There’s a lot to be thankful for this year, but we’re particularly thankful for these restaurants that carve the turkey, mash the potatoes, and do the dishes afterwards. Need a few sides to fill in your feast? A whole turkey with all the fixins? Or would you rather dine out and let someone else do the heavy lifting? No matter your celebration style, we’ve got a list stuffed full of the best Thanksgiving options in the metro.

Dine Out   

AJ’s Steakhouse – Are you feeling lucky? AJ’s Steakhouse at Prairie Meadows has two menu options for your needs: Fixed Price Menu and Family Style Menu. Fixed Price Menu is perfect for smaller groups, allowing each person to order their own meal. Start with an appetizer such as butternut squash bisque, continue with anything from slow-roasted turkey breast to Filet mignon, and end with pumpkin pie for dessert. If you’re taking the whole family, consider the Family Style option of slow-roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, and forest mushroom stuffing. Reservations highly recommended.

Cracker Barrel - The siren song of the interstate off-ramp is hard to resist, especially on the biggest eating day of the year. Lucky for you, there’s probably a Cracker Barrel right there, ready to satiate your carb cravings and provide you with the charming southern gifts you didn’t know you needed, but your kid certainly did. On Thanksgiving, they’ll be serving a Turkey n’ Dressing dinner special with sweet potato casserole and a choice of buttermilk biscuits or corn muffins. No reservations required.

Flavory Bistro – Have yourself a Mediterranean Thanksgiving by heading north to Ankeny to Flavory Bistro. Their Thanksgiving Day lunch menu includes turkey or sausages on sauerkraut with mashed potatoes and pumpkin baklava. This menu runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Flemings - Flemings in West Des Moines offers one of the finest dining experiences in the Des Moines suburbs and their Thanksgiving menu is no exception. From 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., they will offer a holiday themed meal priced between $49 and $74. It’s been a long year(s), so treat yourself to either herb roasted turkey breast, petite filet mignon or prime bone-in ribeye with shareable sides. Kids can enjoy a three-course menu for $23. Want to take it to-go? It’s available for curbside pick-up and delivery.

Hibachi Grill and Buffett - Hibachi Grill is a guaranteed good meal (and theater), and on Thanksgiving, they’re offering an all-you-can-eat buffet for only $14.99 per person. Along with their smorgasbord of daily buffet food options, they will also offer the traditional turkey, ham, and pumpkin pie.  

Proudfoot & Bird – Start a new tradition at the buzzy new Proudfoot & Bird in the beautiful and historic Hotel Fort Des Moines. Their award-winning culinary team will be offering a three-course table d'hôte menu for $75 per person. Wine pairings are also available. Reservations through Open Table are recommended.

To Go

Bubba Southern Comforts - If you know you can roast poultry like the Food Network greats, then focus on the bird and leave the sides to the comfort food professionals. Bubba is offering traditional sides to-go including buttermilk biscuits and cornbread with whipped honey butter, pimento mac and cheese, green bean casserole, and other holiday essentials – all a la carte. Order by 5 p.m. on November 23 for next day pick-up.  

Catering by Cyd - Eliminate the fuss and leave the Thanksgiving prep to a professional caterer. Catering by Cyd is offering a traditional Thanksgiving menu including a fresh seasonal salad, garlic knots, and pumpkin pie complete with fresh vanilla bean cream. Pick-up or delivery available. 

Gateway Market – Family-style entrees are served with signature sides. Choose from full birds ranging from 10 - 24 lbs. to bone-in turkey breasts from 6 - 8 lbs. Add a floral arrangement, wine, and even appetizers. Pick-up and delivery options are available.   

Gilroy’s – Take-and-bake your Thanksgiving dinner for $150. There are great add-ons, too, including mac and cheese, brussels sprouts, parmesan scalloped potatoes, blueberry salad, and various growlers! Order by 10 p.m. on November 17, for pick-up on November 23 or 24.

Great Caterers of Iowa and Rib Shack - This year, no need to worry about slaving over a hot stove all day. Great Caterers of Iowa and The Rib Shack have you covered! Build your Thanksgiving meal for four or 12 with your choice of delicious sides, and you can even add on a la carte options such as smoked beef brisket, pork ribs, prime rib, and applewood smoked boneless ham. Remember to pick up your order on Wednesday, November 24.   

The Machine Shed – Serving up traditional holiday fare for four, including their legendary pie and sweet potato casserole, for $79.99. Orders must be placed 24-hours in advance.      

