Where to Get an American Thanksgiving Outside the U.S.
This piece originally appeared on Travel + Leisure.
Thanksgiving has long been one of the most celebrated American holidays: marked by everything from turkey to pumpkin pie, from football to the Macy's Day Parade, and from being thankful to being stuffed, there's something for everyone. While the day's festivities can be hard to replicate outside of the U.S., certain restaurants around the world have taken it upon themselves to try—and its something we’re thankful for.
Courtesy The Brickyard
If you think traveling in China means missing Thanksgiving, think again. The large number of American expats living in Beijing ensures that a surprising number of turkey dinners and promotions pop up every November at restaurants, hotels, and breweries. Here are 10 places to celebrate Thanksgiving there this year.
The Big Smoke Bistro
This popular Xingfucun brasserie is pulling out all the stops, serving a honey agave-glazed turkey with red wine gravy. Turkey portions are available for small tables of two or three people all the way up to groups of 14. Sides, like the portobello and chorizo stuffing with pretzel crumble, and the jalapeño mac n' cheese topped with garlic crumbs, cost extra ($5-$7) each and are suitable for sharing between two to three people.
For dessert, there's pumpkin empanada with salted caramel ice cream topped with peppercorn honey. Wash it all down with one of the restaurant's signature cocktails, or a pint of Jing A craft beer (from$28 for a small turkey for two to three; Lee World Building, 57 Xingfucun Middle Rd., Chaoyang District; 86 10 6416 2683)
FEAST by EAST Beijing
If you're planning to visit 798 Art District, FEAST's Thanksgiving dinner would make the perfect end to the day. Located on the second floor of a stylish business hotel, the airy all-day restaurant is hosting a relatively restrained and reasonably priced affair, with pumpkin soup to start, roast turkey with chestnut and herbed bread stuffing for the main event, and pecan pie for dessert ($30 per person; 22 Jiuxianqiao N Rd., Chaoyang District; 86 10 8426 0888).
Great Leap Brewing
For the fifth year running, Great Leap is throwing a Thanksgiving bash "with socialist principles," as put by founder Carl Setzer. The original Doujiao Hutong branch will be the scene of a potluck where the brewery supplies a deep-fried turkey and guests bring sides (free for anyone who brings a side to share; 6 Doujiao Hutong, Dongcheng District; 86 10 5717 1399).
Craft brewery Jing A and the cheekily named "nonkosher delicatessen" Traitor Zhou's are teaming up for Thanksgiving with a laid-back spread of fried chicken and Cajun-style side dishes. Guests can sit either inside the Jing A Taproom or in the 1949 Hidden City courtyard just outside the brewery. There will be two dinner services—one from 6 to 8 p.m. and another from 8 p.m. to late (from $126 per person;86 10 6501 8883)
Sanlitun's The Local is one of the few places in the city to have both vegetarian and non-turkey options for Thankgiving. Though this year's menu and prices haven't been confirmed yet, owner and manager Kenn Bermel assured T+L it's happening. Last year, there was a choice of turkey, roast prime rib or beef, or eggplant lasagna.
The Westin Beijing Financial Street
For Thanksgiving, the Westin is hosting a lavish Thanksgiving dinner with roast turkey, honey-glazed ham, chestnut and mushroom soup, beef tenderloin with cream cheese polenta, cinnamon pumpkin pie, and more ($61 per person)
Located in the sleepy village of Hegezhuang, The Orchard is far removed—both geographically and conceptually—from the other venues on this list. Much of the produce used in the restaurant's popular Sunday brunches is grown on site. For this celebration, The Orchard will host a dinner buffet with roast turkey with all the trimmings and a variety of sides. After dinner, guests can walk it all off with a stroll around the koi pond ($55 per person; Hegezhuang Village, Chaoyang District; 86 10 6433 6270)
Lily's American Diner
Ah, Lily's. What would expats do without this cheap, reliable American-style diner? For the low price of $29, you get a plate of genuine imported U.S. turkey with gravy, sides (including mashed potatoes), dessert (apple pie, pumpkin pie, brownie, or cheesecake), and a glass of red or white wine.
Last but not least, nothing says Thanksgiving in Beijing like a turkey dinner at the foot of the Great Wall. Stylish eco-retreat The Brickyard has two options: a standalone Thanksgiving dinner and a dine-and-stay package. Dinner highlights roast turkey with all the trimmings, a dessert buffet, live jazz, and a supervised kids' playroom. A bus service will be available to dinner guests (from $61 per person)
Head to Berlin's Midtown Grill, which specializes in steak, chops and seafood, but turns out a mean celebratory feast come November: think a buffet of crispy, buttery stuffed turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, gravy, and more. For $130, you can also take your gala to go and host your very own holiday—without all of the prep work.
