Where to Celebrate Thanksgiving in Orange County

Turkey Trot at Rancho Mission Viejo (photo courtesy Cornerstone Communications).

Delectable holiday feasts, Turkey Trot… Here are the best places to celebrate Thanksgiving in Orange County.

Edited by Whitney Lauren Han.


Dana Point Turkey Trot
Nov. 28. Kick-start your Thanksgiving Day with the 42nd annual Turkey Trot in the morning. Registered participants walk, jog or run a 5K or 10K race through picturesque Dana Point Harbor and Doheny State Beach. Kids ages 4-12 can also join the fun during the Kids’ Gobble Wobble race. Enjoy special Thanksgiving menu items and prices at select restaurants in the harbor. See website for details. Opens 6 a.m. $42+ for 5K race, $47 for 10K race, $22+ Kids’ Gobble Wobble. Golden Lantern and Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, 949.496.1555. turkeytrot.com

OC Turkey Trot
Nov. 28. Ramp up your appetite and gobble up some fun at the OC Turkey Trot. Prior to the race, a mini expo includes festivities such as a themed selfie photo booth, surprise giveaways and free coffee. All 5K participants receive a medal, a festive turkey trot shirt and pumpkin pie at the finish line. Race Expo: 6:15-11 a.m. Race starts: 8 a.m. $40+ GA, $30+ Kid’s Dash, $5 parking pass. See website for details. Irvine Valley College, 5500 Irvine Center Dr., Irvine. runocturkeytrot.com

Turkey Trot on The Ranch
Nov. 28. Gobble up the beauty of the Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo along the scenic trail and pathway that connects the villages of Sendero and Esencia. Finish the course with family and friends capture a festive photo with turkey mascots. $50 for 5K race, $10 for 1K Gobbler’s Run. See website for more info. Sendero Field, 29201 Ortega Hwy., Rancho Mission Viejo. turkeytrotontheranch.com


21 Oceanfront
Nov. 28. Dine near the ocean with a three-course dinner at 21 Oceanfront this holiday. For the first course, choose between the little-gem salad, asparagus salad, New England clam chowder or spiced pumpkin soup. Main entrees include herb-roasted free-range turkey with traditional sides, 8-ounce New York steak, shrimp bisque pot pie and cedar-grilled salmon. Top off the evening with dessert such as housemade pumpkin pie, carrot cake, chocolate cake and warm apple cobbler. Reservations required. Seatings between 1-8 p.m. $65 adults, $20 children ages 2-10. 2100 W. Oceanfront, Newport Beach, 949.673.2100. 21oceanfront.com

The Backyard at Hotel Irvine
Nov. 28. Savor a cornucopia of food selections in the Backyard, including brunch favorites, bottomless mimosas with an array of garnishes, plus a dessert station. There will also be live music from a solo guitarist, face painting, a photo booth and lawn games using giant pieces. Seatings: 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. $79 adult, $37 kids 5-12, free for children under 5. Hotel Irvine, 17900 Jamboree Road, Irvine, 949.225.6780. hotelirvine.com

Back Bay Bistro
Nov. 28. Celebrate the holiday with a festive buffet featuring slow roasted turkey, confit turkey dark meat, holiday sides and various desserts to choose from. 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. $52 adults, additional $8 for endless Champagne or mimosas; $25 children ages 10 and under. 1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach, 949.729.1144. backbaybistronb.com

Bayside Restaurant
Nov. 28. Skip the hassle, stress and mess of hosting Thanksgiving and come celebrate the season with Bayside. With a full traditional Thanksgiving feast available, as well as a la carte options, there’s something for everyone. The Thanksgiving prix fixe menu includes a starter, main course and dessert. Reservations from 1 p.m.-8:30 p.m. $55 adults, $25 children 12 and under. 900 Bayside Drive, Newport Beach, 949.721.1222. baysiderestaurant.com

Coastal Kitchen
Nov. 28. Housed in the historic first commercial building in Dana Point, the family-owned and -operated restaurant serves up a holiday menu with starters such as Parker house rolls, jumbo shrimp cocktail, spinach-and-kale dip and fried-brie salad. Holiday-themed entrees include Diestel Farms turkey, roasted prime rib and fig-glazed pork chop, with a seasonal pumpkin bread pudding for dessert. 34091 Pacific Coast Hwy., Dana Point, 949.449.2822. coastalkitchendanapoint.com

Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse
Nov. 28. Make your way to the newest steakhouse in Irvine for a special Thanksgiving menu including oven-roasted Vermont free-range organic turkey, Yukon gold creamy potatoes, challah-bread herb stuffing, butternut squash and green beans; the regular lunch and dinner menus are also offered. Reservations required. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. $65 adults, $23 children under 13. Irvine Towers, 18420 Von Karman Ave., Irvine, 949.477.4810. davios.com

Eats Kitchen & Bar
Nov. 28. Guests will want to give thanks for a very good time and really good “Eats” this Thanksgiving. Indulge in traditional specials including a cornucopia salad, your choice of a oven-roasted turkey or honey-glazed ham and bruléed pumpkin tart for dessert. Specials are individually priced. Reservations encouraged. 4-8 p.m. Hotel Irvine, 17900 Jamboree Road, Irvine, 949.225.6780. hotelirvine.com

Thanksgiving lunch or dinner at Five Crowns (photo by Anne Watson).

