By Hannah George By Hannah George | November 7, 2023 | Events Calendar Food & Drink Feature Eat Hotel Resto Drink Features Culture Featured Food & Drink Feature Events Holiday Community Apple News Guide City Life Restaurants Guides
Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Here are the 12 best restaurants in O.C. to dine out at this holiday.
Enjoy Thanksgiving at Water Grill in Costa Mesa. PHOTO COURTESY OF BRAND
This Thanksgiving, head to South Coast Plaza for a classic, three-course dinner at Water Grill featuring fan favorites such as roasted Diestel Family Ranch turkey, sourdough apple-celery stuffing and Yukon gold mashed potatoes. Be sure to leave room for a delicious slice of pumpkin cheesecake or caramel bread pudding. For reservations, click here.
A look at The Mayor's Table Pacific Pub and Kitchen at Lido House; PHOTO COURTESY OF BRAND
Enjoy an incredible Thanksgiving meal by chef-partner Riley Huddleston that will rival the homemade version. Ease the stress of cooking with a spread from The Mayor’s Table Pacific Pub and Kitchen, which includes soul-warming appetizers such as Not Your Grandmother’s Ambrosia with farmer’s cheese and pomegranate or persimmon served three ways. The main event highlights whey-brined heritage turkey with black truffle gravy and flat iron steak with 72-hour steak sauce. Finish the evening with apple tarte tatin and heirloom pumpkin pie. Reservations can be made here.
Have Thanksgiving in the comfort of your own home—without the hassle of spending all day in the kitchen. Vaca is offering generous take-home meals with robust flavor by Top Chef star Amar Santana, including modern takes on the classics such as cream of forest mushroom soup with chestnut creme fraiche, Mary’s whole-roasted, all-natural chicken, orange-scented cranberry sauce, sausage cornbread stuffing, bourbon maple-glazed yams with candied pistachios, and many more soon-to-be favoritesthis holiday season. For online orders, click here.
Waterfront views await at Laguna Cliffs Mariott Resort & Spa. PHOTO COURTESY OF BRAND
Spend Thanksgiving seaside at Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa, where your meal is served with panoramic views of the Pacific and the Dana Point Harbor. The Restaurant at Laguna Cliffs will host a bountiful buffet featuring fresh seafood and carving stations plus savory sides including pan-seared garlic and herb potatoes, sweet potato hash and turkey sausage stuffing. Looking to catch a little bit of America’s favorite game? Head to the OverVue Lounge to watch football and dine all evening long. To make a reservation, call 949.661.5000.
Newport Harbor’s waterfront gem—Balboa Bay Resort—is the perfect spot to gather for Thanksgiving with family and friends. Served in the seaside Lighthouse room, this year’s Thanksgiving buffet is nothing short of extravagant. Curated by executive chef Prabeen Prathapan, the menu include a charcuterie station, apple bourbon-glazed ham, sage-rubbed ribeye, garlic and green herb-crusted rack of lamb and all the holiday classics you know and love. Trust us—you’ll go back for seconds! For reservations, click here.
Enjoy New Zealand lamb chops at Las Brisas this Thanksgiving. PHOTO COURTESY OF BRAND
Beginning at 11 a.m., Las Brisas—the coastal Californian eatery infused with Mexican flavor in Laguna Beach—is serving a three-course prix fixe Thanksgiving meal. To start, try the fresh corn mousse tostadita before fabulous first course plates of cured duck breast with black mission figs, red pumpkin soup or lobster salad. For the main course, choose from chile-rubbed turkey, butternut squash tamales, chile en nogada or New Zealand lamb chops. And for dessert, either sweet apple bread pudding or the classic pumpkin cheesecake promise a satisfy sugar rush. Make a reservation here.
At the acclaimed Montage Laguna Beach, treat your Thanksgiving guests to a ballroom brunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. or a four-course feast at The Loft from noon to 9 p.m. With coastal charm and impeccable views, The Loft offers food as stunning as the backdrop with exquisite, non-traditional plates of rich short-rib agnolotti with fontina fonduta, petrale sole with citrus sauce and "cacio e pepe" New York prime strip, a unique spin on the favorite holiday. Book a reservation here, or call 949.715.6420.
Take Thanksgiving afloat this year! City Cruises is offering two Turkey Day boat rides out of Newport Beach—either for brunch or dinner—for a wonderfully elegant experience on the water. The two-hour brunch cruise features a buffet of breakfast pastries, pasta, fresh salads, oven-roasted salmon and a dessert station plus unlimited mimosas and live entertainment. For the evening crowd, spend two-and-a-half hours drinking and dancing with an open bar and a buffet of handcarved turkey, delectable side dishes and a pre-selected dessert. For brunch cruise reservations, click here. For dinner cruise reservations, click here.
Executive chef Andrew Arndt is plating up Thanksgiving at VIEW restaurant & lounge from 3 to 10 p.m. Begin with kuri squash soup or a light harvest salad before choosing from black pepper and rosemary turkey, charred pineapple-glazed ham or grilled salmon with tarragon pudding. Complete the meal with a selection of seasonal pastries for a stress-free Thanksgiving. Book your reservation here.
AVEO Table + Bar at Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort will host Thanksgiving brunch and dinner on Thursday, Nov. 23. PHOTO COURTESY OF BRAND
This Dana Point property will host multiple Thanksgiving events at its myirad dining venues. In the morning on Thursday, Nov. 23, head to AVEO Table + Bar to enjoy a Thanksgiving brunch buffet from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Expect a made-to-order omelet station, roasted turkey carving station, a stunning seafood display and more. AVEO will also offer Thanksgiving dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Meanwhile, Bourbon Steak Orange County will provide an exquisite selection of a la carte specials from 3 to 9 p.m. Come hungry to indulge in seasonal soups and salads, roasted turkey, prime cuts and a decadent pumpkin pie. Book your reservations here.
A Thanksgiving feast awaits at Heirloom Farmhouse Kitchen at Marriott Irvine Spectrum. PHOTO COURTESY OF BRAND
Marriott Irvine Spectrum's signature restaurant will showcase a curated Thanksgiving buffet from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Fill your plate with butternut squash soup, samples from the cheese and bread station, garlic mashed potatoes, fresh salad and more. Make a reservation here.
Make it a true California holiday by dining just steps above the sand and rolling waves at Splashes at Surf & Sand Resort. From noon to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 23, the open-air restaurant will offer a curated menu highlighted by squash risotto, a honey-glazed Niman Ranch pork chop, Diestel Farms turkey with chorizo and chestnut stuffing, whipped potatoes, cranberry sauce and more. To finish, pumpkin tarts and apple crema catalana will be served. Reserve a table here.