Enjoy a riff on classic holiday fare at the award-winning Savoy Cabbage, one of Cape Town's most beautiful restaurants: once scheduled for demolition, the space today largely comprises exposed beams, large windows and bricks from three different centuries. For around $30, you'll be treated to canapés, chowder, fudge, spiced pumpkin crème brulee, and have your pick of roasted turkey breast with sausage and stuffing or root vegetable risotto with cranberry sauce.
MadMad Mad Bodega
Break bread with strangers at Copenhagen's MadMad Mad Bodega, whose Turkey Day festivities are not just a meal, but an event: learn about the history of Thanksgiving and its traditional foods, try arts and crafts by making an old-fashioned turkey hand, and give thanks, in a group, before digging in family-style to turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pies and trimmings. With an emphasis on local, seasonal and organic products, a meal at MadMad Mad's won't make you feel as guilty about going back for more.
Courtesy of Melt Room
Thanksgiving might be a U.S. holiday, but just as most things tend to travel across the pond, its celebrations have, too, with more and more London restaurants giving nod to this one with dedicated Thanksgivingmenus full of all-American flavors. Come November 26, no Londoner will struggle to get a slice of pumpkin pie. Pleasing both expats and keen adopters of the holiday alike, we've rounded up a guide to the very best places to celebrate the holiday in London this year.
Big Easy, Covent Garden
Big Easy is somewhere you go hungry and leave stuffed. This Thanksgiving, it's going to be doing itself proud. The relaxed venue is the perfect place to with a group, to indulge in what it's calling "the ultimate Thanksgiving feast." The $46 menu includes butternut squash soup, farm-to-table herb-roasted turkey with southern slow cooked gravy, Grandma Emma's apple cranberry chutney, sweet potato mash, green bean casserole, and coleslaw. Save room for dessert though, for it's the American favorite: key lime pie.
The Blues Kitchen, Camden
The Blues Kitchen feels admirably American at the best of times, with a menu full of Texan barbecue and a bourbon collection of size, but it's really amping things up by hosting an all-singing, all-dancing Thanksgiving party. From 12 p.m. to 1 a.m., a traditional three-course meal with all the trimmings ($46) will be served, alongside free-flowing pumpkin ale and bourbon cocktails, and live rhythm 'n' blues that'll have you on your feet all night.
Hotel Chantelle, Marylebone
It would be wrong for London's newest New York import to let the holiday go by without a bang. Whilst the Marylebone restaurant is keeping its Thanksgiving offering under wraps for now, we know it will be family-style dining, where there's sure to be turkey, yams, and of course, plenty of bourbon cocktails rolling right through to close at 3 a.m.
Hubbard and Bell, Holborn
Hubbard and Bell, the Brooklyn-esque diner in The Hoxton Holborn, will be serving family-style fare this year, with its shareable Bring Me Food menu. Starters include venison carpaccio and kale Caesar salad; mains feature smoked turkey with sprouts and pickled cranberry, and roast beef with baby beets. Come dessert, it's all about the pumpkin and pecan pie (though proud Brits can show some love to their turf with a classic British cheese plate).
Courtesy of Melt Room
Melt Room, Soho
Melt Room (pictured, above) is offering nostalgic New York expats a taste of home with a specially crafted Thanksgiving cheese melt. The gourmet sourdough sandwich packs a punch, with pulled turkey, roast sweet potato, stuffing, and Monterey jack cheese, and is served with a side of cranberry sauce.
Mount Street Deli, Mayfair
Serving up an array of American delights for those on-the-go, on November 26 Mount Street Deli will be getting in on the action. Swing by to pick up some creamy crab chowder, a turkey ballotine sandwich, or roasted Brussels sprout salad with sweet potato, green beans, cranberries, and a maple-pecan dressing. Similarly, home-baked pumpkin pie will be the perfect 4 p.m. refuel.
The Narrow, Limehouse
The Narrow (pictured, top), a restaurant that offers quintessential views of London's Thames, is putting on a classic American spread. A $54 three-course menu features herb-stuffed turkey with honey roasted root vegetables, pigs in blankets, cornbread, and cranberry sauce. For dessert, it's pecan pie, served with boozy bourbon vanilla ice cream.
