanta

    Locally-Made Bread & Butter for Thanksgiving in Atlanta

     When you pass the butter this Thanksgiving, give your guests the good stuff. Banner Butter is made in small batches, with cultured cream from hormone-free cows. There are several varieties including sea salt, salted, garlic and even sweeter options like balsamic fig, cinnamon and cardamom. You can find the butter at Whole Foods, farmers markets around town and online. Smear it on local H&F Bread made in a bakery on the Westside of town.

    Continue to 6 of 7 below.
  • 06 of 07

    Locally Made Dessert for Thanksgiving in Atlanta

    Locally Made Dessert for Thanksgiving in Atlanta

    It doesn’t matter how full you are, you know you have to have dessert on Thanksgiving. Leave it to the experts and grab a pumpkin caramel pie from Little Tart Bakeshop. It’s made with organic pumpkin and topped with a rich caramel sauce made with crème Fraiche. If pumpkin isn’t your thing, try the apple galette made with North Georgia apples, a rye flour crust and bay leaf maple syrup, or the chocolate caramel tart with a chocolate crust. If you need a little warmth, cozy up to Xocolatl’s drinking chocolate box. Xocolatl is a small-batch chocolate company turning out treats in Krog Street Market—their drinking chocolate box will cure any post-dinner sweet tooth. It includes single origin drinking chocolate, handmade Malvi Marshmallows (another Atlanta company), a spice blend, a 10-ounce mug and a five-ounce demitasse mug.  

    Continue to 7 of 7 below.
  • 07 of 07

    Drink Local for Thanksgiving in Atlanta

    Drink Local for Thanksgiving in Atlanta

    Annual family dinners can be stressful, which is why we have wine. Three Sisters Vineyard (Dahlonega, GA) offers several varieties including Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir, among others. They even have sparkling wines made with the same method as champagne (that’s secondary fermentation in the bottle). You can take a day trip and purchase wine at the winery, or you can find it in town at Tower. If Georgia-made wines don’t tickle your fancy, support a local wine shop like Perrine’s on the Westside or 3 Parks Wine in Glenwood Park.  

    Don't forget about the beer and hard apple cider drinkers! It feels like a new brewery opens every week in Atlanta, each with its own unique take on the hopped up good stuff -- we think Second Self's Thai Wheat would pair splendidly with that farm fresh turkey. Thankfully most local breweries sell cans and bottles at purveyors around town. Check out stores like Hop City and Stout Brothers for growlers.

    Although hard apple cider is...MORE thirst-quenching anytime of year, it's especially lovely in the fall. Swing by Urban Tree Cidery on the Westside for a growler, or look for Tree Horn's cans at shops around town.