Saturday, December 9, 2023

Thanksgiving 2023: Here’s where to eat

Henry’s is one of many restaurants open for Thanksgiving for 2023. (Courtesy photo)

SOUTHEASTERN N.C.  — The bird needs to be dressed, and the stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and sweet potatoes prepared, as the pumpkin and pecan pies bake in the oven.

READ MORE: Free Thanksgiving meals offered in the community

Tired just thinking about putting together a Thanksgiving feast? Well, quite a few area restaurants are here to rescue you from hours in the kitchen — first cooking, then cleaning. And face it: with less time banging pots and pans, there’s more time to squabble — err, engage — with family and friends.

It’s wise to call ahead for reservations to ensure a table at these area eateries or to order ahead for pickup.

22 North

22 N. Lumina Ave. • 22northwb.com

A Wrightsville Beach restaurant is providing takeaway dinners for two or four people, as well as offering a la carte items to help families with a few shortcuts for the holiday feast.

22 North plates come with roasted turkey breast, whipped potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, cranberry-orange sauce, apple-sage stuffing and yeast rolls. The sides are each sold for $22 separately to feed four people. Turkey gravy is $10 a pint and it’s selling pumpkin chocolate chip bread for $16. 

Orders can be placed by calling Chef David Scott at 910-352-1973 by Monday, Nov. 20, 10 p.m. Pickup is between noon and 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Blockade Runner

275 Waynick Blvd. • blockade-runner.com

A feast with Atlantic Ocean views will greet diners come Thanksgiving at Blockade Runner. 

The buffet includes a traditional carving station (turkey, prime rib, spiced ham), as well as a seafood station (cold crab claws, NC oysters, crab cakes). Plus, there will be salads, sides (including vegan and vegetarian items) and desserts.

Reservations can be made (877-681-8009) between noon and 5 p.m. Cost is $85 for adults, $35 for kids 12 and under and free for children under 3.

Bluewater Grill

4 Marina St. • bluewaterdining.com

Bluewater Grill is serving a traditional Turkey Day meal from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Nov. 23 for $39 a person or $18 for kids 12 and under. It will serve oven-roasted house-brined turkey breast and gravy and Black forest ham, apple and sausage stuffing, mashed or sweet potatoes, collards, and homemade cranberry sauce. It will finish with a choice of pumpkin pie or pumpkin cheesecake tart.

Rather have a meal to go? No problem, Bluewater can arrange it with family meals starting at $145 for up to four guests. Pre-orders and reservations can be made by calling 910-256-8500. 

Bridge Tender 

1414 Airlie Road • thebridgetender.com

Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Bridge Tender will be serving Thanksgiving at its restaurant along the Intracoastal Waterway. It’s $43 for adults and $17 for children 12 and under. 

The meal comes with a starter of crab dip for the table, followed by soup or salad and a choice of four entrees: oven-roasted turkey, baked salmon, grouper or prime rib, each served with traditional stuffing, mashed or sweet potatoes, and succotash or carrots. Dessert includes either a brownie sundae or apple crisp, both served with pumpkin ice cream.

Casey’s Buffet

5559 Oleander Drive • caseysbuffet.com

Casey’s Southern buffet will be loaded with a Thanksgiving feast and then some — turkey, ham, fried chicken, squash casserole, turnip greens, sweet potato souffle, finished off with choice of pie or banana pudding. The buffet is open from 11 a.m. to. 5 p.m., first-come, first-serve.

It will be available as dine-in and takeout; to-go orders can be placed online. An adult buffet is $16.99, seniors (62 and older) are $15.99, and children ages 4-12 can eat for $8.99. 

Ciana Ristorante Italian

4724 New Centre Drive Suite 3 • cianarestaurant.com

The newest restaurant on New Centre Drive is offer two seatings during Thanksgiving: at noon and 3 p.m. It’s $50 for adults, $30 for ages 11 to 17, $15 for ages 6 to 10 and $10 for ages 3 to 5 (2 and under are free).

There will be slow-roasted, hand-carved turkey and gravy, sausage stuffing, whipped potatoes, roasted vegetables, mac and cheese, green bean casserole, creamed corn, sweet potato casserole and dinner roles.

Reservations are required by calling 910-399-5620.

Eat at Nineteen

Front Street Brewery

9 N. Front St. • frontstreetbrewery.com

Perhaps one of the best deals in town, Front Street Brewery continues the tradition of serving $13.99 Thanksgiving plates. 

Wilmington’s first brewery will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. to serve its full menu, plus the traditional holiday meal of slow-roasted sliced turkey, green beans, mashed potatoes, stuffing and cranberry sauce. 

Henry’s

2508 Independence Blvd. • henrysrestaurant.com

Located in Barclay Center in midtown, Henry’s is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Meals include turkey or ham ($34.95 for one or $38.95 for both; kids plates are $20 or $23). Each meal includes garlic mash or sweet potatoes, cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, collards, baked mac and cheese and bread. It’s finished off with pecan or pumpkin pie.

