You can make one of these. Or you can just go out to eat and let someone else ruin their day. | Creative Commons

Start to finish, it takes approximately 19-and-a-half hours to stuff, marinate, season, pray over, cook, carve and serve a turkey. Or you can deep fry it, which might be a little quicker, but you’re also far more likely to burn down your house.

If you do pot luck for dinner, you have to hope that everyone invited doesn’t bring Kraft mac and cheese or packs of instant dressing. And then there’s the can of cranberry “sauce,” or whatever that stuff is.

You guessed it: This is another where-to-go-out-to-dinner-to-avoid-wasting-your-whole-day-cooking-and-cleaning-on-Thanksgiving roundups. And there are some really solid options here, many of which are buffets, meaning you not only get all the Thanksgiving treats you’ve come to expect, but you also don’t have to scrape any pans.

Reservations are recommended for most or all of these choices, because showing up at the door with your party of 10 only to learn there’s no room in sight wouldn’t be any fun, either. Worst case, you can always go to Golden Corral, right?

The Bristol Bar & Grille

The Bristol’s Thanksgiving buffet is almost as much a part of Thanksgiving in Louisville as giblets and pilgrims. It’s all-you-can-eat with all your classic favorites, from turkey to green beans, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., at the downtown, Highlands and Hurstbourne Parkway locations.

Cost: $32 adults, $10 children 4-11

Proof on Main

Proof will serve up a la carte Thanksgiving favorites, but if turkey and dressing aren’t your thing, you’ll have access to Proof’s regular menu as well. That’s right, kids: bison burger for turkey day. Hours are 2-8 p.m.

Cost: Varies

Churchill Downs

Yes, that’s right: Thanksgiving at Churchill Downs. Come on, this is Louisville, people. Horse racing and bourbon are part of every holiday, too. Herb-roasted honey, sorghum ham and many more will grace the buffet, which runs 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Cost: $70 per person

Joe Huber’s Family Farm & Restaurant, Borden
Joe Huber’s Family Farm has Thanksgiving fare all through November, with a special buffet on the 22nd. | Courtesy of Joe Huber’s Family Farm & Restaurant

This is a Thanksgiving family-style dinner you can get in on all month long during November, but on Thanksgiving proper, you can take advantage of a special buffet-style meal from 11 a.m.-5:45 p.m., with turkey, scratch-made dressing, cranberry relish, fried biscuits with apple butter and plenty more.

Cost: $21.99 adults, $12.99 children 4-11

8UP Elevated Drinkery & Kitchen

If you want to do Thanksgiving in the sky, try 8UP’s meal service, from 2-8 p.m., with a mix of a la carte selections ranging from Thanksgiving-themed dishes like grilled turkey breast with cranberry apple compote to braised short rib. Nice way to impress the out-of-town relatives.

Cost: Varies

Captain’s Quarters

For all the Thanksgiving classics and a little more (fried chicken, people), Captain’s Quarters is a great buffet choice on Nov. 22 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (last seating). There’s even a river cruise option from 2-5 p.m.

Cost: $32.95 adults; $16.95 children 6-12; $5.95 children under 6

Butchertown Grocery

Bobby Benjamin and his crew will create a family-style Thanksgiving feast that will offer creative spins on holiday favorites, starting with smoked rotisserie turkey and preacher’s ham, along with a wide variety of styles and a choice of desserts like maple walnut pumpkin pie, chocolate chip cookies and beignets.

Cost: $50 per person

English Grill and J. Graham’s at the Brown

The English Grill will serve a formal brunch event 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., with main entrees served a la carte and a bevy of extras, from crab claws to salads, will be served buffet style. Meanwhile, J. Graham’s will play host to a more casual brunch buffet, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., featuring traditional Thanksgiving favorites.

Cost: $71 adults, $22 children 4-12 (English Grill); $46 adults, $22 children 4-12 (J. Graham’s)

Sway at the Hyatt Regency

Ready to go downtown? Sway will host a buffet of Thanksgiving faves, seasonal classics and tasty desserts at a reasonable price in a welcoming environment. Bring the whole fam.

Cost: $30 per person

J. Harrod’s

Fill your belly at the J. Harrod’s buffet, from 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m., with a mouth-watering menu that includes everything from turkey with gravy to oyster dressing to roast beef and salmon parmesan. Chow down like a champ in a classic Prospect restaurant.

Cost: $25.95 adults, $12.95 children 12 and under

Olive Leaf Bistro, Jeffersonville

Olive Leaf Bistro will roll out a Thanksgiving brunch buffet, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Thanksgiving, Italian-style? The menu hasn’t been published yet, but we’re guessing you won’t find turkey lasagna on the menu. Then again …

Cost: $25 adults, $10 children 4-10

Rivue Restaurant

Rivue offers another rooftop view while dining, as it sits high in the sky on the Galt House’s upper level. This Thanksgiving buffet, served from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., features roasted turkey breast, honey glazed ham, poached jumbo Gulf shrimp, green bean casserole and so much more.

Cost: $59 adults, $25 children 4-10

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Kevin Gibson
Kevin Gibson tackles the 3Rs — retail, restaurants, real estate — plus, economic development. He loves bacon, loathes cucumbers and once interviewed Yoko Ono. Check out his books, “Louisville Beer: Derby City History on Draft” and “100 Things to do in Louisville Before You Die.” He has won numerous awards for his work but doesn’t know where most of them are now. In his spare time, he plays in a band called the Uncommon Houseflies. Email Kevin at [email protected]