Whether you're looking to have someone else cook your Thanksgiving feast this year or keen to avoid the traditional smorgasbord entirely, there are plenty of Philadelphia restaurants and catering services that would be happy to serve you on the big day. You can dine aboard a historic ship, for instance, or order up a full vegan feast, though customary fare can be found in the most colonial of settings, too. Reservations are strongly recommended—and in many cases required—as most restaurants are operating at limited capacity in 2020.
It doesn't get much more traditional than this Old City eatery whose staff—dressed in period garb—serves up colonial food year-round. City Tavern's Thanksgiving feast, by Chef Staib, is a four-course meal served family-style with live musical entertainment on the side. Your roast turkey will be accompanied by sage and marjoram stuffing, sweet potatoes with apples, creamed green beans and cranberry relish. Try washing all that down with a glass of boozy eggnog or old-school wassail for a traditional touch. Times for 2020 include early seating at 1 or 1:30 p.m., late afternoon seating at 4 or 4:30 p.m., and an evening seating at 7:30 or 7:45 p.m. Reservations will be taken from October 1.
Thanksgiving can be a dismal day for those who are meatless. To avoid being stuck with the same old lackluster side dishes, allow Miss Rachel to cook you a completely plant-based Thanksgiving dinner featuring slow-cooked seitan, truffled shiitake gravy, rustic green bean casserole, and buttery mashed potatoes. A full meal for one starts at $27, but dishes are also sold a la carte (each serving four people) for $16 to $50. Meals can be picked up or delivered (only within the city and for an extra fee) on Thanksgiving eve.
The pilgrims came to America on big wooden boats, and this Thanksgiving, you can eat on one. Moshulu, a four-masted floating restaurant, will offer an a la carte Thanksgiving menu featuring seafood starters and braised lamb, crab cakes, filet mignon, and turkey breast entrees from 12 to 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. What is more celebratory than having a cocktail around the fire pits on the Deck Philly anyway? The largest remaining original windjammer, Moshulu is docked in Penn's Landing adjacent to the museum ships USS Olympia and USS Becuna. Its Thanksgiving spread costs $65 per adult and $35 per child.
The Valley Green Inn, a National Historic Landmark, offers a classic and bountiful Thanksgiving seated meal in a beautiful space along Wissahickon Creek. Its colonial ambiance is perfect for the holiday and its three-course meal—consisting of turkey breast with sage gravy, apple and marjoram stuffing, prime rib with Béarnaise sauce, candied yams, and maple pecan pie—is the epitome of traditional. Reservations can be made via OpenTable. Thanksgiving dinner at Valley Green Inn costs $50 for adults and $25 for children.
Davio's Philly, off Rittenhouse Row, is a Northern Italian steakhouse, and while it does offer its regular carnivorous menu on Thanksgiving, it also deviates with a feast of free-range turkey, creamy potatoes, challah bread herb stuffing, roasted butternut squash, and plenty of pie. The restaurant's inviting setting in a restored bank building lends to a beautiful backdrop for holiday celebrations. Thanksgiving will be served from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on November 26 and costs $75 per adult, $23 per kid.
Bank & Bourbon is located inside the landmark Philadelphia Savings Fund Society building, which dates back to the Great Depression. It's now the home of the Loews Philadelphia Hotel the ever-sleek Bank & Bourbon eatery. As its name suggests, this place is big on bourbon and craft cocktails, but in addition to drinks, it will serve a three-course prix-fixe feast for Thanksgiving 2020. The menu includes a choice of salmon, roast turkey, and filet mignon as an entree, plus a selection of seasonal pies and wines. The dinner costs $65 for adults and $28 for kids (who get a choice of turkey, hamburgers, or pasta). Reservations can be made online.