East Bay diners, hof braus, waterfront buffets open on Thanksgiving day

The All-American Thanksgiving Dinner at Buttercup Diner. Photo: Buttercup Diner/Facebook

This year, with the closure of several East Bay longtime dining institutions that were reliably open on Thanksgiving — namely, Brennan’s and Hs Lordships in Berkeley and Salute e Vita in Richmond — Nosh decided to look into the remaining eateries, some with a similar diner, hofbrau, banquet or buffet vibe, that will be serving traditional turkey meals with all the trimmings on Thanksgiving Day. That means large plates of roast turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, and if you still have room for it, a slice of pie.

Black Bear Diner

The Emeryville location of Redding-based comfort food chain Black Bear Diner will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. Along with its regular menu, the specials for the day include an open-face hot turkey sandwich, which comes with mashed potatoes and gravy ($12.49), and an entree featuring carved roast turkey breast, red-skinned mashed potatoes with gravy, seasonal vegetables and cranberry sauce ($13.99). Black Bear will offer pumpkin pie, along with its regular variety of berry and cream pies. Black Bear Diner5750 Christie Ave. (at Shellmound), Emeryville 

Buttercup Diner

Buttercup Diner, a family-owned East Bay chain with five locations, offers an All American Turkey Dinner on its everyday menu, which of course, will be the thing to get on Thanksgiving Day. The $15.99 plate comes loaded with hand-carved, slow roasted turkey breast, cornbread sage stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, vegetables, cranberry sauce and gravy. You can top off your meal with a slice of pumpkin or pecan pie (or, if you’re not a fan of those, there are many other varieties that the diner makes). All Buttercup Diners will be open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Buttercup Diner, 229 Broadway, Oakland; 1000 Cotton St., Oakland; 660 Ygnacio Valley Rd, Walnut Creek; 4301 Clayton Rd, Concord; 3288 Sonoma Blvd, Vallejo

Eve’s Waterfront Restaurant

Over in Jack London Square, Eve’s Waterfront Restaurant will be open from noon to 6 p.m. (with last seatings at 4 p.m.) on Thanksgiving Day. The Premium Thanksgiving Buffet ($65, $23 for kids under 12) features a meat carving station, where there’ll be herb-roasted Willie Bird turkey and giblet gravy, as well as slow roasted prime rib and pineapple roasted smoked ham. Expect all the usual Thanksgiving sides, like mashed potatoes, housemade cranberry sauce and herbed stuffing, along with all kinds of other vegetables, seafood and meat dishes. Save room for dessert — there’s pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie and more. Guests will also get a complimentary glass of Thanksgiving Punch (alcoholic, or not) upon arrival. Eve’s Waterfront Restaurant, 15 Embarcadero West, Oakland


Harry’s Hofbrau

Those who miss the meaty hot plates at Brennan’s should head to Harry’s, an old-school Hofbrau in San Leandro (there are also locations in San Jose and Redwood City), which will be open on Thanksgiving Day from noon to 8 p.m. Two dishes will be offered: a turkey or ham dinner, both served with mashed potatoes, stuffing, salad, a roll and a dessert, all for $11.95. Now that’s a deal! Harry’s Hofbrau, 14900 East 14th St. (at Bancroft), San Leandro 

Lake Chalet Seafood Bar and Grill

Located on Lake Merritt, Lake Chalet offers two choices for dining on Thanksgiving — a prix fixe meal or buffet. The $65 three-course prix fixe meal features dishes like butternut squash soup with apples and Brussels sprouts; roasted turkey served with sausage stuffing, giblet gravy, buttermilk mashed potatoes, cranberry apple relish, butternut squash gratin and seasonal vegetables; and pumpkin pie with rum raisins. The buffet ($79) will have the traditional turkey and sides, with even more salads, sides, meats, seafoods and desserts to choose from. Reservations are recommended. Lake Chalet will be open noon to 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Lake Chalet Seafood Bar and Grill, 1520 Lakeside Dr. (near 14th), Oakland

Skate’s on the Bay

With Hs Lordships gone out to sea, Skate’s on the Bay is a good alternative for eating Thanksgiving dinner while enjoying views of the Berkeley Marina. It’ll be roasting up Diestel turkeys to serve with chicken apple-sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes, vegetables, fresh cranberry relish and turkey gravy ($32). Other menu items will be available that day, for those who aren’t feelin’ turkey. Skate’s on the Bay will be open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Skate’s on the Bay, 100 Seawall Dr., Berkeley

Terrace Room

The Terrace Room, located near Lake Merritt, will be open from noon to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, offering a Harvest Buffet, where you’ll find roasted turkey breast with sage giblet gravy, cornbread stuffing, mashed Yukon gold potatoes and cranberry relish, along with many other  starters, main courses, sides and desserts. The buffet is $69 per person ($35 for kids ages 6-10; free for those 5 and under). Terrace Room, 1800 Madison St., Oakland

Take out options

If you want to enjoy your turkey dinner at home, but don’t want to cook it yourself, there are a few local East Bay options for take-out meals. The caveat, only one we’re highlighting is open on Thanksgiving Day:

I would’ve included Europa Hofbrau in Orinda on the list above, but upon calling, found out this longtime Hofbrau spot will only be open from 9 a.m. to noon Thanksgiving Day for take-out orders only. The sole menu item that day will be its turkey dinner plate, which comes with the “whole nine yards,” or roasted carved turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, etc. The plate costs $19.95. Europa Hofbrau, 64 Moraga Way, Orinda

These next two options aren’t open on Thanksgiving, but they’re both taking orders this week for Thanksgiving meals to be picked up next week, as late as Wednesday, Nov. 21.


Market Hall Foods in Rockridge and Berkeley is offering a whole package deal that serves eight to 10 people. For $285, you’ll get a roasted Mary’s turkey (with breasts, wings and thighs separated for even heating), cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans with fennel, giblet gravy, cranberry-orange sauce and pumpkin pie. A vegetarian option ($205) features roasted brussels sprouts and carrots, mushroom gravy, yams and apples with cranberries and pumpkin pie. Orders must be placed by Saturday, Nov. 17. Market Hall Foods, 5655 College Ave. (at Keith), Oakland; 1786 Fourth St. (at Delaware), Berkeley

Gourmet Ghetto deli Poulet is offering its special Thanksgiving menu for the 40th straight year. Co-owner Jesse Savell told Nosh that at this point, all the whole turkeys and turkey thighs are spoken for, but Poulet will have turkey breast, wings drums and mixed and white dark meat, as well as sides (focaccia stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, spaghetti squash, cranberry relish, buttermilk biscuits) and pies available for walk-ins on Tuesday, Nov. 20, and Wednesday, Nov. 21. Poulet, 1685 Shattuck Ave. (at Virginia), Berkeley