A Guide to Local Thanksgiving Food Options

The first year after college, I couldn’t afford to take days off work or to fly home. With my Real Simple magazine full of recipes in hand, I tried to mask being homesick by cooking a proper Thanksgiving meal…for only three people. We have rarely gotten to spend Thanksgiving with family in south Louisiana since then, but I have refined my Thanksgiving prep.

We still have a few weeks until the big day, but now is the time to figure out your food plans. Do you want a complete Thanksgiving meal prepared by a store or entirely home-cooked? Only order a turkey or dessert? Do you want to make dinner reservations and eat out? Here are some local options available for you.

Prepared Options

Hyvee Order online, Options from complete meal for 20 to a la carte items (and non-traditional meals like lasagna)

Bread Garden Call 319-351-9119 to order, Dinner for six, Option to pick up Nov. 27th and bake ($119) or carryout on Thanksgiving ($139)

Leaf Kitchen Email  [email protected] or stop by in person by Nov. 19th, Complete meal serves up to 10 people ($250)

Pioneer Co-op Order online by Nov. 20th, Options from complete meal for 10 to vegan plates and a la carte items

Natural Grocers Order online by Nov. 15th, Various turkey options

DeLuxe Call 319-338-5000 or email [email protected] 24 hours in advance; pies, tartes, decorated cookies and breakfast options available

Be sure to have room in your fridge–most of these options require pick-up in advance. Also read the instructions before Thanksgiving day…even though you may not have to brine a turkey, it could still take a few hours to cook.

Dining Options

Leave all of the prep and clean-up for someone else! Here are the restaurants that we know will be open (so far!):


Ox Yoke Inn: 11 am to 3 pm, call 319-622-3441 for reservations


Iowa River Power Restaurant: Limited hours, call 319.351.1904

Twelve01 Kitchen and Tap: 11 am to 2 pm, call 319-338-1201 or 319-351-5049 for reservations

ReUnion Brewery: 10 am to 4 pm, 319.337.3000

My Plan

When it’s just us now, I opt to do a mix of ordering ahead of time and cooking. I’m a vegetarian so we will certainly be getting a turkey from a store. I’ll probably order a dessert and rolls too. Here are the recipes I’m eyeing this year:

Cranberry sauce (so easy and can be made in advance)
Mashed potatoes in our new-ish Instant Pot
Pumpkin soup 
Brussels sprouts, apple & pomegranate salad 
Spinach Madeline (a classic Louisiana recipe!)

And maybe I’ll even dig out that Real Simple stuffing my 22 year-old self made in a cramped kitchen years ago.

Looking for more Thanksgiving recipes and tips?

Check out posts from last year’s guide, and other delicious recipes that are tried and true:

No-Stress Turkey Recipes
Egg-Free Pumpkin Spice Cake
Hostess Hacks
Destressing Thanksgiving Dinner
Corn Casserole
Almond Vanilla Bean Apple Crisp
Carb Fest! Cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, potatoes, and stuffing
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Blondies and Pumpkin Surprise Muffins
Spicy Pumpkin Pie and Amazing Apple Pie

Happy planning!


Meg is a transplant to the Midwest. Originally a Louisiana native, she moved to Iowa with her family in the summer of 2016 for her husband’s residency program. She and Addison have four daughters: Kate, born November 2013; Adrienne, born December 2016; and, Elizabeth and Caroline, born November 2018. Meg is a University of Richmond grad with a PR, government affairs and community outreach background.


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