Unique Central Florida Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving Dining Ideas

From restaurants to hotels to a complete meal made-from-scratch just for you and your guests, these Central Florida stops offer something for everyone this 2019 Holiday Season.

Restaurants

You can’t go wrong with one of these top Central Florida restaurants. Their over-the-top Thanksgiving offerings let mom enjoy her dinner without hours of dishes or potato peeling.

Tapa Toro

Add Spanish flair to your Thanksgiving traditions and dine with the Tapa Toro family this year. Prepare to be delighted by flamenco dancing performances and music as you dig into a spectacular Spanish feast. Guests will enjoy a 3 course menu for just $27 per person. From a cous-cous salad with roasted butternut squash, cranberries, pepitas, to the herb roasted chicken, this meal is sure to impress. Complete your experience with a sophisticated take on a Thanksgiving classic: a pumpkin pecan pie made with a graham cracker crust and salted caramel. Tapa Toro is open from 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day with full menu available as well! Make your reservation today.

Taverna Opa

Trade in turkey at home this year for lamb and late-night dancing! Taverna Opa will be open from 12:00 pm – 11:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and is serving a Greek-style prix fixe feast all day long. Enjoy your choice of appetizer and entree + indulge in dessert for just $25 per person. You can also order a la carte from our regular menu or try one of our family style menus for 4 or more. And don’t miss the belly dancing entertainment beginning at 7:00 p.m. Reservations are recommended!

deep blu Seafood Grille

There’s always a good reason to dine at deep blu Seafood Grille, but their collection of special deals and occasions make it all the more enticing. Celebrate Thanksgiving 2019 with a phenomenal menu, including a roasted beet salad, slow-braised turkey, maple carrots, and pumpkin gingersnap cheesecake, just to name a few! Make your reservations now.

The Glass Knife

Be the hit of any Thanksgiving feast by bringing The Glass Knife desserts! No matter what you choose, there are no wrong options. Their signature cakes are always a hit, from the scrumptious southern red velvet, to the classic carrot cake.  Or check out their wide selection of delectable seasonal items.

Texas de Brazil

In southern Brazil, local cowboys called gauchos, prepare legendary feasts in a tradition known as churrasco. They slow-roast meats over open flames and present an impressive display of seasonal greens, vegetable dishes and regional delicacies. The succulent meats are brought to each group’s table and carved in a show of skill and festive offering. At Texas de Brazil, they continue this treasured tradition. Treat yourself to a wide array of chef-crafted salads, roasted vegetables, imported cheeses and charcuterie. Enjoy house-baked cheese bread, garlic mashed potatoes and fried bananas. Turn your card to green, and expert carvers generously serve you sizzling beef, lamb, pork, chicken and Brazilian sausage. Simply turn your card to red to take a break. Liven up your meal by ordering one of their signature cocktails – like the Caipirinha. And remember, their servers are always standing by to accommodate any request.

BiCE

At BiCE, they strive to make each dining experience an exceptional one for their guests, and Thanksgiving is no exception! Their Executive Chef pays special attention to every last culinary detail, beginning with only the freshest market ingredients, combined with the culinary techniques needed to produce an extravagant meal. Every meal brings you on an adventure of different flavor combinations that indulge the palette and spark the soul. Make a reservation now for an unforgettable Thanksgiving experience!

Bahama Breeze

On Thanksgiving Day, select Bahama Breeze restaurants across the country will be open and serving an exclusive, one-day only Thanksgiving meal with an island-twist!  Bahama Breeze’s Thanksgiving Dinner features sliced turkey with sides like callaloo, green beans, cornbread stuffing and cranberry-pineapple chutney, starting at $19.99. Pumpkin Praline Pie will also be available for dessert exclusively on this day, starting at $6.29 per slice.

Buca di Beppo

Your neighborhood Buca di Beppo is open on Thursday, November 28 starting at 11:00 am. In addition to their traditional Thanksgiving Feast (starting at $22.99/person), featuring Sliced White Meat Turkey, Homestyle Gravy, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Spicy Italian Sausage Stuffing, Green Beans, Cranberry Sauce and Pumpkin Pie, Buca’s regular menu of authentic Italian favorites, such as Lasagna and Spicy Chicken Rigatoni, are also available on Thanksgiving Day. Since Buca serves every dish family-style, you’ll be sure to have enough Thanksgiving leftovers to take home. Space is filling up quickly, so make your Thanksgiving reservation today!

