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Where to Get a Last-Minute Thanksgiving Dinner, '13

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It's just one week until Thanksgiving Day. But if you're not interested in wrestling with your own home-cooked turkey, there are plenty of Twin Cities restaurants open on the big day, serving everything from turkey and pumpkin pie to pho and egg rolls. In a departure from the usual Thanksgiving round-up, Eater scoured the menus of restaurants serving Thanksgiving dinner in 2013, studying each spot's gorge factor and determining Eater's ideal holiday meal at each.

So whether you want to just drop in at a Chinese restaurant for some Thanksgiving dumplings or are in the market for a full-blown turkey dinner, here are 12 Twin Cities restaurants that are open on Thanksgiving Day, with either no reservations necessary or reservations still available.

Are you headed to another restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner? Let us know in the comments.


Lucy Nieboer

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Herkimer Pub & Brewery

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Gorge factor: Good for game day. There will be $6-$12 turkey specials, wings, and nachos galore. Watch the game on the big screen without the screaming relatives. Eater’s ideal meal: Slow roasted “state fair style” turkey leg; sweet potato fries with chipotle ketchup; warm pub pretzel with mixed pepper cheese sauce and jalapeño honey mustard. Cost: Varies Reservation availability: Does not accept reservations. Hours: 10 a.m. - 2 a.m.

Quang Restaurant

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Gorge factor: Pick your own adventure. With 25 different noodle soups alone, there is some major menu ground to cover. Eater’s ideal meal: Fresh shrimp and pork spring rolls with peanut sauce; Pho with sliced beef and all the toppings; mango bubble tea. Cost: Varies Reservation availability:Does not accept reservations. Hours: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

French Meadow Cafe

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Gorge factor: Best for picky eaters. Traditional, vegan, and gluten-free options all grace this year's menu at the French Meadow. Eater’s ideal meal: Ginger squash soup; porcini crusted “turkey” tofu with millet mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy, parsnip celery sage stuffing and cointreau orange cranberry chutney; caramel pecan pie with coconut milk frozen custard Cost: $35 Reservation availability: High. Walk-ins welcome.

Dancing Ganesha

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Gorge factor: Exemplary. Thanksgiving Day buffet — need we say more? Eater’s ideal meal: Curried nuts; spiced green beans; horseradish mashed potatoes; cumin and coriander spiced tandoori chicken and turkey; cranberry chutney; stuffing with almonds, raisins and cinnamon; chiffon pumpkin pie with candied ginger. Cost: $21.99, kids $11.99 Reservation availability: High Hours: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Gorge factor: Booze included. A four-course prix-fixe includes a complimentary glass of wine. Eater’s ideal meal: Turkey pate with ramp mustard, butternut squash puree with spiced creme fraiche, turkey roulade, chestnut stuffing, sweet potato puree, brussels sprouts, and turkey jus; pumpkin pie with brandied ice cream and candied pecans. Cost: $45 Reservation availability: High Hours: 
4:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.

FireLake Restaurant

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Gorge factor: Satisfactory. Greens followed by turkey dinner followed by pie make up this simple three course prix-fixe. Eater’s ideal meal: Family style salad with Minnesota Amablu cheese, cranberries, and sherry vinaigrette; apple wood smoked Wild Acres Farm turkey with wild rice stuffing, cheddar herb mashed potatoes, crimini mushrooms and fried shallots; pumpkin praline pie. Cost: $29.95, kids $12.95 Reservation availability: High Hours: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Nicollet Island Inn

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Gorge factor: Classic. Choose between two salads, three entrees, and two desserts for the traditional four-course Turkey Day meal. Pumpkin bisque with a pumpkin seed crumble starts every guest’s meal. Eater’s ideal meal: Waldorf salad with apples, walnuts and celery; turkey with whipped sweet potato mash, green bean casserole, cranberries, stuffing, and gravy; pumpkin cheese cake with maple whipped cream. Cost: $68 Reservation availability: Very limited Hours: 10 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Hard Times Cafe

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Gorge factor: Diner’s choice. This dive-y spot will be offering its normal (mostly vegetarian) menu for those opting for a casual meal this Thanksgiving. Eater’s ideal meal: An ooey, gooey, gargantuan quesadilla with veggies; any of the vegan muffins, tarts, cookies, or pies. Cost: Varies Reservation availability: Does not accept reservations. Hours: 6 a.m. - 4 a.m.

