So you don't want to cook — or you just can't cook. We get it: Turkey is a tough bird to do right, and all those sides just mean more dishes to wash. Instead, head out on the town for some good grub from popular destinations like the Palm Restaurant or out-of-the-ordinary options like vegan buffets at Govinda's or the Dao House. Whether your wallet is empty or full, we've got you covered, from your morning coffee to that last piece of pumpkin pie.
6120 Highway 7, Estes Park
If your Thanksgiving weekend plans include a trip to the mountains, consider lunch at this wellness and events center that combines Rocky Mountain lodge ambience with Eastern tranquility. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., $32 (or $14 for kids ages four to eleven) will land you an all-you-can-eat buffet of local organic turkey and traditional sides. But that's not all. Vegan entrees and sides are also part of the buffet, so you can eat meatless with baked squash with spinach pesto or roasted tofu with Brussels sprouts.
East Side Kosher Deli
499 South Elm Street
The East Side Kosher Deli has long been a favorite spot for the wide variety of kosher foods from its deli, market and restaurant. Thanksgiving is no exception: Shoppers can choose from family-style or à la carte menus of turkey and all the traditional trimmings to take home. The restaurant itself will be open through lunch with its regular menu.
500 16th Street
Holiday travelers and downtown residents have a Thanksgiving dinner option on the 16th Street Mall, as Henry's is offering a traditional Thanksgiving menu from noon to 8 p.m., with turkey, sweet potatoes, brown-butter mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce, green-bean casserole and pan gravy for $29.95 for adults and just $7.95 for kids twelve and under. The tavern will also offer its regular menu.
Govinda's Garden Cafe
1400 Cherry Street
Vegans need a Turkey Day option too, even if turkey isn't on the table. Govinda's is serving its annual Gentle Thanksgiving all-you-can eat buffet from noon to 5 p.m. Options include tofu turkey with stuffing, lentil apple loaf, mashed potatoes and brown gravy, and many other plant-based sides in the holiday tradition — and there's even vegan pumpkin-pecan pie. The base price is $18.95, but kids and seniors over 65 get a discount.
1672 Lawrence Street
Enjoy a posh, old-school, three-course Thanksgiving meal at the Palm from noon to 8 p.m. Each of the three courses has several options, including baby kale salad or roasted butternut squash soup for the first course; slow-roasted turkey with a variety of side dishes for the second course; and pecan or pumpkin pie for dessert. Dinner is $59 per person or $24 for children ages six to twelve — and free for children five and under. The Palm's regular dinner menu will also be served; reservations are recommended.
Keep reading for more Thankgiving Day dining options...
3801 East 40th Avenue
If you just need a jolt of java and a quick snack for breakfast or lunch before the big meal, Prodigy is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Buy a latte or a hot chocolate, and you'll be supporting the company's apprentice program, which teaches work skills and character to disadvantaged youth in northeast Denver.
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Trucksgiving Free Thanksgiving for the Homeless
3530 Brighton Boulevard
More than a dozen Denver food trucks have teamed up to serve free food to the needy from 1 p.m until the food runs out. The menu will include turkey, ham, corn, green beans, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and desserts, and organizers expect to feed up to 400 people. Donations are being accepted on the Trucksgiving GoFundMe page. Participating mobile vendors include Gumba’s Italian Kitchen, Pink Zebra Dessert Truck, J Street Food Truck, Smokestack 70, Denver Commissary, Yatai Food Cart, the Vanilla Bean Pastry Truck, Team RBW, Pavy’s Food Truck, Taste of the Philippines, Buddha Bao Food Truck, Roaming Bull Brasserie, the Colorado Pig Rig, Burger Chief Food Truck and Lomitos Food Truck.
445 South Teller Street, Lakewood
At least one restaurant in the Belmar Shopping District will be serving on Thanksgiving; the Tstreet Roadhouse will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. for a Thanksgiving meal with all the fixings. That means smoked turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans almondine, cranberry sauce and stuffing — all for $16 per person, with a kids' meal priced at only $10. Desserts will include pumpkin cheesecake and apple pie. For something a little more adventurous, the kitchen will also turn out plates of pumpkin ravioli with beurre blanc, pepitas, wild arugula and shaved Manchego cheese. Reservations are recommended.
VFW Post 1
841 Santa Fe Drive
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1 and Boots 66, a group dedicated to remembering service people lost in the wars in Iraq and Iran, will host a free Thanksgiving meal for the homeless and needy veterans, prepared and served by veterans (volunteers needed). The free feed starts at 10 a.m. at VFW Post 1, the first VFW post in the country, founded in 1899 by members of the First Colorado Volunteers returning from the Philippines during the Spanish American War. and commanded by General Irving Hale.
1043 Pearl Street, Boulder
Chef/restaurateur Bradford Heap’s sustainable seafood spot is offering a special Thanksgiving Day menu based on the notion that much of the first Thanksgiving meal consisted of seafood. The menu will include wild smoked-salmon flatbread with mascarpone; New England clam chowder; grilled mahi mahi with caramelized sweet potatoes, garlic-seared broccolini and orange-cranberry relish; and free-form Maine lobster ravioli made with roasted leeks, wood-grilled sweet pepper, Prince Edward Island mussels, red royal shrimp and chervil. Traditionalists can take comfort in roasted organic turkey served with potato purée, sourdough stuffing, roasted butternut squash, cranberries and pan gravy. The restaurant recommends reservations but notes that walk-ins are always welcome.