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Where can I eat out on Thanksgiving Day in the Midlands?

Cracker Barrel’s Thanksgiving feast can be eaten in the restaurant or fully packed and ready to take home.
Cracker Barrel’s Thanksgiving feast can be eaten in the restaurant or fully packed and ready to take home. Photo provided.

Whether you're looking to have someone else do the cooking Thanksgiving Day (can I get an "Amen"?) or just don't want to stuff yourself with the traditional turkey, dressing and pumpkin pie, there are lots of options for dining out in Columbia on Nov. 23. Some restaurants will serve their regular menu during shortened holiday hours; others will serve their regular menu plus the traditional Thanksgiving meal option; and some just go full out turkey day like you're at Grandma's house -- minus the hours of cleanup that follow.

(While some restaurants have their hours and menu set, others are still firming up the specifics so be sure to call for details before finalizing any plans).

Yesterday's Restaurant and Tavern

2030 Devine St. in Five Points

Thanksgiving Hours: 12:30-6:30 p.m.

(803) 799-0196

Thanksgiving at Yesterday's has been a tradition for about 30 years now. The restaurant typically works with staffers who volunteer to work the day rather than requiring certain employees to be present on the holiday.

Columbo's Italian Restaurant

Doubletree Hotel, 2100 Bush River Rd.

Thanksgiving Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

(803) 744-2200

Reservations are required but a couple of seatings still remain as of Tuesday, Nov. 7. The restaurant puts on quite a show with a full buffet featuring fried turkey, prime rib, pork loin, salmon, chilled seafood, an omelet bar and of course tons of hot and cold sides and desserts. The set cost is $38 for adults; $28 for military and seniors; $15 for children 10 and under and free for children five and under.

Cowboy's Brazilian Steakhouse

1508 Main St.

Thanksgiving hours: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

(803) 728-0887

Reservations are recommended for Cowboy’s which will be serving its Dinner Rodizio with 16 cuts of beef, chicken, pork and lamb--and ham and turkey on this particular day--for $35 per person. The meal also includes a full salad bar and traditional Thanksgiving sides.

Lizard's Thicket

All 15 area locations

Thanksgiving Hours: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

All 15 area Lizard's Thicket locations will be open Thanksgiving Day, serving up plates full of the restaurant's signature turkey and dressing and its offerings of more than two dozen vegetables and sides.

Carolina Ale House

227 Columbiana Drive, (803) 407-6996

708 Lady St. (803) 227-7150

Both locations plan to be open late afternoon and evening Thanksgiving Day but specific hours will not be set until the end of this week so be sure to check back. (Heads up: In the past, management has confirmed that more than 500 folks have dined at the Columbiana Drive location between the hours of 4 p.m. to midnight).

Ruth's Chris Steakhouse

924 Senate St., Hilton Columbia Center Hotel

Thanksgiving Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

(803) 212-6666

Ruth's Chris will once again offer its traditional three-course prix fixe Thanksgiving turkey dinner at $39.95 for adults and $12.95 for children. The meal starts with a choice of Caesar or steak house salad or seafood gumbo followed by oven roasted turkey breast with herb stuffing, homemade gravy and cranberry relish with a choice of mashed potatoes, green beans with roasted garlic, sweet potato casserole or creamed spinach and ends with pumpkin cheesecake and vanilla ice cream. Reservations are highly recommended.

Cracker Barrel

2208 Bush River Rd.

2300 Legrand Rd.

253 Forum Drive (Village at Sandhill)

Thanksgiving Hours: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Every Cracker Barrel is open Thanksgiving day starting at 6 a.m. The chain eatery will, as usual, still serve breakfast all day and will feature its home style turkey and dressing meal with gravy, sugar-cured ham, sweet potato casserole, cranberry relish, choice of side and beverage and those tasty buttermilk biscuits or corn muffins. Oh, and of course pumpkin pie.

British Bulldog

1220 Bower Pkwy.

(803) 227-8918

Thanksgiving hours: 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. (With dinner service ending at 11 p.m.)

Full of turkey and family by late afternoon? Consider heading to British Bulldog Pub off Harbison Boulevard for a pint with some burgers, wings, fish and chips, Reuben or roast beef sandwiches.

Old Mill Brewpub

711 E. Main St., Lexington

(803) 785-2337

Thanksgiving hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In addition to Old Mill's main menu selections that include shrimp and grits and blackened chicken Alfredo, the popular Lexington eatery will also offer a full turkey dinner with all the fixings.

Flying Saucer Draught Emporium

931 Senate St., Columbia

(803) 256-2055

Thanksgiving hours: 5 p.m. to midnight.

The regular, dependable and beloved regular menu will be available from 5 p.m. to midnight at Columbia’s Flying Saucer restaurant on Senate Street.

Golden Corral

5300 Forest Dr, Columbia

(803) 787-4446

Thanksgiving hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

You can fill up on traditional Thanksgiving fare at Golden Corral’s Thanksgiving buffet in Columbia, including items such as fried chicken, carved glazed ham and turkey, and all the sides your heart desires. They’ll even have pumpkin and pecan pies as well as cheesecake to satisfy your sweet tooth!

And more...

Among chain restaurants, all area locations of the following are scheduled to be open Thanksgiving Day: Waffle House, Ruby Tuesday, IHOP, Denny’s and Fatz Cafe.