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Asheville Thanksgiving 2014 Restaurants & Top 10 Things To Do

Also see: Top 50 Holiday Outings | Restaurants | Shopping Guide | Top 20 Romantic Outings | Top 10 Art Outings | Ski Resorts | Christmas at Biltmore | Grove Park Inn Gingerbread Houses

The Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend in Asheville is so much fun with lots of do. Here are our Top 10 things to do. Of course, eating is number one! Also see our Top Holiday Outings.

Thanksgiving in Asheville1. Thanksgiving Day (November 27, 2014) Asheville Restaurants: While many restaurants are closed, there are still many great choices for a Thanksgiving brunch, lunch or dinner. Click on the names to go to their web sites.

Biltmore Estate Restaurants
Requires estate admission ticket or 12-month pass to dine. See our Christmas at Biltmore Guide.

  • Deerpark 11 AM-4 PM: Extravagant Thanksgiving buffet, $45/person, reservations required (and books up fast). Phone: 828-225-6260.
  • Bistro (at Winery) 11:30 AM-8 PM: Gourmet four-course prix fixe menu plus limited a la carte. Phone: 828-225-6230. Reservations highly recommended.
  • Stable Café (by House) 11 AM-4 PM: A la carte menu with blend of most popular lunch menu items, plus a number of holiday offerings. Best option if you tour Biltmore on Thanksgiving and don't have a reservation.
  • Cedric’s Tavern (Antler Village) 11 AM-9 PM: Regular lunch and dinner menus, plus three-course menu. Phone: 828-225-1320

Grove Park Inn Restaurants (Dining reservations: 1-800-438-5800)

  • Blue Ridge Dining Room: 12-7:30 PM Grand Buffet, Adults $55, children 2-12 $20
  • EDISON, craft ales + kitchen: 11 AM–11 PM with full menu and specials
  • Grand Ballroom: 10:45 AM-6 PM, Phenomenal Buffet, Adults $55, children 2-12 $20
  • Vue 1913: 11 AM-2:30 PM and 4-8 PM, Thanksgiving pre fixe menu $65
  • Read more about Grove Park Inn and the Gingerbread House Competition Display

Grand Bohemian Hotel: (Biltmore Village) Two choices: The Red Stag Grill presents an elegant, four-course dinner starting at 11 AM featuring Heritage Black Turkey Roulade, Appalachian Forest Ham, Grilled Venison Tenderloin and Black Grouper. The Kessler Ballroom hosts family-style dining for larger gatherings, featuring traditional Turkey and accompaniments. Additional carvings stations will offer Cider-Glazed Pork Loin and roasted Brasstown Beef. 828-398-5600. Read more about the Grand Bohemian Hotel.

Roux: (South Asheville) Traditional Thanksgiving buffet including delicious selections of roasted all-natural NC turkey with orange-cranberry relish, baked ham with peaches and beam glaze, sweet potato casserole with pecan streusel, homemade pumpkin pie, apple-cinnamon bread pudding, gluten-free options, and much more!  Seating will be from 1–8 PM. Adults $34/person, $15/child 12 and under. Located in the Hilton Hotel Biltmore Park. Reservations required, 828-209-2715.

DoubleTree Biltmore's Thanksgiving Buffet features seasonal classics with an elegant twist, with roasted turkey, autumn greens, herb roasted fingerling potatoes, pork loin stuffed with apples, pears and sage, creamy pumpkin pudding, vanilla cheesecake and much more. 1:30-6 PM.  Adults $35; Children 12 and under $14.  Reservations required at 828-274-1800. 

Buffalo Nickel: In West Asheville, open 12-8 PM with a set menu of farm-to-table turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and green beans, plus dessert, for $17 adults and $9 for kids.

Edna's coffee shop in North Asheville is open 6 AM-10 PM with sandwiches, salads and a variety of drinks.

Downtown Asheville Restaurants Open on Thanksgiving

  • Storm Rhum Bar & Bistro, 3-course prix fixe menu with choice of heritage breed turkey, beef, pork or fish. They serve from 2-8 PM and the bar will be open until midnight. Reservations made online or call 828-505-8560.
  • Isa’s Bistro, 11 AM-4 PM, 3-course prix fixe menu $55. Call 828-575-9636
  • oneFIFTYone Boutique Bar & Kitchen at Hotel Indigo, Four course dinner, 2-9 PM, call 828-239-0186
  • Strada Italiano, 11 AM-8 PM, Italian family recipes, call 828-348-8448
  • Carmels, a al carte menu, Grove Arcade, 11 AM-7 PM, call 828-252-8730
  • Pack's Tavern, Thanksgiving Buffet with turkey, dressing, and all the trimmings special and plenty of beer choices, 20 South Spruce Street, 11 AM-9 PM. $25/adults, $13/children under 10. Reservations, call 828-225-6944
  • The Bier Garden, 46 Haywood St, 828-285-0002
  • Blackbird Restaurant, 47 Biltmore Ave, 828-254-2502
  • Kathmandu, 90 Patton Ave, 828-252-1080

