Los Angeles has always been known for bucking tradition, so it's no accident that Southern California gives those who visit during Thanksgiving ample opportunity to do the same. With average temperatures well into the 60s, numerous dining options, and many attractions open for at least part of the day, Thanksgiving in LA is as stuffed with activities as that turkey about to be carved.
Whether you're visiting Los Angeles or just want to let someone else take care of everything, hotels offer some of the best Thanksgiving dinner options.
Thanksgiving Buffet Brunch at Millennium Biltmore
Centrally located near some of Downtown LA’s top attractions, the landmark Millennium Biltmore features 683 luxurious guest rooms and suites, four bars and restaurants, health club and fitness center with indoor pool, and a full array of concierge services. The hotel’s bountiful Thanksgiving Buffet Brunch features traditional and contemporary favorites along with savory and sweet crepes, toasty gourmet grilled cheese coupled with comforting soup, and tantalizing Creme Brulee. Served from 11am to 7pm in Smeraldi’s and Rendezvous Court. Seating in Smeraldi’s. $59 per adult; $25 for kids 4-11, excluding tax and gratuity. Reservations are highly recommended: 213.612.1562.
LA Prime at Westin Bonaventure
A landmark hotel in the heart of Downtown LA, the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites offers convenient access to cultural attractions, the Los Angeles Convention Center and L.A. LIVE. The hotel’s LA Prime is an award-winning, New York-style steakhouse that specializes in prime beef and fresh seafood. The 750+ wine list features an extensive selection of California reds. Thanksgiving Dinner will be served during special hours, 2pm to 9pm. Featuring a live jazz band, 3- or 4-course special menu, and complimentary glass of champagne or house wine.
Cleopatra's Feast at The Redbury
Located at the iconic intersection of Hollywood and Vine, The Redbury Hotel provides a relaxed and entertaining environment. Each spacious guest suite offers a home-like atmosphere to accommodate stays of any length. Tucked inside the hotel, Cleo entices guests with the intoxicating aroma of nouveau Middle Eastern cuisine wafting out of Executive Chef Danny Elmaleh's open kitchen. Cleopatra's Feast features a special menu of Cleo favorites and Thanksgiving classics served family style. $65 per person with cocktail upon arrival. Seatings at 3, 5, 7pm.
The Bazaar at SLS Hotel
The Bazaar by José Andrés is a vibrant mix of sophisticated cuisine, creative libations and playful lounge spaces entwined in a modern-day "indoor piazza" on the ground floor of the SLS Hotel. On Thanksgiving, The Bazaar is featuring a special prix-fixe menu for four, offered at $65 per person. The regular menu is also available.
Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air
With a spectacular garden setting that embraces the fabulous California lifestyle of indoor and outdoor living, Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air features modern California cuisine with European and Mediterranean influences. Experience a Thanksgiving feast served family style and topped off with a dessert buffet. Served noon to 8pm. $140 per person.
Whist at The Viceroy Santa Monica
Named one of America's 50 best hotel restaurants by Food & Wine magazine, Whist at the Viceroy Santa Monica trumps all expectations of pleasurable dining. Executive Chef Tony DiSalvo's culinary savvy is on full display as he creates a globally-influenced menu sourced from local markets and farms. Celebrate Thanksgiving at Whist with a traditional buffet from 1-6pm. $60 per person and additional wine pairings.
Catch at Casa del Mar
Restored to its former grandeur, the historic Casa del Mar is an elegant and sophisticated European lodging experience on the sands of Santa Monica Bay. The hotel’s Catch restaurant serves the freshest local fare from land and sea, along with panoramic ocean views and beach inspired decor. Thanksgiving dinner will be a three-course menu for $75.00 per person.
Thanksgiving at Terranea Resort
Poised on 102 oceanfront acres in Rancho Palos Verdes, Terranea is a spectacular eco resort that offers 582 rooms, including a luxurious collection of residential bungalows, casitas and villas. Terranea is offering a number of Thanksgiving dining options, including:
- Ballroom Thanksgiving Buffet - Traditional Thanksgiving buffet with live music. Four seatings: 1pm, 1:30pm, 4pm, and 4:30pm. The cost is $75 per adult, $35 per child 5-10, and free for children 4 and under.
- Catalina Kitchen - Family-Style Thanksgiving with a dessert buffet (including pumpkin spiced pot de crème, ice cream bar with pumpkin ice cream, whisky pecan pie, and more) from 1pm-9pm. The cost is $70/adult, $30/children 5-10, and free/children 4 and under. Reservations: 310.265.2836.
- mar'sel - 4-course Thanksgiving menu served from 5:30-10pm. Vegetarian options are available. $95 per person. Reservations: 310.265.2836.
- Nelson's - Outdoor blow-up TV projector to show Thanksgiving football games and a special Thanksgiving menu that includes an open faced turkey sandwich with sausage stuffing, braised turkey gravy, and cranberry jam on Texas toast. 5-8pm.
Cafe Sierra at Hilton Los Angeles / Universal City
Located at the entrance of Universal Studios Hollywood, the Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City offers spectacular views, great dining, received the AAA Four Diamond Award and is Green Seal Silver level certified. The hotel is walking distance to over 70 shops, dining and entertainment venues at CityWalk LA, including the Gibson Amphitheater. The award-winning Cafe Sierra offers a traditional champagne brunch and dinner buffet. Holiday champagne brunch 10am-3pm ($44 adult, $22 children 3-10); seafood and prime rib holiday dinner buffet 5pm-10pm ($52 adult, $24 children 3-10). Reservations recommended, but not necessary: 818.509.2030.
