Where to Pick Up Thanksgiving Dinner

Let someone else make the meal this year.

If making another meal at home has lost its luster (thanks, pandemic), or cooking for a group isn’t in the cards this Thanksgiving, consider supporting a local restaurant.

Many of these eateries offer the full feast – or just your favorites, like pumpkin pie or vegetable sides – without having to dine in. These carry-out and take-out options require pre-ordering and you must pick up during certain days and times, but having someone else steam the potatoes or brine the turkey could be enticing.

And don’t wait. Some restaurants are already reporting limited quantities remaining. The best part is that these pre-portioned servings helps keep everyone safe.

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A La Carte

The Build-Your-Own Thanksgiving option at Odd Duck is for those looking for a custom meal  because it’s all about picking and choosing what you want to eat. Like horseradish/goat cheese potatoes or Italian-sausage stuffing. You can even tack on a wheel of Uplands Cheese Co.’s Rush Creek Reserve ($36), wrapped in spruce bark; and dessert is mini chocolate bundt cakes or pumpkin-spice cheesecakes. Short on drinks? Opt for a curated selection of beer, wine or cocktail kits. Four-person servings, $12-$20. Pre-order and pick up at Odd Duck on Wed. 11/25.

Brandywine’s Thanksgiving-To-Go is set up so you can put together your dream feast by leaving out the dishes you don’t like. Start with either a whole 8- to 10-pound roasted Amish turkey ($75) or herb-roasted Amish turkey breast with smoked turkey-leg confit ($16) and then fill in with sides like brioche and porcini mushroom stuffing (with celery root, sage and dried cherries) or sweet-potato cinnamon rolls iced with maple frosting. Add on the perfect, extremely aromatic appetizer: a wheel of Uplands Cheese Co.’s Rush Creek Reserve with spiced-pear compote, toasted crostini and lavender almonds ($39). Each item ($9-$16) serves 2-3 guests. Pre-order and pick up at Brandywine on Wed. 11/25 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Uncle Wolfie’s is offering three pick-up options in celebration of Thanksgiving Day: “Everything But the Turkey” (side dishes are sausage and sourdough stuffing, Poppin’ Pumpkin Salad, green-bean casserole, tavern potatoes, biscuits and honey butter, and cranberry sauce), “Handmade Holiday Pies” (includes gluten-free options for sweet-potato pecan, lemon meringue and spiced rum apple with streusel and salted caramel) and “Mini Maple Pecan Bundt Cakes.” Sides for two guests, $65. Pies, $32-$36. Mini Bundt Cakes, six for $32. Pre-order and pick up on Wed. 11/25 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Le Rêve is known for its pastries and cakes, and some of us probably can’t imagine a Thanksgiving spread without European-inspired desserts. Choose from three options among its Thanksgiving offerings: Petite Dessert Platter, Apple Almond Crumble Tart or Brown Butter Pecan Tart. The à la carte menu includes everything from starters (such as butternut-squash soup or baguettes) to other dishes (like caramelized root vegetables, challah stuffing or roasted local mushrooms with truffle butter), followed by glazed ham or turkey breast. Serves two to four (or four to six) guests. $30-$40 desserts. $10-$28 sides. $30-$50 ham and turkey. Pre-order and pick-up at Le Rêve Wed. 11/25 between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

The Whole Meal

Ardent’s Thanksgiving Take-Home Pack is the next best thing to having chef-owner Justin Carlisle cook for you. Literally all you have to do is pop these in the oven: fennel pollen-roasted turkey (one pound each of sliced breast meat and leg meat), potato gratin, green-bean casserole, stewed cranberries and orange peel, sage and giblet stuffing, gravy and croissant rolls with Ardent’s signature cultured butter. And, for dessert: something pumpkin. Take-home pack $95 for 2 guests. Pre-order and pick up at Ardent on Wed. 11/25 or Thurs. 11/26.

Smoke Shack’s Thanksgiving menu  no surprise – focuses on smoked meats. Choose from slow-smoked ham or slow-smoked turkey breast. But you can also tack on sides to build your own feast: pimento mac & cheese, sweet & spicy beans or coleslaw. Pies are also sold: pumpkin or apple streusel. Ham serves 10 to 12 guests, $70. Turkey breast serves six to eight guests. Sides serve 10 guests, $18-$30. Pies, $20. Pre-order by 5 p.m. on Thurs., 11/19 and pick up Tues. 11/24 or Wed. 11/25.

