Not feeling the urge to prepare a multi-course feast on Thanksgiving Day? Or maybe you find yourself alone or with a small group on the holiday? Fear not, because quite a few restaurants in Milwaukee and its surrounding suburbs are staying open on Thanksgiving Day, and the best part is that—in some cases—the menu is a unique offering.
Where: 320 E. Mason St., Milwaukee, 414-276-2720
What’s on the Menu: Fresh off a reopening this autumn, the 112-year-old German restaurant is open on Thanksgiving Day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (reservations necessary), continuing a long-held tradition.
Whether your heritage is German or you simply want to try a new twist on turkey, expect the Classic Turkey Platter alongside German dishes. Also, expect some modern twists under new owner Thomas Hauck (also of C. 1880).
Mason Street Grill
Where: The Pfister Hotel, 424 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, 414-935-5950
Cost: $60 per adult, $20 for kids three to 10 years old (for buffet)
What's on the Menu: Hosted at The Pfister Hotel's ballroom from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, the feast is an enlarged version of what you might expect at a family member's Thanksgiving Day meal, with turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and more. Then, that afternoon, the hotel's Mason Street Grill, a street-level steakhouse, launches a special Thanksgiving prix-fixe menu from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. This includes wood-grilled steaks and seafood, too.
Where: 200 N. Broadway, Milwaukee (inside The Journeyman Hotel), 414-291-3971
Cost: $45 per adult, $25 for kids 12 and under, free for kids three and under
What’s on the Menu: “Top Chef” alumn Heather Terhune is at the helm of this Mediterranean restaurant inside The Journeyman Hotel, which will be open on Thanksgiving Day. The family-style menu includes roasted turkey and gravy with citrus and herbs, ciabatta stuffing with wild mushrooms and chestnuts, crispy Brussels sprouts with pancetta and onions, and olive-oil poached shrimp bruschetta with chickpea puree.
Terhune’s two favorite Thanksgiving desserts (pumpkin-mousse tart and warm-apple crostada) are also on the menu, and the entire feast begins with an antipasto platter piled with meats, cheese, olives and herb crackers.
Where: 833 E. Michigan St., Milwaukee (downtown), 414-273-7273
Cost: $65 per adult, $18 for kids 12 and under
What’s on the Menu: Naturally the menu here—even on Thanksgiving Day—tilts toward steaks. From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. a special all-you-can-eat meal includes a choice of soup or salad, plus smoked-turkey legs, a prime-rib cart, and sliced turkey breast, as well as numerous vegetable sides (like candied yams, cranberry chutney, and mashed potatoes) and two desserts (pecan and pumpkin pies) served family-style.
The Capital Grille
Where: 310 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee (downtown), 414-223-0600
Cost: $38 per adult, $15 for children (extra $10 for dessert)
What’s on the Menu: As the sole location in Wisconsin, The Capital Grille in downtown Milwaukee will, like other locations nationwide, serve a grand feast on Thanksgiving Day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. On the menu is slow-roasted turkey with brioche stuffing, plus French green beans with cranberry-pear chutney and Marcona almonds, capped off with mashed potatoes.
Tack on a slice of pumpkin-cheesecake for dessert.
Buca di Beppo
Where: 5300 S. 76th St., Greendale, 414-423-5553; and 1233 N. Van Buren St., Milwaukee, 414-224-8672
What’s on the Menu: Put an Italian twist on your Thanksgiving Day plans with a visit to Buca di Beppo’s two Milwaukee-area locations. On the Thanksgiving Day menu are all the traditional fixings like sliced white turkey, gravy, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, spicy Italian sausage stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. The meal starts serving at 11 a.m.
Where: Hilton Milwaukee City Center, 509 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee (downtown), 877-704-5343
Cost: $34 per adult, $17 for kids three to 10 years old
What’s on the Menu: Angling towards adults and kids, and serving from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., there is a special buffet menu at Hilton Café just for pint-sized family members.
Menu items are what you’d expect on Thanksgiving Day, including turkey and mashed potatoes. More into breakfast? A Thanksgiving Day breakfast menu—not a buffet, it’s a-la-carte instead—is also available, from 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Where: Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, 333 W. Kilbourn Ave., Milwaukee (downtown), 414-270-6044
Cost: $48 per adult, $15.95 for kids four to 12 years old
What’s on the Menu: What’s significant about this hotel’s Thanksgiving Day feast is that it comes with a view, at the property’s rooftop ballroom called VUE. Enjoy views of downtown Milwaukee’s skyline while you dine on orange and thyme glazed turkey and salt and sugar crusted striploin from two carving stations as well as four vegetable sides with modern twists (such as pistachio and sage stuffing), plenty of soup and salad selections, three entrees (including seared salmon with fire-roasted red-pepper sauce) and a whopping eight desserts (yep, there’s a pumpkin cheesecake and apple strudel).