Bethany Clough

Where to eat out on Thanksgiving Day

This dean’s list meatloaf served with mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy and Swiss chard is on the Thanksgiving Day menu at School House Restaurant & Tavern in Sanger.
This dean’s list meatloaf served with mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy and Swiss chard is on the Thanksgiving Day menu at School House Restaurant & Tavern in Sanger. SPECIAL TO THE BEE

Maybe cooking a Thanksgiving meal strikes fear into your heart. Maybe you hate doing dishes. Or, you realize we have awesome chefs in the Valley who create some amazing food.

Whatever the reason, several restaurants will be open on Thanksgiving. They include popular chains and local places with chefs who are well-known for their culinary skills.

Their menus are all different, but you can get a traditional turkey and mashed potatoes just about anywhere. And for people who want something nontraditional, say a steak, some places have other dishes available, too.

Always call and make reservations. Restaurants fill up quick and it would be a bummer to spend your Thanksgiving driving around town searching for a place to eat.

School House

School House Restaurant & Tavern in Sanger is open 2-7 p.m. Thursday.

It’s offering a $50 three-course meal that includes a salad or appetizer, an entree (of course turkey is available) and a dessert. If Thanksgiving just isn’t the same without mashed potatoes or whatever your favorite dish is, you can choose from five traditional side dishes to share that cost an extra $5 each.

The full menu is online.

Its “signature entree,” according to the restaurant: the Dean’s List Meatloaf. It’s served with mashed potatoes, Swiss chard and mushroom gravy.

Reservations: 559-787-3271.


Manhattan Steakhouse & Bar is open on Thanksgiving Day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

It has a four-course meal that includes a smoky butternut squash soup, salad, dessert and comes with those favorite Thanksgiving sides like candied sweet potatoes.

The price depends upon which entree customers order. Three entrees cost $39.95, including the filet mignon, and three other entrees cost $29.95, including an herb-roasted turkey with wild mushrooms.

Interesting tidbit: This is the restaurant’s busiest day of the year, says owner Dave Milutinovich. It gets big families of up to 35 people. Its banquet rooms are already booked and the restaurant is sold out from 2-4 p.m., so call ASAP if you want to go.

Reservations: 559-449-1731.

Elbow Room

The Elbow Room restaurant in Fig Garden Village is open Thursday from noon to 8 p.m.

A limited menu includes a $24.99 turkey or ham dinner with several sides and pie.

If you don’t like turkey: Steak and seafood will be on the menu that day, with about 10 dishes overall from Elbow Room’s regular menu.

Reservations: 559-227-1234.

Macaroni Grill

Macaroni Grill will be open from noon to 9 p.m. serving its regular menu and a traditional Thanksgiving meal. That dish includes turkey, apple and sausage stuffing and glazed carrots for $18.99.

For people who don’t want turkey, the restaurant’s most popular item is chicken Parmesan (spaghetti and meatballs and rib-eye steak are big sellers, too).

Interesting tidbit: This is only the second year Macaroni Grill has opened on the holiday. It tried out opening for four hours last year and it was apparently successful enough to expand the hours this year.

Reservations: 559-436-6690.

Black Angus

Black Angus is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday. It will be serving a traditional Thanksgiving meal with turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes or roasted sweet potatoes in brown butter and pumpkin pie.

Something different: Black Angus says it has one of the most affordable deals around. It costs $18.99 for adults, $9.99 for kids.

Reservations: 559-224-2205.


Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is serving from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., but the middle of the day is booking up fast.

The restaurant has its regular menu available and a Thanksgiving meal for $39.95.

Interesting tidbit: If soppressata (salami) and brie cheese sounds like something your kids won’t touch, Fleming’s has a separate kids Thanksgiving meal for $19.95.

Reservations: 559-222-5823.

Other chains

Both Marie Callender’s and Mimi’s Cafe are open on Thanksgiving Day, but scoring a seat is tricky with these two.

Mimi’s in Fresno is all booked up but still taking walk-ins. Marie Callender’s restaurants don’t take reservations on that day so you’ll have to try your luck.

Mimi’s starts serving a traditional Thanksgiving meal at 10 a.m. at $18.99 for adults and $8.99 for kids.

Marie Callender’s serves a turkey or ham dinner for $19.99 or $8.99 for kids from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Fresno Ruth’s Chris Steak House is already booked up.

Bethany Clough: 559-441-6431, @BethanyClough