The Beacon Public House

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Gorge factor: Extended. Three courses plus a take-home “leftover” turkey sandwich. Eater’s ideal meal: Wild rice and roast squash salad; crisp skin arctic char with squash puree, roasted mushrooms and maple relish; egg nog créme brulee Cost: $35 Reservation availability: High Hours: 2 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Napa Valley Grille

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Gorge factor: Unlimited. This one’s all a la carte. Eater’s ideal meal: Kale salad with butternut squash, toasted pine nuts, goat cheese, and brown butter vinaigrette; turkey meat loaf stuffed with spinach, parmesan & mascarpone cheese, wrapped in prosciutto, served with roasted sweet potatoes, green beans, drizzled with sage cream sauce. Cost: Varies Reservation availability: High Hours: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Little Szechuan

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Gorge factor: Brings the heat. More heavily spiced than your traditional T-giving spread, many dishes on this menu sport hot peppers, chili flakes, and chili oil. Eater’s ideal meal: Crispy duck; sesame sweet potato cakes; Szechuan spicy tofu; dry sauteed garlic green beans. Cost: Varies Reservation availability: Does not accept reservations. Hours: 3 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Keys Cafe & Bakery

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Gorge factor: Most bang for your buck. Key’s regular menu features a turkey dinner for $9.95. Eater’s ideal meal: Oven roasted turkey dinner with mashed potatoes, hash browns or tater tots, vegetables, cranberries, stuffing, and homemade bread with butter; a slice of apple pie a la mode. Cost: Varies Reservation availability: Does not accept reservations. Hours: 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Kincaid's

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Gorge factor: Hearty. Various steakhouse style appetizers, creamy seafood soups, and big entrees are a great and gluttonous kick off to the holiday season. Eater’s ideal meal: Jumbo prawn cocktail with spicy chili aioli; turkey with chicken apple sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes, veggies, cranberry relish and gravy; apple tart with vanilla ice cream and butterscotch sauce. Cost: Varies Reservation availability: Limited for large parties. Hours: 11 a.m.- 2 p.m., 3 p.m. - 10 p.m.

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Herkimer Pub & Brewery

Gorge factor: Good for game day. There will be $6-$12 turkey specials, wings, and nachos galore. Watch the game on the big screen without the screaming relatives. Eater’s ideal meal: Slow roasted “state fair style” turkey leg; sweet potato fries with chipotle ketchup; warm pub pretzel with mixed pepper cheese sauce and jalapeño honey mustard. Cost: Varies Reservation availability: Does not accept reservations. Hours: 10 a.m. - 2 a.m.

Quang Restaurant

Gorge factor: Pick your own adventure. With 25 different noodle soups alone, there is some major menu ground to cover. Eater’s ideal meal: Fresh shrimp and pork spring rolls with peanut sauce; Pho with sliced beef and all the toppings; mango bubble tea. Cost: Varies Reservation availability:Does not accept reservations. Hours: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

French Meadow Cafe

Gorge factor: Best for picky eaters. Traditional, vegan, and gluten-free options all grace this year's menu at the French Meadow. Eater’s ideal meal: Ginger squash soup; porcini crusted “turkey” tofu with millet mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy, parsnip celery sage stuffing and cointreau orange cranberry chutney; caramel pecan pie with coconut milk frozen custard Cost: $35 Reservation availability: High. Walk-ins welcome.

