This is the time of year when food websites will tell you how to make a pie with local flour that you’ve ground by hand and a pumpkin grown in your own backyard. It’s easy; it only takes three years!
Personally, I’ve never understood the pressure to have homemade everything for Thanksgiving. It’s not as if the holidays don’t come with enough stress baked in. If you’re hosting, you’re expected to clean up both before and after the hungry hordes come in, while somehow preventing a 20-pound roast turkey from drying out in your oven. If you’re a guest somewhere else, you likely have a long drive or even a plane ride, not to mention the white-knuckled willpower it takes to avoid making snarky political jabs during the apps course.
Why, to paraphrase Canadian songstress Avril Lavigne, would you have to go and make things so complicated?
In the spirit of keeping things simple, the following Baltimore-area restaurants, grocery stores and catering companies will prepare your feast so you can focus on what really matters: eating your weight in potatoes. Trust me when I say that some things, like properly cooking a turkey, are best left to the professionals.
Local fast-casual, farm-to-table chain Atwater’s is always there when you’re craving tasty, healthy-ish fare and homey pastries, and the holidays are no exception. Order a full turkey feast ($110-$250) — complete with sauerkraut, because Baltimore — or pick and choose from their selection of a la carte pies, sides and more.
815 Frederick Road in Catonsville and four other locations
No dry turkeys here. For a chef-driven Thanksgiving dinner, look no further than David and Tonya Thomas’ H3irloom Food Group, based in Northeast Baltimore. You can order a full family feast for $170 or pick and choose from an a la carte menu, which includes items like spatchcocked bird (with your choice of seasoning), cornbread and turkey sausage stuffing, spiced apple cider pound cake and much more to make your mouth water.
3425 Sinclair Lane in Baltimore
I want everything on the Thanksgiving preorder menu from Heritage Smokehouse on York Road, which offers some of my favorite barbecue in the area. Whole smoked turkey? Check. Smoked ham and kielbasa? Check, check. Three-quart pans of corn pudding, macaroni and cheese or “Jen’s Grammy’s Sausage Stuffing” ($54)? Please, just take my credit card.
5800 York Road in Baltimore
Richardson Farms has been my source for Thanksgiving Day fare for a few years now. The White Marsh shop is a great source for affordable, farm-fresh dishes, and judging from the lines on pickup day, I’m not alone in that sentiment. Get a complete dinner for eight with sliced roast turkey for $129.99, or just get the sides and pies.
5900 Ebenezer Road in White Marsh
Chef Jesse Sandlin’s Highlandtown restaurant has your sides ($25) and pies ($20) covered, with options like oyster stuffing, braised collard greens, sweet potato casserole or pumpkin pie with brown sugar whipped cream. Don’t forget to add on a pint of bourbon ice cream ($10) to, you know, reward yourself for not bringing up the 2024 presidential elections during dinner.
3531 Gough St. in Baltimore
Chef Damian Mosley’s Remington eatery has formed a cult following through the years for his biscuit sandwiches, which attract huge queues at local farmers markets. Just imagine how delicious his Thanksgiving spread will be. Pick up a 32-ounce cider-braised turkey ($45), sides like brisket cornbread stuffing ($36) and your choice of buttermilk or sweet potato biscuits ($18 for six).
401 W. 29th St. in Baltimore
The menu at Bolton Hill’s elegant Tilted Row restaurant includes turkey, sides and pumpkin roulade. Order takeout for one person ($42), two ($79) or four ($149).
305 McMechen St.in Baltimore
Turkey Day gets a British twist at Roland Park favorite Corner Pantry. An a la carte menu includes appetizers, raw or roasted turkeys, stuffing and a range of gluten-free pies designed to please a crowd.
6080 Falls Road in Baltimore
Just need to bring a side but want to look like you made it yourself? Check out Towson’s Gundalow Gourmet, which has sweet potato casseroles, salads and other autumnal dishes that you can easily pass off as homemade. Remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it.
820 Kenilworth Drive in Towson