Thanksgiving is a beast of a holiday. From the bird to the butter-soaked sides, it requires a ton of planning, even when hosting a small crowd. If you dislike cooking or need a few supplemental dishes, check out the menus from several local catering companies. Each provides delivery, usually in insulated bags or packaged with ice packs. You’ll find a range of prices and portion sizes, from $6 individual meals prepared by SpoonRocket to Munchery’s $400 dinners that feed 8 to 10 ravenous guests. Each team sources locally, using sustainable, and often organic, ingredients. But let’s be real. On Thanksgiving, thankfulness resides in the stomach, and your paunch will appreciate any of these eight options:
Husband and wife Laurent and Jessie Boucher offer a classic Thanksgiving with a few twists. A set of Cornish game hens look like elegant blimps, inflated with juicy cranberry stuffing that’s more fruit than bread. Luxuriant whipped yams are roasted to bring out their sugars while an amaretto pumpkin pie surprises with a savory crust flecked with diced almonds. And while Mexican Christmas tradition often includes tamales, the Boucher's offer them for Thanksgiving too, filled with smoked cheddar, beans, yams and accompanying chipotle sauce. Place orders by November 22nd. See the rest of the menu.
Luke Chappell creates curated meal boxes that feature items prepared by select local vendors and Luke's Local chef Roger Feely. Some of the Thanksgiving medley includes brined and smoked turkey sourced from BN Ranch and prepared by Jablow’s Meats (you can also buy a raw bird), plump green beans capped in fried onions, a more-tart-than-sweet whole berry cranberry sauce, and a bready but super moist sourdough stuffing (carnivorous, vegetarian, and gluten-free options available). Cocktails are covered with a splash of pear and cardamom shrubs from Bar Jars, and dessert is a buttery flaky fluted tart of spicy pumpkin custard from Black Jet Baking Co. And for your morning-after detox, find green juice from Sow. “We thought it would be a nice refresher,” says Chappel. “And also because we wanted this Thanksgiving to feature something from each foodmaker who works out of our kitchen.” Place orders by November 24th. See the rest of the menu.
Luke's Local Thanksgiving Meal Kit. Photo: Luke's Local website
The coterie of chefs who prepare meals for this delivery program collaborated to create a Thanksgiving feast with each chef controlling his or her own dish. Diestel organic turkey (available raw or roasted), kale and winter greens gratin, shaved Brussels sprouts salad with manchego, pomegranate seeds, and raisins, and a white chocolate cranberry croissant bread pudding are a few of the dishes that make up this extensive menu designed to feed 8 to 10 people. As they do all year, Munchery matches every customer’s order with a free meal purchased for someone in need from the San Francisco or Marin Food Bank. Early bird pricing offers a 10% discount through Sunday, November 17th. Place orders by November 26th. See the rest of the menu.
Alison Mountford, chef and owner of this Russian Hill prepared foods cafe, adores traditional Thanksgiving. “We spend the other 364 days a year being creative and inspired by new ideas, farmers, other chefs,” she explains, “but Thanksgiving is the one day a year, I just want my favorites.” That includes sweet potato casserole with mini marshmallows and pecans. Unlike your grandmother’s cloying canned pineapple version, Mountford’s tastes of the tuber. Her roasted Brussels sprouts with lots of bacon get brightened with lemon, and while directions say to heat in the oven, they're even better cold. Don’t miss her yeasty pull-apart rolls that tastes like sweet challah and a chewy farro salad speckled with cranberries and cubes of crisp-tender root vegetables. She prepares everything the morning of delivery. Place orders by November 22nd.
Sweet Potato Casserole from Square Meals. Photo credit: Colin Price/ Good Eggs
If you’re having a solo or couple's dinner, consider SpoonRocket. Launched in June, this growing operation delivers $6 meals in 15 minutes or less to customers in Berkeley, Emeryville, and downtown Oakland. Chef David Cramer calls what he does “slow food fast.” He explains that’s so he can keep prices low despite using local, high-quality ingredients because he sells so much. Cramer then adds, “We’re not out to make a big profit.” While he may tweak his Thanksgiving offerings, expect nostalgia with turkey, sage gravy, cornbread pecan stuffing, candied yams, and green beans almondine. A vegetarian option will be available. SpoonRocket will deliver on Thanksgiving Day from 11:00 am until 4:00 am.
Hanukkah starts the evening before Turkey Day this year, but few folks would want to make (or digest) back-to-back turkey, brisket, latkes, and mashed potatoes. Enter Jewish caterer Debbie Epstein. “I love ‘Jew food,' and I love Thanksgiving,” she says. She fused the two to concoct a creative mashup that includes turkey brined in Manischewitz, sweet potato pecan kugel, and challah stuffing with pastrami, dried cranberries and apples. And because too much is not enough when multiple holidays converge, there's chocolate gelt pumpkin doughnut bread pudding for dessert. Delivery and in-person pickup are available. Place orders by November 21st. See the rest of the menu.
Hunting for that heirloom turkey? Bill Niman, a local champion of sustainable and humanely-raised livestock, along with wife Nicolette recently launched an online marketplace for their BN Ranch. Customers can order broad-breasted or heritage turkeys raised in Bolinas and Turlock, California. The heritage birds descended from five native North American breeds. Prices start at a little under $100 for 8 to 10 pounds. Place orders by November 24th.
Turkeys from BN Ranch. Photo credit: Colin Price/ Good Eggs
If you're set for dinner but searching for sweets, La Boulange just debuted a flurry of holiday treats: Find pumpkin macarons, pumpkin nut poundcake, cranberry bread wreath, and several tarts like pecan, rustic pear and cranberry, and pumpkin and crème fraiche. Place orders by noon on November 24th for pickup by November 28th at 1 p.m.