Take the stress out of this Thanksgiving holiday by making reservations at one of these locally owned and operated restaurants. Each has something a little different to offer, but you’ll always find the traditional turkey taking a starring role along with numerous other choices for your holiday feast. Whether you prefer a sit-down meal or an all-you-can-eat buffet, these Charlotte’s restaurants will welcome you as part of the family. Note that reservations are essential to ensure your spot at the table.
Big Ben Pub
2000 South Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28203
The Pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving were Englishmen (and women) and the feast served at Big Ben is one they would find familiar. Heaping helpings of roast turkey, roast beef or roast lamb come with all the traditional British trimmings including Yorkshire pudding. This classic pub in South End’s Atherton Mill also serves its regular menu from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., with everything from fish and chips to steak and mushroom pie available. Save room for some sticky toffee pudding or sherry trifle to finish the meal Pilgrim-style.
Bistro La Bon
1322 Central Ave.
Charlotte, NC 28205
Charlotte’s favorite spot for Sunday brunch in Plaza-Midwood offers one of its signature smorgasbords for Thanksgiving from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The buffet will be piled with roast meats, prime rib, turkey and oven-roasted salmon, along with many sides, including roasted vegetables, salads, mac-n-cheese and potato gratin. Don’t miss the traditional Swedish meatballs served with lingonberry jam and the house-made pastries, pies and breads, all the creations of owner/chef Majid Amoorpour, a culinarian with an extensive and impressive resume.
The Liberty Gastropub
1812 South Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28203
Tom Condron, one of the city’s best and most creative chefs, draws upon his British heritage in designing a three-course holiday menu full of locally sourced meats and produce. The Thanksgiving menu, served from 11 a.m to 4 p.m., includes your choice of beef, turkey, pork or wild salmon entrée, accompanied by heirloom veggies and a range of appetizers. For dessert, it’s all you can eat at the Liberty’s famous “endless” holiday dessert buffet. Choices range from a classic pumpkin pie to a Southern-style banana pudding to a British lemon curd and strawberries, plus much more.
Red Rocks Café
Strawberry Hill Shopping Center
4223-B Providence Road
Charlotte, NC 28211
Red Rocks, a Charlotte favorite with a long track record, offers a traditional Thanksgiving Day buffet from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Choices on the all-you-can-eat buffet include roast turkey, salmon, beef sirloin, pork loin and fried chicken, plus a wide array of vegetables, salads, fresh-baked breads and desserts. Owners John Love and Ron Herbert established their restaurant in 1992, with an emphasis on familiar American flavors, and Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday. A second Red Rocks location in Huntersville’s Birkdale Village also serves a bountiful buffet on Thanksgiving.
4707 South Blvd.
Charlotte NC 28217
Serving since 1987, Villa Antonio’s South Boulevard location offers Thanksgiving dinner each year for its many loyal fans. Both its regular menu of Italian favorites and a special holiday menu are served from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. The four-course Thanksgiving menu includes a choice of soup, such as lobster and brie bisque, a choice of salad and either a turkey or ham entrée paired with a generous helping of sides, including traditional stuffing and whipped potatoes with wild mushroom gravy. For dessert, choose between pumpkin or pecan pie, chocolate cake or the Villa’s signature tiramisu.
12101 Lancaster Highway
Pineville, NC 28134
Charlotte’s foremost German restaurant offers a Thanksgiving brunch buffet with an international twist from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The holiday menu includes all the breakfast and German items normally found on Waldhorn’s Sunday buffet, including made-to-order omelets, French toast, a roast beef carving station, bratwurst, sauerkraut, sauerbraten, spätzle, pork roast with red cabbage and seafood with rice. To these are added seasonal specialties such as roast turkey with cranberry sauce and stuffing, sweet potato casserole and pumpkin soup. The buffet comes with breads and a selection of German desserts, including apple strudel and Black Forest cake, all created at the in-house bakery.
With 15 years of experience covering restaurants in Charlotte and the Carolinas, and two regional guidebooks under her belt, Renee Wright examines the dining scene with enthusiasm plus a deep knowledge of food trends and outstanding local eating ops. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.