As we near the Thanksgiving holiday,, there are new guidelines to assist in slowing the spread of COVID-19, Although we cannot gather, we can still celebrate and give thanks for our health.

As of November 19, the CDC has recommended that no one travel this holiday season, and the State of California and Los Angeles County have implemented new COVID-19 guidelines, such as a 10 p.m. curfew for all non-essential activities, prohibiting in-person dining, limiting indoor capacities, keeping groups of people to ten or less and mandating that masks be worn at all times outside of your household. Let’s spread cheer and not germs this Thanksgiving.

Eat Local, Santa Monica

Local Santa Monica restaurants have your back. Many of your favorite restaurants are hosting to-go Thanksgiving dinner specials where you can book your family feast in advance and pick up your hot-meal on Thanksgiving day. Whether you are looking for vegan specials or meat lovers delicacies, there is something for everyone this holiday season.

For a proper Thanksgiving feast, check out Calabra at the Proper Hotel on Wilshire Blvd. Their Thanksgiving take-out menu includes all of your classic favorites, including a white and dark meat turkey roulade, a mediteranean salad along with fresh dinner rolls, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and a seasonal favorite, pumpkin pie — Is anyone else’s mouth watering? You can pre-order a prepared Thanksgiving feast from Calabra for pick up at Santa Monica Proper on November 24 and 25 from 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. or November 26 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., with prices ranging from $135 for two or $250 for four. To place a to-go order, visit their website at www.properhotel.com/santa-monica/restaurants-bars/calabra.

This isn’t your average Thanksgiving, so why have an average Thanksgiving meal?

Bangkok West Thai on Santa Monica Blvd. has created a delectable fall menu, including traditional Thai Cuisine and some fusion-favorites, such as their Kabocha, Creamy Soup, and Tasteful Turkey Breast, complete with Asian Pumpkin Custard for dessert. Their focus on “Sanuk” — “the feeling of joy associated with great times, good friends, and a homey atmosphere” according to their website, can be found in every bite, making this a Thanksgiving feast you will never forget. For just $45, you can get this amazing “Sanuk” holiday feast. More info: https://www.exploretock.com/bangkokwestthai.

Thanksgiving feasts normally include everything but the kitchen sink, but have you ever heard of a Thanksgiving feast without the turkey? At Uplifters Kitchen on Ocean Park Blvd, you can get a delicious Thanksgiving feast without the meat for those in need of vegetarian, vegan or gluten free dinner options. With a bit of creativity and a focus on delicious, fresh food, the Kitchen has created delightful twists of your favorite Thanksgiving sides, including roasted beets with whipped feta, smashed garlic-rosemary potatoes, farro-stuffed acorn squash with tahini dressing and more. Finish off your feast with their pumpkin or apple pie, their seasonal fruit galette or fruit crumble, maple upside-down pear cake or almond ginger carrot cake. With options this good, you won’t miss the turkey this year! Book your holiday feast by November 22 for pick-up on November 25. More info: https://www.toasttab.com/uplifters-kitchen-2819-ocean-park-blvd/v3.

We all look forward to making our Thanksgiving meals with love and the Gourmandise School of Sweets & Savories in the Santa Monica Place is here to help with just that. It’s no secret that everyone’s favorite aspect of Thanksgiving is the dessert! Whether you’re a pumpkin pie loyalist, or a chocolate fiend, French pastry chef Clémence Gossett has you covered with virtual pastry classes. To perfect the creaminess of pumpkin pie to the flakiness of an apple pie, Gossett will offer a virtual Bake and Take Pie class, where you can use code FALLFLAVORS15 at checkout to get 15% off your purchase. For those venturing into cooking, her classes are not limited to pies and desserts, but how to master the Thanksgiving sides, homemade sourdough, croissants and more; Thanksgiving has never tasted so sweet. More info: https://www.cookingschoolsofamerica.com/thegourmandiseschool.

