If you aren't in the mood to tackle defrosting a 15-pound turkey or rolling out the dough for a homemade pumpkin pie this year, there are several restaurants in Sacramento that will be open on Thanksgiving Day and serving special holiday meals. However, as the capital of California, Sacramento is more than just a great place to eat out on Thanksgiving; there are also plenty of holiday events to attend around the city this time of year. From the biggest fun run in the country to the annual Appetite Enhancement Thanksgiving Bike Ride Parade at the California Automobile Museum, there's plenty to do in Sacramento before and after your holiday feast. Just make sure you reserve your spot at the dinner table before you set out, restaurants often book up weeks or months in advance of Thanksgiving each year.
For nearly 60 years, the Firehouse in Old Sacramento has been the place to go for a great wine list, fine dining, and elegant affairs. Constructed in 1853 and originally the home of the Sacramento Number 3 Firehouse, the unique and memorable setting is a perfect complement to the historic feeling of the holiday. Each dish feels handcrafted and features locally farmed ingredients. For Thanksgiving, the Firehouse treats guests to a three-course meal prepared by chef Jay Veregge for a fixed price. Your meal includes hors d'oeuvres, a fall salad, turkey dinner or a few other entree selections, and cranberry-pumpkin pie or hazelnut-chocolate mousse.
For the flavors of France and the Mediterranean done California-style, check out La Provence Restaurant in Roseville for its special Thanksgiving menu. The prix-fixe menu offers several courses including hors d'oeuvres, salads, a choice of entree (including turkey), family-style sides, and delectable sweets like pumpkin cheesecake, pistachio creme brulée, or salted caramel pecan pie. Located in the Diamond Creek neighborhood, La Provence also features an outdoor terrace that overlooks 51 acres of parks dotted with oak trees, local flowers, and the sounds of water from a nearby babbling creek.
Piatti prides itself on combining rustic, flavorful cuisine in a simple manner, and its menu features Italian-inspired, seasonally dictated cuisine with an emphasis on local farms and producers. Piatti's wine list includes some from a barrel-to-table program along with craft beers and artisan cocktails. The Thanksgiving menu features a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, including apple-sage stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, orange and brown sugar yams, roasted root vegetables, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Alternatively, guests on Thanksgiving Day can also order à la carte for soup, salads, steak, pork chops, salmon, or pasta.
Although Scott’s Seafood on the River is a seafood restaurant, it typically offers a twist to the traditional Thanksgiving dinner with an oven-roasted “Diestel Ranch” turkey dinner with garlic mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, candied sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, green beans almandine, and pumpkin cheesecake. Other menu items at Scott's, which is located at the end of the Sacramento River Parkway Trail, include appetizers, soups, salads, seafood and beef dishes, pasta, and a children's turkey dinner. Guests of Scott's Seafood on the River can also buy Thanksgiving pies to-go, and proceeds from the sales will go to support UC Davis Cancer Research.
In the countryside of Elk Grove, just 15 miles south of Sacramento, you can enjoy a comfortable atmosphere at Silva's Sheldon Inn, which is known for its seasonal menus that feature locally-harvested ingredients. Make a reservation on Thanksgiving to enjoy a prix-fixe four-course holiday meal that features butternut squash soup, mixed greens salad, your choice of main courses (including a traditional turkey dinner, smoked prime rib, and seared scallops), and a selection of desserts. Alternatively, guests can try a dish from their classic French, American, and Portuguese cuisine options.
Located in the northeastern Sacramento suburb of Citrus Heights, Black Angus Steakhouse is a regional chain that specializes in aged steaks in addition to seafood, salads, sides, and desserts. On Thanksgiving, make a reservation to enjoy a prix-fixe turkey dinner that features three courses including salads, soups, oven-roasted turkey breast and all the fixings, and a selection of several desserts. Alternatively, guests can choose a limited selection from the regular menu all day long on Thanksgiving Day.
For something out of the ordinary this Thanksgiving, take a ride on the Sacramento RiverTrain for a special holiday feast. The RiverTrain is a family-owned business that offers regular trips between West Sacramento and Woodland as well as a variety of seasonal events and special meals served while the train makes its way along the 18-mile stretch between the two towns. During the Thanksgiving train ride, you and your family can enjoy three courses while you embark on a three-hour train ride. The Thanksgiving Train departs from a parking lot north of the West Sacramento IKEA shopping center on Harbor Boulevard, and reservations are required to attend.