If you're traveling to Houston this year over the week of Thanksgiving and don't want to cook your own holiday meal, there are several restaurants in the metro area that will be open and serving special feasts this year. However, Thanksgiving in Houston is about more than just the holiday meal. In fact, Houston is full of holiday traditions, and some even believe Texas was the birthplace of Thanksgiving because when Spanish explorer Juan de Oñate and his crew of 500 people arrived in El Paso in 1598, they celebrated the end of their perilous journey across Mexico's Chihuahua Desert with a feast and bonfire. After you've finished your Thanksgiving meal, you'll have plenty of opportunities to get in the holiday spirit Texas-style, including the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade and the lighting of the Tree of Lights at City Hall on Thanksgiving night—a tradition that dates back to 1919.
If you're looking to escape the ordinary this Thanksgiving, you can head over to Mo's Irish Pub for a prix fixe meal that includes soup or salad, one entree, sides, and a dessert. Entree choices include either Cajun-fried or traditional oven-roasted turkey, and side options include glazed carrots, white cheddar mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce; drinks will cost extra but are available from the bar with your meal.
Featuring an outdoor patio bar—which you can still enjoy in southern Texas this time of year—and a wide selection of creative Irish-American fare even during the holidays, Mo's is a great place to go if you're looking for a fun-filled feast. If you're over the age of 21 (and not traveling with children), you may also want to stop by on Thanksgiving Eve for the annual Drinksgiving celebration, which features a special guest musician performing during happy hour and drink specials all night long.
With over 15 locations open on Thanksgiving Day in the Houston area—as well as several other popular affiliated restaurants like Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen and Pappasito's Cantina nearby—Pappas Bar-B-Q is a great option if you want a taste of some traditional Texan cuisine this holiday season. The dine-in Thanksgiving meal features smoked turkey, smoked ham, cornbread stuffing, candied yams, green beans, gravy, and cranberry sauce. You can also place an order for a Thanksgiving BBQ feast to-go, but orders must be placed at least 48 hours in advance.
Located near the Galeria area of the city, the Omni Houston Hotel reopened in November 2018 after completing several remodeling projects throughout the resort. This upscale hotel and resort destination offers a Thanksgiving brunch at Birdies—one of two in-house restaurants located within Omni—from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., but prices are a little expensive for this buffet-style meal. The menu is divided into stations for seafood, sushi, breakfast, pasta, roasts, and a kids-only station with burgers, pizza, and other child-friendly foods; champagne cocktails and desserts are also available. Additionally, if you choose to stay at Omni, you'll also have access to two outdoor swimming pools, a spa and salon, and a private fitness center during your Thanksgiving vacation.
Opened as a sister restaurant to Commander's Palace in New Orleans, Brennan's serves a variety of southern-inspired creole cuisine year-round and offers a three-course meal on Thanksgiving each year. For a fixed fee, guests can choose from options like snapping turtle soup, seafood gumbo, Texas Creole roasted American Turkey, mesquite-grilled redfish, hunter's honey-roasted duck, and turducken stuffed Texas quail. For dessert, choose from southern baked apple crisp, Creole cream cheesecake, bayou rum carrot cake, Mississippi mud pie, Robin's lemon meringue pie, or Creole bread pudding, among others.
A pie bakery in Houston since 1967, the House of Pies family has since expanded to include three locations in Houston and one in The Woodlands. While known for its homemade-style pies, which are made with locally-sourced ingredients "the old-fashioned way," House of Pies also makes delicious dinner meals—including on Thanksgiving Day this year. Make a reservation at any of the four locations in and around Houston for an 11 a.m. serving of turkey, cornbread stuffing, yams, green beans, cranberry sauce, a dinner roll, and a slice of pumpkin pie.
Another fine-dining restaurant located inside a luxury hotel, Monarch at Hotel Zaza is one of Houston's premier establishments for Hereford Beef Tenderloin, a local steak lover's favorite. For Thanksgiving, Monarch will be offering a prix fixe menu that starts with your choice of an acorn squash soup or Monarch salad. After your appetizer, choose from one of three main dishes like cornbread stuffed quail and candied yam before finishing up your meal with a pecan tart or pumpkin pie.
As the name might suggest, The Classic is a modern American restaurant featuring a menu full of comfort food from the Houston area. Located on the eastern edge of Memorial Park, this charming bistro is also serving a special Thanksgiving meal this year. Featuring twists on classic dishes like Indian Creek mushroom bisque, warm spinach salad, maple-glazed turkey breast, herb-crusted butcher's cut, and grilled San San Tofu all served with four-cheese potato gratin, fall market vegetables, and challah dressing, the Thanksgiving prix fixe menu is a great deal for your holiday meal.
Located in the Memorial Green neighborhood of Houston, Jonathan's The Rub is serving up a three-course dinner this Thanksgiving from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The holiday menu features a wide selection of entrees including deep-fried turkey along with traditional sides like green bean casserole, garlic mashed potatoes, and sourdough and cornbread stuffing as well the restaurant's signature mac and cheese sweet potato casserole. Reservations are recommended and can be made in advance online or over the phone.
Sip on a delicious exclusive cocktail while you enjoy a three-course meal this Thanksgiving at Seasons 52, which is located just minutes from the Houston Galleria in the Uptown neighborhood of the city. Seasons 52 has become known in the Houston area for its seasonal dishes, but their holiday menu features traditional favorites like oven-baked turkey, cornbread stuffing, and pumpkin pie for dessert.
If you're in the mood for something other than traditional turkey this Thanksgiving, head to Artisan's Restaurant for a meal inspired by the sea. Led by chefs Jacques Fox and Russell Kirkham, the holiday brunch menu features oyster cornbread, sweet potato soup with jumbo lump crab, and butter-poached lobster. The menu includes traditional favorites like turkey breast with champagne cream of mushroom sauce, too, but the main draw of Artisan's Restaurant is its fresh seafood selection.