Where to Eat Out for Thanksgiving in Kansas City

List Includes Traditional Turkey, Steaks, Italian, and Pub Food With Live Music

Thanksgiving Table
••• Thanksgiving table with lots of veggie sides. Credit: Getty Images/Liza McCorkle

If the thought of cooking up a seven-course gourmet Thanksgiving meal scares you to death, you might love the idea of going out to eat for the biggest feast of the year and let the pros do the cooking. For Thanksgiving 2017, quite a few restaurants in Kansas City offer buffets, traditional sit-down dinners, or abbreviated menus with a casual approach on Thanksgiving. This list includes just a handful.

Be thankful that someone else has to do the dishes and revel in a tryptophan-induced coma. 

If you choose a restaurant on the Country Club Plaza, hang around for the Plaza Lighting Ceremony, with the switch flipped at 6:54 p.m. on Thanksgiving night.  Fireworks will follow the turning on of the lights.

It's always smart to make reservations as far in advance as possible if you want to eat out on Thanksgiving. Even though there are quite a few places open, the demand is significant, and this is especially true if you choose a restaurant on the Plaza and want a reservation to coincide with the lighting ceremony.

Restaurants Open on Thanksgiving 2017

Lidia's

Lidia's is serving a four-course prix-fixe menu from noon to 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.  The menu includes salad or soup, a pasta course of butternut squash ravioli, a main course that includes a traditional turkey dinner and sides or pork shoulder roast, barramundi filet, or grilled lamb chops for those who would rather have something other than a traditional meal.

The meal also includes a choice of dessert, served family style. It's $55 for adults and $18 for children.

Grand Street Cafe

Grand Street Cafe, on the Country Club Plaza and in Lenexa, is serving a traditional Thanksgiving dinner buffet from noon to 4 p.m. For adults, the cost is $27.95 and $12.95 for children.

Buca di Beppo

Buca di Beppo, an Italian restaurant extraordinaire on the Plaza, is serving a traditional dinner for Thanksgiving, along with Italian classic selections from the regular menu. Thanksgiving dinner will be served family style and will include turkey, stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and green beans, along with must-have pumpkin pie. For two to three people, the cost is $68, with the larger serving for five to six costing $136.

J Gilbert's

J. Gilbert's, home of wood-fired steaks and seafood in Overland Park, will be open from 11 a.m to 8 p.m on Thanksgiving Day. It's serving a three-course traditional prix-fixe menu that includes turkey and pumpkin pie for $38 for adults and $19 for children. If you are more interested in steak or seafood, you can also order off the regular dinner menu.

O'Dowd's Gastrobar

O'Dowd's Gastrobar on the Plaza will be open on Thanksgiving from 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. For a somewhat offbeat and super fun Thanksgiving at this traditional Irish pub, you'll find live music and a limited menu. Big bonus: a great view of the Plaza Lighting Ceremony.

Plaza III

Kansas City is known for its superb steaks, and Plaza III is the No. 1 steakhouse in Kansas City.

It's offering an all-you-can-eat traditional Thanksgiving feast for $29.95 for adults and $11.95 for kids. If you can't resist a Plaza III steak, you can order off the regular menu.