we're not cooking this thanksgiving

it’s been a long year and I need a break

It’s been a weird year for many reasons, and it’s going to be a weird holiday season for many more. On top of all the usual consumer trends (ie: less holiday traveling, smaller gatherings, at home celebrations, etc etc), this holiday season hits different on a personal note too. Namely, this is likely going to be the last Thanksgiving my parents will have living in the U.S.

So perhaps it’s a good thing that we’re all working remotely and it’s easy for me to fly back to California and stay for the holidays. Sure, it’ll be annoying to wake up long before the sun rises to sit on Zoom meetings in the dark. And sure, NYC seems a lot more fun than the suburbs of LA. Any other year I’d probably weasel my way out of it. But hey, we’ll do it one last time.

In any given year, there are dozens of amazing restaurants and bakeries across town that have killer Thanksgiving menus. This year, thanks to the ominous presence of the pandemic and desperate creativity in the food industry, even more have joined the scene. Which is good, because with a higher demand, a lot of places are already sold out.

the spread from superba food + bread

For me, it’s a strategic triangulation of location, time and offerings. In terms of location, I don’t want to be driving around town like a madwoman (not anymore at least), so the pick ups must be in one part of town (in this case, I have chosen the east side). Timing is hard too — a lot of them have scheduled pick up times, so those are subject to availability. Then there’s the day — many, if not most, are offering pick up the day before, on Wednesday, but others are only doing it the day of. And finally, the offerings. Both in terms of taste preference (sometimes you just gotta mix and match your fave places ok), and in terms of portion sizes (all the places offering half portions or single portions get a bonus point in my book).

And thus, I spent many a late night (ok fine it was like 7pm but dark enough to be midnight) in Brooklyn jumping from Instagram to website to tock to Google Maps around my favorite LA restaurants to curate the ultimate final Thanksgiving hurrah. And lucky you get to reap the benefits of my research. Here are some solid options:

for food


We love All Time always, and they have created a Thanksgiving menu with ALL THE FIXINS. The downside? They sold out in a blink. We’ll try again for Christmas.


Another all time favorite. Manuela is offering dine in service ($68 a person) as well as takeaway ($100 for 2 person dinner). Their menu is very tempting, but their pick up window is 2-5pm on Thursday, and this girl is far too lazy to trek out to DTLA on Thanksgiving afternoon. 


A classic choice for a reason, and now available not just in Venice but also in Noho and Pasadena. Superba also gets bonus points for half portions of everything. Orders are available until Tuesday 11.24, and pick up is Thursday morning 8-10am.


Ah, an LA classic. Everyone loves takeout from Joan’s, and Joan’s always goes the extra mile for every holiday. They are only doing pick ups from the 3rd street location this year. Order by noon on 11.21 and pick up on Wednesday.


ADB is newer to the scene but already a proven favorite. They have full smoked birds and turkey legs for smaller gatherings. And plenty of comfort food sides. Order by 11/20 and pick up on Thursday 11 – 2pm.


The Rustic Canyon family never disappoints, and they’re giving their best for Thanksgiving. They are catering to smaller gatherings with selections aimed at serving 4 (turkey leg + thigh,


A go-to west side hang out all day and at night, Lunetta’s Thanksgiving spread does not disappoint. The take out meals are priced at $78 a person ($38 for children 10 and under), and feature indulgent mains (if you’re not a turkey person, they have slow cooked osso buco or pan-roasted Atlantic black sea bass). Order by Friday 11.20 for pick up on Thanksgiving afternoon.


We all love a good Redbird brunch. So we know they’ll do Thanksgiving justice too. Redbird is offering an upscale menu that will be a reminder that this meal was not home cooked. Dinner for 4 is $68 a person. Takeout and delivery available on Wednesday.


You know you want Thanksgiving from Gjusta. Gjusta makes any random Thursday feel special, and their Thanksgiving menu blows it out of the water. From birds to sides to pies to flowers, they have it all. Order by 11.22 for pick up on Thanksgiving day from 9am – 3pm.


If you prefer your food come to you, Fundamental has figured out COVID-safe catering for small gatherings, designed to scale to fit whatever you are most comfortable with from drop offs to full service.

left: pumpkin pies by fat + flour

above: pecan and chocolate pie by pie hole

for dessert


For Thanksgiving, Proof is doing a lot more than dessert (with creative spins on classics like kabocha pumpkin pie and honey walnut pie), also offering sides to round out your table. Order by email before 11.19 for pick up on Wednesday. Pastries will be available that day too on a first come first serve basis.


Anyone who knows me knows how much I adore Pie Hole. Going back to LA means definitely taking a detour for some earl grey pie. For Thanksgiving, they have added pop up locations in Atwater, Santa Monica and Huntington Beach for easy access. In addition to the sweet pies, they’re also doing turkey pot pie, individually portioned mac and cheese mashed potatoes and salad for some savory additions. Order via Tock for a reserved time on Wednesday or Thursday.


This Noho favorite has a full line of up pies (no seriously, everything from fruit pies to cream pies to quiches) ready to adorn any Thanksgiving spread. Order online for a scheduled pick up time at least 24 hours ahead, for any day up to Thanksgiving.


We’re still upset Fiona closed, but Nicole Rucker has made it up with Fat & Flour, a pie-focused shop in Grand Central Market. She’s gotten a good pre-order and pick up system going since COVID and is doing the same for Thanksgiving pick ups. Order pies and biscuits via Tock for a reserved pick up time on Wednesday 11.25.


I mean, as if you need an excuse to go to Tartine. But all the locations (SF and LA) are doing pre-orders for pick up Monday through Wednesday. Whether you’re here for a classic pie or to add a beautiful Tartine loaf to your Thanksgiving loaf, pre-order early before they sell out.


A staple to the LA sweets scene, Sweet Lady Jane has a full line up of holiday pies, cakes, tarts and more available for pre-order 48 hours ahead and pick up any day up until the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.


No surprises here, Winston has a selection of fall pies ready for any Thanksgiving table. Pre-orders are available via Tock, with pick up from 11.24 – 11.26. As an added bonus, they do delivery and ship nationwide.


Another LA classic coming at you with a special selection of Thanksgiving pies. Pre-order by Monday 11.23 for pick up from Monday – Wednesday.

Anyways, here’s my family’s 2020 Thanksgiving Menu 

Happy holidays, everyone. Stay safe out there!

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