The Richmond, London Fields
If you're not planning on going all out for Thanksgiving but want to give a nod to the holiday, make that nod a slice of pumpkin pie at The Richmond. The oyster bar and restaurant is one of East London's most stylish new eateries, and speaking from experience, we can say with confidence that its pumpkin pie is as good as its tuna tartare.
Sea Containers at Mondrian London, South Bank
Sea Containers at Mondrian London on the South Bank is dishing up a delight this with a $100 tasting menu, devised by New York chef Seamus Mullen. It features autumnal American flavors, with the likes of roasted celeriac soup with winter truffles, maple glazed ham, roasted norfolk turkey, and pumpkin pie cheesecake. Soak up the spirit while overlooking the beauty of the Thames.
Dine in London luxury at the HIX Mayfair, a restaurant from celebrated chef and restaurateur Mark Hix housed in Brown's Hotel. Founded nearly 180 years ago by Lord Byron's butler, Brown's Hotel is the city's oldest hotel: according to its history, it was here that Alexander Graham Bell made Britain's first ever telephone call. Unsurprisingly, traditional Thanksgiving fare at HIX's comes with an upscale twist: think Portland Crab and sweetcorn broth, free-range turkey with autumn greens and cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie with Peruvian Gold chocolate.
In the southern hemisphere it can be difficult to find turkey, cranberry, and all the trimmings until you’ve reached Christmas Day. Thankfully, Misty Singer, a former Arizonan, has had the Thanksgiving holiday covered for the past 10 years.
Her restaurant, Misty's Diner, feels like it has been dropped straight out the 1950s into the suburb of Prahran, about four miles from Melbourne's city center. This year, on November 26, at least 150 guests (about half of them expat Americans) will take a seat in the red and green booths, watched over by images of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe, and pay $36 for the all-you-can-eat buffet of turkey, smoked ham, green bean casserole, mac and cheese, mashed potato and gravy, sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, cornbread, and all the other trimmings.
"We also have all the pies you can imagine, including pumpkin and pecan, and everyone eats far too much," Singer says. To provide the full, authentic Thanksgiving experience, the restaurant will also show the NFL on the big screen. There is one thing about Thanksgiving Misty can't control, and that's the weather: by the end of November, temperatures in Melbourne will have reached a sultry 78ºF.
Though turkey isn’t a standard offering on Italian menus, the country known for its cuisine and hospitality keeps visiting Americans in mind come fall.
In Milan, the casual restaurant California Bakery will offer a special Thanksgiving dinner at three of its Milan locations on November 26, starting at 9 p.m. The set menu includes a radicchio salad with mushrooms and artichoke carpaccio; pumpkin and chestnut soup; turkey with prune stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce; sweet potatoes; sautéed spinach; and a choice of triple chocolate pumpkin pie or apple and frangipane pie.
Water, a glass of prosecco, and a glass of wine are also included. There is a kids' menu (hamburger, french fries, and a brownie) for $10, while the adult menu costs $61 for dining in, and or $44 for takeout. The dinner is available at the Viale Premuda, Corso Garibaldi, and Sant'Ambrogio locations. Reservations required.
Breakfast in America
Dig in at Paris's Breakfast in America, which has been dishing out classic diner fare since it was first opened by Connecticut native Craig Carlson in 2003. Now with three outposts in the French capital, Breakfast in America has become as renowned for its blueberry pancakes as it has for its annual Thanksgiving dinner: For approximately $40, diners receive an aperitif, starter, turkey plate with gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, vegetables and cranberry sauce, and a choice of homemade apple, pumpkin or pecan pie.
Although Shanghai probably wouldn't be the first destination springing to mind for most travelers when considering where to spend Thanksgiving, the city has a glut of restaurants offering traditional and contemporary festive meals that leave diners thankful for, well, America. Make sure to book in advance for one of these authentic Thanksgiving lunches or dinners.
Bubba's Texas-Style Barbeque & Salon is once again apple-wood smoking its delicious turkeys. Guests can dine at one of their two Shanghai locations for a dinner buffet that includes traditional sides such as corn chowder, cornbread stuffing, and pumpkin pie.
The American gastropub Liquid Laundry is offering a four-course tasting menu. Highlights include foie gras with a chestnut sauce, deep fried turkey, and maple-candied yams with marshmallow. The bar has also brewed a special beer for the occasion, the Good Gourd Y'all, a dry Saison ABV with notes of seasonal spices.
