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Where to eat Thanksgiving 2023 Lexington KY

Where to eat for Thanksgiving 2023 in Lexington? 

Lexington’s Ultimate Thanksgiving Guide

Thanksgiving falls on Thursday November 23 in 2023 — Lexington’s fourth pandemic-era Thanksgiving —  and while catering and carryout options are plentiful, sit-down dine-in restaurant options on Thanksgiving Day book up early. (We publish this guide every year the day after Halloween for a reason.)

If you have your heart set on sit-down Thanksgiving Dinner options in an actual restaurant in 2023, start clicking now. You don’t want to be the family stuck at Jacobson Park hoping a great Heron drops a fish onto your picnic blanket. 

A 2023 sampling is offered below. This list is updated regularly until Thanksgiving Day. Some restaurants will offer Thanksgiving themed menus in the weeks leading up to the actual turkey day. For hours, pricing, and to confirm menu offerings, please contact the individual venues. All offerings are subject to change, and assume that any or all options may sell out sooner than the deadlines they post for pre-order.
Pro tip: if you’re searching for last-minute dine-in options: check with your favorite Lexington hotel. They don’t always update their websites or socials, but their dining rooms are almost always open on holidays to serve their guests, and they usually offer a holiday menu or buffet. (33 Staves at the Origin in the Summit will be open all day, for example. The Hyatt Downtown will be open, but serving their regular menu.  The Hilton’s Triangle Grille will serve a Thanksgiving buffet in three seatings that includes a carving station.) Call them on the phone, like an animal, if you must.

Kentucky State Parks and their lodges also typically serve Thanksgiving Menus if you’re looking for a pretty fall drive.

Old reliables that typically cater to interstate traffic — Bob Evans, Cracker Barrel, iHop, Waffle House — will usually be open and typically serving Thanksgiving fare. Chains like Fresh Market (in Lansdowne) and Whole Foods (at the Summit) will also offer standard order-ahead feasts for pickup. 

What Restaurants Will be Open on Thanksgiving Day 2023 in Lexington KY?

Boone Tavern’s seatings typically book up quickly in their historic Berea dining room. 

The Brown Barrel in Midway  will serve a Thanksgiving buffet. 

Cru at the Summit will open at Noon on Thanksgiving Day. Make reservations. 

Distilled on Jefferson will once again serve a three-course prix fixe dining experience, 11 am to 2pm on Thanksgiving Day. Make your reservation early because this hidden holiday gem isn’t hidden anymore. (We probably shared one too many Thanksgiving Day pics on our instagram. #HowdyAce) 

Frank and Dino’s in downtown Lexington will offer a three-course Thanksgiving dinner, in addition to their regular menu. Reservations via Open Table. First seating at 11 am. 

Good Foods’ dine-in buffet option will return for Thanksgiving 2023. 

Hall’s on the River will serve a Thanksgiving buffet in three seatings.

Heirloom Restaurant in Midway will offer a three-course Thanksgiving menu.

Jean Farris is serving a traditional meal with all the trimmings. Prepaid reservations available online. The menu will include choices like Butternut Squash Bisque, Ale-8 & Apple Cider Brined Roast Turkey Sausage & Sage Stuffing, Broccoli Cheese Casserole, Amish Butter Whipped Potatoes, MSpiced Braised Greens, Cranberry Compote, Turkey Gravy, Truffle Mushroom Risotto, Pumpkin Panna Cotta, and more. 

The Kentucky Castle will offer special menus for Thanksgiving Day.

Le Deauville will open at Noon on Thanksgiving Day and will offer a Thanksgiving special alongside their regular menu.

Lockbox at 21C has a special menu on Thanksgiving Day.

Marriott at Griffin Gate is serving a Thanksgiving Day Buffet.  Reservations via Open Table.

Panda Cuisine will host a Buffet on Thanksgiving Day, 11 AM to 9PM.

Red Lion in Science Hill is planning a Thanksgiving Menu.

Red Lobster plans to be open and serving on Thanksgiving Day. 

Texas de Brazil in the Summit will offer an eat-in option beginning at 11 am on Thursday Nov 23, 2023. (Reservations strongly recommended.) Texas de Brazil also offers a pre-prepped pickup option.

Woodford Inn in Versailles is accepting Thanksgiving Day reservations. 

Ordering a Prepped Thanksgiving?