Five Crowns
Nov. 28. Celebrate Thanksgiving like royalty at Five Crowns with world-class seasonal menu offerings courtesy of executive chef Alejandra Padilla, warm hospitality and an unforgettable atmosphere. The festive menu includes the classic oven-roasted free range turkey and prime rib of beef served in the traditional manner. Indulge with the “Best of Both” for a portion of prime rib and side of turkey with all the seasonal accompaniments. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. $35-97. 3801 E. Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar, 949.760.0331. thefivecrowns.com

Fleming’s Steakhouse & Wine Bar
Nov. 28. Savor a three-course prix fixe menu at Fleming’s in Newport Beach. Inspired by traditional favorites, the menu starts with choice of Fleming’s salad or creamy lobster bisque, followed by mixed herb-roasted turkey breast with savory turkey gravy and cinnamon-orange fresh cranberry sauce; Or select the 8-ounce petite filet Mignon with cabernet demi-glace ($15 supplement). Both entrées are served with house-made stuffing and green beans and onions, along with mashed potatoes for the table to share. For dessert, choose pumpkin cheesecake or chocolate gooey butter cake with honeycomb brittle. Guests may also order from Fleming’s full à la carte menu all day. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. $52 adults, $22 children ages 12 and under; À la carte menu priced per selection. Fashion Island, 455 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, 949.720.9633. flemingssteakhouse.com

Heirloom Farmhouse Kitchen
Nov. 28. For a home-away-from-home feeling, gather around the table with friends and family this Thanksgiving at Marriott Irvine Spectrum’s Heirloom Farmhouse Kitchen. Executive chef Leo curated a special three-course prix fixe menu that includes a first course with a choice of butternut squash soup or chicory salad; herb-roasted turkey with Southern cornbread stuffing, Yukon gold mashed potato, green bean casserole, turkey pan gravy and cranberry chutney for the main course; and a choice of pumpkin pie or pecan pie for dessert. 3-10 p.m. 7905 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine, 949.759.0200. heirloomfarmhousekitchen.com

K’ya Bistro
Nov. 28. Gather with family at La Casa del Camino hotel’s bistro for a Thanksgiving feast with all the goods—white and dark meat, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry relish, plus glazed carrots for $12 and pumpkin pie for $4. The regular menu will also be served. 5-9 p.m. 1287 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949.376.9718. kyabistro.com

Las Brisas
Nov. 28. Created under the direction of chef and executive general manager Michael Gaines, the three-course prix fixe menu includes starter options such as the lobster salad and cured duck breast. Entree options include chile-rubbed turkey and petit filet of beef, with an optional lobster add-0n. Guests can top off the meal with seasonal desserts, among them pumpkin cheesecake, apple bread pudding, and chocolate pot de crème. $75. 361 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach, 949.497.5434. lasbrisaslagunabeach.com

The Loft
Nov. 28. The culinary team at the Loft prepare a four-course holiday tasting menu with a choice of appetizers such as butternut squash-Fuji apple soup, and entrees including Diestel Ranch turkey with all the fixings and California back cod with chili-sesame glaze. Noon-9 p.m. $135 adults, $50 children 4-12. Montage Laguna Beach, 30801 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949.715.6420. montagehotels.com

Mayor’s Table
Nov. 28. Enjoy a family-style, modern take on the classic Thanksgiving dinner at Lido House Hotel’s fine-dining room. Start with deviled eggs or kale salad; other menu highlights include roasted turkey breast, fall-spiced braised short ribs, hasselback squash and applewood-smoked potatoes and gravy. Guests can end the night with pumpkin-and-bourbon pecan pie; a turkey sandwich is available for takeout. 3-9 p.m. $80 adults, $50 children under 12. 3300 Newport Blvd., Newport Beach, 949.662.6160. Reservations

Montage Laguna Beach
Nov. 28. Get into the holiday spirit at the Masterpiece Thanksgiving Celebration. This dinner features a bounteous 12-station buffet with entrees such as white oak-smoked turkey breast, grilled Pacific salmon and garlic-rosemary studded slow-roasted prime rib. There will also be a children’s station and executive pastry chef Lee Smith’s elaborate dessert display. Highlights include live music, complimentary champagne toast and family photographs. Noon-6 p.m. $180 adults, $50 kids 4-12, free for children under 4. 30801 Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949.715.6420. montagehotels.com