Boxing Cat Brewery
Sister chain, Boxing Cat Brewery, has also created a special brew for the festive period, called Smashed Pumpkin, with pumpkin additions and pumpkin pie spices. All three restaurants in the BCB chain will be hosting buffet dinners with free flow on their craft beer and house pours. There will be two separate dinner sittings throughout the evening.
The popular French-style rotisserie joint Wishbone (888-3 Changde Road, near Changping Road. Tel: +86 021 6257 8511) will create their version of an American-style Thanksgiving. Sticking to what they do best, slow-roasted chicken, the restaurant takes an alternative twist to Thanksgiving with the addition of crunchy, deep-fried, pulled pork mac and cheese, smoked bacon gravy, and sweet potato Banoffee pie with hawthorn syrup and a shot of Jameson. The restaurant's other classic sides, such as okra and cherry tomatoes with lemon parsley vinaigrette, roast pumpkin and tahini, and asparagus with slow poached egg and Parmesan, will also be on the set menu.
All-day-breakfast restaurant, Egg (12 Xiangyang Bei Road, near Julu Road), will let their guests eat turkey for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The cute coffee shop and eatery will be serving the bird with mashed potato waffles, gravy, and pickled cranberry relish.
If looking for a traditional yet decadent Thanksgiving buffet, the warm and inviting setting of Grand Brasserie at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund has the service and standards to live up to the highest of expectations. With a smart dress code, the traditional dinner buffet, with turkey, will be served to the delightfully smooth sounds of the resident Jazz band.
Thanksgiving buffet dinner at the chic and sophisticated Cachet Restaurant in The Langham Shanghai, Xintiandi will be a traditional affair. The buffet will naturally feature a roast turkey, roast potatoes, Brussels sprouts, pumpkin mash, and honey glazed carrots with gravy and cranberry sauce.
Possibly the most family friendly option on the list, The Brew at the Kerry Hotel Pudong, Shanghai, will offer family-style lunches and dinners with a golden-roasted turkey main course, along with buffet appetizers and desserts—guaranteed to keep the kids, and the young at heart, entertained.
Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver
Vancouver celebrates Canadian Thanksgiving in October, but that doesn't mean the city's restaurants overlook the American rendition completely. This year, four elegant spots will lure American diners craving a traditional meal come November 26. We got the details on what they plan to serve.
This lovely waterfront restaurant is just a few months old and features a view of Granville Island. Light and bright, it sports a raised ceiling of paneled glass looking over a sleek and uncluttered dining room. This year, their dinner menu will offer turkey two ways: brown butter-roasted breast and jus-glazed leg served with vegetables. Dessert will be the smooth, decadent Ancora chocolate bar ($45 per person).
The restaurant at the luxury Wedgewood Hotel & Spa has a tradition of offering an American Thanksgiving dinner every year. This November,the menu includes butternut squash soup made from local produce, and roasted, free-range turkey with cranberry compote, stuffing, and potatoes ($57 per person). Amid the lush dining room with intricately woven rugs, velvet-covered settees, and oversize oil pantings on the walls, it will feel like a true event.
Rosewood Hotel Georgia
The historic Rosewood Hotel Georgia will offer a turkey plate with the traditional trimmings at their 1927 Lobby Lounge. The Turkey Day dinner will also be available for in-room dining for those staying at the hotel (call for price).
Yew Seafood + Bar
Located inside the Four Seasons hotel, the expansive and contemporaryYew will offer a turkey duo of Fraser Valley turkey breast and leg confit, served with vegetables and stuffing. Things start off with a pumpkin soup, and there are seafood and beef options on the menu, too, but don't forget to save room for the traditional pies ready for dessert ($45 per person).
Take on the Thanksgiving buffet at Suji's, a New York-style restaurant and deli celebrated year-round by expats in Seoul for its bagels, pastrami and roast beef. For roughly $50, you can gorge yourself on everything from the traditional (roast turkey, roast beef, mashed potatoes, herb stuffing) to the novel (seafood chowder, Spanish canapés, and nachos). With two seatings and a two-hour window, you're bound to get your fill.
Try Tokyo's take on the American holiday at Beacon, a sleek wood and glass space that delivers elegant interpretations of Turkey Day classics. Start with parsnip soup and homemade bacon, and smoked scallops and crispy prosciutto, farro, apple, mushroom salad before moving on to the main event: roast turkey with a stuffing of chorizo, dried cherries and pecans. Dessert is an ode to the pumpkin, with diners receiving both pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin gelato to finish off the meal.