Thanksgiving in DC: Things to do and places to eat

Thanksgiving is traditionally a day to spend in the kitchen cooking, and then later on, sinking into the couch in a tryptophan-induced food coma while football plays on the TV. 

But if you're looking to make a break from tradition this year, D.C. is the place to do it. Forget the stress of dry turkeys and burned side dishes and enjoy the city instead. 

Eat out 

They say if you can't handle the heat, get out of the kitchen. So head to one of the many D.C. restaurants serving up turkey and all the trimmings. 

Moon Rabbit

Head to the Wharf for an Asian-American menu on Thanksgiving. Moon Rabbit is serving up a Peking-style turkey crown, scallion biscuits with Sichuan honey butter, fried Brussels sprouts with nuoc cham, and crawfish mac and cheese with truffles. There’s also mashed potatoes with black pepper gravy and whole sweet potato pie with curry spices for dessert. 

Dovetail Bar & Restaurant

Dovetail is offering up a three-course menu, featuring non-traditional offerings like kimchi deviled eggs and Brussel sprouts with apple, walnuts, and chardonnay vinaigrette. If you're not feeling turkey, they're serving up scallops and filet mignon as well. Tickets are $79 and $39 for ages five to 12. 

Teddy and the Bully Bar

Teddy and the Bully Bar is donating 10% of Thanksgiving Sales to Martha's Table. They'll be serving up apple-brined turkey, slow-roasted prime rib of beef, and cedar plank-roasted salmon, plus sides like mac and cheese, brioche stuffing and sweet potato casserole. For dessert, try the eggnog creme brulee. The meal is $72 per person for adults and $28 for children 12 and under. 


Michele's in the Eaton Hotel is offering a three-course Thanksgiving feast for $85. On the menu are hearth-roasted oysters, herb-roasted turkey with wild mushroom stuffing or maple pork chops with brown butter-glazed apples, and pecan pot de creme. 

Yardbird Table & Bar

Yardbird is offering an a la carte spread that includes a pear, pomegranate and arugula salad, herb-roasted turkey with trimmings, sides like lobster mac and cheese and melted leek potato gratin, and brown butter bourbon pumpkin pie for dessert. 

La Bise

Feeling a little over the traditional turkey offerings? The French restaurant's menu includes gingered butternut squash velouté, beef tartare with quail egg yolk, roasted heirloom beets and branzino with piperade and turnip puree. For dessert, choose between an apple tart and chocolate profiteroles. 

The Hay-Adams

D.C. brunch is something else, so a Thanksgiving D.C. brunch could be the way to go. The Hay-Adams harvest brunch is back, now with build-you-own bloody marry carts with Belvedere vodka. For food, try the black Angus beef tenderloin from local Creekstone Farms, or the Shenandoah lamb loin with roasted sunchokes and rosemary sauce. The rooftop brunch is $160 per person, including a glass of Champagne upon arrival, and $60 for kids.

Visit a museum

The Smithsonian museums and the National Gallery of Art are open on Thanksgiving Day. It's a great opportunity to check out the recently reopened Air and Space Museum. The Smithsonian National Zoo is also open from 8am to 4pm. 

See a movie

A 40th Anniversary screening of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center begins showing on Thanksgiving Day. 

The Avalon Theatre, the oldest operating movie house in the area, is showing Tar, The Banshees of Inisherin and The Fabelmans on Thanksgiving. Alamo Drafthouse is also open. 

Run a 5k

Join the FOX 5 DC team and run in the Trot for Hunger on Thanksgiving morning. 

Watch the World Cup

The U.S. isn't playing on Thanksgiving, but you can watch other countries play at bars that are planning on being open on Thanksgiving. Some are remaining closed, but Public Bar Live is staying open 24 hours a day for the World Cup so they'll be open on Thanksgiving.