When thinking about the Thanksgiving holiday, you normally think turkey, family, pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING, and fall foliage. But in New Orleans, as with everything, we do Thanksgiving a little bit differently. Here's your guide to the make the best of your holiday weekend.
1. Catch the Pelicans vs. Minnesota Timberwolves game
For as little as $19, get the full sporting game experience. Grab some friends, grab some beer, and get ready for a night. Get your tickets here.
2. See Bonerama at Tipitina's
Hit one of the coolest venues in New Orleans to kick off the holiday weekend. This New Orleans native brass funk rock band will be sure to set the tone for a great holiday. Get your tickets here.
1. Bayou Classic Thanksgiving Day Parade
If parades are your thing, this one runs from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., beginning at the Superdome and ending at the French Market.
2. Thanksgiving at the track
Heading to the Fair Grounds has become somewhat of a Thanksgiving tradition here in New Orleans. If you're feeling swanky, splurge on the Thanksgiving dinner buffet in the Clubhouse Dining Room. If not, enjoy a plain ol' day at the races.
Pay $55 per person at this NOLA classic for the "Table D'Hôte," which includes an appetizer, salad, entree, and dessert. With options like smoked duck gumbo and Gulf Fish Amandine, this is not your mother's Thanksgiving meal. Find the menu here.
Another New Orleans classic restaurant offering an awesome Thanksgiving menu. For $60 choose from six appetizers, eight entrées, and four desserts. Find the menu here, and try hard not to drool while reading. It's impossible with options like Eggs Sardou and seared sea scallops as an entree, and sweet potato cheesecake for dessert.
3. Red Fish Grill
If a buffet is more your style, head here between 10:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. for a real Thanksgiving treat. Oysters on Thanksgiving? Count me in. And be sure to snag some double chocolate bread pudding for dessert (peep below).
4. Palace Cafe
A special Thanksgiving menu that isn't a price fix. Go the classic route and get the roast turkey dinner, or go more New Orleans style and get the pecan-dusted catfish. The crabmeat cheesecake is their specialty, so you'd be a fool not to order it. See all of your options here.
If price fixes and special menus aren't your thing, head to Shaya for a full-blown Israeli feast. They will be open and serving their normal menu, keeping people who hate turkey and sweet potatoes in mind. See your not-so-traditional Thanksgiving menu here.
1. Celebration in the Oaks
The Friday after Thanksgiving marks the first official day of one of the most spectacular holiday lights festivals in the country. See the gorgeous light displays throughout 25 acres of City Park. Be sure to purchase tickets here in advance so you can skip the line.
2. Shop in the not-so-normal Black Friday tradition
Elsewhere, people head to major department stores and national chains for their Black Friday shopping. But with all of the amazing shops and boutiques in New Orleans, waiting in those lines is totally unnecessary. Hit Magazine Street or explore the French Quarter for some great finds.
1. Saints vs. Los Angeles Rams
Football and Thanksgiving go hand in hand, but like I said, we do everything in New Orleans a little differently. Ditch the typical parking lot tailgate and head to Champions Square for a 9 am pregame that is open to the public (even if you aren't going to the game). Get tickets to the game here.
Happy November, and happy early Turkey Day!