Here are 9 great Thanksgiving dining options if you can't -- or don't want to -- eat at home

But make your reservations soon!
Here are 9 great Thanksgiving dining options
Here are 9 great Thanksgiving dining options
Here are 9 great Thanksgiving dining options
Posted at 7:00 AM, Nov 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-12 07:34:09-05

If you have to work this Thanksgiving, or perhaps you're just looking to break free from your kitchen, you can still find dining options for the holiday.

Many restaurants will be closed, and those that are open tend to fill up fast. Call as soon as possible to inquire about availability.

Here are 9 to consider:

1. Hall of Mirrors at Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza

Go posh and savor Thanksgiving in this historic and opulent hotel. The grand buffet is normally served at the fine-dining restaurant Orchids at Palm Court, but this year, to accommodate the waitlist, a second spread will be served at the Hall of Mirrors. Modeled after the Palace of Versailles, the Hall of Mirrors, with its sweeping 30-foot ceilings, makes for a majestic space. A mirror image of the buffet at Orchids will be set up just outside the ballroom in the foyer. Reservations are required.

Buffet seating: 10:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.; $72.95 per person, $54.95 for seniors, $19.95 for children ages 5-12, children under 5 free. 513.421.9100.

KungFood Chu's AmerAsia bar

2. KungFood Chu's AmerAsia

Power up with some "kung food" at this kitschy kung fu-themed Covington spot that Yahoo crowned the best Chinese restaurant in Kentucky in 2015. Menu favorites include "nunchuck chicken," "how fun noodles," and the spicy "dragon breath wontons." AmerAsia has an extensive craft beer list that exceeds 100 selections. No extra charge to enjoy the Jackie Chan posters and looping Godzilla and kung fu movies.

A la carte: 4 p.m.-9 p.m. 859.261.6121.

3. AC Hotel Cincinnati at The Banks -- Upper Deck Lounge

Cozy up with your friends and family in these rooftop "igloos" and experience breathtaking skyline views of Cincinnati. Four igloos -- each igloo seats eight -- will be available along with a fire pit at the center. Enjoy hors d'oeuvres and drinks from the rooftop bar. Since dinner is not on the menu, you might consider getting dinner elsewhere before chilling out here.

Igloo: $250 per igloo for 2 hours; $75 for each additional hour; includes choice of 4 hors d'oeuvres; rooftop bar drinks extra. 4 p.m.-11:30 p.m. 513.744.9900

4. Ruth's Chris Steak House at The Banks

Just down the street from the AC Hotel, this steakhouse is going hot turkey on Thanksgiving with its 3-course feast. The main course packs in oven-roasted turkey with sausage and herb stuffing, cranberry relish, and a choice of garlic mashed potatoes, creamed spinach or sweet potato casserole. A choice of soup or salad, and a sweet finish of pumpkin cheesecake or ice cream round off the feast.

A la carte or Thanksgiving prix fixe: $39.95 per person. Noon-8 p.m. 513-381-0491

The dessert display case at Brij Mohan Indian Sweets & Restaurant

5. Brij Mohan Indian Sweets & Restaurant

This low-key vegetarian restaurant in Sharonville specializes in northern Indian cuisine and house-made sweets. Look for street food like samosa chaat and luxurious dishes that include navrattan korma, malai kofta and shahi paneer. Then treat yourself to an impressive lineup of sweets such as gulab jamun, ras mali and peda -- bite-size pieces of soft milk fudge and pistachio nuts.

A la carte: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; 513.769.4549.

6. Coppin's at Hotel Covington

The local and artisanal focus at Coppin's adds a "homegrown" flavor to its extensive Thanksgiving buffet. Menu items like Tewes Farm's free-range turkey, artisanal cheeses and house-made jams typify that flavor. Other options include prime rib, shrimp, crab claws, country ham biscuit sliders, trimmings and a variety of salads. Have your pick of bourbon pecan pie, spiced sweet potato pie and maple cheesecake, just to name a few desserts.

Buffet: 10 a.m.-4:00 p.m.; $60 per person, $50 for seniors, $19 for children ages 5-12, children under 5 free. 859-905-6800.

7. Taqueria Mercado and Panaderia La Mexicana

Kick it up with your friends and family at this casual Fairfield Mexican restaurant. Dig into homestyle favorites such as tacos, tamales, and platos (entrees) of carne asada and chicken mole. While you're at it, swing by the panaderia (bakery) a few doors away and snag some treats like churros, tres leches cake and their seasonal pumpkin empanadas. Note: Taqueria Mercado downtown is closed for Thanksgiving.

Fairfield location only: A la carte, Taqueria Mercado: 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; 513.942.4943. Panaderia La Mexicana: 6 a.m.-9:30 p.m., 513.942.5065

8. The Summit, A Dolce Hotel

This hotel in Madisonville is offering a Thanksgiving buffet with a local touch. Organic free-range turkey and honey-glazed ham anchor the carving station, and a host of other menu items that include Sixteen Bricks breads, house-made butters and roasted Findlay Market root vegetables line up the buffet. The feast ends on a sweet note with pumpkin cheesecake, OPieO pumpkin and pecan pies, and other assorted mini desserts and cookies.

Buffet: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; $42 per person includes one specialty drink. 513.527.9900.

9. Cozy's Cafe and Pub

Pull up a chair at this Liberty Township spot and enjoy a Thanksgiving spread of oven-roasted turkey, maple-glazed ham, charcuterie meats and cheeses, soups, salads, appetizers, small bites, and assorted desserts. You'll find traditional trimmings that include cranberry relish, green bean casserole, classic mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.

Buffet: Seating 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; $40 per person, $18 for children ages 6-12, children 5 and under free. 513.644.9365.


For the time-starved host, Whole Foods is offering something new this year: vegan dishes created by Chef Jeremy Fox, a James Beard Award–nominated chef and author of the blockbuster cookbook "On Vegetables." Pick from flavor-packed items including Romanesco Cauliflower Roast with Miso Bagna Cauda, Cremini Mushroom Stuffing with Kimchi, and Frosted Sweet Potato Blondie with Spiced Cashews. Minimum 48 hours advance order.

Grace Yek writes about food for WCPO Digital. She is a certified chef-de-cuisine with the American Culinary Federation, and a former chemical engineer. Connect with her on