Thanksgiving has long been one of the most celebrated American holidays: marked by everything from turkey to pumpkin pie, from football to the Macy's Day Parade, and from being thankful to being stuffed, there's something for everyone. While the day's festivities can be hard to replicate outside of the U.S., certain restaurants around the world have taken it upon themselves to try—and its something we’re thankful for.
If you think traveling in China means missing Thanksgiving, think again. The large number of American expats living in Beijing ensures that a surprising number of turkey dinners and promotions pop up every November at restaurants, hotels, and breweries. Here are 10 places to celebrate Thanksgiving there this year.
The Big Smoke Bistro
This popular Xingfucun brasserie is pulling out all the stops, serving a honey agave-glazed turkey with red wine gravy. Turkey portions are available for small tables of two or three people all the way up to groups of 14. Sides, like the portobello and chorizo stuffing with pretzel crumble, and the jalapeño mac n' cheese topped with garlic crumbs, cost extra ($5-$7) each and are suitable for sharing between two to three people.
For dessert, there's pumpkin empanada with salted caramel ice cream topped with peppercorn honey. Wash it all down with one of the restaurant's signature cocktails, or a pint of Jing A craft beer (from$28 for a small turkey for two to three; Lee World Building, 57 Xingfucun Middle Rd., Chaoyang District; 86 10 6416 2683)
FEAST by EAST Beijing
If you're planning to visit 798 Art District, FEAST's Thanksgiving dinner would make the perfect end to the day. Located on the second floor of a stylish business hotel, the airy all-day restaurant is hosting a relatively restrained and reasonably priced affair, with pumpkin soup to start, roast turkey with chestnut and herbed bread stuffing for the main event, and pecan pie for dessert ($30 per person; 22 Jiuxianqiao N Rd., Chaoyang District; 86 10 8426 0888).
Great Leap Brewing
For the fifth year running, Great Leap is throwing a Thanksgiving bash "with socialist principles," as put by founder Carl Setzer. The original Doujiao Hutong branch will be the scene of a potluck where the brewery supplies a deep-fried turkey and guests bring sides (free for anyone who brings a side to share; 6 Doujiao Hutong, Dongcheng District; 86 10 5717 1399).
Craft brewery Jing A and the cheekily named "nonkosher delicatessen" Traitor Zhou's are teaming up for Thanksgiving with a laid-back spread of fried chicken and Cajun-style side dishes. Guests can sit either inside the Jing A Taproom or in the 1949 Hidden City courtyard just outside the brewery. There will be two dinner services—one from 6 to 8 p.m. and another from 8 p.m. to late (from $126 per person;86 10 6501 8883)
Sanlitun's The Local is one of the few places in the city to have both vegetarian and non-turkey options for Thankgiving. Though this year's menu and prices haven't been confirmed yet, owner and manager Kenn Bermel assured T+L it's happening. Last year, there was a choice of turkey, roast prime rib or beef, or eggplant lasagna.
The Westin Beijing Financial Street
For Thanksgiving, the Westin is hosting a lavish Thanksgiving dinner with roast turkey, honey-glazed ham, chestnut and mushroom soup, beef tenderloin with cream cheese polenta, cinnamon pumpkin pie, and more ($61 per person)
Located in the sleepy village of Hegezhuang, The Orchard is far removed—both geographically and conceptually—from the other venues on this list. Much of the produce used in the restaurant's popular Sunday brunches is grown on site. For this celebration, The Orchard will host a dinner buffet with roast turkey with all the trimmings and a variety of sides. After dinner, guests can walk it all off with a stroll around the koi pond ($55 per person; Hegezhuang Village, Chaoyang District; 86 10 6433 6270)
Lily's American Diner
Ah, Lily's. What would expats do without this cheap, reliable American-style diner? For the low price of $29, you get a plate of genuine imported U.S. turkey with gravy, sides (including mashed potatoes), dessert (apple pie, pumpkin pie, brownie, or cheesecake), and a glass of red or white wine.
Last but not least, nothing says Thanksgiving in Beijing like a turkey dinner at the foot of the Great Wall. Stylish eco-retreat The Brickyard has two options: a standalone Thanksgiving dinner and a dine-and-stay package. Dinner highlights roast turkey with all the trimmings, a dessert buffet, live jazz, and a supervised kids' playroom. A bus service will be available to dinner guests (from $61 per person)
Head to Berlin's Midtown Grill, which specializes in steak, chops and seafood, but turns out a mean celebratory feast come November: think a buffet of crispy, buttery stuffed turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, gravy, and more. For $130, you can also take your gala to go and host your very own holiday—without all of the prep work.
Enjoy a riff on classic holiday fare at the award-winning Savoy Cabbage, one of Cape Town's most beautiful restaurants: once scheduled for demolition, the space today largely comprises exposed beams, large windows and bricks from three different centuries. For around $30, you'll be treated to canapés, chowder, fudge, spiced pumpkin crème brulee, and have your pick of roasted turkey breast with sausage and stuffing or root vegetable risotto with cranberry sauce.
MadMad Mad Bodega
Break bread with strangers at Copenhagen's MadMad Mad Bodega, whose Turkey Day festivities are not just a meal, but an event: learn about the history of Thanksgiving and its traditional foods, try arts and crafts by making an old-fashioned turkey hand, and give thanks, in a group, before digging in family-style to turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pies and trimmings. With an emphasis on local, seasonal and organic products, a meal at MadMad Mad's won't make you feel as guilty about going back for more.