GTPulse Weekend Planner: Talking Turkey – Northern Michigan Restaurants Offer Thanksgiving To-Go

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When it comes to American holidays, Christmas is king. In fact, according to the market research company Harris Insight & Analytics, when asked to choose their favorite holiday, 46% of Americans surveyed chose Christmas. It seems like every other American holiday is fighting for recognition in the shadow of Christmas. In recent years, Halloween has increased in popularity, firmly earning the number two spot when it comes to retail spending. Still, for approximately 19% of Americans, Thanksgiving earns the top holiday spot.

My good friend Bekah is among the 19%.

“It’s all about the simplicity,” she tells me. “There are no presents to wrap, no cards to send. You just gather with your favorite people, watch the Lions game, have some drinks and stuff your face. What’s not to love about that?”

Even the simplest holiday seems a bit more complicated this year. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench into the plans of Americans across the country. For some, traditional Thanksgiving gatherings will be smaller this year, which begs the question: is it worth it to cook for fewer people, or, look to a local restaurant for help?

Local restaurants who were just beginning to recover after previous closures, are now relying on curbside and to-go orders to sustain them during the current Michigan Department of Health and Human Services mandate, which eliminates dine-in services at restaurants.

To guide those looking for a Thanksgiving without the preparation, cooking or clean-up—or, for those who just want to support local restaurants—GTPulse has gathered information about a few of the local restaurants offering hassle free holiday dinners you can enjoy to-go.

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Aerie inside the Grand Traverse Resort in Acme invites you to indulge in an expertly prepared traditional Thanksgiving feast that includes a chop salad, homemade rolls, roasted Dearborn ham, smoke Michigan turkey breast, cranberry orange relish, sage and apple stuffing, garlic and sour cream mashed potatoes, balsamic and bacon roasted brussel sprouts and your choice between a homemade pumpkin pie or salted caramel apple streusel pie.

$119 (serves four)

Place your order by noon on November 24.

SUGAR 2 SALT at the Grand Traverse Commons is offering a delicious holiday dinner package for 4 featuring local ingredients. The meal includes a brined ad sous vide turkey breast, turkey leg confit, rosemary and shallot turkey sausage links, focaccia stuffing, mashed sweet potato, root vegetables with butternut squash hash, roasted garlic and sage gravy, cranberry sauce, a hoop house green salad, bread with ginger pear jam and whipped honey butter and can apple pumpkin crisp with caramel and chestnut cream.

To reserve your $140 dinner package, call 231-492-4616 or email

Taste of India inside the Grand Traverse Mall is offering a nontraditional Thanksgiving feast featuring Indian cuisine. The menu includes butter chicken, chicken tikka masala, chicken curry, tandoori chicken, aloo gobi, chana masala, basmati rice, naan and samosa. You can order your Indian feast by calling 929-346-2210

The Kitchen in Traverse City is well known for their “good food to-go” concept. This year, they’re offering three options for your Thanksgiving feast.

A single meal for $10.95 includes roasted turkey, sausage and sage stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy and cranberry sauce.

A basic Thanksgiving meal that feeds six and it costs $79.95. It includes roasted turkey, sausage and sage stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy and cranberry sauce.

And, a Thanksgiving feast for six is $129.95. It features roasted turkey, sausage and sage stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, candied yams, cranberry sauce, a dozen rolls with butter and a homemade pumpkin pie.

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Shanty Creek Resort in Bellaire is offering a complete Thanksgiving meal with your choice between a roasted turkey or honey glazed ham for $195. The meal serves 10-12 people and includes sage dressing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and giblet gravy, candied yams, orange cranberry relish, fresh garden salad, rolls with butter and your choice of two pies.

Orders will be accepted until Tuesday, November 24 at 2 p.m.

The Boathouse on Old Mission Peninsula is offering a Thanksgiving meal sure to delight with two options to choose from.

Thanksgiving for 2 will cost you $99 and includes 1/2 Otto’s organic turkey, apple-walnut stuffing, buttermilk mashed potatoes with roasted turkey gravy, cranberry-orange sauce, morel mushroom green bean casserole, pumpkin pie and a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau holiday wine. Add 2 lbs of baked ham for an additional $25.

Thanksgiving for four is $179 and includes a whole Otto’s organic turkey, apple-walnut stuffing, buttermilk mashed potatoes with roasted turkey gravy, cranberry-orange sauce, morel mushroom green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau Holiday Wine, and a bottle of St. Hilaire Champagne. Add 2lbs of baked ham for an additional $25.  The Boathouse will be taking orders daily starting at 11 a.m. Call 231-223-4030

The Farm Club on South Lake Leelanau Drive in Traverse City has quickly become a favorite for diners. Their Thanksgiving pre-order a la carte menu includes everything you need for your Thanksgiving feast besides the turkey. With mashed potatoes, stuffing, wild rice and kale salad, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted root vegetables with lemon caper mayo, cranberry relish, and an apple pie kit, you can cook the turkey at home and let Farm Club bring the sides.

The V.I. Grill in Suttons Bay has Thanksgiving to-go options for two at $55 or four at $99.  It includes herb roasted Michigan turkey with compound butter and thyme pan gravy, baked ham with honey glaze, a tossed green salad with pumpkin vinaigrette, whipped Asiago mashed potatoes, roasted garlic brussel sprouts, sage stuffing, candied sweet potatoes, sweet cranberry sauce, rolls with whipped honey butter and a whole Chimoski pumpkin pie. All orders must be received online by 3 p.m. on Wednesday, November 25 for pick up on Thanksgiving day.

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FireFly on Cass Street in Traverse City is offering a traditional Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving in addition to their regular menu. They will remain open from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and offer to-go options of delivery.

Smoke & Porter Public House in Traverse City is offering an a la carte menu for patrons to pick and choose their perfect holiday meal. Options include a whole chicken, 1/2 turkey, or whole turkey. Side dishes are also available and feed four. A family dinner for four, which includes turkey, bread, sweet potatoes, green beans, roasted potatoes and gravy can be purchased for $100. Call 231- 642-5020 to order and schedule pick-up.

The Dish Cafe in Downtown Traverse City is offering a heat at home Thanksgiving Dinner with options to feed two at $65, four at $125, or six at $185. The meal includes turkey breast roulade, sage focaccia stuffing, 3-potato gratin, fresh green bean casserole, stuffed acorn squash, cranberry—apple compote, green salad, homemade gravy, dinner rolls and pumpkin pecan bars. Patrons can pre-order by Monday, November 23 and pick up on Wednesday, or arrange for delivery.

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