Hot Springs
Mountain Magnolia Inn Thanksgiving Harvest Dinner served from 12-7 PM. 3-Course Prix Fixe $50, 5-Course Prix Fixe $60, Children Under 12 with 3-Course Prix Fixe $25; Under 6 free. Executive Chef Chris Brown serving some traditional favorites as well as new creations, organic and locally sourced when possible. Dine by fireside in the 1868 Country Inn. Call 1-800-914-9306 for reservations. SOLD OUT

Hendersonville / Flat Rock
Season's at Highland Lake Inn annual Thanksgiving Day Buffet Spectacular, 10:30 AM to 7:00 PM with live music. 828-696-9094.

Black Mountain Camp
The Thanksgiving Folk Dance Camp (November 27-30, 2014) is a holiday tradition with contra and folk dance classes, live folk music, crafts, hiking, outdoor gams and more. Packages include lodging, food and all activities. Go to their Web site.

Christmas at Biltmore2. Holiday Packages / Places to Stay: See our holiday vacation packages page for the latest holiday vacation packages, deals and specials. Also see our list of the bests hotels, bed and breakfast inns and cabin rentals in Asheville and the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Make reservations early since we will have lots of visitors in town for the big Thanksgiving Weekend.

3. Biltmore Estate: Biltmore Estate is open on Thanksgiving Day. Normally it is not very busy, so it's a great day to visit to see America's largest home decked out in festive finery. Restaurants are open (make dining reservations in advance). The Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving are very busy on the estate. When you purchase tickets, inquire to see if your self-guided tour of Biltmore House requires a reservation (required on very busy days). See our Christmas at Biltmore Guide. And see Five Other House Museums for Holiday Tours

4. Shop Downtown Asheville: Most all downtown stores are closed on Thanksgiving. But there's plenty of holiday shopping on Friday and Saturday to find those special gifts. Browse through more than 200 shops, 30 art galleries and a dozen antique stores - all locally owned. Tour the fascinating Thomas Wolfe Home on Friday or Saturday. See our Downtown Asheville Guide. For more great local shops with unique gifts, explore the quaint downtowns of nearby Brevard, Hendersonville and Waynesville.

LaZoom Holiday Tours5. LaZoom Comedy Bus Tours: What a fun outing with friends and family! Take the zany tour on the big purple bus. During their newest tour, you'll meet a real fruitcake, a traveling snowman and a turkey that simply defies explanation! The special Happy Jollidays Tour runs on Wednesday before Thanksgiving and Friday, Saturday and Sunday after (but closed on Thanksgiving Day). Read more about LaZoom Tours.

6. Gingerbread Houses at Grove Park Inn: For a real treat, see the amazing display of gingerbread houses from the National Gingerbread House Competition at the famous Grove Park Inn Resort. Overnight guests and restaurant guests at the resort can view the display at any time. If you're not a guest, visit on Sundays-Thursdays and enjoy the other elaborate decorations at the grand hotel. See our Gingerbread House Competition Guide.

7. Holiday Shopping: Located across from the entrance to Biltmore Estate, Biltmore Village is home to more than 40 unique shops. Most businesses are housed in historic cottages and buildings. Asheville is a mecca for artists, so this is the place to find one-of-a-kind gifts. In addition to the galleries downtown and Biltmore Village, head to the Folk Art Center and the River Arts District. See our Gallery Guide. The best area in Asheville to find antiques is the Biltmore Antiques District with 13 stores within a mile and a half of the Biltmore Estate. Included is the local long-time favorite, the Antique Tobacco Barn. See our Antique Shopping Guide. Most all stores are closed on Thanksgiving Day.

8. Get Outdoors: Take a late fall hike and enjoy views through with leafless trees, cool temperatures, and few fellow hikers. See our hiking guide for top picks. All trails in the National Forests are open every day. And don't forget to find some of our spectacular waterfalls (most waterfalls are open on Thanksgiving Day, including DuPont State State Forest and Gorges State Park). Area ski resorts will open by the weekend if we get a lot of cold weather before Thanksgiving. Or zip line at Navitat Canopy Tours on Nov 28, 29, 30

Green Friday for Ziplines: Take a canopy tour near downtown Asheville or in the Nantahala Gorge and help raise money for great environmental causes. Wildwater will donate 50% of profits that day to several local environmental organizations.