There also will be a limited menu featuring a handful of appetizers (wings, crab dip) and entrees (shrimp and grits, flank steak), ranging in price from $13 to $29.

The Green House

106 Military Cutoff Road • thegreenrestaurant.com

While Wilmington’s fine-dining vegan restaurant is not open on Thanksgiving Day, it is doing take-out options for those looking for a feast that aligns with their dietary lifestyle.

Pre-orders are open through Nov. 18, with pick up on Nov. 22, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. The chefs are making sweet potato casserole ($42), beets and apples with candied walnuts ($48), green beans with cranberry vinaigrette ($42), and shepherd’s pie ($46). All four items can be ordered for $160, available here.

Junction 421

5104 S. College Road • junction421.com

The restaurant’s annual “Turkey to Trot” allows families to order a $120 meal that feeds four people. It’s taking orders until the turkey runs out.

Offered are roasted turkey breast or sliced baked ham, as well as three sides. Choices include: roasted corn chowder, mashed potatoes, cornbread dressing, sweet potatoes, broccoli casserole and pumpkin créme brulee. 

Orders can be placed by calling 910-392-3490.

Little Pond Caterers

2016 Princess St. • littlepondcaterers.com

This quaint spot on the outskirts of downtown is known for Meatball Tuesday and Fried Chicken Friday. Also offering catering, Little Pond is taking orders for Thanksgiving sides and accompaniments, which need to be placed by Nov. 19 at 8 p.m. 

Items include turkey gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, braised leeks and Brussels sprouts, roasted sweet potato grits and more. It’s also selling sauces to top those leftover sandwiches: a sweet and spicy Peruvian sauce, aji amarillo, for example, and Calabrian pepper aioli. 

Pickup is on Wednesday, Nov. 22.

Mac’s Speed Shop

4126 Oleander Drive • macspeedshop.com

If prepping the bird just isn’t your thing, let Mac’s Speed Shop help with a smoked version. Its accepting orders through Nov. 20 at midnight, available for pickup on Nov. 22. 

Turkeys start at $70, with other proteins like pork, brisket, ribs, ham and pulled chicken available. Individual sides and sauces also can be procured, including mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and more. A la carte prices range from $6 to $65. 

Three packages include the whole shebang. It’s $135 to feed a family of four with turkey, gravy and two sides, $185 for a family of eight, which also includes brisket, and for a family of 12 — two turkeys and double sides —it’s $225.

Pre-orders are accepted here.

Mema’s Chicken and Ribs

Pickup at Burgaw Historic Train Depot, 115 S. Dickerson St.

The Burgaw hotspot has gone mobile with a food truck while a new location is secured, but fans can still get a taste of Mema’s food this Thanksgiving with pre-orders open until Sunday, Nov. 19.

A holiday package comes with one meat, four sides, three desserts and a gallon beverage for $249; it feeds up to 12 people.

Proteins include smoked turkey, baked ham, pulled pork, and ribs (extra meat runs $35), with collards, green beans, potato salad, baked beans, yams, mac and cheese, dressing and gravy, among other sides offered. Desserts consist of pound cake, sweet potato pie, apple pie and others, with beverages including lemonade and sweet tea.

Call 910-300-6139 to order.

Nippy’s Soul Food

2206 Carolina Beach Road • Menu here

Packages to feed families include turkey, ham or both, along with two sides, dressing and brown gravy and start at $135.

Sides — yams, cabbage, corn, collards, field peas, mac and cheese, okra and more — can be ordered by the quart for $20 or by the pan (half for $55, and whole for $75-$90). Desserts are also available, including cobblers and banana pudding.

Orders must be placed by Nov. 19 and picked up between noon and 4 p.m. on Nov. 22.

Oceanic

703 S. Lumina Ave. • oceanicrestaurant.com

The beachside restaurant is opening from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and though reservations are not needed, they’re suggested (910-256-5551). 

Adults eat for $39 and kids for $15. The entree will consist of herb-roasted turkey breast and Southern gravy, whipped potatoes, cornbread stuffing, fresh cranberry sauce, and sauteed haricots verts. Desserts are served for an additional $8, with options ofKey Lime, pecan and pumpkin pie or a flourless chocolate torte.

The full Oceanic menu also will be served.

Panacea Brewing Company

4107-H Oleander Drive • panaceabrewingcompany.com

Vegans and vegetarians will be able to order trays of specialized items for $20, including a lentil loaf, mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables and gravy, green bean casserole, candied sweet potatoes, mac and cheese, greens and more.

Orders can be placed during regular business hours, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., on Nov. 22. The offerings are also available on Nov. 24 and 25 for post-Thanksgiving celebrations. 

Pilot House

2 Ann St. • www.pilothouserest.com

The riverfront restaurant will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. serving a Thanksgiving menu. Call 910-343-0200 for more information.

