It’s a beautiful fall in Chicago, which means it’s time to think about Thanksgiving! Whether you’re cooking everything yourself, want to get a great meal to take home, or prefer to eat out on turkey day, we’ve got you covered.
Order a Great Turkey
For most people, the key to a great Thanksgiving is the big bird. While there’s nothing wrong with a standard grocery store gobbler, you might want to up your game a tiny bit (and end up with something more delicious). A pasture-raised, heirloom, or heritage turkey is generally fattier (yum), more delicious, and more moist than a standard turkey, but it will cost you a bit more. Two great places to order them this year are Publican Quality Meats, which is selling birds from Slagel Family Farm and Local Foods, which offers birds from Ferndale Market. Both vendors also have a ton of other Thanksgiving goodies including sides and pies.
Take Care of Dessert
Speaking of pies, if you’re like me and can’t bake to save your life, there is nothing wrong with ordering a delicious pie for Thanksgiving dinner. Pie orders can sell out way in advance though, so make your selections now. Three of my favorites are Hoosier Mama, First Slice, and, if you’re gluten free, Defloured. All are accepting pre-orders now.
Order the Whole Thing
There are a ton of places offering Thanksgiving to-go, but not all restaurants are created equal. A few that you can trust to offer you a wonderful experience are Summer House, which is serving stuffing with housemade bread, pumpkin chiffon pie, and roasted brussels sprouts with mustard; Soul and Smoke with a Cajun smoked turkey and braised duck quarters; and Sunda with confit turkey legs, street corn, and pork belly adobo. Make sure to check the details on these, including order deadlines and pickup dates, because you don’t want to be left hanging on the big day.
Go Out for The Day
If you’re not in the mood to cook a bird (or anything else) this year, go out and let someone else do the work. I sound like a broken record, but my favorite Thanksgiving menu in town is just about always Big Jones which is offering three seatings and a menu starting with horseradish beer cheese and cauliflower bisque, moving onto Cajun-style deep fried turkey, and ending with a traditional pumpkin pie. Head further north for a massive Thanksgiving spread at Aboyer, featuring brown sugar-brined local turkey, candied squash bisque, Grand Marnier truffles, and much more.