While cooking an entire Thanksgiving meal normally results in delicious food, it also can be very tedious and time-consuming.
For those who are thinking of taking a break from the kitchen in 2021, there are several restaurants that will be open on Thanksgiving Day. Many are offering a special holiday menu — and even offer entire meals customers can carry out to enjoy with friends and family at home.
As many advise, it’s smart to call ahead and confirm with any restaurant that they will, in fact, be open on Thanksgiving Day, confirm hours and make reservations, if required.
FILE - A cooked turkey in a roasting pan with a meat thermometer is pictured in a file image during the preparation of a Thanksgiving holiday meal in San Ramon, California, on Nov. 23, 2019. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)
Restaurants open on Thanksgiving 2021
Applebee’s: Select locations of the restaurant chain will be open on Thanksgiving Day, the company confirmed to FOX Television Stations. Hours may be reduced, and customers are advised to contact their local restaurant to confirm.
Bob Evans: The homestyle restaurant chain is open every Thanksgiving and offers special holiday meals for dine-in, delivery or curbside pickup.
Boston Market: The fast-casual restaurant chain will be open on Thanksgiving Day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time, a spokesperson told FOX Television Stations. Boston Market offers a special Thanksgiving menu, including complete meals, entrees, holiday sides and whole pies.
Buca di Beppo: The Italian restaurant offering family-style dining serves a Thanksgiving feast, including turkey, mashed potatoes, spicy Italian sausage stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.
Burger King: Select locations of the fast-food chain will be open on Thanksgiving. Customers should confirm hours for their nearest Burger King online, a spokesperson said.
Cracker Barrel: The restaurant chain offering comfort food and gifts serves a traditional Thanksgiving meal starting at 11 a.m. and also has a "heat ‘n’ serve" Thanksgiving meal available for carryout.
IHOP: The pancake house restaurant chain will be open on Thanksgiving Day, a spokesperson confirmed to FOX Television Stations. But diners should check with their local IHOP as hours will vary by location.
McDonald’s: Most of the fast-food chain’s locations are open on holidays but a spokesperson said hours vary.
Romano’s Macaroni Grill: The Italian American restaurant chain offers a traditional Thanksgiving Day three-course menu, a special Thanksgiving kids menu, as well as a meal to-go that must be pre-ordered.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House: The steakhouse chain offers a Thanksgiving Day meal that includes roasted turkey breast, sausage and herb stuffing and cranberry relish. It also sells meals and sides to go.
Starbucks: Some of the coffee giant’s locations are open on Thanksgiving but store hours vary by location. A spokesperson said Starbucks stores may also occasionally adjust their hours based on business and customer needs.
Waffle House: The restaurant chain with many locations across the South is traditionally open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, including all holidays. But a spokesperson told FOX Television Stations that "a few of our locations currently operate on a less than 24-hour basis" due to the pandemic’s impact on business and strongly encouraged customers to call ahead.
Retail stores open, closed on Thanksgiving Day 2021
Over the past decade, many retail chains have expanded Black Friday hours earlier and earlier — sometimes into the previous Thanksgiving Day — to get a head start on the competition. But in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to the tradition.
This year, it appears the decision to shutter on Thanksgiving Day may stick around. Many major retailers have announced that they’ll once again be shutting their doors on Thanksgiving Day 2021, offering employees a much-deserved day off while hosting online sales instead.
Retailers such as Target and Walmart are included in this category, noting how well they were able to adapt last year to faster shipping methods for online orders. Other stores that will be closed on Thanksgiving Day are Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Costco, Kohl’s and Simon Property Group, which is the largest owner of shopping malls in the U.S.
On the other hand, some major retailers like CVS, Walgreens, Big Lots, Kroger and Whole Foods Market are likely to be open on Thanksgiving Day, according to RetailMeNot, a coupon website. However, shoppers should call ahead and confirm specific hours with their local store.
This story was reported from Cincinnati.