Martha Stewart and Ina Garten may have convinced Americans that preparing the Thanksgiving feast is a laborious, multi-day affair, but who has the time and energy to brine and stuff a wild-caught turkey? The smart money is on spending the holiday out. Luckily, reservations are still open at several San Antonio spots serving turkey and all the fixings (and a few tamales, too). Why sweat in the kitchen when you can enjoy all the sides and pies you want — and still have time to bask in the crisper weather?
Ambler Texas Kitchen + Cocktails
Beef is the specialty of this Hotel Contessa spot. Executive chef John Zaner is a whiz on the grill, offering tried-and-true cuts like New York strips and filet mignon — each of which can be paired with sides like crispy vegetables, skillet cornbread, or loaded whipped potatoes. Those who are avoiding red meat can opt for the three-course Thanksgiving feast with options like cider-brined turkey breast, pan-seared Gulf snapper, or pistachio pesto-dressed pappardelle. Say that three times fast! $58, 5:30-10 pm.
Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden
Boiler House chef Jarrad Gwaltney certainly pulled no stops in his two main prix fixe offerings: roasted stuffed turkey and a sure-to-be succulent roasted prime rib-eye. But everyone knows Thanksgiving is all about the sides. This cozy grill has plenty of them, from starches like Yorkshire pudding and sweet potato gratin to savory and sweet treats like maple-glazed carrots and cranberries Marsala. Feel free to load up and add the optional $8 dessert. Stuffed guests can always take a stroll through the Pearl to help digest. $52, 11 am–10 pm.
Boudro’s Texas Bistro
One of San Antonio’s most popular turkey day haunts, this River Walk bistro has already booked most of its Thanksgiving tables. But if guests act quickly, they can still enjoy the Hill Country-inspired fare. Those in the fall spirit can opt for the prix fixe with choices like achiote-butter-basted turkey and pumpkin creme brulee, but executive chef Danny Ibarra’s regular menu is just as festive. Seared scallops with white corn pozole, red pepper vinaigrette, and cilantro oil might not be traditional, but the dish beats the pants off another mushy green bean casserole. $45 per adult, $25 for children, 11 am–11 pm.
Pies, pies, pies! Guests can trust this Alamo City classic with the crust. Available in apple, key lime, banana cream, chocolate icebox, cherry, maple pecan, and chocolate black bottom, the treats are crowd-pleasers whether enjoyed in-house or at home. The down-home comfort food is special, too. Families will appreciate the $35 turkey meal for four with turkey breast, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, and cranberry relish. 11 am-8 pm.
Max & Louie’s New York Diner
Technically, this East Coast-style diner celebrates Thanksgiving all year, offering roasted turkey breast with mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and gravy as part of its regular menu. But no place else in town is as capable of handling an opinionated Thanksgiving crowd. Guests can dine on a classic meaty lasagna, dive into Hungarian stuffed cabbage, or crunch on fried shrimp — then finish it all off with a classic egg cream. 7 am-9 pm.
Mi Tierra Café y Bakery
This downtown stalwart has been serving tourists and locals alike since 1941, giving it plenty of time to perfect its Tex-Mex classics. Enjoy dishes like mole enchiladas, steak ranchero, and flautas de pollo, and, of course, give a nod to the season with an order of tamales. And be thankful that its margaritas are some of the best in town. 8 am-10 pm.
North San Antonians who don’t want to brave the downtown buzz will no doubt be tempted by this La Cantera anchor; doubly so, as its Thanksgiving prix fixe is one of the best deals in town. Each feast includes smoked turkey breast, pan gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean almondine, sausage and sage dressing, cranberry relish, house-made bread, and the choice of soup or salad. Add a pumpkin cheesecake for $8 to ensure sweet dreams. $45, 11 am-9 pm.
This Pearl charmer will be serving its regular menu during the holiday, but acclaimed chef John Brand always adds some seasonal flair. Start with a pumpkin and kabocha salad or crispy cauliflower drizzled in chili honey. Then dive into an autumnal plate of spiced-apple-cider-braised pork. For dessert, it’s back to Thanksgiving’s favorite fruit: pumpkin beignets dusted with powdered sugar and lavished with dulce de leche. 5-10 pm.