The fireplace is always a nice winter touch at the Jolly Pumpkin.

The fireplace is always a nice winter touch at the Jolly Pumpkin -- and they're open on T-Day!


Not so many years ago, finding yourself in Traverse City on Thanksgiving wasn’t  always something to feel thankful about.  In fact, it could be downright lonesome. Unless you were visiting family or staying in one of the larger resorts, it was difficult to find a restaurant – any restaurant -- that was open on Thanksgiving Day.

In a way, this was part of our small-town charm; restaurant workers got to take the holiday off so they could be home with their families enjoying their own dinners. But it wasn’t so charming for the unwary winter visitors who came Up North looking for a special home-style Thanksgiving and ended up in the motel room with a Big Mac and fries.

Fortunately, those times are behind us now. This is a Foodie Town, people, and there are lots of great restaurants open on Thursday, with everything from traditional turkey-and-stuffing meals to table-creaking buffets. Here’s our list of places where you can enjoy a Thanksgiving meal, as well as the names of a few that will definitelyl be closed. It’s probably not complete -- in, fact, I'm sure it's not -- so please feel free to add to it by using the comments box!

And have a Happy Thanksgiving, OK?

Or you could just go out and find one of these guys...

Or you could just go out and find one of these guys...

Minerva's- Open 11am-4pm (last seating at 3:30pm) Traditional Thanksgiving Buffet Adults-$18.95, kids 4-12 yrs. $8.95, 3 yrs. & under are free, Call for reservations: 231- 946-5093

West Bay Beach a Holiday Inn Resort- Open 11am-5pm, Buffet includes a carving station, Roast Turkey & Leg of Lamb. Adults-$24.95, Seniors-$21.95, kids 4-12yrs- $12.95, 3 yrs. & under are free.  Reservations are recommended. 231-421-2134.

Great Wolf Lodge-Open 12pm-8pm, Traditional Turkey Buffet; includes chef carved Prime Rib, Ham & a chocolate fountain. Adults-$28.99, 11-15 yrs.-$15.99, 4-10 yrs. $8.99, 3yrs. & under are free. Call for reservations: (231) 941-3600

Cottage Café- Open 7am-9pm, Traditional Thanksgiving Buffet served noon-7pm, Adults-$15.99, kids 4-10 yrs. & under-$8.50.  Reservations for large parties are recommended, call (231) 947-9261

Firefly- Open 1pm-5pm Grand Buffet and carving station, Adults-$24.95, kids 4-10 yrs-$11.95, 3 yrs. & under are free.  Reservations recommended. Call (231) 932-1310

Reflect Bistro at the Cambria Suites Hotel is doing a traditionalThanksgiving Dinner for the second year in a row under chef Scott Neumann from noon until 8 p.m.. $24 for adults, children 12 and under $14, Children under 5 complimentary! (231) 778-9000

Grand Traverse Resort & Spa-Aerie-Open 11am-6pm, Traditional Buffet including choice of Smoked Salmon, Ham & Turkey breast.  Adults-$29.95, kids-5-11yrs. $14.95, 4 yrs. & are free.  Reservations are highly recommended. Call (231) 534-6800

Shanty Creek Resorts-Lakeview Restaurant-Open 11am-3pm. Adults-$26, seniors- $24, kids 9-12 yrs.-$12, kids 5-8yrs. $10,  4 yrs. & under are free. Reservations are recommended (231)-533-3070. Or, Thanksgiving Turkey To Go: Full order (serves 10-12 people) $145, Half order (serves 5-6 people) $125 Call (231) 533-7085 to order. Orders will be accepted through Tues. Nov. 26 at 2pm.

Bluebird Restaurant- Open noon-6pm. Traditional plated dinners with choice of Turkey or Prime Rib. Adults-$20, kids 12yrs. & under $8.95. Reservations are recommended (231) 256-9081

Maddy's Tavern -Open 1pm-5pm, Adults-$17.95, kids 12-6yrs- $9.95, 5yrs. & under are free.  Reservations are recommended (231) 276-6244.

The Jolly Pumpkin- Open 11am-3pm. Traditional buffet, Adults-$21.95, kids 6-12yrs-$12.95, 5 yrs. & under are free. (Mission Table is closed for the season). Reservations are recommended. Call: (231) 223-4333.

The Boathouse-Open 2pm-6pm. Serving plated dinner with your choice of Turkey or Duck, and additional selections are available from the regular menu. Kids menu available.    Reservations are highly recommended. Call: (231) 223-4030.

Cracker Barrel- Open at 6am for breakfast. Serving a traditional Thanksgiving plated dinner at 11am. Adults- $9.99.  Or, order Thanksgiving Dinner To Go: Serve a family of six for $54.99! Purchase holiday pies for $8.49. Call in advance (231) 933-9244). *Open at 3am on Black Friday!

Phil’s on Front- Open noon-8pm. Serving a traditional Thanksgiving plated dinner along with additional selections from the regular menu. Prices TBD. Reservations are highly recommended (231) 929-1710.

Copper Falls- Black Star Wine Dinner-Open noon -6pm (last seating). Serving a traditional Thanksgiving plated dinner with choice of; Turkey, Ham, Prime Rib or sautéed White Fish. Adults-$21. No kids menu or special pricing. Space is limited. Reservations are highly recommended (231) 943-1103.

Bob Evans-Open at 7am for breakfast. Serving a traditional Thanksgiving plated dinner from 10:30am-2pm. Adults-$12.99, kids 12 yrs. & under $3.99. Or, order the Farmhouse Feast To Go: Family of four- $49.95, family of eight - $79.95.  You must call 24 hours in advance for take out orders. (231) 938-1005.

The following restaurants will be closed on Thanksgiving Day: Old Mission Tavern--North Peak--Tuscan Bistro--Red Ginger--Harrington’s--Trattoria Stella --Martha’s Leelanau Table--Schelde’s--Olive Garden