Photo: Ekaterina Bolovtsova / Pexels
So, Thanksgiving is approaching — and a dire public health emergency is sapping your energy and enthusiasm for the typical holiday planning, meal prep and cleanup. Fortunately, the Detroit chefs, restaurants and markets we love can help make Thanksgiving feel special, with meals to pre-order, pies that are better than homemade and nontraditional options that still feel festive.
Maybe cooking up a storm when you might just be serving yourself and your housemates sounds like a lot of hassle, or your usual Thanksgiving host canceled the party and you have no idea how to stuff a bird. Maybe you just need a break. Whatever the reason, Thanksgiving doesn’t have to mean eight hours in the kitchen.
Here are some of the best places to order your Thanksgiving faves in and around Detroit, whether the turkey is an absolute must, or it’s really the mashed potatoes you can’t go without. If you can’t gather with your loved ones, don’t consider this just a poor substitute for the real deal. Instead, it’s a chance to have a professional chef make your meal — and support the independent food businesses that are hurting right now. From Marrow to Good Cakes and Bakes and beyond, we promise you won’t be disappointed.
On that note… we’re all stressed, and getting the food right is basically the most important thing for Thanksgiving. But offer your food providers some kindness as they labor to make your family’s holiday meal, during their busiest season, during a pandemic. The voicemail message at Sweet Potato Sensations put it best: “Please bring your grace, your patience and, as always, your mask… Have a yamtastically blessed holiday.”
Pick up the ingredients and make your own
Eastern Market Thanksgiving boxes
Still eager to make your meal from scratch, but want to pare down the shopping — while supporting Michigan farmers? Order your supplies from Eastern Market ASAP. Farm boxes, $40, are jam-packed with ingredients to feed 4-6 people, with cranberries, sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, cooking herbs, butternut squash, greens mix, specialty squash, arugula, apples, carrots, Yukon gold potatoes and beets. They still have a few 19-21-pound turkeys ($100), pasture raised in Charlotte. And for a twist on the table wine, cranberry pomegranate kombucha ($12-$15). While you’re stocking up, you can also make the holiday special for someone else by donating a farm box to an org distributing food to people in need.
Best for: Home cooks and local food aficionados
How to order: Buy online
Last day to order: Thursday, Nov. 18
Pickup: Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2-7 p.m. in Eastern Market
Thanksgiving meals for one, two or a few
Gobble To Go from local food vendors at Royal Oak Farmers Market
If you’re the kind of person who loves an eight-page menu — and supporting Metro Detroit food entrepreneurs — Gobble to Go lets you mix-and-match to curate your dream Thanksgiving meal, with offerings from Ideal Bite Catering, K & K Creations and more. Like your sweet potatoes savory? Try the whipped bourbon bacon dish, with fried sage and pecans. Prefer them in baked good form? Sweet potato waffle crostinis with apple cider brined chicken thighs will make you forget the mini marshmallows. Find BBQ, roasts, pies, allll the classic sides, even centerpieces. Plus, Sisters on a Roll offers a full range of vegan “turkeys,” “ham” and “roast beef” as well as the sides. Options include servings for one-many.
Best for: Vegans, variety lovers and when everyone in your family has a non-negotiable holiday fave
How to order: Online ordering
Last day to order: Sunday, Nov. 22, 9 p.m.
Pickup: Wednesday, Nov. 25, 1-8 p.m., west lot of the Royal Oak Farmers Market
Marrow’s over-the-top meal for two, meat or vegetarian
Celebrated West Village butcher shop Marrow already sold out of their individual birds, though they have some add-ons available, like charcuterie boards, brunch bundles, gravy and stuffing. But we’re really here for the main event, which you gotta read in full: buttermilk biscuits with maldon salt and apple butter; cranberry relish with orange zest; shaved brussel sprout salad with pomegranate, pine nuts and mustard dressing; roasted delicata squash with whipped ricotta and hazelnuts; whipped mashed potatoes with scallions, leeks and garlic butter; sausage-stuffed turkey breast roulade with gravy; and of course pecan pie, with miso caramel, Maldon salt and brown sugar whipped cream. …Sorry, we got sidetracked by our own hunger. The dinner for two is $120, and there’s a vegetarian version ($100) that looks just as enticing. Just heat and serve.
