Now, half the Western restaurants and hotels in town have some kind of dinner. For all of that, check our full list. This is our curated shortlist, broken down into easy categories. If you go somewhere, you probably wanna RSVP like now.
…also, Flying Lotus is playing live on Thanksgiving. That's the end-up.
Modern / upscale Mexican joint Maya is hosting a charity dinner for XinXing Aid for Street Kids, a Chinese-run NGO in Shaanxi province that provides support for homeless and disadvantaged youth. A lot of kids get off at the train station in cities around Shaanxi and never make it back on. Rob, a.k.a. DJ Robjam, Maya's manager, has been involved with this charity for years. For the dinner, they're serving a whole turkey at each table. There's only 45 seats available, and those are 450rmb each. Goes from 7-11pm on November 24. If you don't make it to that, Maya has a Mexican-style Thanksgiving dinner on November 26 for 350rmb a person, but that's not a charity affair.
Charlie's, the burger place that used to be Piro and also makes dog biscuits and ice cream sundaes for dogs, has a clothes redistribution program from November 23-29. They'll take your unwanted (clean) clothes and redistribute them to those in need. Anyone who makes a donation gets some free fries and a soda or Tiger beer with any order of burgers, hot dogs, or a grilled cheese sandwich. Goes from 11am-10pm each day.
At both Bubba's Texas BBQ joints, they're doing a Thanksgiving buffet with corn chowder, southwest style gravy, cornbread stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie, along with 6-7kg smoked turkeys. The dinner is 350rmb for adults, 175rmb for kids under 12, and it's free for those under four. The two seating times are 6-8pm and 8:30-10:30pm. Some of Uncle Ron's buds from 'Nam might be here.
Southern Belle has a set menu with roast turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, and lots more, plus two drinks. That's 298rmb per person, 128rmb for children less than 1.3m tall, and free for children less than four years old, though they do have a four-guest minimum for reservations.
Over at the Kelley Lee Restaurant Empire, Liquid Laundry has a four course tasting menu with a choice of prime rib or blackened salmon, veggie sides, and pumpkin pie or pecan tart. Price is 400rmb per person. Starts at 5pm. Maybe sip that pumpkin-flavored brew with this one, but drinks are not included.
The Boxing Cat (Sinan) deal is a little less posh, a little heavier on the value. The 350rmb (100rmb for kids) cover gets you access to their Thanksgiving
Continental Baller Fare
Willy's doing the Spanish remix of Thanksgiving for 2015. The dinner at Elefante looks particularly good. For 328rmb per person, you get slow-roasted turkey and all-you-can-eat stuffing and sides. They start you off with Italian cold cuts and bread, and end with desserts like Pumpkin pie, cold chocolate fondant, and Tonka bean ice cream. That's available from 6-10:30pm.
Then at his flagship spot on The Bund, they're serving "juicy roasted stuffed turkey", and free-flow stuffing (vegetarian or sausage), apple salad, cranberry sauce, mushroom gravy, creamy mashed potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, spinach dip, deviled eggs, two kinds of soup, lots of bread, some green bean / heirloom carrot / walnut concoction, and pumpkin pie. Dinner is served from 6-10:30pm, and will set you back 398rmb per person. Not bad.
If you're feeling Bund skylines more than say…Rosanne's living room, here's some options. POP at Three On The Bund has a four-course Thanksgiving lunch or dinner for 248rmb per person on November 26.
Also on The Bund, Kathleen's Waitan has a four-course dinner set complete with honey ham for starter and roast turkey mains, ending with a classic pumpkin pie at 388rmb per person from 5:30pm. Great views of the city on their rooftop, and a nice little neighborhood around there.
Over on the Lujiazui side, Käfer has several dinner options, ranging from 88rmb-888rmb. One decent option is pan-seared turkey breast, sugar peas, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries, and cornbread for 248rmb. Or they have a turkey surf & turf with a slow cooked turkey breast and a lobster tail for 348rmb. If you're traveling in a pack of three, they have a bigger meal with oven roasted turkey, sugar peas, potatoes, gravy, cranberries, and cornbread for 888rmb. Served from 10am-10pm. Also, this goes from Nov 23 until sometime in Decemeber.
On The Cheap
Morton's usually serves mini steak sandwiches during their happy hour, but for Thanksgiving they've got turkey sandwiches. Great. You just need to buy a drink, which is like 50rmb. This happens at both of their locations from 5-8pm. Uncle Ron might be there on the pre-game tip.
Aussie spot Kakadu is going IN with a fat buffet for 188rmb per person. That includes oven roasted turkey with gravy and cranberry sauce, roasted pork with apple sauce, baked barramundi, mashed potato and pumpkin, seasonal vegetables, macaroni and cheese, salads, breads, fresh fruit, and warm pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Goes from 6-10pm Thursday through Saturday, and 12-4pm on Saturday November 26-29.
Eat At Home Or…Something
Now, if you're going to a party, you probably wanna bring a dish. Don't be that dude who shows up with some Qingdao tall boys. For that, we've got dozens of recipes in our Cook-It column.
If you wanna dine at the crib but don't want to cook, you can order a full bird from long-running, extremely underrated sandwich shop / deli NYC Deli. They do this every Thanksgiving and Christmas, with an 800rmb option with a 6kg bird and a 900rmb option with a 7kg bird. This comes with stuffing, cranberries, and turkey gravy. Everything else is on you. That's the place Uncle Ron gets his French Dips from.
Aforementioned Kakadu is also serving whole roasted turkeys to take home. The bird is 6kg, and comes with stuffing, mashed potato, mashed pumpkin, honeyed baby carrots, peas, cranberry sauce, gravy and pumpkin pie. These are available from Nov 26-29 if you order before 3pm on Nov 25. Cost is 988rmb.
Field's has a bunch of ready-to-serve meals that can serve up to 20 people. They're doing deep-fried turkeys, and apparently they've "teamed up with a famous chef in Shanghai" for this. Who is said famous chef? Is it three-Michelin star chef Raul Berundi?
TableLife does not have turkeys, but they do have a bunch of recipe packs designed by Sean Jorgensen.
Not Thanksgiving At All
A young Uncle Ron, before the horror of 'Nam...
Thanksgiving is not for everyone, including, well, every Chinese restaurant in town. If you're not down with the tryptophan, this might be a good day to check out some new spots. Our Eat-It column would be a fine place to begin that search.
Gilles Peterson is playing Unico on Thanksgiving. What can we really say about dude? He's got 3.5 million followers on Soundcloud, hosts a hugely popular and influential radio show on the BBC, DJs all around the world, and digs deep for everything from jazz to afrobeat to the newest underground sounds. He's a boss. Unico has him in town on Thursday. Cover is 100rmb. Starts at 10pm. Highly recommended.
As mentioned above, Boss of Brainfeeder records, lord of the LA beat scene, collaborator with Thom Yorke, Kendrick Lamar, and Snoop Dogg, and producer of extremely dope beats Flying Lotus is finally making his China debut, on turkey day. His five solo LPs and numerous EPs are all classics, and his live show is legit (we've seen it). Some of the best visuals ever. Do not miss this. Support from R3, ADO8, and Linfeng (live). Pre-sales are 200rmb, available on SmartTicket.
Also, French pop-punk band Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! plays Yuyintang on Thanksgiving, but hey do you really wanna go see a French pop-punk band on Thanksgiving?
That's it! Go buy more X-Boxes! Crush Uncle Ron in Mortal Kombat X! Bump that 3-6 Mafia. Thanksgiving 2015, y'all.