The rush to prepare a Thanksgiving Day feast cannot be underestimated. So many time-consuming dishes, the threat of fire and pots boiling over are ever present. And then there’s that pile of dishes at the end of a long day. It’s enough to drive the cook in the family mad (and it usually does). Stop the insanity this year and let one of these fine local eateries do the work (and cleanup) for you. —Arielle Stevenson
400 BEACH SEAFOOD AND TAP HOUSE 400 Beach Drive N.E., St. Pete, 727-896-2400, 400beachseafood.com. A traditional Thanksgiving meal will be served at the brunch/lunch buffet, along with plenty of seafood. Or choose a dish from the regular menu, which will be available all day. $27.95 for adults, $12.95 ages 6-12, free for children under 5. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
BIRCH & VINE 340 Beach Drive N.E., St. Petersburg, 727-896-1080, thebirchwood.com. Head to downtown St. Petersburg’s newest historic restoration for a Thanksgiving feast: Three courses of traditional Thanksgiving dishes with a globally inspired twist. $34 for adults, children 12 and under $17. 12-7 p.m.
BON APPETIT 150 Marina Plaza, Dunedin, 727-733-2151, bonappetitrestaurant.com. Enjoy your Thanksgiving meal on the waterfront this year at Bon Appetit. Dine downstairs on dishes from a four-course menu that includes five entrée choices, or head upstairs for a magnificent buffet filled with all your favorites. $45 for adults, $22.50 children under 10, 12-6 p.m.
COLUMBIA RESTAURANT 2117 E. Seventh Ave., Tampa, 813-248-4961; 1241 Gulf Blvd., Clearwater, 727-596-8400, columbiarestaurant.com. Go with the traditional Thanksgiving feast of roast Vermont turkey with Columbia stuffing, sides (like sweet potato pecan casserole), soup or salad, choice of dessert and soft drinks. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. $21.95 for adults, $5.95 children under 10; 11 a.m.-close.
ISLAND WAY GRILL 20 Island Way, Clearwater, 727-461-6617. Head to Clearwater’s Island Way Grill for a Thanksgiving buffet. Choose from traditional Thanksgiving favorites or load up on Island-themed sides like salmon hash. $29.95 for adults, children 12 and under $12.95. 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
KELLY’S FOR JUST ABOUT… ANYTHING! 319 Main St., Dunedin, 727-736-5284, kellyschicaboom.com. Not many local restaurants are brave enough to tackle the ever-elusive Turkducken for Thanksgiving. But Dunedin’s Virgel Kelly does it every year on Thanksgiving as part of a four-course meal. Nosh into a boneless turkey, duck and chicken breasts layered with Italian sausage and cheddar corn stuffing, roasted and served with Creole turkey gravy. $23.99 for adults, children under 9 are $7.99. 3-7 p.m.
MARITANA GRILLE AT LOEWS DON CESAR 3400 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach, 727-363-5077, loewshotels.com/doncesar. Best of the Bay-winning chef Kenny Hunsberger presents the feast of feasts. Enjoy the full à la carte menu or four-course Thanksgiving tasting menu. Indulge in pumpkin bisque with Maine lobster, beef tenderloin, and try desserts like the chocolate caramel bar. A la carte prices vary. Tasting menu is $85 per person. 4-9 p.m.
OYSTERCATCHERS 2900 Bayport Drive, Tampa, 813-207-6716.Holiday buffet of traditional Thanksgiving favorites, dessert room, champagne and mimosas. $69 adults, $27 children 6-12, children under 5 are free. 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
PEARL IN THE GROVE 31936 St. Joe Road, Dade City, 352-588-0008, pearlinthegrove.com. “Handmade slow food, local ingredients, white tablecloths,” that’s the motto of Dade City’s Pearl in the Grove restaurant. Join them for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the accouterments. $60 for adults, $30 children under 13. Seatings are available at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
PELAGIA TRATTORIA 2223 N. West Shore Blvd. (lobby level of the Renaissance International Plaza Tampa Hotel), 813-313-3235, pelagiatrattoria.com. Dig into a massive all-day buffet at Pelagia Trattoria. Enjoy a complimentary adult beverage with the buffet, for which the entire restaurant is lined with Mediterrean and Italian dishes, hot and cold. $49.99 for adults, $17.95 14 and under, free for children under 2. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
THE RUSTY PELICAN 2425 N. Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, 813-281-1943, therustypelican.com. Dive into a buffet complete with made-to-order pasta dishes, a carving station, all your favorite traditional Thanksgiving favorites, a seafood and raw bar. Buffet price includes bottomless Bloody Marys and mimosas. $46 adults, $21 kids 6-12, 5 and under free; 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
SEMINOLE HARD ROCK CASINO 5223 N. Orient Road, Tampa, 813-627-7625. Fresh Harvest’s Thanksgiving buffet features maple-glazed turkey breast, crispy fried wings, sweet potato streusel, a Mongolian grill and more. $30 for non-members, $25 for Players Club members. 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
TAMPA BAY THANKSVEGAN FEAST Unitarian Universalist Church of Tampa, 11400 Morris Bridge Road, Tampa, 813-988-8188. Florida Voices for Animals presents the eighth annual ThanksVegan Dinner at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tampa. The cruelty-free Thanksgiving meal is known for being one of the biggest potlucks in the area. Entry fee is $6 for adults, with the contribution of a vegan dish to share with six or more people; couples are required to bring a dish to feed 12 or more. If you’re not in the cooking mood, entry is $16 without a dish to share. Receive a dollar off entry when you bring your own plate, cup and silverware. Cash or check only. 1:30-5:30 p.m.