November 18

Thanksgiving in South Lake Union

What’s open and where you can get meal kits, plus tips and recipes from local chefs.

And just like that, Thanksgiving is here. No matter if you’re cooking the bird yourself or hoping to take the day off to let a restaurant take care of your feast, South Lake Union has you covered. We rounded up a list of restaurants offering Turkey Day meal kits and found spots that are open for you on Thanksgiving Day. We even chatted with local chefs who were more than willing to share some helpful tips for your meal prep. Plus, we’ve got recipes from Ba Bar owner Eric Banh and executive chef Bill Ranniger of Duke’s Seafood.

Take it home:

Willmott’s Ghost, 2100 Sixth Ave.,

The Sea Creatures Thanksgiving Meal Kit is going sides-only this year. The kit includes coal-roasted beets with salt rubbed cabbage and horseradish cream, roasted carrots with currants, dukkah, and chevre; classic mashed potatoes; Bateau beef gravy (gluten free); traditional cranberry sauce; roasted vegetable dressing; dinner rolls; and pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Pickup is on November 23 from noon to 4pm at Willmott’s Ghost. $375, order here.

Thanksgiving meal on a table.

Buca di Beppo, 701 Westlake Ave. N.,

The family-friendly Italian spot is offering its Thanksgiving Feast with salad, a choice of pasta, sliced white turkey meat, homestyle gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, spicy Italian sausage stuffing, seasonal veggies, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Buca di Beppo is also open for dine-in on Thanksgiving Day. To-go feasts are available in small sizes (serves 3, $105) or large sizes (serves six, $192), order here.

Dine in:

Teinei Ramen, Sushi, and Izakaya, 1256 Republican St.,

This local favorite Japanese spot is offering preorders of two different sushi feasts ($148 nigiri platter, $84 roll platter with vegetarian and vegan options available) alongside its typical menu. Call 206-420-4500 for more info or to make reservations.

Daniel’s Broiler, 809 Fairview Place N.,

The classic steakhouse offers a four-course Thanksgiving dinner featuring your choice of roast turkey, USDA prime rib, maple pork roast, or king salmon, with upgrade options like USDA Prime filet mignon or Daniel’s Delmonico steak.  $75 per adult/ $20 per child ages 6-10, and children 5 and under eat free! Make reservations here.

Waterways Cruises, 901 Fairview Ave. N.,

A Thanksgiving cruise? Why not. Take your turkey on a 2.5-hour jaunt around Lake Union via Waterways Cruises. The voyage includes a champagne or sparkling cider toast, a buffet including herb roasted turkey, a carving station, and all the fixings. A full-service bar and the captain’s narration of the sights rounds out the experience. $105 ages 13 and up, $60 kids aged 5–12, kids 4 and under eat free. Discounts for seniors and military are available. Book here.

Turkey Day tips:

“Organization is key. Many items can be prepared a few days in advance so you’re not cooking everything on the big day. Shop the weekend before and start prepping on Monday.” —Colin Pettinen, chef de cuisine, Willmott’s Ghost

“The Perfect Holiday Turkey starts with the brine. Mix water and kosher salt together (ratio of 1 tbsp salt to 1 cup water) until dissolved. Add your turkey to a bucket and cover with apple cider, then add the brine, garlic cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, whole cloves, black peppercorns, and orange slices (from 1-2 oranges). Refrigerate for at least 24 hours, but 3 days is ideal. If your turkey is frozen, I like to thaw it directly in the brine to save time. Then season and cook however you want, but my favorite way is to stuff under the skin with lots of butter, season with Cajun spices, stuff the cavity with onion, garlic, carrot, and celery, and then roast upside down until flipping over to brown the top for the final hour.”—Corday Whitney, executive sous chef at Waterways Cruises/Lakeside SLU.

