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Oct 06th
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Dining Out on Turkey Day

turkeydayTired of spending Thanksgiving hunched over a steaming hot stove? Skip the cooking this year and let someone else do all the hard work. Plenty of Santa Cruz restaurants will be open on the holiday, and more than a few are offering up specialty Thanksgiving menus. Forget about brining and basting; all you have to do is pick up the phone and make your reservation.

Aquarius at Dream Inn

Enjoy your turkey with ocean views at the Dream Inn. The Aquarius restaurant will begin serving dinner at noon and will be open until 9:30 p.m. Order from the regular dinner menu, or opt for the Thanksgiving-themed prix fixe menu. The $45/per person meal includes a first course, second course, entrée and a dessert. For your first course, choose from a bruschetta trio, crab wontons or calamari fritto misto. The second course includes a selection of soups and salads. Entrees include roast turkey, prime rib, ham, sea bass or wild mushroom ragout.

175 West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, 460-5012,

Chaminade Resort & Spa

The Chaminade is offering a Thanksgiving buffet from noon to 6 p.m. The cost for adults is $47.95; children ages six to 12 get in for $17.95; and kids under six dine for free. The buffet features an array of salad and vegetable side dishes, entrees and desserts. Choose from vegetable side dishes including a baby spinach salad and asparagus with caramelized onions and feta cheese. For entrees, they’re offering a variety of dishes including traditional roast turkey, roast leg of lamb, seared salmon, vegetarian lasagna and butternut squash ravioli. Reservations are recommended.

1 Chaminade Ln., Santa Cruz, (800) 283-6569,

The Crow’s Nest

If you prefer fish over fowl, the Crow’s Nest could be just what you’re looking for. Order off of their usual dinner menu, which features a wide array of seafood, vegetarian, chicken and beef dishes. But if you’re craving a traditional Thanksgiving feast, opt for their specialty holiday menu instead. For $18.95 for adults and $9.95 for children, you’ll be presented with roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, baby candied yams, stuffing, cranberry relish and your choice of soup or salad bar. Dinner will be served from noon to 8 p.m. and reservations are recommended.

2218 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, 476-4560,

Hoffman’s Bistro & Patisserie

Hoffman’s was recently featured on the Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible, so check out their Thanksgiving selections to see how celebrity chef Robert Irvine has updated this Santa Cruz favorite. For Thanksgiving, they have a limited menu that features a traditional turkey dinner, prime rib, halibut, butternut squash ravioli or lamb shank. Each entrée costs about $20. For an additional fee, you can also add appetizers like soup or salad, as well as dessert offerings. Reservations are recommended.

1102 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 420-0135,

Seascape Resort

Sanderling’s restaurant at the Seascape Beach Resort in Aptos offers up an impressive Thanksgiving feast. Take part in their lavish Thanksgiving buffet from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. The cost is $42.95 for adults and $19.95 for children under 12. Choose from four different gourmet salads, seven vegetable side dishes and four seafood options, including poached lobster tail and teriyaki smoked salmon. As for entrees, choose from seven festive feasts like roasted turkey breast, turkey thigh confit, oysters Rockefeller or wild mushroom penne pasta.

1 Seascape Resort Drive, Aptos, 662-7120,

For a list of restaurants that will be open on Thanksgiving, check out



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