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Holiday Happenin's in New Orleans

Thanksgiving in New Orleans
Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving in New Orleans
Thanksgiving in New Orleans

It’s Thanksgiving Day and you’re in town on business. Or maybe you’re here with your family or with friends for the Bayou Classic. No matter what you’re here for, you can enjoy the spirit and the food of this great, uniquely American holiday at any one of a wide selection of the more than 1,300 fabulous restaurants in New Orleans.

No city cares more about good eating, after all, and no city has a finer selection of restaurants offering “Turkey Day” meals and specials. Many of the city’s finest restaurants stay open for Thanksgiving dinners, and most of them are conveniently located downtown or in the French Quarter. Some offer buffet-style meals; others will be a la carte.

For a real Thanksgiving adventure, try one of our city’s famous Turduckens. This unique Cajun creation cooks a chicken inside of a duck inside of a turkey. Or try a deep-fried turkey. And leave yourself open for a wide variety of uniquely New Orleans-style stuffings – cornbread, Creole pork, oyster, shrimp, crawfish or a combination of any two or more of them. And save some room for dessert! Our bread pudding with rum sauce is the best you’ll ever find anywhere.

Every year the Louisiana Restaurant Association and the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau publish a list of eateries that serve Thanksgiving specials. That list will be announced soon and published when it becomes available. The Gayot Guide recently published its list of Top 10 New Orleans area restaurants for dining out on Thanksgiving.

And for the best in all-you-can-eat dining, try the buffet at Harrah’s Casino on Canal Street. No reservations required.

For those who are 21 and over and in the mood for a fun afternoon out, the Fair Grounds Race Course serves a scrumptious Thanksgiving buffet in their enclosed, state-of-the-art clubhouse. You can watch the thrilling action and place your wagers from your tableside panorama as the world’s top thoroughbreds thunder around the mile-long oval. Call for reservations at (504) 944-5515 or visit their website at

Make sure you check ahead to see which restaurants are open and what the hours will be. Some of them have separate seating times. Check with your hotel guide, concierge or cab driver for recommendations and call a few places. When you find something to your liking, call ahead and make reservations.

So why not kick back with family or friends and enjoy each other’s company while someone else does all the cooking? Most hotels offer turkey dinners as well, so you’ll be sure to find a great Thanksgiving meal somewhere in New Orleans.

P.S. And don’t forget that the day after Thanksgiving is “Black Friday,” the start of the official Christmas shopping season, and New Orleans is the best place to be for that, too! With hundreds of specialty shops offering a wide variety of unique items within walking distance of downtown and the French Quarter, you are guaranteed to find that special gift for that special person in your life. Whatever it is you’re looking for, you’ll find it in New Orleans!

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