Cooking a bountiful Thanksgiving spread is a multi-day effort. My detailed battle plan for this year’s holiday meal starts with grocery shopping on Saturday and builds to a full Thursday at the stove and oven.
That’s my briar patch. I love to cook, especially big meals.
But some folks—whether they’re just busy or uncomfortable in the kitchen—would be extra thankful if someone else did the work.
Here are some places in greater Birmingham where you can order up a fried or roasted turkey, enough fixings to feed your crowd, and all the pies and treats you’ll need to satisfy any sweet tooth. (We also have Thanksgiving pickup options in both the northern and southern halves of Alabama.)
Relying on Thanksgiving takeout is not like a typical to-go order. You still need to plan days ahead. At many places orders must be in by Saturday, November 20 (cutoff times that day vary). Even if the restaurant or caterer doesn’t specify a deadline, waiting any later than Monday, November 22, is risky. Order early.
Pickup generally is the day before Thanksgiving. After all, most of these places will be closed on Nov. 25, so their workers also can gather with family and friends.
The Thanksgiving Bundle ($120), which serves 6-8, includes Boar’s Head turkey breast with gravy, cornbread dressing, sweet potato casserole, sour cream biscuits, and mini cupcakes. A holiday Breakfast Bundle ($60, also for 6-8) has breakfast casserole, cheese grits, and sour cream biscuits. Most bundle items are frozen, so plan extra prep time. Order either bundle by 3 p.m. on November 20. Fresh-made desserts on the regular menu include pumpkin snickerdoodle MAC cookies ($4 each) and whole pumpkin cheesecake pie ($22). Order via phone by 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 20 at the store where you want to pick it up.
Bistro V (Vestavia Hills)
A la carte options start with a 22-pound fried or roasted turkey ($110) and dressing (cornbread $30 or oyster $45). Casserole sides (serves 6-8) are $38, and gravy and cranberry sauce are $15 each. Large-sized desserts – pumpkin cheesecake, chocolate chip bread pudding, flourless chocolate torte, and cranberry rum cake, are $40-$70. Order via the restaurant, 205-823-1505. Pickup is Wednesday, November 24, during business hours (open for lunch and dinner service that day).
Get that quintessential Cracker Barrel down-home cooking with packages that include roasted turkey breast, cornbread dressing, gravy, cranberry relish, sweet potato casserole with pecans, and yeast rolls. Family-size ($89.99) serves 4-6. Feast size ($139.99) serves 8-10, and includes pumpkin and pecan pies. All items also are available individually. Peg board game and CB signature rocking chair are sold separately. Order online. It’s available for pickup at the designated store from November 20-27, but the chain advises serving the food within 72 hours of pickup.
Iz Café (Vestavia Hills)
Founded in 1999 by Kay Reed, IZ includes a catering operation and a café. Meat choices are fried whole turkey (10-12 pounds, $79) or roasted turkey breast (9-pound average, $80). Sides (10-12 portions, $45) include cornbread dressing, praline sweet potato casserole, and classic green bean casserole. Cranberry chutney ($7) puts a twist on the Thanksgiving classic. Baked goods and dessert choices are numerous, including in-season pumpkin bread, and caramel apple bread pudding with praline sauce. Order online. Pickup is at IZ The Place, 3325 Rocky Ridge Road near the cafe, on November 24 from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.
Order a whole Cajun-seasoned fried turkey ($60) or turkey package ($85) that includes gravy and cornbread dressing. Individual portions of dressing ($20) and gravy ($10) also are available. Sides, sold by the quart ($8-$14), trend toward Acadian with gumbo, crawfish étouffée, shrimp or crab bisque, jambalaya, and red beans and rice, in addition to more traditional mashed potatoes. Desserts are whole pumpkin and pecan pies. Order online. Pickup is November 16-21 or November 23; select an arrival time when ordering.
Magnolia Café (U.S. 280 area of Birmingham)
Whole turkey (10-12 pounds, $55) is pecan smoked or oven roasted. Classic Southern sides start at $35. A pan-sized order serves up to 14; 1/3 pan feeds up to eight people. Gravy, cranberry sauce, rolls, and cornbread also are available. Desserts ($36-$44) are pecan pie, fruit cobbler, and banana pudding. Order by phone or fax, 205-969-4855. No order or pickup deadlines are specified on the café’s website or social media.
Smoked meat choices include whole turkey (12-14 pounds) and spiral sliced ham (7-9 pounds), both $59.99. Sides like cornbread dressing, sweet potato casserole, and corn pudding, enough for up to 12 people, are $22 each. Order by phone at the store where you want to pick it up. Ordering deadline is Saturday, November 20. Pick up is Wednesday, November 24 until 4 p.m.