Thanksgiving 2018: Asheville Restaurants and Things to Do

Thanksgiving 2018: Restaurants & Things To Do

The Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend (November 22-25, 2018) in Asheville and the North Carolina mountains is a feast of fun. Here are our top things to do. Of course, eating is number one! Since it's one of our busiest weekends of the year, be sure to make lodging and dining reservations well in advance!

Also see our Top Holiday Outings. For Christmas Day Restaurants open in Asheville, see our Christmas Guide.

Thanksgiving Day (Nov 22, 2018) Restaurants & Buffets

While many Asheville area restaurants are closed, there are still many great local choices for a brunch, lunch or dinner on Turkey Day. Click on the names to go to their web sites. Prices & hours often change a little, so check with the restaurant.

  • Biltmore Estate Restaurants. Requires estate admission ticket or 12-month pass to dine. See our Christmas at Biltmore Guide. Make reservations at least several weeks in advance.
    • Deerpark 11 AM-5 PM: Extravagant Thanksgiving buffet, $56/adult, $19/youth 10-16, reservations required (and books up fastest).
    • Bistro (at Winery) 11:30 AM-9 PM: Gourmet three-course prix fixe menu, $55/person.
    • Stable Café (by House) 11 AM-4 PM: Menu with most popular lunch items, plus a number of holiday offerings. Phone: 828-225-6370.
    • Cedric’s Tavern (Antler Village) 11 AM-9 PM: Regular lunch and dinner menus, plus three-course menu $40/adult. Phone: 828-225-1320.
    • Go to the Biltmore Website for online reservations.
  • Omni Grove Park Inn Restaurants (Reserve online or call 1-800-438-5800 well in advance)
    • Blue Ridge Dining Room: 12-8 PM Buffet feast with views of the mountains, Adults $65, children 2-12 $25
    • EDISON, craft ales + kitchen: 11 AM–11 PM with special turkey plate w/dessert, $40/person
    • Grand Ballroom Buffet: 10:45 AM-6:45 PM, Phenomenal Buffet, Adults $65, children 2-12 $25
    • Vue 1913: 2-9:30 PM, Gourmet Thanksgiving 3-course menu, $70/person
    • Read more about Grove Park Inn
  • Grand Bohemian Hotel: (Biltmore Village) Two choices: The Red Stag Grill presents an elegant, four-course a la carte menu, 11:30 AM-9 PM, $79 adult & $25/children 2-12. The grand Kessler Ballroom has an elegant buffet, reservations times 12-3 PM, $70/adult & $25/children. They will book up several weeks in advance. Call 828-398-5600.
  • Season's at Highland Lake Inn in Flat Rock, big Thanksgiving Buffet 10:30 AM-7 PM, $52/adults, $26/child ages 6-11, 5 and under free. Live music. Local's favorite. Reservations required. 1-800-758-8130
  • Roux: (South Asheville) Traditional Thanksgiving buffet including delicious selections of roasted all-natural NC turkey with orange-cranberry relish, baked ham with maple-bourbon glaze. 1–7 PM. Adults $38/person, $17/child 12 and under. Located in the Hilton Hotel Biltmore Park. Reservations at 828-209-2715. 
  • DoubleTree Hotel's Thanksgiving Buffet features seasonal classics with an elegant twist. Biltmore Village. 1:30-6 PM. Adults $42; Children $16 (12 & under). Reservations at 828-274-1800
  • The Blackbird: Modern Southern 3-course menu at $65/adult, $15/children under 12, 11 AM-8 PM, downtown.
  • The Esmeralda Inn in Chimney Rock, buffet with seatings at 11:30, 2 and 4:30 PM. Reservations required. $40/adults, $20/children.
  • Storm Rhum Bar & Bistro, downtown, 3-course prix fixe menu $45/person with choice of heritage breed turkey, beef, pork or fish. They serve from 2-8 PM and the bar will be open until midnight.
  • Isa’s Bistro, 12-5 PM, 3-course prix fixe menu $55, downtown.
  • Strada Italiano, 11 AM-8 PM, Italian family recipes a la carte, reservations and walk-ins. Social Lounge next door open 3 PM-Midnight, downtown
  • Carmels, a la carte Southern inspired menu, Grove Arcade downtown, 12 Noon-8 PM
  • Pack's Tavern, Thanksgiving Buffet upstairs and downstairs with turkey, ham, trimmings and plenty of beer choices. Located on Pack Square Park downtown, 11 AM-8 PM. $37.99/adults, $17.99/children under 12. Good option for large groups. Reservations and walk-ins welcome. Call 828-225-6944.
  • Mountain Magnolia Inn in Hot Springs, Thanksgiving Harvest Dinner served from 11 AM-5:30 PM inside historic inn. 3-Course Prix Fixe $60, 5-Course Prix Fixe $70, Children Under 12 with 3-Course Prix Fixe $25; Under 6 free.
  • Tryon International Equestrian Center, buffet at Legends Grill, 11 AM-4 PM, $29.95/person. Call 828-863-1000 for reservations.
  • Cornerstone (102 Tunnel Road, Asheville) is our favorite diner in town. They will have several specials with choice of sides. 7:30 AM-9 PM. No reservations accepted. 
  • Old Europe Pastries downtown at 13 Broadway is open from 7 AM-4 PM on Thanksgiving.