If you’re looking for something totally different – or want to celebrate one of Milwaukee’s most prolific ethnic groups – Polonez has got you covered. In addition to the expected items for an American Thanksgiving (white and dark meat turkey, plus sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing, green beans and cranberry sauce) the feast includes George’s mushroom soup, Polish sausage, bigos (hunter’s stew) and three desserts (pumpkin pie, pecan pie and Polish-style cheesecake). $25 per person. Order by Sun., 11/22 and pick up at Polonez.

CAVAS, a Spanish restaurant in Walker’s Point, offers a fun rendition on Thanksgiving cuisine with its Thanksgiving Special Organic Menu, a four-course feast that starts with a salad (winter squash, chilies, carrots and honey) and eases into sweet potatoes and corn bread before the main and side dish (bacon-wrapped turkey with roasted Brussels sprouts, apples and pineapple). Pumpkin flan caps it all off. The meal also includes a festive bottle of house-made egg nog. Serves four guests, $312.73. Pre-order by Mon. 11/23 and pick up on Thurs. 11/26 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Opt for a Thanksgiving twist from one of the finest-dining restaurants in town with Sanford’s Thanksgiving Day Feast. The meal includes Roast Turkey Ballottine, “napkin dumplings” (turkey stuffing with sourdough bread, sausage, apple and sage), roasted Brussels sprouts, cranberry preserve, Yukon potato puree (folding in garlic, bacon, Parmesan and cream), turkey jus, rolls and butter, and sweet-potato cake featuring pecan crumble and Bourbon icing. $175 for four guests. Pre-order and pick up on Tues. 11/24 between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. or Wed. 11/25 between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The “Thanksgiving Dinner Meal Kit” from Miss Molly’s Café & Pastry Shoppe features sliced turkey breast marinated with herbs, orange-ginger-cranberry chutney, turkey gravy, green-bean casserole, brown-sugar sweet-potato casserole, mashed potatoes, cornbread with apple butter, and sourdough stuffing with maple-sage chicken sausage. If that’s not enough, tack on select wines or dessert (choice of pumpkin pie with spiced chai whipped cream or apple pie, oat streusel and caramel drizzle or vegan/gluten-free pumpkin bread). For either two or four guests. From $18. Pre-order and pick up at Miss Molly’s on Wed. 11/25 between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Mason Street Grill, inside The Pfister Hotel, offers “Thanksgiving at Home” with sage and orange zest basted turkey, its signature chopped salad, three sides (green bean almondine, roasted fennel stuffing and whipped sweet potatoes) and – for dessert – either pumpkin pie (with chantilly cream) or carrot cake. There are also six holiday side dishes (from truffle creamed spinach to cheddar and smoked gouda macaroni and cheese) to further stretch your spread. $29 per person. Pre-order by Thurs. 11/24 and pick up at Mason Street Grill.

The only choice you need to make with Deer District’s “Holiday Feasts” take-out menu is about the herb-roasted turkey: half or whole? Each meal comes with traditional sides like turkey stuffing, whipped potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, giblet gravy, green beans, cranberry relish, a field-greens salad and artisan rolls. You can also add on, for the non-turkey eaters, smoked pork loin ($40) or country ham ($65) as well as a pumpkin, apple or pecan pie ($15-$18). $150 (half turkey) or $200 (whole turkey) for four to six guests. Pre-order by Thurs., 11/19 and pick up at the Deer District (Highland and 6th Street) during a pre-determined window.

Beloved brunch spot Sabrosa Café & Gallery is shifting its efforts to a Thanksgiving Curbside Feast where a plate includes roasted turkey, cranberry-sage stuffing, ham and cheese buttermilk biscuit, autumn roasted vegetables, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, and candied sweet potatoes with marshmallows. If your sweet tooth isn’t quite satisfied with what’s on the plate, order whole pies and cakes on top. $20 per plate (serves one). Pre-order and pick up at Sabrosa on Thurs. 11/26 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Tre Rivali – inside The Journeyman Hotel – is dedicating its culinary efforts to pies as well as the whole meal this Thanksgiving for take-out. You can also opt for “Everything but the Turkey” sides: seven sides (like wild-mushroom stuffing, sweet-potato puree and roasted butternut squash/apple soup) plus a pie. Choose from apple, pumpkin or maple-pecan pies. Serves four guests. $30 for nine-inch pies. $260 for full Thanksgiving dinner. $160 for “Everything but the Turkey.” Pre-order by Sat., 11/21 and pick up pies at Tre Rivali Tues. 11/24 or Wed. 11/25 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., or Thurs. 11/26 between 9 a.m. and noon. Meals can be picked up Wed. 11/25 between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. or Thurs. 11/26. between 9 a.m. and noon.