“The tragedy of dry Turkey runs rampant during the thanksgiving holiday. Here’s a few tips to making sure your bird is a hit: Either brine or dry brine your bird. I prefer to do it for 2–3 days and with plenty of aromatics- herbs, garlic, bay leaf, whole spices. Dry the turkey in the fridge for 24 hours before roasting to allow the skin to dry out and become crispy. Roast the turkey low and slow—it’s a big piece of meat that needs a gentle roast at 275F. Rest your bird for 30 minutes before carving it.” —Nicco Muratore, executive chef, mama group.


  • Chef Eric Banh (Ba Bar, Ba Bar Green) shared his turkey recipe with us. Check out his process on this fun YouTube video.
  • Executive chef Bill Ranniger (Duke’s Seafood) offered up his Thanksgiving gravy recipe, and even included a gluten-free option. Check it out below:

Turkey Gravy (Almost as good as Grandma’s):

I usually start making this gravy about an hour after I put the bird in the oven, depending on size. I like to have two hours total cook time, depending on your recipe desires and timing. I personally need 1.5 glasses of wine before gravy making starts. And at least one hug from everyone at the party.

Roux –

¼ pound butter
½ cup flour or GF Flour blend (see below for more details)

Melt butter in a heavy gauge stock pot. Whisk in flour until incorporated. Cook on medium heat for 8 minutes (do not overly brown). Cooking out the flour prevents lumps and the floury taste. The roux is our thickening agent. Set aside until stock is ready.

Roasting stock/pan drippings –

1 quart turkey stock
Turkey neck and giblets from turkey cavity
2 organic medium sweet yellow onions
4 organic carrots
1 large bunch organic celery
½ bunch thyme (stems OK)
1 bunch sage
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning

Before placing turkey on roasting rack, add 1-quart low sodium turkey stock (chicken stock/broth also works; store-bought is fine) to roasting pan. Add turkey neck and gibbets. Add all veggies and herbs to liquid, then place raw turkey above liquid and roast bird to a minimum temperature of 165 degrees. Take bird out of oven and let sit until slightly cooled enough to move to cutting board and dripping has stopped (about 15 minutes). Strain drippings through a fine strainer, put into glass container and let sit for a few minutes. This will let fat rise to the top. Using spoon, skim fat and add about 1/2 cup fat to roux pot, stir to incorporate and heat again to medium. You can use less or more, depending on health concerns. Skim the remaining fat from stock if there is any and discard.

With stock/pan drippings from roasted turkey still hot, whisk them into roux mixture. Pour evenly at medium speed, on medium-to-medium low heat, to help with lumpiness. Add stock to desired thickness, remember gravy will thicken with time, so start on thinner side. Chances are you will need salt. Definitely pepper. I use pink sea salt, for a little added holiday feel. At this point 1 more glass of wine, stories about grandma and her amazing love and cooking, and more hugs.

*Gluten Free Flour Blend Recipe –

This recipe makes way more GF flour blend then you need. With help from Amy, Dukes daughter, Duke and I painstakingly found and perfected the perfect blend of gluten-free flours to make the perfect roux. It is how we make all our chowders gluten free. So, use this for your gravy and save some for soups, chowders, and anything you need a roux for.

1 cup tapioca flour
2.5 cups white rice flour
4 cups potato starch
4.5 cups sweet sorghum flour
7 cups brown rice flour

I have found you can find these ingredients at Whole Foods.

A few side notes and sensitivities:

  1. Gravy is easy scorch, all elements work differently so low, or medium low might be the setting for you best to heat on. Be crying shame to burn our gravy.
  2. If gravy is too thick, you can always thin down will a little warm water.
  3. Making a spoon bowl with your mashed potatoes is highly recommended.
  4. I like a nice sauvignon blanc to pair with turkey and cut though the fattiness of what is traditionally served on Thanksgiving.
  5. Family, love, and togetherness is what it is all about. Not too much wine or political talk.
  6. Enjoy the flavors!

Story by Ethan Chung & photographs by Eric Tra / Sea Creatures.

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