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!

Biltmore Estate: The Biltmore House is open for tours on Thanksgiving Day. All estate restaurants (see above) are open. It's a busy weekend on the estate, so get tickets well ahead. They usually sell-out for the entire weekend. See our Christmas at Biltmore Guide.

Pick your Christmas Tree: 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 activities. See our Asheville Christmas Tree Farms Guide.

Asheville Outlets: The 70-store Asheville Outlets Center will be open on Thanksgiving Day from 6 PM until 2 AM, Friday & Saturday 9-9 and Sunday 11-6. Free pics with Santa. Read more.

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. Free parking on streets and city parking decks on Thanksgiving Day and Friday. See our Downtown Asheville Guide.

More Shopping: Biltmore Village is home to more than 40 shops in historic cottages and buildings. Asheville is a mecca for artists, so this is the place to find one-of-a-kind gifts. Head to the Folk Art Center and the River Arts District. See our Gallery Guide. Also see our Antique Shopping Guide

Small Towns: If you prefer the quaint small towns and friendly "Mayberry" Main Streets, explore our cool small towns throughout our mountains.

Get Outdoors: #optoutside! 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 and waterfalls in the National Forests and Parks are open every day.

  • Green Friday at Adventure Center of Asheville (near downtown): Ages 4+ zip at KidZip or climb at Treetops Park. Ages 10+ ride Zipline Canopy Tours as well as advanced challenges in the Treetops Park. 50% of all revenue donated for environmental causes in WNC.
  • Some ski resorts will open if weather is cold enough.
  • Diamond Brand & Frugal Backpacker are our top outdoors stores in Asheville. Best deals on Friday.

National Parks: Both Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park are open on Thanksgiving Day, weather permitting. The Oconaluftee Visitor Center in the Great Smokies is open on Thanksgiving Day.

More Happenings: See our Top Holiday Outings for more things to do!

Thanksgiving Weekend Events in Asheville Area

Christmas at Biltmore
Christmas at Biltmore
Saturday, November 3, 2018 to Sunday, January 6, 2019
The biggest event of the holiday season. See America's largest home decked out in festive finery. Candlelight Evenings are especially magical. See our extensive guide with tips, photos and details.
Forest City Christmas Lights
Forest City Hometown Holiday Lights
Thursday, November 22, 2018 to Tuesday, January 1, 2019
See the million lights that create a magical Main Street in downtown Forest City with many events throughout, including carriage rides. Lighting ceremony on Thanksgiving Day.
Winter Lights NC Arboretum
Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum
Friday, November 16, 2018 to Monday, December 31, 2018
Stroll through impressive light displays in the Arboretum gardens, especially designed to compliment the plants and trees in this beautiful setting. We are delighted to be a sponsor of this festive event.
Polar Express Train
Polar Express Train
Friday, November 9, 2018 to Monday, December 31, 2018
Ride to the North Pole on the Polar Express Train at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad to pick up Santa. It's fun for all ages. Departs from Bryson City. See our guide for all the details.
Drive About Art Tour
Arts & Crafts Drive-About Tour
Friday, November 23, 2018 to Saturday, November 24, 2018
Take a free self-guided driving tour of the galleries and working studios of Graham and Swain Counties and buy arts and crafts directly from the artist. Pick up a map at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center near Fontana Lake. 10 AM-5 PM.
Hendersonville, NC, Christmas
Hendersonville Home for the Holidays
Friday, November 23, 2018 to Monday, December 31, 2018
Main Street twinkles with thousands of lights with many festive events including carriage rides, parade, Broadway shows, tours, ice skating and fantastic shopping.
Aluminum Christmas Tree Museum
Aluminum Christmas Tree Museum
Saturday, November 10, 2018 to Saturday, December 22, 2018
This quirky exhibit in downtown Brevard features dozens of vintage aluminum Christmas trees and ornaments inside the Transylvania Heritage Museum. A fun trip back in time. Wed-Sat. Free admission.
Maggie Valley Christmas
Maggie Gets Lit
Saturday, November 24, 2018
Kick off the season at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds, 12-6 PM, for a Christmas Market, Santa Strut, clogging, music, ugly sweater contest, best dressed pet, kids zone and food. Gather at 6 PM for the tree lighting. Free. Donations of coats and non-perishable food welcomed.
Carolina Christmas
Victorian Christmas at Smith-McDowell House
Wednesday, November 14, 2018 to Saturday, January 5, 2019
Tour Asheville's oldest home at the Smith McDowell House, decked out with decorations from the Victorian period. Located just a few miles from Biltmore and downtown. Open Wed-Sat.
Flat Rock Playhouse
Classic Nashville Christmas, Flat Rock Playhouse
Thursday, November 29, 2018 to Sunday, December 16, 2018
Jason Petty and his Classic Nashville Roadshow cast presents classic holiday hits recorded by Gene Autry, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Brenda Lee and Elvis Presley.
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