Dancing Ganesha

Gorge factor: Exemplary. Thanksgiving Day buffet — need we say more? Eater’s ideal meal: Curried nuts; spiced green beans; horseradish mashed potatoes; cumin and coriander spiced tandoori chicken and turkey; cranberry chutney; stuffing with almonds, raisins and cinnamon; chiffon pumpkin pie with candied ginger. Cost: $21.99, kids $11.99 Reservation availability: High Hours: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Marin

Gorge factor: Booze included. A four-course prix-fixe includes a complimentary glass of wine. Eater’s ideal meal: Turkey pate with ramp mustard, butternut squash puree with spiced creme fraiche, turkey roulade, chestnut stuffing, sweet potato puree, brussels sprouts, and turkey jus; pumpkin pie with brandied ice cream and candied pecans. Cost: $45 Reservation availability: High Hours: 
4:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.

FireLake Restaurant

Gorge factor: Satisfactory. Greens followed by turkey dinner followed by pie make up this simple three course prix-fixe. Eater’s ideal meal: Family style salad with Minnesota Amablu cheese, cranberries, and sherry vinaigrette; apple wood smoked Wild Acres Farm turkey with wild rice stuffing, cheddar herb mashed potatoes, crimini mushrooms and fried shallots; pumpkin praline pie. Cost: $29.95, kids $12.95 Reservation availability: High Hours: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Nicollet Island Inn

Gorge factor: Classic. Choose between two salads, three entrees, and two desserts for the traditional four-course Turkey Day meal. Pumpkin bisque with a pumpkin seed crumble starts every guest’s meal. Eater’s ideal meal: Waldorf salad with apples, walnuts and celery; turkey with whipped sweet potato mash, green bean casserole, cranberries, stuffing, and gravy; pumpkin cheese cake with maple whipped cream. Cost: $68 Reservation availability: Very limited Hours: 10 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Hard Times Cafe

Gorge factor: Diner’s choice. This dive-y spot will be offering its normal (mostly vegetarian) menu for those opting for a casual meal this Thanksgiving. Eater’s ideal meal: An ooey, gooey, gargantuan quesadilla with veggies; any of the vegan muffins, tarts, cookies, or pies. Cost: Varies Reservation availability: Does not accept reservations. Hours: 6 a.m. - 4 a.m.

The Beacon Public House

Gorge factor: Extended. Three courses plus a take-home “leftover” turkey sandwich. Eater’s ideal meal: Wild rice and roast squash salad; crisp skin arctic char with squash puree, roasted mushrooms and maple relish; egg nog créme brulee Cost: $35 Reservation availability: High Hours: 2 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Napa Valley Grille

Gorge factor: Unlimited. This one’s all a la carte. Eater’s ideal meal: Kale salad with butternut squash, toasted pine nuts, goat cheese, and brown butter vinaigrette; turkey meat loaf stuffed with spinach, parmesan & mascarpone cheese, wrapped in prosciutto, served with roasted sweet potatoes, green beans, drizzled with sage cream sauce. Cost: Varies Reservation availability: High Hours: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Little Szechuan

Gorge factor: Brings the heat. More heavily spiced than your traditional T-giving spread, many dishes on this menu sport hot peppers, chili flakes, and chili oil. Eater’s ideal meal: Crispy duck; sesame sweet potato cakes; Szechuan spicy tofu; dry sauteed garlic green beans. Cost: Varies Reservation availability: Does not accept reservations. Hours: 3 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Keys Cafe & Bakery

Gorge factor: Most bang for your buck. Key’s regular menu features a turkey dinner for $9.95. Eater’s ideal meal: Oven roasted turkey dinner with mashed potatoes, hash browns or tater tots, vegetables, cranberries, stuffing, and homemade bread with butter; a slice of apple pie a la mode. Cost: Varies Reservation availability: Does not accept reservations. Hours: 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Kincaid's

Gorge factor: Hearty. Various steakhouse style appetizers, creamy seafood soups, and big entrees are a great and gluttonous kick off to the holiday season. Eater’s ideal meal: Jumbo prawn cocktail with spicy chili aioli; turkey with chicken apple sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes, veggies, cranberry relish and gravy; apple tart with vanilla ice cream and butterscotch sauce. Cost: Varies Reservation availability: Limited for large parties. Hours: 11 a.m.- 2 p.m., 3 p.m. - 10 p.m.

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