Lael’s Restaurant, Manchester Grand Hyatt, One Market Place, downtown, 619-358-6735. Huge buffet, $59, seniors $54, kids $28, 11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.
Maryjane’s Coffee Shop, Hard Rock Hotel, 207 Fifth Avenue (L Street), Gaslamp Quarter, 619-764-6950. All-American basics in a jokey ’50s soda-shop atmosphere, three classic courses for $26, 6:30–10:00 p.m.
McCormick and Schmick’s, Omni Hotel, 675 L Street (at Sixth Avenue), downtown, 619-645-6545. Three-course prix-fixe $30, kids $13, plus regular à la carte (turkey entrée, $20), 11:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
The Prado, House of Hospitality, 1549 El Prado, Balboa Park, 619-557-9441. Three courses in beautiful park setting, garden patio, with a glass of champagne, $55, $15 kids.
Quarter Kitchen, Ivy Hotel, 600 F Street at Sixth Avenue, Gaslamp Quarter, 619-814-1000. À la carte dinner from famed British chef. Call for hours, prices, reservations.
Rei do Gado, 939 Fourth Avenue, Gaslamp Quarter, 619-702-8464. Brazilian skewer-grilled meats including turkey, plus side dishes. Lunch $28.50, 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Dinner $48, 4:00–about 10:00 p.m. Kids half-price at both meals.
San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, 619-557-3964 (call 10 a.m.–4 p.m.). Sit-down dinner at Albert’s, $40, $15 kids, noon–4:00 p.m. Buffet at Treetops, $43, $18 kids, same time frame. Zoo admission for nonmembers is extra. Reservations required.
Sevilla, 555 Fourth Avenue, Gaslamp Quarter, 619-233-5979. Spanish food with some seasonal specials, à la carte, 5:00–11:00 p.m.
Terra, 1270 Cleveland Avenue, Hillcrest, 619-293-7088. Three-course holiday dinner with main-course choices and creative twists, including optional vegetarian entrée, $39, kids $12.50, seatings at 12:30, 2:30, 4:30, and 6:30 p.m.
Westgate Hotel, 1055 Second Avenue, downtown, 619-557-3655 for any of the three venues. Le Fontainebleau and Versailles Ballroom, champagne buffet, $65, kids $32.50, 11:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. Le Grand Café, four-course prix-fixe, $59, kids half price, 11:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Coronado and South Bay
Coronado Boathouse 1887, 1701 Strand Way, Coronado, 619-435-0155. À la carte with traditional turkey entrée, $30, kids $16, in charming, view-endowed casual bayfront setting.
Hotel Del Coronado, 1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado, 619-522-8490 and 435-6611. Holiday buffets in both the Ballroom and the gorgeous Crown Room, $84, kids $37.50, prepaid (credit cards charged immediately over phone), November 23 is last chance to back out. Sheerwater, à la carte, regular hours and menu with holiday specials. 1500 Ocean, deluxe four-course menu from fine chef Brian Sinnott, $75–$90, kids $35, 4:00–9:00 p.m.
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, 4000 Coronado Bay Road, Silver Strand, Coronado. Market Café, 619-424-4444, family atmosphere, huge brunch buffet, $62, kids $31, noon–5:00 p.m.
Peohe’s, Ferry Landing Marketplace, 1201 First Street, Coronado, 619-437-4474. Waterfront view, tropical decor, special holiday menu, and à la carte, including turkey dinner entrée, $27, kids $10, 11:30 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
East County and Far East
Barona Valley Ranch Resort, 888-722-7662. Barona Oaks, prix-fixe three courses, $42, $70 with wine, plus à la carte choices, 5:00–10:00 p.m. Ranch House, buffet, $30, 10:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.
Rongbranch Restaurant, 2722 Washington Street, Julian, 760-765-2265. Turkey dinner, $22, $17 kids, à la carte also available, 1:00 –7:00 p.m.
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The following restaurants traditionally have been open on Thanksgiving Day. Call for details of this year’s feast and to reserve. Some are listed in more than one category because they fit more than one. You can find most on the Reader website (SDReader.com) under “Food & Drink,” on the top far right of the site; many have capsule reviews. The few that may have escaped our octopoidal embrace can be found in the phone book for their area. They’re listed below in geographical order, roughly north to south, coast to far east.
Cheap and Friendly (Meals Under $25): Tip-Top Meats (Carlsbad); Encinitas Cafe (Encinitas); Centre City Café (Escondido); Nick’s at the Beach (Pacific Beach, open late, football on TV); Nick’s at the Pier (Ocean Beach, football there too); Bali Hai (Shelter Island); Red Sails Inn (Shelter Island); the Boathouse (Harbor Island): Tickled Trout, Ramada Plaza (Mission Valley); Valley Kitchen, Mission Valley Resort, (MV); Crest Cafe (Hillcrest); Hob Nob Hill (uptown); Johnny R’s (North Park).
Convivial Community Favorites: The Quail Inn (two dining venues) (San Marcos); Bellefleur (Carlsbad); Karl Strauss Brewery (Carlsbad); Chart House (Cardiff); World Famous (Pacific Beach); Butcher Shop Steakhouse (Kearny Mesa); Kaiserhof (Ocean Beach); Tom Ham’s Lighthouse (Harbor Island); Antique Row Cafe (Normal Heights); Crest Cafe (Hillcrest); Hob Nob Hill (uptown); Cafe de la Maze (National City); Thornton’s Irish Pub (El Cajon); Alpine Bread Basket (Alpine).
Views with Your Chews (Beautiful Settings and/or Decor): Quail Inn (San Marcos); Ocean House (Carlsbad); La Costa Resort (La Costa); Paradise Grill (Del Mar, ask for patio); Poseidon (Del Mar); World Famous (Pacific Beach boardwalk); Atoll Restaurant, Catamaran Resort (Mission Beach); Blue Pearl Restaurant, the Dana Hotel (Mission Beach); Bali Hai (Shelter Island); Harbor’s Edge, Sheraton Hotel (Shelter Island); Tom Ham’s Lighthouse (Harbor Island); the Boathouse (Harbor Island); Buster’s Beach House (Seaport Village); Hornblower Cruises (book at hornblower.com).
Some Singles Scenes: Poseidon (Del Mar); Nick’s (OB and PB); World Famous (PB); Mary Jane’s (Gaslamp); Sevilla (Gaslamp).
Some Seniors Scenes: Quail Inn (San Marcos); the Shores (La Jolla); Red Sails (Shelter Island); Tom Ham’s Lighthouse (Shelter Island); Hob Nob Hill (uptown); Le Grand Café, Westgate Hotel (downtown).