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Best Ways to Enjoy Thanksgiving in Arlington

Thanksgiving brings us together like no other holiday can, and these Arlington establishments are ready to make your Turkey Day 2021 one to remember. And of course, the celebration goes well beyond the feast itself. In addition to places to celebrate the big feast, we’ve got fun activities to get you moving before and after eating all that fabulous food.

Learn to cook a Thanksgiving feast

This year, the instructors at Cookology Culinary School in Ballston offer hands-on culinary classes where you’ll prepare a host of delicious Thanksgiving dishes. Trust us. . . Your family will be impressed with your culinary mastery!

  • Thanksgiving Sides (November 6)
  • Traditional Thanksgiving (November 13)
  • Vegetarian Thanksgiving (November 22)
  • Thanksgiving Sweets (November 24) 
Cookology Culinary School class via @cookologyculinaryschool on Instagram
Cooking class at Cookology via @cookologyculinaryschool-IG

Go for a run at the Arlington Turkey Trot

The 16th annual Turkey Trot 5K is a favorite Arlington tradition. This year’s race features a “rolling start” to ensure plenty of breathing space for runners. Masks are recommended before runners cross the starting line, but are not required while running the course. The starting line is at Lyon Park, on N. Pershing Street between Fillmore and Garfield Streets. The “fun run” benefits Arlington non-profits that serve our local community. So, get your flock together and hit the road! If you would rather run on your own path, sign up for Revenge of the Bird 5K.

Learn to pair wine with Thanksgiving dinner

WHINO at Ballston Quarter Mall is hosting a wine tasting event with French wine maker Hugel on November 9. You will sample four wines and learn to pair different wines with traditional Thanksgiving dishes. 

Where to find Thanksgiving to-go 

If you’re gathering the gang together to celebrate turkey day, it’s good to know some Arlington restaurants are preparing sumptuous Thanksgiving feasts to take home to serve at your own table.

Ambar Clarendon

Ambar's grab-and-go menu features Thanksgiving-inspired specials prepared with a Balkan twist. The menu features rotisserie turkey followed by an 8 oz. portions of squash potage with pumpkin seeds, twice-baked sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, as well as squash salad. The meal concludes with a Balkan-inspired pumpkin mousse. Guests will also receive a bottle of pre-selected wine (red, white, or sparkling) to accompany their meal. 

via @ambar-clarendon on Instagram
Ambar Clarendon takeout order

McCormick & Schmick’s

Thanksgiving is a big event at this Crystal City restaurant. Order the Thanksgiving Feast To-Go that serves 4-6 people for $189. The menu includes turkey, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, seasonal veggies, apple squash casserole, cranberry, butternut squash bisque and walnut mixed greens. The restaurant is also serving a dine-in prix fix menu for $32 per adult and $10 for children. 

Rocklands Real Barbeque

Rocklands has a Thanksgiving a la carte menu to-go featuring appetizer options like bacon jalapeno eggs and whole brie with cranberry orange relish. For the main course, choose from fresh smoked turkey with gravy or smoked turkey breast with traditional sides, along with pies for dessert. Add to your feast with a tray of grilled salmon, brisket or tenderloin of pork. 

Turkey sandwich via @rocklandsbbq on Instagram
Turkey sandwich from Rocklands Real Barbeque via @rocklandsbbq-IG

Smokecraft Modern Barbecue

This year, try a barbecued, smoked turkey for your annual at-home feast. Add some a la carte appetizers like smoked butternut squash, roasted beet and pecan salad, or Smokecraft’s unique holiday salad. Go beyond turkey by adding a smoked ham, prime rib, beef brisket or leg of lamb. There’s also stuffing, mac & cheese, sweet-mashed potatoes, rainbow carrots, cauliflower and much more. 

TTT Clarendon

TTT's Thanksgiving-inspired specials are prepared with a Mexican twist. On the menu - honey glazed, bone-in turkey with gravy followed by five sides, cornbread, dessert, a bottle of pre-selected wine (red, white, or sparkling) or to-go cocktail. Seasonal sides include green beans, roasted squash empanadas, mac & queso with chorizo, queso de Cabra & roasted beet salad. For a sweet finish, try TTT’s signature Churros with cinnamon-sugar, chocolate, and caramel sauce. 

Livin’ the Pie Life

Tell Grandma you’ve got dessert covered for your Thanksgiving feast with an order from this popular bakery on Langston Boulevard. It features all the classics of apple, pumpkin or pecan, plus some additional tasty surprises! Check the website for more information about types of pies and pick-up times.  

Dine-In Thanksgiving 

These restaurants are open for Thanksgiving this year. Please check the restaurant’s website at for reservations and information.
Essy's Carriage House 

The fine dining restaurant on Langston Boulevard welcomes guests to enjoy a multi-course feast featuring spiced pumpkin soup, cornbread, salad, roasted turkey with herbed stuffing, mashed and sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and fresh vegetables. Choose a traditional dessert to top off the meal, such as pumpkin, apple or pecan pie. Reservations are required. $42 per person.

Mele Bistro

This fine dining Mediterranean bistro serves Thanksgiving specialties and an a la carte Italian-influenced menu. Look for delicious items like poulet rouge fermier, fresh breads, seafood, natural beef and pasta.

Sfoglina Pasta

Enjoy dining Thanksgiving-Italian-style at Sfoglina in Rosslyn. Order from the full all-day menu, or enjoy traditional turkey with stuffing, Brussel sprouts, cranberry and whipped potatoes. The restaurant is known for its pasta, so consider adding the butternut squash agnolotti and a dessert called rotolo – pumpkin cream, pecan caramel, gingerbread cake with orange cranberry sauce. And did we mention the mozzarella bar?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Author: Renee Sklarew