Seven Seas’ Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner including turkey, five sides and pie (pumpkin or apple) – is available for dine in but also curbside pick-up. $24 per person. Pre-order and pick up at Seven Seas on Thurs., 11/26 between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Saz’s “Thanksgiving Pick Up Menu” includes a bunch of dishes along with oven-roasted turkey. For example, “Grandma’s Mashed Potatoes,” a fall-harvest salad, roasted sweet potatoes with “gooey marshmallow topping” and green beans almondine. Dinner rolls are also included and an Elegant Farmer brown-bag pie (apple or pumpkin). If turkey isn’t your jam, Saz’s is also selling orders of its famous baby-back ribs, as well as Applewood smoked ham, BBQ riblets, and macaroni ‘n cheese. Or, you can just go for the pie ($23) or any of the sides à la carte. Serves four, $110. Serves eight, $210. Pre-order by Fri. 11/20 and pick up on Wed. 11/25 or Thurs. 11/26 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Movida at Hotel Madrid’s Thanksgiving Dinner includes eight roasted turkey legs (brined and dry rubbed with house seasoning), roasted garlic mashed potatoes, black-pepper turkey gravy, and turkey stuffing (with green apples, rosemary and thyme). Serves four guests, $65. Pre-order and pick up at Movida at Hotel Madrid between Sat. 11/21 and Wed. 11/25.

One of Milwaukee’s newest restaurants – Eldr+Rime – is hosting guests for Thanksgiving dine-in, but also taking orders for carry-out. The “Thanksgiving Family Feast To-Go” includes dry brined roasted turkey and gravy, sourdough stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry relish, birch-glazed sweet potatoes, green bean au gratin, Brussels sprouts and dinner rolls. Next, you get to select from four slices of pumpkin, pecan or apple pie. $120 serves four guests. Pre-order and pick up at Eldr+Rime on Thurs., 11/26 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Just Desserts

If your strength just is not in desserts but you can’t imagine a Thanksgiving without a sweet pie or cake, Blue’s Egg has you covered with five options: pumpkin cheesecake, key-lime pie, pecan pie, apple pie and pumpkin pie. You can also order a dozen dinner rolls. $12 for dinner rolls; $18-$26 for nine-inch pies and cakes. Pre-order and pick up curbside at Blue’s Egg between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. on 11/25.

From pies to cakes, Lazy Susan is flaunting its sweet side this Thanksgiving. If someone in your group is on a gluten-free diet, don’t fret because each inclusion in Lazy Susan’s Thanksgiving Pie/Cake Sale can be baked in a coconut-oil vegan crust. Selections include caramel apple or pumpkin pies; sweet-potato pie bars; pumpkin cheesecake; cranberry upside-down cake; and ginger-pear upside-down cakes. $25 for each pie. Pre-order between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday; or 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. Pick up on Wed. 11/25 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

Troubadour Bakery – the baking arm of Colectivo Coffee – is accepting orders of its pies (apple cranberry, pumpkin maple cream and peanut butter) that stray a bit from traditional with their unique, yummy twists. $26.95. Pre-order by Sat. 11/21 and pick up at any Colectivo Coffee cafe on Wed. 11/25.

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A seasoned writer, and a former editor at Milwaukee Home & Fine Living, Kristine Hansen launched her wine-writing career in 2003, covering wine tourism, wine and food pairings, wine trends and quirky winemakers. Her wine-related articles have published in Wine Enthusiast, Sommelier Journal, Uncorked (an iPad-only magazine), FoodRepublic.com, CNN.com and Whole Living (a Martha Stewart publication). She's trekked through vineyards and chatted up winemakers in many regions, including Chile, Portugal, California (Napa, Sonoma and Central Coast), Canada, Oregon and France (Bordeaux and Burgundy). While picking out her favorite wine is kind of like asking which child you like best, she will admit to being a fan of Oregon Pinot Noir and even on a sub-zero winter day won't turn down a glass of zippy Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.