Canvas Restaurant

Looking to celebrate Thanksgiving, but want to avoid the kitchen? Gather your friends and family at one of Canvas’ communal tables and enjoy a three-course Thanksgiving feast for only $30 per person. Make your reservations here.

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse

This Thanksgiving Day, allow Del Frisco’s to do the carving. Celebrate with a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner with their amazing prix fixe menu featuring Thanksgiving favorites like Slow Roasted Turkey Breast with all the trimmings and seasonal desserts like Pumpkin Cheesecake. You can also choose other Del Frisco’s favorites like a Dry-Aged Steak or Wagyu Tasting from their full menu of steaks and signature favorites. Out of all restaurants open on Thanksgiving, Del Frisco’s is the only to combine chef-driven cuisine, award-winning wines and distinguished hospitality to give you and your family a memorable Thanksgiving experience. Make your reservations today.

Hemingway’s

Why not dine at Hemingway’s this Thanksgiving? Their Thanksgiving Day prix fixe menu featuring an amazing harvest salad with artisan mixed greens, poached pinot noir bosc pears, smoked bacon, candied pecans, fresh orange, and a pomegranate-blueberry vinaigrette. And that’s just the first course! Reservations are recommended. $49 for adults / $24.50 for children 12 and under. Prefer a buffet-style dinner? Head to the LakeHouse at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress for a gigantic selection of delicious foods! $69 for adults / $32.50 for children 12 – 5. Children 5 and under are free.

To-Go / Delivery

If you want to keep the intimate setting of your home but ditch the effort of making an enormous meal, let these local favorites make you a meal you won’t soon forget.

Farm & Haus

Make this Thanksgiving a delicious, enjoyable, and stress-free occasion with Farm & Haus Thanksgiving Catering! Farm-To-Table sides made from scratch locally using quality and simple ingredients. Order sides individually, or order an entire feast. Local deliveries are included, as well as free pick-up at East End Market.

Swine & Sons

From the brainchild of The Ravenous Pig and Cask & Larder, Swine & Sons serves up delicious eats year-long. But they really shine with their holiday menus, and Thanksgiving is no exception. Browse their a la carte menu with selections like kale and Brussels sprouts, loaded fingerling potato casserole, cheddar chive biscuits, cranberry-orange relish and of course pumpkin and apple pie. Orders must be placed by Friday, November 22.  Call or place your order online today.

4 Rivers Smokehouse

With 6 locations throughout Central Florida, 4 Rivers Smokehouse is serving up some delicious twists on a traditional Thanksgiving feast. From brisket to smoked turkey to eleven different side options, make your guests happy and feed them 4 Rivers. Orders must be placed by November 23. Place your order online today!

Hotels / Resorts

The Alfond Inn

This Thanksgiving The Alfond Inn will be serving up a special holiday meal in the Park Avenue Ballroom from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with an endless buffet and carving and dessert stations galore. It’s impossible to name the plethora of choices at this buffet, but let’s start with the fresh seafood display, of shrimp, oysters, crab claws, American and French cocktail sauces (a must!), horseradish cream, vodka lime cream, roasted garlic aioli, and green apple mignonette. Cost is $69 per person plus tax and service.  Children ages 3 to 12 are $24.95, and children under 3 are free. See the entire menu and make your reservation today.

Rosen Centre

Celebrate with a bountiful Thanksgiving Day buffet at Café Gauguin, featuring fresh soups and salads, an antipasto display, and a seafood station with Escabeche marinated and fried mahi with lemon and lime, as well as traditional dishes like roasted tom turkey and pecan glazed sweet yams. This popular buffet offers intimate seating in a warm autumnal atmosphere, and invites guests to try cuisine from Rosen Centre’s various restaurants, including Harry’s Yucca Cake topped with Havana style braised pork from Harry’s Poolside Bar & Grill and delectable sushi from Banshoo Sushi Bar. Finish this delicious meal with a choice of sweet indulgences that include a Swiss sweet shots chocolate fondue fountain, pineapple upside down cake and traditional pumpkin and pecan pies. $50.95 pre-paid for adults plus tax and service charge, $53.95 per adult, day of; $19.95 plus tax and service charge for children ages 4-12. Children 3 and younger are free.