Pinpoint Restaurant

114 Market St. • pinpointrestaurant.com

With seatings from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., the downtown eatery will have a Thanksgiving menu, which wasn’t posted by press. Call for details at 910-769-2972.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House

301 N. Water St. • www.ruthschris.com

A three-course Thanksgiving lunch or dinner will be served all day at Ruth’s Chris for $47.95. It includes choosing a started (Louisiana gumbo, salad or lobster bisque), turkey breast entree with gravy, sausage and herb stuffing and cranberry relish with choice of side: mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, creamed spinach, green beans and roasted garlic, and pumpkin cheesecake for dessert. 

Children 10 and under eat for $18.95.

For folks wanting some help with their at-home meal, the restaurant also has multiple packages, including a traditional turkey feast for $174.95 (feeds up to four), with salad started and two sides and dessert. A beef package featuring a 28-ounce  tenderloin, with the same meal setup as the turkey package, is $199.99 for four people.

Ruth’s Chris also is offering sides a la cate to feed four; two sides cost $89.95.

All orders must be placed by Nov. 22. Curbside pickup is offered Nov. 23, noon to 7 p.m.

Pre-orders open here.

Savor Southern Kitchen

3704 Carolina Beach Rd. • savorsouthernkitchen.com

This Southern brunch and lunch staple is making Thanksgiving a cinch with prepared items to reheat with no fuss.

Savor has turkey breast available by the pound (1 pound feeds up to four people), as well as brown-sugar glazed ham, both for $17 a pound. Cranberry chutney and gravy is sold for $5 a pint, and sheet pans of sides, by the third or half, offered from $18 to $35. Options include cornbread dressing, garlic mash, sweet potato souffle, green beans and five-cheese baked mac. 

Also available are 9-inch pies for $25 and up, including pecan, pumpkin and apple. Orders must be in by Monday, Nov. 20, and picked up by Wednesday, Nov. 22.

Call 910-262-2962 for more information.

Sealevel City Vegan Diner

1015 S. Kerr Ave. • 910-833-7196

Sealevel doesn’t prepare anything that has eyeballs and is making Thanksgiving a vegan treat. The restaurant is doing preorders for multiple items that serve up to six people.

Rather than turkey, they’re churning out a homemade seitan roast with herbs ($30) and preparing multiple traditional holiday sides, all plant-based. Bread stuffing with carrots, onions, celery and herbs is $24, while kimchi collards with coconut milk are $30. Butterbeans and hempseeds with Parmesan are $24 and gluten-free mushroom gravy is $15. Mac n cheese is $30 and they’re also preparing pumpkin pie with $24.

Orders can be place via email here by Monday, Nov. 20, with pickup on Wednesday, Nov. 22.

Seaview Crab Co. Kitchen

1515 Marstellar St. • seaviewcrabcompany.com

The area seafood market and kitchen is preparing plenty of sides to help complete your Thanksgiving meal. They feed up to six people and include lobster mac and cheese ($45.95), oyster and apple stuffing ($19.95), peel and eat jumbo North Carolina shrimp ($18.95 a pound), braised collards with ham ($16.95) and pumpkin cornbread ($6.95 for eight pieces). A 12-piece crab deviled eggs are also offered for $12.95.

Orders are accepted through Tuesday, Nov. 21. Call 910-769-1554 for more information.

Steam Restaurant and Bar

9 Estell Lee Place • steamilm.com

The downtown restaurant overlooking the Cape Fear River from Embassy Suites will open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 23. 

A buffet will feature brined turkey, smoked ham and prime rib, with all the traditional fixin’s and sides. Baked goods will also be offered and there will be local oysters, crudites, and salads to start the meal.

It costs $48 for adults and $22 for children. Call 910-726-9226 for reservations.

Sweet n Savory Cafe

1611 Pavilion Place • sweetnsavory.cafe

The Wrightsville Beach area hotspot is open 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for Thanksgiving with adult plates offered for $35, $25 for seniors over 75, $15 for children 5-10 and under 5 eats free.

The meal includes carved turkey, cornbread dressing, whipped potatoes, green bean casserole, seasonal vegetables, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce and dinner roles. Dessert will include apple cobbler a la mode, pumpking pie and chocolate mousse.

Reservations book quickly, so call 910-256-0115.

Three19

1022 N. 4th St. • three10wilmington.com

The Brooklyn Arts District restaurant is closed Thanksgiving Day but doing to-go orders. An a la carte menu includes confit turkey leg ($10 for one or two pounds), turkey breast roulade ($12, served with gravy and rolled with pancetta, kale, apricot and pecans; feeds two), cornbread dressing (individual portion for $8), sweet potato casserole ($8 a pint), fresh cranberry sauce ($7 a pint), mashed potatoes ($8 a pint), collards and ham ($5 a pint), glazed root vegetables ($8 a pint), buttermilk biscuits ($8 for four) and apple or pumpkin pie slices ($5).

All items are fully cooked but need to be reheated. Orders are accepted until noon on Monday, Nov. 20. Pickup takes place on Thursday, Nov. 23, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.


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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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