Maybe the idea of cooking a full Thanksgiving dinner sounds exhausting. Maybe there are only two of you coming to dinner. Maybe Aunt Katherine made a turkey but it was a disaster, or the dogs got to it a la "Christmas Story."
Don't worry. These restaurants will do the work for you:
9 E. Wilson St., 255-0165
Capitol ChopHouse is open most holidays because of its location inside the Hilton just off of the Capitol Square. This year's Thanksgiving brunch is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
A large buffet will include breakfast items, including an omelet station and waffles, several salads, a "seafood display" with shrimp, tuna, king crab and oysters, three carving stations with turkey, prime rib and ham, a few sauté stations, side dishes, desserts and a kids' buffet.
Assistant hotel manager David Buss said that though the $38 all-you-can-eat meal sold out earlier this month, some people do cancel.
"We do take walk-ins," Buss said, though those are often reserved for hotel guests. Bar seating on Thanksgiving will be first come, first serve.
514 E. Wilson St., 255-4674
Reservations are highly recommended for Thanksgiving at the Essen Haus, where the menu includes traditional dishes from roast turkey and dressing to yams, dinner rolls and cranberries.
Cost for dinner is $19.95 for adults, $6.95 for children 6-10 and free for kids younger than five. Dinner will be served from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Visit essen-haus.com/special-events/thanksgiving for a full menu.
The Great Dane
All four Madison-area locations of The Great Dane are offering Thanksgiving meals this year.
According to Ralph Paoli, service manager at the downtown location, dinner includes sliced turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and one free plate refill (you can go back for seconds). Dessert is pumpkin pie.
Drinks and tip are not included in the base price of $13.95 for adults, $8.95 for kids. Both the Fitchburg and Hilldale locations will serve the meal as a buffet. Fitchburg, downtown and Hilldale also plan to offer a limited late night menu of burgers and appetizers through 2 a.m.
Visit greatdanepub.com for hours and more details.
5510 University Ave., 238-7111
The west side Morrocan restaurant on University Avenue will serve a full menu on the evening of Thanksgiving, 4-10 p.m. In addition to the regular menu, "we're going to have turkey specials — turkey kebabs and couscous and turkey terrines," said owner Yussef Amraoui.
The Old Feed Mill
14 Cramer St., Mazomanie, 795-4909
Anchored by three major meat dishes — oven-roasted turkey, bourbon-smoked pork with onion marmalade and a classic pot roast — Thanksgiving at the Old Feed Mill features traditional dishes and a few contemporary additions.
There will be classic bread stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes and gravy, orange cranberry relish and pumpkin and apple pies, as well as citrus kale slaw, mushroom strudel and "The Mill’s Famous Bread Pudding."
Thanksgiving supper is served between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. The meal costs $18.99 for adults, $16.99 for seniors and $8.99 for children younger than 12. Beverages and tip are not included. Visit oldfeedmill.com for a full menu.
Samba Brazilian Grill
240 West Gilman St., 257-1111
The downtown house of meat on a stick will be open on Thanksgiving Day from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. The restaurant will serve "a feast of grilled turkey and all the trimmings," five additional meats, pineapple and a full salad bar for $29.95 per person. Check sambabraziliangrill.com for details.
Wilson's Bar and Grill
2144 Atwood Ave., 241-2226
Traditionally, this near east side bar has called Thanksgiving "customer appreciation day" and offered up a full dinner for free. The bar will be open normal hours (11 a.m.-bar time) on the holiday.
Note: The Avenue Bar will be closed on Thanksgiving. According to Kevin Henry at the restaurant group, the Avenue was open for the holiday the past several years but will not be this year.
"The Avenue will continue to be open on Christmas," he wrote in an email. "That is a long-standing tradition at the Avenue Bar going back many years.
"We understand how difficult it is on our employees and their families if we are open on both Thanksgiving and Christmas, so we decided to not be open on Thanksgiving."
Did we miss a restaurant that's open on Thanksgiving? Let us know in the comments.