Rosen Inn

Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando hosts a delicious Thanksgiving Day Feast to satisfy the whole family, helping you to stay out of the kitchen and relax with loved ones. The buffet offers tasty traditional fare beloved by everyone. Guests will enjoy slow roasted turkey, homestyle candied yams, cheddar cheese biscuits, as well as baked cod topped with cilantro beurre blanc, black forest ham with mango chutney and marinated beef tips with red wine reduction. For dessert, choose from assorted pies and cakes, and an ice cream bar with fun toppings. $18.95 plus tax and service charge, children 5 and younger eat free with a paying adult (limit one child per paying adult)

Rosen Plaza

Bask in a warm welcome at the Thanksgiving Day Buffet at Rosen Plaza, where smiling faces light up a ballroom that is transformed by fall decorations in celebration of a bountiful harvest. Let the talented chefs at Rosen Plaza take care of the cooking, offering an abundance of culinary delights that include the buffet’s savory display like roast turkey, stuffing with sausage and caramelized onion, and a carving station with roast prime rib beef au jus, a seafood station, and a Dim Sum and Yakisoba station. There is something special for everyone in the family, including a children’s buffet bar. For dessert, the choices at Chef Ashley’s Pastries and Dessert Extravaganza are delightful, including traditional pumpkin pie, Chocolate Pumpkin Brandy Cake and Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Cake. $46.95 per adult plus tax and service charge for pre-paid reservations; $18.95 plus tax and service charge for children ages 4-11. Children 3 and younger eat free. Free parking.

Rosen Shingle Creek 

A vast cornucopia of flavors is served in a posh and intimate setting during the Thanksgiving Day Buffet at Café Osceola at Rosen Shingle Creek hotel, offering cuisine that is a step above traditional holiday fare in an atmosphere that evokes fall in all its splendor. Apple cider spiced pork loin, rosemary and cracked pepper crusted prime rib, carved turkey and sausage and sage stuffing are just some of the delectable dishes on the display. Borrowing from the hotel’s other dining options, guests also will enjoy paella Valencia, sushi and dim sum, and Yakisoba noodle stir fry. The lavish sweets station includes favorite holiday pies, mini pastries, as well as triple chocolate Bundt cake with fresh raspberries, and a miniature cupcake tower. The enchanting meal also includes unlimited champagne and mimosas for guests ages 21 and older. Reservations are required and complimentary valet parking is included. $69.95 for adults plus tax and service charge; $29.95 plus tax and service charge for children ages 4-11. Children 3 and younger eat free. Florida residents enjoy a 25% discount. Free valet parking.

More Tips For Hosting At Home

New Takes On Old Recipes

So you’ve decided hosting at home is best! Let author of Simply Swapped, Carly Paige, show you how to make some healthier options for your turkey day feast. Carly is an Orlando-based Integrative Nutrition Health Coach & Cooking Instructor who is passionate about making healthy simple (on and off your plate).

Delectable Meals that Give Back this Holiday Season

The holidays are synonymous with family gatherings, parties and giving back to those in need. Our very own Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida provides a Catering for Good program featuring drop ‘n go or full-service catering options. Each menu is designed and prepared from scratch by its award-winning Chef Jill Holland, using only the freshest, high-quality ingredients from locally-sourced, reputable food distributors.

For the holidays, the team has developed a delectable Thanksgiving Feast that will save you hours in the kitchen. A holiday buffet of sage butter turkey breast, harvest stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, pan gravy and cranberry chutney can be delivered to you.  Or the Catering for Good team can package everything up and have it ready for pickup by 2pm on Wed., Nov. 27. The “Holiday Dinners to Go” feed eight people for only $85. There are also a la carte dishes ranging from carrot and sweet potato slaw to cornbread bread pudding with Chantilly cream, which can be added-on or purchased individually to contribute to a potluck event. A la carte costs range from $12.95 to $19.95. The full menu and ordering information is available at FeedHopeNow.org.

Second Harvest also offers the perfect holiday gift through A Spoon Full of Hope, its multi-product retail line. Soup, local honey, cookies – in tandem with Catering for Good – benefits the organization’s 16-week, no-cost Culinary Training Program, which provides qualified, economically-challenged adults with the culinary and life skills training to pursue a sustainable career in the food industry. With a 100 percent job placement rate and hundreds given a second chance at life, it’s the ideal way to give and receive during the holiday season. Order today at ASpoonFullofHope.org.

Categories: Metropoly, Performing Arts