Nailing down plans for Thanksgiving can get complicated without the vacation day(s) to take care of the turkey and the 'round-the-corner relatives to supply the side dishes. But plenty of restaurants or organizations in Florence recognize that the urge to mark the holiday can be at odds with the realities of time and resources. Book now and let them take care of prepping the feast for you.
An "Alternative Thanksgiving" with The Florentine Wine Club
Shake things up this Thanksgiving and unwind among friends without the tryptophan-induced nap. The Florentine's Wine Club is teaming up with San Lorenzo favorite SimBIOsi (via de' Ginori 56r) for an "alternative" dinner and wine tasting spotlighting wineries from the Riparbella (Pisa) area, a burgeoning production zone. Featured biodynamic wines are Duemani 2014, Aria di Caiarossa 2013, Caiarossa 2013 and Prima Pietra 2013, served with a creative dinner menu of chicken liver flan with vin santo reduction and purple potato chips, pici pasta with ragù and wild fennel, and pork fillet with cream of pomegranate and Tuscan pecorino shavings, all for 35 euro, including the wine. A vegetarian option is available upon request. Booking required: email [email protected].
*Update, November 23: The event has sold out.
A gluten-free feast at Quinoa
Cool, contemporary and celiac-conscious eatery Quinoa (vicolo di Santa Maria Maggiore 1) is hosting its customary gluten-free feast, putting a healthier spin on the holiday classics. The "secret garden" vibe of the restaurant's setup will add some homestyle coziness to the celebrations. Price is 25 euro per person for the full menu listed in the flyer above. Booking required: call 055.290876.
Standard spread at The Diner
Looking to indulge like you did at your childhood feasts? Turn to old standby The Diner (via dell'Acqua 2), Florence's original American-style diner. The 25 euro menu features nostalgia-inducing essentials: roasted turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green beans, and apple pie with whipped cream, plus a seasonal Tuscan touch with the addition of squash soup. Two glasses of wine and water are included. Booking required: call 055.290748.
Traditional family Thanksgiving at Ristorante Accademia
Ristorante Accademia (piazza San Marco 7r) is perhaps the most famous and familiar Thanksgiving host, holding the local record of 16 consecutive Turkey Day dinners. But unlike your Great Aunt Susie, these friendly hosts won't nag you about why you're still single. Dine on a Thanksgiving table with all the trimmings: pumpkin soup with cornbread, turkey with stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and creamed corn, and apple strudel, pumpkin or apple pie as dessert. 35 euro per person, drinks not included. Booking required: call 055. 217343 or email [email protected].
Vegetarian Thanksgiving at L'OV-Osteria Vegetariana
Apart from the turkey and the fellowship, much of the pleasure of Thanksgiving lies in the scene-stealing side dishes. Who needs a bird, really, when there are so many mouthwatering contorni to be enjoyed? L'OV-Osteria Vegetariana (piazza del Carmine 4r) is hosting a veggie-based extravaganza: butternut squash soup with crusty bread; a soy roast with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and cranberry sauce; pumpkin pie with ice cream; water and a glass of wine, all for 25 euro. Booking required: call055.2052388.
DIY (but "cheat" a bit) with Foodora
If you're intent on celebrating in the comfort of your own home, but don't have time to go into full Ina Garten mode for your guests, turn to Foodora delivery service. They've offered a discount code for Thanksgiving (and beyond – you can technically use it until December 31) for first-time clients. Just enter PS2FLORENTINkhw at checkout and you'll receive 8 euro off your order. Deal of the day: check for the Gran Piatto del Ringraziamento on Red Garter page.
Mary Gray is a freelance writer, reporter, and the former events editor of The Florentine. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Forbes Travel Guide, Time Out and Dream of Italy, and she teaches travel writing and fashion media for university programs in Florence. Her M.A. is in Italian from Middlebury and her straniera stripes are from the school of life.