Celebrate Thanksgiving without the extensive food preparation by ordering ahead and enjoying a to-go Thanksgiving dinner at home. From prix-fixe menus to specially curated holiday-themed dishes, celebrate with this list of restaurants, all offering the finest of Santa Monica cuisine sure to make the day memorable. See the full listing of over 40 Thanksgiving Specials in Santa Monica at www.santamonica.com/thanksgiving-dining-in-santa-monica.

Give Back Local

With the holidays in full swing, many individuals are concerned about where their next meal will come from after a difficult year. In an effort to spread some kindness this holiday season, many local organizations are giving back to those experiencing job loss, food insecurity, or homelessness so everyone can enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.

The City of Santa Monica opened an emergency food pantry at Virginia Avenue Park in March to provide local families with fresh, nutritious food. They assist between 150-200 households each week, with the help of Westside Food Bank, by providing free pre-assembled food boxes for families. This holiday season, the Virginia Ave. Park Holiday Food Pantry is asking for your help to raise $30,000 for the holiday pantry. Your $30 tax deductible donation can help feed a local family of four for one holiday, or a $100-tax deductible donation can feed a family of four for the entire month of December. To donate, visit www.calfund.org/wearesantamonica and select “holiday food pantry.”

The Salvation Army Corps. Community Center of Santa Monica is doing their best to help those experiencing homelessness or food insecurity by handing out weekly pre-assembled food boxes. Lieutenant Erin Wikle says that this program provides a “practical need with a profound impact” as they have assisted 4,000 new individuals since March. Boxes are handed out on a weekly basis, containing the essentials, such as canned goods, bread, eggs and more. The Community Corps. also assists elderly individuals by partnering with Wise and Healthy Aging to deliver food boxes to their front door. With Thanksgiving coming up, Wikle says that they wanted to make sure that everyone could have a Thanksgiving meal and as of Tuesday, the Community Corps. assisted 350-homeless individuals by handing out a holiday-themed food box with the intention to spread “hope in a time of fear.” If you are in need of assistance, head to the Salvation Army Community Corps. at 1533 4th Street, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. to apply for assistance.

Virtual Gatherings

2020 is the year to try new Thanksgiving traditions! Virtual gatherings are  safest for both the host and attendees, and are the only way to ensure you prevent the spread of COVID-19 to friends and family.

Host a cook/bake off with extended family from the safety of everyone’s own home. Take photos of the meal and vote which family member pulled off the dish the best!

Have a virtual football event…with the new option of turning down the volume of the opposing team’s fans.

Share family recipes with one another so that if meals are eaten apart, the same great food can be enjoyed.

Host a virtual dessert party where loved ones can come together for coffee and pie no matter the location.

With all your virtual gatherings, use a fun Thanksgiving background to get in the holiday spirit!

Thanksgiving will be different this year as we explore new traditions and prioritize the health and safety of those we love! Whether you order from our amazing restaurants or pull out your chef’s hat and whip-up a feast, Santa Monica has you covered. We all can give thanks for our health and wellbeing as we navigate this time together… Happy Thanksgiving!

THANKSGIVING DINNERS TO-GO

  • 1212 Santa Monica
  • Bangkok West Thai
  • Blue Plate Taco
  • BOA Steakhouse
  • Broadway Baker
  • Calabra
  • Co-Opportunity
  • Del Frisco’s Grill
  • El Torito Restaurant
  • Esters Wine Shop & Bar
  • Fia Restaurant
  • FIG Restaurant at Fairmont Hotel & Bungalows
  • The Georgian Hotel
  • Gourmandise School of Sweets & Savories
  • Greenleaf Chopshop
  • Holy Cow BBQ
  • Hotel Casa del Mar
  • Huckleberry
  • Jameson’s Pub
  • Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel
  • Lunetta
  • Meat on Ocean
  • Mélisse x Citrin
  • Milo & Olive
  • Dialogue x Pasjoli
  • Papille Gustative
  • Shutters on the Beach
  • Socalo
  • Sonoma Wine Garden
  • Sweet Lady Jane
  • Sweet Rose Creamery
  • Thyme Cafe & Market
  • Tiato
  • True Food Kitchen
  • Uplifters Kitchen
  • Urth Caffe
  • Vucacious Catering
  • Wexler’s Deli
  • Ye Old King’s Head