No muss and fuss for you if you celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas out of the house. Here in Orlando, restaurants in probably every hotel will be serving up a turkey dinner on November 28, and most chain outlets will be open too, especially in the tourist corridor. Ditto minus the guaranteed turkey on December 25. If you want a meal with more character – the real kind, not the Mickey kind – check out these venues. I’ll keep adding on to the curated list.
Thanksgiving in Orlando 2019
Levy Restaurants operates this massive seafood restaurant at Disney Springs, and this year it will offer a traditional turkey dinner with herb-roasted turkey breast, chourico (I guess that’s Brazilian chorizo sausage) cornbread stuffing, whipped potatoes, green beans, cranberry relish and pan gravy. $34/$17.
Boutique hotel The Alfond Inn will host a Thanksgiving buffet with seatings at 1pm and 4pm. The main dishes are roasted turkey with cranberry sauce, herb-garlic stuffed prime rib with horseradish sauce, Parmesan-crusted salmon with rustic tomato sauce, and grilled chickenw tih mushroom ragout. $69/$29 5-12, free parking. Click here to see the full menu and buy tickets.
Pick up a turkey dinner at this Winter Park gastropub the day before Thanksgiving, then heat and eat it at home. Options include an uncooked turkey breast for four to six people with gravy and cranberry mostarda $(20); whole uncooked turkey for 8 to 10 people, $45; and sides of herb brioche stuffing, mashed potatoes with brown butter, sweet potato casserole with marshmallow fluff, and green beans with mushroom gravy for $15 apiece. A pumpkin pie for 8 to 10 is $24. Order by November 25 at 5 p.m.
Well, yea, it’s Italian, but it’s big and it’s family-friendly and it’s right at Disney Springs with its free parking. Terralina Crafted Italian, another Levy full-service restaurant in Orlando, is adding a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to its regular menu on November 28. Each plate comes with herb-roasted turkey breast, pancetta-apple stuffing, whipped Yukon Gold potatoes, green beans, cranberry relish and rosemary pan gravy. It sounds like all you need, IMO. $33/$16 Reservations.
Out in Lake Nona on the eastern end of town, Canvas will serve a three-course dinner, and the price depends on which entree you choose: cider-brined slow-roasted turkey with sausage stuffing, Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, green beans, citrus-cranberry sauce and turkey gravy ($32) or chili-rubbed Australian Wagyu strip steak with butternut squash hash, corn, black beans and avocado crema ($70). Everyone gets either a salad or Fairytale pumpkin bisque (such a nice name) and pumpkin pie. Children can have a simpler menu for $12. The regular menu will also be available. Reservations
Also owned by the Tavistock Restaurant Collection out in Lake Nona, the tapas-style Chroma will be open all day, and will offer Thanksgiving options in addition to its regular food. Choices: turkey roulade with brioche stuffing and turkey gravy ($15), lamb tenderloin with prosciutto, butternut squash mousse and red wine ($23), triple butter-mashed potatoes with roasted garlic, green onion and sea salt (9), and brioche stuffing with bacon and herbs ($7). Apple pie and pumpkin cheesecake will be available for $4.50 apiece from Thanksgiving through December 1. Reservations
And hey, if you want to roast the best turkey ever, reserve a heritage bird from Orlando Meats, a butcher and cafe. It will sell 10- to 12-pound Black Heritage turkeys from Joyce Farms for $5.95/pound. No antibiotics, humanely processed. Click here for details and to order.
Christmas in Orlando 2019
(So clearly I’ve only received one worthwhile press release so far.)
Embrace the Disney Springs restaurant’s seafood specialty with a king and snow crab boil. It’ll have Dutch Harbor king crab, Canadian snow crab, sweet corn, red potatoes and cornbread. $60