Thanksgiving at The Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa, Pasadena
A Pasadena landmark since 1907, The Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa is located on 23 acres with grand historic ballrooms and gardens, award-winning dining and a luxurious spa offering treatments based on traditional Chinese medicine. The Langham offers multiple options for Thanksgiving. Dining reservations: 626.585.6218.
- The Terrace - Indulge in a holiday breakfast buffet from 6:30-10am ($30/person), or enjoy an Enhanced Breakfast Buffet with Sparkling Wine, served from 10am to 3pm ($45/person). For dinner, Chef Erik Schuster will present a three-course Thanksgiving meal from 4-9pm, with live entertainment included. $65 per person without wine, $95 with wine. $30 per child under 12.
- The Royce - Chef de Cuisine David Féau presents a five-course Thanksgiving feast, served from 5-9pm. $125 per person without wine; $185 per person with wine pairings.
- The Huntington Ballroom - A champagne brunch will be served with live entertainment from noon to 4pm. $95 per person; $35 per child under 12 for kids’ buffet.
For a fun, family-friendly Thanksgiving, a visit to one of LA's theme parks may be just the ticket. The newest attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood is Transformers™: The Ride-3D, an immersive, next-generation thrill ride that blurs the line between fiction and reality. Fusing HD 3D media and flight simulation technology, this epic ride creates an experience unlike anything this planet has ever seen. Speaking of thrills, Six Flags Magic Mountain recently reclaimed its crown as the undisputed “Roller Coaster Capital of the World” with its 17th coaster, and an 18th is on the way. The park's Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom is the current record holder as the tallest drop tower ride in the world. For a classic, oceanfront experience, visit Pacific Park at the Santa Monica Pier for rides and games the whole family will enjoy.
At more than 4,000 acres, Griffith Park is a day unto itself, with plenty of hiking trails to work off all the Thanksgiving Day overindulging. The Griffith Observatory offers stunning architecture and a breathtaking view of the LA basin, though its closed for the holiday. Train enthusiasts can check out the Travel Town Museum, open daily except Christmas Day and featuring fully-preserved trains that give visitors a chance to brush up on U.S. rail history. The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is also open every day except Christmas and is home to 1,200 rare and endangered mammals, reptiles and birds, and includes areas such as the Campo Gorilla Reserve and Red Ape Rain Forest. Located near the Western Canyon entrance of Griffith Park, Ferndell is a favorite Park destination, especially on a hot summer afternoon. The winding trail, tropical garden, babbling brook and picnic area offer a quiet retreat from the bustling city.
The Laugh Factory
The world-famous Laugh Factory will host its 33rd annual Thanksgiving Feast, welcoming the underprivileged, the homeless and anyone alone for the holiday to a day of free food, fun, and comedy.
Top comedians including Dane Cook, Dave Chappelle, Kevin Nealon, Larry Miller, Maz Jobrani, Paul Mooney, Paul Rodriguez, Tim Allen, Tom Arnold and Tom Dreesen will greet and help serve guests, as well as perform live shows following each of four meals served at 1pm, 3pm, 5pm and 7pm. Since its inception, the Laugh Factory has fed over 150,000 people through its annual Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Past celebrity guests have included Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx, Jamie Kennedy, Dave Chappelle, Bob Saget, and the late Richard Pryor, among many others.
Thanksgiving Day Run and Food Drive
This 5K Run/Walk and 1 mile Kids Run has been a local tradition and a La Cañada Flintridge community favorite with families, athletes, and community supporters of all types for nearly two decades. All ages and abilities are welcome to participate in this professionally timed race. Pets on leashes and strollers are welcome. Awards, snacks and drinks will be provided to the participants. All participants need to bring a non-perishable food item. In past years, donations have exceeded more than 10,000 cans, and organizers hope to make this year the biggest food drive yet. The Thanksgiving Day Run and Food Drive is taking place from 8:30am to 11:30am at Memorial Park in La Cañada Flintridge.
Thanksgiving Mass at San Gabriel Mission
A special Thanksgiving Day Eucharist Mass is scheduled at the San Gabriel Mission’s Chapel of the Annunciation. The tri-lingual Eucharist will be in English, Spanish and Vietnamese and will start at 10 a.m. People are invited to bring the bread that they will use for their Thanksgiving dinner to be blessed during the service. There will be no other masses on Thanksgiving Day. Free self-parking is available on a first-come basis in the church lot at the intersection of Mission Road and Junipero Serra Drive. The San Gabriel Mission was founded on Sept. 8, 1771 as the fourth oldest of 21 missions in California. The 241-year-old Roman Catholic parish has more than 50 active groups with a language in either English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog (Filipino) or Chinese.
Thanksgiving Lunch at Aquarium of the Pacific
While most museums are closed on Thanksgiving, the Aquarium of the Pacific is offering a Thanksgiving Lunch that gives visitors a unique opportunity to dine in the midst of over 11,000 animals from the world’s largest ocean. The traditional Thanksgiving buffet will be served in the Aquarium’s Café Scuba from 11am to 5pm. $35 per adult (12+) and $27 per child (member discounts available). RSVP: (562) 590-3100, ext. 0.