Best for: Refined palettes, when you want the full spread without a month of leftovers
How to order: Order meal kits and sides online or in the shop
Last day to order: Friday, Nov. 20
Pickup: Meals: Wednesday, Nov. 25, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Marrow. A la carte items: Nov. 22-25
Rose’s Fine Food has you covered with a meal made from-scratch and with love — and drinks, too
For a fully-prepped Thanksgiving meal with just a few less frills, but still plenty of thrills — Rose’s Fine Food is offering a more affordable option. And you KNOW this beloved diner will have the desserts covered. Their dinner is $20 a person for Smoked Fowl Creek Farm chicken with mashed potatoes, roasted carrots and creamed spinach. And pick your sweet (sold separately): vegan apple pie with olive oil crust, sweet potato cake with maple buttercream and caramel, walnut custard tart or one of several other options. They’ve got a handy wine pairing menu too — and bottles available to buy.
Best for: When you’re craving expertly-made comfort food, if you care more about the pie than the turkey
How to order: Choose off the online menu
Last day to order: Sunday, Nov. 22 (or earlier if they sell out)
Pickup: Tuesday, Nov. 24 or Wednesday, Nov. 25 at Rose’s Fine Food
Two Unique delivers upscale Thanksgiving meals to your doorstep
Royal Oak’s Two Unique knows a thing or two (ha) about expertly prepared and packaged catered meals — even if you’re “catering” for a family of four. Their Thanksgiving feast package serves 4-6, with turkey, green beans, roasted carrots, mashed and sweet potatoes, stuffing, cornbread muffins, sage gravy, cranberry ginger relish, pumpkin pie and fresh whipped cream. Quite the feast for $195. For $110, get all the sides, minus the turkey. They also have plenty of a la carte selections for smaller orders or if you want to mix-and-match, and maybe the best part: they deliver (for orders over $85, with delivery fee $10 and up).
Best for: People who are avoiding contact for COVID-19 reasons and the rest of us who got too used to DoorDash
How to order: Order from the online menu
Last day to order: Sunday, Nov. 22
Pickup: Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 4303 Delemere Ct. from 12- 4:00pm. Deliveries occur during the same period.
Sunday’s Best Thanksgiving brunch packages
With all the focus on the Big Meal, it’s easy to forget about the other most important meal of the day. Make brunch its own occasion, whether you’re looking for something lighter or a whole she-bang. At Sunday’s Best – The Brunch Spot, an Eastern Market eatery, they’ve done the work for ya, with three packages: $100, $175 and $350. The latter – with mini muffins, croissants, breakfast burritos, quiches, hashbrown casserole and fresh fruit — is enough to feed an army or for several days of leftovers since you’ll be keeping your family gathering safe and small.
Best for: Cooks who need to keep up their strength — or definitely aren’t cooking again on Friday morning
How to order: Email to place your catering order
Last day to order: Sunday, Nov. 22
Pickup: Wednesday, Nov. 25 in Eastern Market
Pies, desserts and baked goods
Sweet Potato Sensations
Sweet Potato Sensations is a citywide favorite — case in point, they’ve reached their pre-order capacity. However! You can still pick up pies, cakes and ice cream in store on a first-come, first-served basis. If their addicting sweet potato cheesecake isn’t still available, you’ll surely find something — though maybe don’t wait til Wednesday.
Best for: People who need to look before they buy (their pie)
How to buy: No preorders, buy in-store at 17337 Lahser Rd.
Holiday hours: 12-6 p.m. Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Wednesday
Good Cakes and Bakes
We love Good Cakes and Bakes, and Thanksgiving is a great excuse to level up from the individual slice. Whole pies and cakes –ranging from $18 to $50 — are available for online ordering and pickup next week, whether you want a more classic sweet potato chess pie, or want to add some zing to the end of your meal with the lemon velvet cake. Plenty of vegan choices, too.
Best for: Making dessert its own celebration
How to order: Order online, limited selection of baked goods available in store without preorder.
Last day to order: Saturday, Nov. 21 or when sold out
Pickup: Tuesday and Wednesday at Good Cakes and Bakes
Charcuterie, tapas and appetizers — or nontraditional main courses?
Rocco’s Italian Deli
A giant turkey’s great and all — but there’s a reason we don’t eat them much more than once a year. Sliced meats, however… those are good for all occasions. Rocco’s might not be the obvious choice for Thanksgiving dinner, but we’d argue that it’s just right, whether you want a charcuterie plate before the meal (or for the meal), or want to skip the turkey for another special dinner. For $50 (a steal!), get a meal that serves two with charcuterie and cheese, salad, pasta special of the day, fresh bread, a bottle of wine and dessert. Vegetarian options also available, and the meals will stay fresh for a day. Pick up meat and cheese by the pound to make your own apps, order off their regular menu and get wine, beer and other grocery items.
Best for: When you don’t want to leave the car, nontraditional feasts, last-minute picks
How to order: Order online
Last day to order: Wednesday, Nov. 24, when they’re open 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Pickup: Curbside only at Rocco’s in Midtown