Thanksgiving may be a time to unite with family and friends -- and, all to often, to overindulge -- but that doesn't mean you have to spend the day cooking and cleaning. There are plenty of fantastic restaurants whose staff will do a better job than the vast majority of us poor schlubs ever could, and diners have more time to actually socialize and enjoy the holiday as a result. Here are some of the best options on the west side of the Willamette. Although that's where most holiday-catering restaurants seem to lie in Portland, make sure you check out our list of excellent East-side establishments as well. Have other suggestions for Thanksgiving destinations? Drop a comment in the Forums.
1314 NW Glisan
Menu: Give your Thanksgiving some Peruvian flair. A fixed-price menus is available for $55 per person. Tapas and dessert will join "Pavo Novoandino" (Heritage turkey) as well as several of the restaurant's other most popular dishes.
Price: $55 per person
Henry's 12th Street Tavern
10 NW 12th Avenue
Phone: (503) 227-5320
Menu: Henry's Tavern in the Pearl District has over 100 beers on tap to complement both a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and several other menu items.
Price: Entrées range from $9.95-$27.95
1204 NW 21st Ave.
Phone: (503) 243-2403
Menu: A special Thanksgiving menu will be added to Paley's typical offerings. Expect such seasonal treats as spit-roasted turkey breast and confit of leg served with savory bread pudding, mashed potatoes and cranberry-orange compote; maitake and king oyster mushroom ravioli; and braised elk shoulder. The restaurant will be open from 2:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Reservations recommended.
Price: Entrées vary; the brined and spit-roasted turkey breast is $29.
1221 NW 21st Ave
Phone: (503) 248-9663
Menu: A seasonal feast to celebrate the harvest and Thanksgiving will be on tap at Wildwood. Although the 2012 menu has not yet been published, diners can expect a variety of entrées and sides, including vegetarian options -- much like the 2011 edition. Dinner is served from 2 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Price: Entrées range from $19-$34.
2114 NW Glisan Street
Phone: (503) 242-1400
Menu: Fondue at Urban is about more than chocolate and cheese (not that there's anything wrong with that. At all). Typical dips include lime chili, wild mushroom demi glace and Bavarian balsamic grain mustard. For Thanksgiving, Urban Fondue will serve up a four-course fixed-price meal. Call for reservations and details.
729 SW 15th Ave. (inside the Hotel deLuxe)
Phone: (503) 222-2171
Menu: Gracie's typical brunch will run from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. From 3 p.m.-8 p.m. a special Thanksgiving dinner will be offered in addition to the regular dinner menu items. Featured meals include turkey with butternut squash bread pudding, green beans, Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and turkey gravy for $24 with dessert included, and Oregon Dungeness crab and bay shrimp stuffed salmon with béarnaise sauce, asparagus and whipped Alba Gold potatoes for $32 with dessert included.
Price: Regular menu entrées run $16-$27; Thanksgiving entrées range from $24-$35 and include sides and a choice of seasonal desserts
1001 SW Broadway
Phone: (503) 790-7126
Menu: Diners can take their pick between an all-you-can-eat buffet or a fixed-price menu. The bountiful buffet offers soups, salads, pasta, turkey, seafood and desserts. The buffet runs from 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; the fixed price menu is available 11:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
Price: $47 for adults and $18 for children under 12.
411 SW Third Ave
Menu: Huber's specializes in turkey dinners year-round, so Portland's oldest restaurant is a popular destination for Thanksgiving and Christmas -- both for dining in and take-out.
Price: This year's prices have not yet been posted; call for info.
Jake's Grill at the Governor Hotel
614 SW Eleventh Avenue
Menu: The buffet at Jake's is something to behold -- from traditional turkey to cedar plank salmon and other seafood to steaks. Sides celebrate the fall and come in a wide enough variety that you'll be hard-pressed to try them all.
Price: $29.95 for adults, $7.95 for kids
McCormick & Schmick's Harborside
309 SW Montgomery Street
Phone: (503) 220-1865
Menu: Harborside's southwest waterfront location will add ambiance to your Thanksgiving meal. A three-course fixed-price meal includes a butternut squash bisque or a walnut mixed greens salad, turkey with sides and dessert.
Price: $24.95 per person
Portland City Grill
111 SW 5th Ave in the U.S. Bancorp Tower (aka "Big Pink")
Phone: (503) 450-0030
Menu: Climb to the top of Big Pink and dine while enjoying one of the finest views of the city and its surroundings -- right from its heart. A traditional Thanksgiving dinner is available, as are many of the restaurant's popular menu items. There's also a holiday buffet running noon-6 p.m.
Price: Call for details.
525 SW Morrison St
Phone: (503) 222-4900
Menu: The Urban Farmer Steakhouse is a chic place to spend your turkey day. Locally-sourced seasonal ingredients will comprise the fixed-price, three-course dinner as well as the other à la carte menu offerings.
Price: Fixed-price meals are $49 for adults and $29 for children.