What to Do for Thanksgiving in Seattle

The Best Restaurants, Take Out, and Markets with Prepared Meals

Pumpkin pie

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Thanksgiving is a holiday that means many things to many people—family time, delicious food, or even a shopping bonanza the day after. Whether you intend to stay at home and make a full-course meal or head out to a restaurant, there are many ways you can enjoy Thanksgiving in Seattle and Tacoma. Here are just a few.

Things to Do

Most people spend Thanksgiving prepping food, spending time with family, watching movies or a game, but plenty of people also head out to shop and take in events. Some of those include:

  • Seattle's Thanksgiving Parade: Winding through downtown Seattle, this parade is a fun way to kick off the holiday season with floats, marching bands and Santa.
  • Going shopping on Black Friday: If you don't mind the crowds, heading out to local malls to find deals can be fun and a little crazy, especially if you go early in the morning.
  • Christmas lights displays: Christmas lights displays take place at Woodland Park Zoo, Bellevue Botanical Garden, Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, and a few other places in the region. Most Christmas lights displays in the region open the day after Thanksgiving.
  • Ice skating rinks: If you've got some twinkle in your toes, donning a pair of ice skates and twirling (or at least cautiously gliding) across the ice is festive and fun for all ages. Most area ice skating rinks open the day after Thanksgiving.

Eating out on Thanksgiving in Seattle

Don’t want to deal with the hassle of making Thanksgiving dinner? Or worse, the clean up? Many restaurants serve Thanksgiving dinner in Seattle and Tacoma, and are prepared to do the work for you. You can often go an upscale route as well, making Thanksgiving not just a day of food, but a day of fine food. Expect twists on the traditional items, such as herbed stuffing or mashed potatoes with tasty and artistic additions.

In Seattle, there are many Thanksgiving options.

  • For a casual, fun, but creative atmosphere, look to Outlier downtown next to the Hotel Monaco. Cuisine includes American and global favorites alike, as well as tapas and small plates.
  • If you're looking for a traditional turkey dinner done with style, Ruth's Chris Steak House is an excellent choice, with a three course meal that includes dessert at the end.
  • For a waterfront view paired with your Thanksgiving meal, look to Six Seven Restaurant and Lounge in the Edgewater Hotel. The Thanksgiving menu is prix fixe.
  • Or if you want to go with an Italian atmosphere, Maggiano’s in Bellevue and Buca di Beppo in Seattle are both great options.
  • McCormick’s, with a couple locations to choose from, is also a fine choice as it offers not only a special Thanksgiving meal, but also the option to order from the regular menu.

Tacoma Also Offers Thanksgiving Restaurants

To the south in Tacoma, you can also find delicious Thanksgiving dining out options at some of the best restaurants in town.

  • Classic steakhouse Stanley and Seafort’s has a full traditional meal with a spectacular view of downtown and the Port of Tacoma.
  • Another solid choice is Pacific Grill in the heart of downtown, which serves up not only an upscale Thanksgiving, but also usually Christmas and New Year's too.
  • If you want to go out, but need a cheaper price tag, down-home chain restaurants like Shari’s also serve up a nice Thanksgiving feast for much cheaper.

Thanksgiving Prepared Meals at Local Supermarkets and Take Out

If dining out just doesn't feel like Thanksgiving to you, you can also consider purchasing a prepared Thanksgiving meal if you don't want to do the cooking. Look toward your local supermarkets. Seattle and Tacoma both have some extraordinary options for upscale markets that serve up delicious Thanksgiving meals.

In all Puget Sound cities, the usual grocery stores almost all have great package deals. Fred Meyer and Safeway have meals designed for 4 to 8 people, often with a few customizable side dishes.

  • Metropolitan Market is also in several cities, including Seattle and Tacoma, and has one of the best Thanksgiving meals around, but costs a bit more than other chains at around $90 versus about $40 (but it's seriously worth it).
  • In Seattle, other markets that usually have meals include the Ballard Market, Central Market, Whole Foods and PCC Natural Market.
  • Another option for eating at home is to get takeout from a restaurant. These are fewer and farther between than restaurants with a sit-down meal, but you can often find several restaurants offer take out specifically for Thanksgiving on OpenTable.

    Vegetarian Thanksgiving

    Just because vegetarians and vegans aren’t interested in turkey and ham doesn’t mean they should have to sit this meal out or eat rolls and side dishes for dinner!

    • For dining out, Café Flora has both vegan and gluten-free options on its pre-fixe Thanksgiving menu.
    • For take out, Whole Foods and Madison Market all offer vegan or vegetarian main courses and side dishes.

    Black Friday Shopping

    Of course, the day after Thanksgiving is just as important as the day itself for those out to get the best gadgets at rock-bottom prices or a pair of jeans for $10! Seattle, Tacoma and everywhere in between starts off the holiday season with a little bit of shopping madness. Area malls and shopping centers, from Seattle's malls to South Sound shopping centers, almost all open early in the morning, and most have door buster sales just waiting to be discovered.

    Don't forget to support your local business owners the following Saturday for Small Business Saturday, too.