Prefer to stay in, but prefer not to cook? Here are a few order-ahead, grab and go options for Thanksgiving menus in Lexington for Thanksgiving 2023 in Lexington:

Athens Lunchroom has a full Thanksgiving Menu available for pickup. (They are also serving FriendsGiving menus prior to the big day. Call for reservations: 859-263-8533

Bayou Bluegrass Catering’s pickup feast will include choices like pecan-smoked turkey, cajun-fried turkey, traditional baked turkey, along with brown sugar glazed spiral ham, and smoked BBQ beef brisket. 

Bella Notte has heat-and-serve Thanksgiving kits that feed six to eight people featuring a dry-brined turkey in the starring role. 

Broussard’s Delta Kitchen features a prepped menu that offers options like deep-fried Cajun turkey, herb-basted roasted turkey, and an array of sides and desserts.

City BBQ will provide smoked turkeys and ham, along with a la carte sides. Call ahead to order. 

Critchfield has an extensive Thanksgiving order lineup that will include turkeys, hams, beef tenderloin and more.

Darae & Friends offers a bundle of love feeding four, a corporate lunch option, and a family feast that feeds 10. (Pro tip: you can order a half pan of Watergate Salad that will instantly transport every baby boomer in town straight back to childhood.) 

The Empanada Queen’s prepped feasts will include empanadas, lechon (pork roast), arroz con gandules, and more. 

La Bonne Vie has moved in to the former Wild Thyme space on Chinoe and will have a Thanksgiving feast prepped for pickup. Order in advance.

Proud Mary BBQ is offering a pickup menu that will include options like fried turkeys, smoked turkeys, jambalaya, and more.

Ramsey’s will offer heat-and-eat Thanksgiving dinners for advance pickup.

Selma’s Catering has announced this year’s pickup offerings which will include cajun fried or oven roasted turkey and desserts like pecan pie, apple pie, pumpkin pie and more. 

Stein’s by Addies will be offering a full Thanksgiving menu pickup (Spoiler alert: they’ve got brussels sprouts!). Order in advance.

Texas de Brazil will offer an eat-in option beginning at 11 am on Thursday Nov 23, 2023. (Reservations strongly recommended.) Texas de Brazil also offers a pre-prepped pickup option. 

Zim’s Cafe and Wallace Station Deli will offer Thanksgiving pickup dinners to go. Dinners serve two. Meals will be packed and ready to serve with re-heating instructions included. Menu items include roast turkey breast, old fashioned dressing, real mashed potatoes and gravy, creamy spinach casserole, cranberry relish, rolls, and pumpkin pie. 

The Bird’s the Word

What if you want to buy your own prepped bird or protein ahead of time — cooked, smoked, or uncooked and ready for you to chef it up?

The Berea College Farm Store will sell free-range pastured-raised turkeys beginning Tuesday Nov 14, 2023.

Blue Door Smokehouse is offering whole smoked turkeys and smoked hams for pickup. Order ahead.

J. Render’s will sell you a smoked turkey or smoked ham. (Bulk sides available also.)

Staxx BBQ in Frankfort has smoked hams and turkeys, and deep fried turkeys. Order ahead.


La Petite Delicate has posted their Thanksgiving pre-order lineup, to include turtle pies, white chocolate pumpkin pies, pumpkin cheesecake, and a new pumpkin cranberry roll. 

Martine’s is baking up desserts for pickup including pumpkin rolls, pies, cookies, cakes, cupcakes, and more. 

Missy’s Pies are a Thanksgiving Pie tradition in Lexington. Order ahead.

Deep Frying at home? 

If this is the year you finally plan to tackle deep frying a turkey at home, we are sharing one of our favorite archives from the beloved late great Chef Tom Yates. He has you covered with this step-by-step guide. Have you been invited to Holiday Dinner and plan to bring the most impressive Thanksgiving side? Chef Tom had you covered there too with this archived collection from a decade ago in Ace.

Does deep frying sound messy? In need of a free place to recycle used cooking oil from your Thanksgiving dinner?

Redwood School will host Lexington’s annual Gobble Grease Toss on Black Friday between 10 am and 2 pm. Tips for the event: cooking oil only, bring cooking oil in a disposable container with a lid, and Lexington residents only (no businesses, please).

Ace Eats Out appears on pages 16-17 of the November 2023 issue of Ace. To subscribe to digital delivery of Ace’s print edition each month, click here. Click here to join the Ace Eats Out Facebook.