Oak Grill  
Nov. 28. Chef Brittany Valles and her culinary team serve up a holiday buffet featuring traditional and contemporary dishes. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., stations offer brunch foods from pastries and made-to-order omelets to selections from the carving station, salads and chilled seafood. From 3 to 7 p.m., the fare at the stations changes to celebratory hearty dinner choices, including turkey and all the fixings. A kids station is offered at both buffets, as well as many desserts. Additional highlights include live entertainment and a photo booth. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. $110 adult, $40 children ages 5-12, free for children 4 and under. Fashion Island Hotel, 690 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, 949.706.5466. fashionislandhotel.com

Friendsgiving at Pacific Hideaway (photo courtesy Pacific Hideaway).

Pacific Hideaway
Nov. 28. Bring your friends to Kimpton Shorebreak Resort’s restaurant for a three-course prix fixe Friendsgiving dinner, which includes a cocktail or glass of wine. Enjoy a choice of Cajun smoked turkey or house-aged prime rib for the main course and pumpkin pie with pecan crumble and cinnamon Ice cream or flourless chocolate cake with sour cream Ice cream for dessert. For every meal purchased, Pacific Hideaway donates $10 to the nonprofit organization No Kid Hungry. 2-10 p.m. $65. 500 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, 714.965.4448. pacifichideawayhb.com

Paséa Hotel & Spa
Nov. 28. Join Paséa Hotel & Spa for its second annual Thanksgiving feast. Highlights include three carving stations with offerings such as herb-roasted turkey and bourbon-glazed ham, fresh oyster bar, and accompaniments including bonfire sweet potatoes, cornbread stuffing and fried Brussels sprouts. Top it off at an assorted-sweets station featuring holiday pies. Noon-4 p.m. $90 adults, $75 seniors, $30 kids ages 5-12. meritagecollection.com

The Ranch Restaurant
Nov. 28. Satisfy your cravings at the Ranch with its four-course holiday dinner. Menu highlights include housemade Laura Chenel goat cheese ravioli, Frog Hollow Warren pear and endive salad, Mary’s organic free-range turkey, Wyoming-raised-buffalo prime rib and harvest pumpkin cheesecake. 2-7 p.m. $85. 1025 E. Ball Road, Anaheim, 714.817.4200. theranch.com

Seasons 52
Nov. 28. Indulge in a healthy and delicious Thanksgiving meal at Seasons 52. The main dish features roasted turkey with savory pan gravy along with all your favorite trimmings, including herb stuffing, Yukon mashed potatoes, butternut-squash purée, French green beans and house-made cranberry relish. Finish with a mini pumpkin pie for dessert. Pair your dinner with a sommelier-selected wine or seasonal cocktail. Call for reservations. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. $28.95 adults, $13.95 children ages 12 and under. South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, 714.437.5252. seasons52.com

Selanne Steak Tavern
Nov. 28. The award-winning steakhouse continues its holiday tradition. Chef Vince Terusa’s Thanksgiving menu is composed of three courses and a mélange of seasonal sides served family-style. Entree choices include Mary’s Farm Heritage turkey, American prime ribeye roast and Kurobuta leg of ham. Noon-8 p.m. $95 adults, $25 children 4-11. 1464 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949.715.9881. selannesteaktavern.com

Nov. 28. Steps from the water, Splashes offers a three-course holiday menu with optional wine pairings for family and friends. Appetizer options include truffle-and-apricot duck rillettes, crisp octopus, saffron risotto and heirloom beets. Indulge in one of five entree options, such as Diestel Farms turkey, Skuna Bay king salmon, seared Bristol scallops, five-hour-braised short rib and house-made cavatelli. Lunch: noon-4 p.m., dinner: 4-8 p.m. $90 lunch, $125 dinner (additional $40 for wine pairings). Surf & Sand Resort, 1555 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 877.741.5908. surfandsandresort.com

Nov. 28. Gather friends and family for a festive four-course buffet brunch or four-course dinner. At brunch, enjoy a chef-attended seasonal buffet that includes a duck-liver parfait, Dungeness crab hash, Niman Ranch filet mignon. For dinner, indulge in hamachi crudo, Cinderella pumpkin soup, Mary’s Farm turkey breast with accompaniments and cranberry Dulcey-chocolate pot de crème. Brunch: 11 a.m.-4 p.m., dinner: 5-9 p.m. Brunch: $160 adults (includes one glass of Champagne per guest), $50 children ages 4-12; excludes tax and gratuity. Montage Laguna Beach, 30801 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949.715.6420. montagehotels.com

Photo credits: Turkey Trot on the Ranch courtesy Cornerstone Communications. Five Crowns by Anne Watson. All other images are courtesy of the businesses and venues.


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