Thanksgiving is always a mixed bag. I am over whelmed and excited. I want everything to be perfect. I spend far too much time planning the meal. I always have too many appetizers and typically make way too many dishes. In the kitchen, on a holiday, I am definitely an over achiever. 

Through the years I've thought about going out to eat for Thanksgiving. I usually don't have this thought till too late in the season and then its almost more of a hassle to figure out where to go and what is open than it is to cook. This year I am thinking about it while there is still a little time to put a plan together.

If dining out seems like a better plan, then I have a great list of choices.

#5 Village Inn

Village Inn is a nice place to meet the family. Eating out is a  great idea for many reasons including; no dishes to do and with a centrally located restaurant your family can be closer to their extended family commitments for the holiday. At Village Inn you can dine on traditional favorites or enjoy slow-roasted, hand-carved turkey breast with turkey gravy. This tempting dish is served with a buttermilk biscuit and your choice of two sides, choice of soup or salad. Some sides include mashed potatoes, honey-glazed carrots, corn and potato pancakes.


Denny's has always been known for a late night retreat or a great affordable breakfast. Now you can sink your teeth into a thanksgiving dinner. Denny's plans, as always, to be open as usual. They'll be serving your favorite meals all day and night. Have a seat and dig into a cranberry apple chicken salad, roast turkey and stuffing or cranberry orange pancakes.  Whatever you choose you'll certainly enjoy the ease in the meal and the free time hanging out at Denny's with your family. Bring along a deck of Skip-bo cards and show off your mad skills in between courses.  This is always a favorite game at our family get together and usually ends in a crowning of winner who can't seem to lose. Oh, and at least one bad sport. But hey, its all in good old fashioned family fun. Dining out with the family for Thanksgiving doesn't mean you can't partake in your normal activities like when you're at home well,  with the exception of course of Uncle Harry snoring while taking a  nap on the couch, um... in the next booth.

#3 Perkins

This is a restaurant that is so much more than pie and muffins.

The service is always top notch and it just feels like home. Thanksgiving at Perkins would be a treat. They will only be open until 3pm, so make sure you get there early, yes, that means Susie is gonna have to get her bottom out of bed. Once you're settled into a seat take a look at the options. Then settle on the tasty timeless favorite, turkey with stuffing served with rolls and your favorite sides. When choosing sides, select from green beans, mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese. Now for me, I can't ever leave Perkins without a steamy hot bowl of chicken noodle soup.

# 2 Black-Eyed Pea

My kids have always picked one thing and one thing only off the menu at Black-Eyed Pea in Fort Collins, chicken fried steak.

The only thing they have ever changed up is the size, see Black-Eyed Pea has a regular and  a Texas size. Now if you dine on the latter, bring your appetite. For Thanksgiving this would be a delicious. If you crave something more traditional few places beat their roasted turkey breast dinner. And their sides are as traditional as they get for the holidays. Choose from cinnamon apples, baked squash casserole or mashed potatoes and gravy. The dish already comes with stuffing and cranberries. Oh... hello, can't believe I didn't mention the superior rolls and cornbread, yum!

#1 Country Buffet

Country Buffet has the immediate charm of selection... right in front of you. A perfect place for the undecided palate.

I like to walk around and around seeking the next item for my plate. It's fun to have a bunch of different  items on your plate,where else can you have spaghetti and Menudo on your tray? Yes, by the way the have that along with taco's, salad's and mashed potatoes. They have a nice carving station where they will most likely have a beautifully cooked turkey breast along side a perfectly cooked roast. The choices here assure that the whole family will enjoy their time together and the roomy atmosphere with many large tables to choose from will make is a most comfortable setting for your holiday meal.