There’s no better place to spend Thanksgiving than in Annapolis, Maryland. We’ve known this to be true for many years, but even national news sources will back us up on this one: Last year, Annapolis was named one of the 30 perfect alternative holiday getaways by U.S. News, who cited our town’s “striking coastal scenery,” “delicious blue crabs and crisp autumn air” among the reasons why it deserves the title. And we couldn’t agree more.
Whether you’re an Annapolis local or someone who stumbled upon that article and thought, “Hey! I should really check that place out!” then 1.) Welcome! and 2.) Here’s an almost-exhaustive list of the premier Annapolis restaurants serving up Thanksgiving dinner, as well as a few ideas for things-to-do on your autumn Annapolis vacation (or stay-cation).
P.S.: Consider donating to the Annapolis Police Department’s Thanksgiving Food Drive while you’re here. Donated items will go to local families and school food pantries.
Where to eat
Baroak – Whether you’re traveling for Thanksgiving and lodging in the Loews Annapolis Hotel or simply searching for a relaxed holiday dinner, the hotel’s Baroak restaurant continues to make Thanksgivings memorable every year.
Blackwall Hitch – The Thanksgiving buffet at this Sixth Street restaurant includes both a hot carving station and a seafood station, along with salads, accompaniments, and desserts. The buffet is $38 for adults and $19 for those 13 and under, and will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Carrol’s Creek – Located on Severn Avenue waterfront, Carrol’s Creek offers a holiday buffet featuring turkey, ham, leg of lamb, roast beef, and an abundance of other traditional Thanksgiving entrees and sides. Adults $35.95, kids under 10 $18.95, with two-hour seating between 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Chart House – Order a traditional turkey dinner with all the gravy and stuffing your heart desires, or ditch the Thanksgiving fare and opt for seafood or steak at the Chart House, open from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant – It’s not Thanksgiving, it’s Friendsgiving, and this event actually takes place on Nov. 13 from 7 – 9 p.m. Friends can come together to try inventive spins on their favorite Thanksgiving dishes, made to complement Cooper’s wines. Tickets are $65 and must be purchased two days prior to the event.
Les Folies Brasserie – Dine at this French restaurant on Riva Road on Thanksgiving and enjoy pumpkin soup, turkey with dressing and condiments, pumpkin pie, and pecan pie, all priced a la carte. Their regular dinner menu will be available, too.
Osteria 77 – Go traditional or get a little experimental this Thanksgiving at the Italian coastal cuisine restaurant on Main Street. Feast fare includes turkey, lamb chops, veal, pasta, lobster, and more, and a kids menu will be available, too. Osteria 77 will be open from 12 to 9 p.m.
Pusser’s Caribbean Grille – Pusser’s serves up fresh Caribean cuisine and a delicious Thanksgiving dinner every year in Annapolis’ Ego Alley.
Ram’s Head Tavern – Your favorite music venue doubles as your favorite holiday restaurant on Thanksgiving, when a three-course feast is served between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The prix fixe menu includes slow-roasted turkey and traditional sides, and pumpkin spiced cheesecake or pecan pie for dessert, and costs $27.95 for adults, $12.95 for kids 10 and under. A non-fixed price menu is available, too.
Ruth’s Chris – Enjoy a traditional three-course Thanksgiving meal that begins with a soup or starter, peaks with a hand-carved, oven-roasted turkey with sausage and herb stuffing and choice of side, and ends deliciously with dessert, all for $39.95.
Sam’s on the Waterfront – Sam’s Thanksgiving dinner consists of three courses, which in the past have consisted of entree choices including roasted and brined turkey (local organic, too), filet mignon, duck breast, ham dusted with orange, and organic salmon.
Severn Inn -If you’re looking for a more elevated Thanksgiving buffet, you’ll find it at the Severn Inn, overlooking the Naval Academy on Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard. Soups, salads, a raw bar, appetizers, and dinner options including roasted turkey, crab cakes, prime rib, and salmon make up the menu. An adult meal runs $72.95, $26.95 for kids 5 – 12, with three seatings at 12, 2:45 and 5 p.m.
Treaty of Paris – Spend your holiday in an Annapolis landmark that dates back to the 18th century. Their buffet includes soups of the day, smoked salmon and oyster displays, eggs, waffles, honey-baked ham, turkey, all kinds of sides, and dessert. Adults pay $32, $11.95 for kids 12 and under, with seating at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
(If you’re looking for somewhere a little more casual this time around, fear not — chains like Bob Evans, Boston Market, Cracker Barrel, IHOP, Sizzler, and TGI Friday’s are often open on Thanksgiving in Annapolis, too. Just call ahead before driving out to be sure.)
What to do
If you’re spending your Thanksgiving in Annapolis, our first recommendation is that you absolutely not pass up a drive through Lights on the Bay. This year, the 24th annual lights show will light up the Chesapeake every night between Nov. 17 – Jan. 1, and the lights only get more spectacular with each passing year. It’s festive, it benefits the SPCA, and Santa even makes an appearance on Christmas day — plus, maybe most importantly, the spectacle can be enjoyed from the warmth of your car. It’s a win-win-win-win!
There are more lights to be found down the street in Davidsonville, where Homestead Gardens’ Grand Illumination will kick off the season with their annual tree lighting ceremony on Nov. 17. Warm drinks, chugging trains, and lit-up Christmas trees will abound, because what’s Thanksgiving without a Christmas celebration?
Two days before Thanksgiving, keep the kids entertained at Historic Annapolis’ “Mr. Paca’s Backyard Preschool Program” at the William Paca House & Garden. Through a reading of the book “Thanksgiving Is Here!” by Diane Goode, they’ll learn all about why we celebrate the holiday and what the pilgrims ate at the first Thanksgiving feast.
Of course, you don’t have to pencil any special events into your calendar to take in all the autumnal beauty and festive fun of Annapolis in Thanksgiving-time. Enjoy a home-cooked meal with your family (and whip out this recipe from our contributor Karen!), or let your favorite restauranteurs do the cooking for you; hit up all the holiday events in town, or take a stroll downtown and play the rest by ear.
Either way, we hope your holiday is the absolute best. Happy Thanksgiving from our Annapolis family to yours!
(Oh, and if you’re spending your holiday across the bridge in Ocean City, there’s a guide for that, too.)