Beer Styles – More than just good beer, Beer Styles is offering up to-go kits in multiples of four. Turkey breast, mushroom and green bean casserole, garlic mashed potatoes, sage stuffing, dinner rolls, and pumpkin swirl brownies are a few of the offerings. To top it off, they have suggested wine and cocktail pairings that you can add to your meal. Order by 5 p.m. on November 22 and pick up from 4 – 8 p.m. on November 24! 

Cactus Bob’s – This BBQ joint on Merle Hay offers fully cooked 7 - 8 lb turkey breasts (all white meat) that feed between 12 – 15 people. Order by November 21 and pick up any time until November 24. Ask for a manager and they will take your order for you! 

Dinner Delights – Everybody knows the sides are the best part, so why not commission a personal chef to cook them on the best eating day of the year? Dinner Delights offers sides like mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, scalloped corn, glazed carrots, and butternut squash risotto that feeds six to eight people. Oh, and pies! Always pies. Thanksgiving orders due November 19.   

Hy-Vee – So many choices, turkey and not, to feed two people or many more. Starting at $29.99, and most can be ordered the day before. The grocery store convenience means options aplenty and allows you to pick up anything else you need.    

Kue’d Smokehouse – Speaking of sides, have you tried the sides at Kue’d? Talk about #blessed. While you’re at it, snag a whole turkey (roasted or smoked) or half a ham, both of which feeds 10 people. Or go the whole hog and get a whole brisket or prime rib, because why not? Be sure to get your orders in by November 20. 

Smokey D’s – This award-winning local BBQ favorite is offering family bundles with a choice of smoked turkey or maple bourbon-glazed ham. You can forego the bundles and order a la carte as well, including options like prime rib and brisket. If Thanksgiving food isn’t your thing, order one of their half pan lasagnas as well. Online ordering available, order by November 21.

Whole Foods – Pre-made turkeys are sold out online, but they’ve got sides, pies, appetizers, and platters (including vegan options) if you want to supplement your feast.  

Bravo Italian Kitchen – Bravo Italian Kitchen is offering to -go Thanksgiving meals for both small groups as well as catering options! With all the Thanksgiving trimmings, you will be set for the whole day. Plus, you can choose whether you want to pick up your feast hot and ready to eat, or cold to cook in the future. 

Harbinger – Harbinger is offering “Harbinger at Home” with their Thanksgiving feast. Everything set and ready to go into the oven, you get to focus on what matters most. This meal includes a 10 – 12-pound turkey brined in apple cider, air dried, trussed, and ready to go into your oven on Thanksgiving Day! Whether you like mashed potatoes or candied sweet potatoes, they have it, plus more. Just want sides? Harbinger can do that too! Email your orders to

Nourished – Do you celebrate Plantsgiving? If so, Nourished is kind of a big dill, with Thanksgiving offerings like vegan dessert box, Berbere delicata squash, family size salads, Moroccan stuffed sweet potatoes, and more. Pick up for orders is November 24.  

Lola’s - Another good option for vegan sides is Lola’s in Ankeny. They have a vegan “roast” with a pear ginger glaze along with fan favorite sides like creamy garlic mashed potatoes, stuffing with apples and cranberries, and sweet potato casserole with almond crumble. All items will be available for pickup at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, November 24.

The Fletcher – This underrated Ankeny gem is offering both a la carte options and a full Thanksgiving meal for carry out. Four pounds of smoked turkey breast is $40 and they’re offering sides like gouda potatoes, poblano mac and cheese, and South Union focaccia stuffing for $15 a quart. Submit orders by November 21 for pickup on November 24.  

Mullets – Feeding a horde of hungry family members can get a little hairy, so Mullets is here to help. For $59.99 you can take home a ham or turkey dinner (or half and half) with mashed taters, Cajun corn, and rolls. Or live life dangerously and get their breakfast lasagna and six cinnamon rolls for the same price instead. Order by November 23 for November 24 pickup.

Bonus Dessert Options:

If you feel confident in your cooking abilities, but want to order out for the after-dinner sweets, try these experts of indulgence:  

Chocolate Storybook – Order an assortment of their famous chocolate-covered sandwich cookies for your dessert display with themed candy decorations, including fall leaves and cute turkeys.   

Crème Cupcake + Dessert – Crème Cupcake is happily preparing pies, cakes, and so much more. Cut off for orders is November 19, and they will be open for pickup on November 23 and November 24.   

Molly’s Cupcakes – Place your order now for traditional Thanksgiving pies and cheesecakes with an abundance of options, including cherry, pumpkin, Dutch apple, French silk, turtle, and caramel. Orders must be placed by November 21.