Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friends and be grateful for the time spent together. Thanksgiving looks different for each household; some have the dining room table set for 20 with “traditional” Thanksgiving food. Other houses have a small gathering of four friends for a “Friendsgiving.” In many cases, some people may not want to cook and decide to go to a restaurant. If you live in Orange County or San Diego, I have reviewed a few restaurants that are hosting Thanksgiving 2020.

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Native Foods (Point Loma) 

Food: Vegan Thanksgiving Take-Out

Native Foods is a chain of vegan restaurants spread across Southern California. This year, following other years past, they are offering different takeout options for Thanksgiving dinner. The “Original Wellington” offers steak-style seitan slices, herbed mushrooms, herbed yams, caramelized onions, and cranberry shallot stuffing.  The “Original Wellington” serves 4 to 5 people and comes frozen with baking instructions. This is priced at $35. Upgrade to the “Thanksgiving Feast” meal for $60, and add on an Original Wellington as well as mushroom gravy, brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes and stuffing. A family member of mine, San Diegan Patricia Rickard, enjoyed this Thanksgiving takeout and stated, “For vegans, Thanksgiving dinner can be a challenge. Fortunately, Native Foods provides an impressive plant-based dinner.” 

Photo Courtesy of Montage Resort Laguna Beach

The Loft at Montage Laguna Beach

Food: Four-Course Meal, Sit Down at 25% Capacity 

The Loft at Montage Laguna Beach serves American seafood cuisine and will be offering a four-course tasting menu inside their restaurant at 25% capacity. This is a five-star dining location that has stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Fine dining comes with a fine price; this menu costs $135 per adult and $50 per child. The menu consists of classic Thanksgiving foods, such as pumpkin soup, turkey and pumpkin pie. They also offer other seasonal specials such as hamachi crudo, sea scallops, sea bass and truffle risotto. As an Orange County native, I can tell you that people come to The Loft for an “experience.” The service is amazing and the views are even better. 


Coastal Kitchen (Dana Point) 

Food: American Coastal Cuisine with a Special Thanksgiving Menu

Set in beautiful Dana Point, California, Coastal Kitchen is an elegant, upscale restaurant with an amazing ambiance. They have a beautiful outdoor patio with fire pits — the perfect setting for Thanksgiving. This year, the restaurant is offering an exclusive Thanksgiving menu. Notable highlights include turkey breast, prime rib, salmon, crabcakes, mashed potatoes and pumpkin bread pudding. This is a traditional sit-down experience, with no set courses. The average price for this meal is $32 per person. Physical distancing guidelines will be set, requiring masks upon entering and exiting, and the bar area will be closed. This is one of my personal favorite dining spots in south Orange County. Reserve your table now through Coastal Kitchen’s website. 

While Thanksgiving may look different this year, we can all share the experience of good food and good company. These are just some of the many restaurants offering a Thanksgiving dining experience this year.