Christmas Tre Farms9. Pick your Christmas Tree: North Carolina is the number two state in the country for growing Christmas Trees! Go to a "choose and cut" Tree Farm to pick the perfect one for your home on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. All are closed on Thanksgiving Day. Many farms offer hayrides and other holiday-related events. See our Asheville Christmas Tree Farms Guide.

10. National Parks: Both Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park are open on Thanksgiving Day, weather permitting. For road closures and conditions on the Blue Ridge Parkway, along with weather reports, call the Parkway information line at (828) 298-0398. The Parkway Visitors Center and Folk Art Center are closed on Thanksgiving Day. The Oconaluftee Visitor Center in the Great Smokies is open on Thanksgiving Day.

More Holiday Happings
See our Top 50 Holiday Outings for more holiday fun!

Winter LightsThanksgiving Weekend Events

November 22, 2014-January 4, 2015: Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum, stroll through impressive displays in the gardens.

November 26-January 4: Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland two-mile drive through light spectacular.

November 27-30, 2014: More about Thanksgiving Weekend

November 28-29, 2014: Hard Candy Christmas Fine Art & Craft Show in Cullowhee with more than 100 artisans will fill Western Carolina University's Ramsey Center arena.

November 28 & 29, 2014: Dickens' A Christmas Carol at Diana Wortham Theatre. This version is a one-man hilarious with Jeremy Webb playing 25 characters, including puppets for ghost. Three shows: November 28th at 7 PM and 29th at 2 & 7 PM. Go to their web site.

November 28-January 3, 2014: Cherokee Lights and Legends Christmas. At this new event at the Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds, stroll under the lights through fun, interactive displays that tell ancient Cherokee Christmas legends. Enjoy carnival rides, a 40-ft. Christmas tree, a visit with Santa Claus, or a synthetic ice rink. Open Wednesday-Saturday.

November 29, 2014: Holiday Bazaar at the North Asheville Tailgate Market outside on the campus of UNC Asheville, 12 Noon until 3 PM. 60 vendors and artists with fresh baked goods, meats and cheeses and lots of local art and crafts.

November 29, 2014: Christmas at Connemara. Hot cider and cookies will be served. This free festive celebration honors Carl Sandburg and the family holiday tradition of music. The house will be decorated in the simple style of the Sandburgs with poinsettias and a traditionally decorated Christmas tree throughout December until January 6, 2015.

November 29-December 20, 2014: Aluminum Christmas Tree Museum in downtown Brevard features vintage trees and ornaments, inside the Transylvania Heritage Museum.

November 30, 2014: The Big Crafty at the Asheville Art Museum downtown, shop indie with artists, crafters, food and music, 12-6 PM, free admission.

Thanksgiving Recipe from Biltmore Estate:
George Vanderbilt's Favorite Turkey and Cornbread Dressing


  • 20–25 pound turkey
  • Cornbread, prepared
  • 6 buttermilk biscuits, prepared
  • 1 dozen eggs, hard-boiled
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup ground sage
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  • Rinse turkey and rub with salt inside and out.
  • Using a large boiler or cooker, place turkey in enough water to almost cover it (one gallon or more).
  • Heat to boiling point and cook on medium for about 2 1/2 hours or until breast is tender; use a ladle to baste broth over the breast meat to keep it moist.
  • For cornbread dressing: Bake a large pan of cornbread using your favorite cornbread recipe.
  • Bake about six buttermilk biscuits using your favorite recipe, or purchase frozen biscuits and bake.
  • Peel eggs and chop or grate them into large mixing bowl. Add onions, celery, sage, salt and pepper. Crumble cornbread and biscuits into bowl.
  • When turkey is done, pour turkey broth over the cornbread dressing until the desired consistency is reached. Mix well, using plenty of broth so that dressing will be moist and soft when done.
  • Place turkey in center of large baking pan. Spoon dressing into and around turkey. Bake in 425ºF oven for about 45 minutes. If turkey browns too soon, cover with aluminum foil.
  • Serves eight to ten

The creator of this recipe, Ellen Davis, came to Biltmore House from the community of Avery Creek in the spring of 1899 to work as a cook for the Vanderbilts. She fell in love with Thomas H. Johnson, a groomsman in the Stables, and they were married the following spring. This recipe was a favorite of George and Edith Vanderbilt's, and it became a tradition for Ellen Johnson to prepare it for them each year.


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