Thanksgiving in Paris

pumpkins & potimarron

This article was written in 2012, however many of the places do an annual Thanksgiving feast. Check the websites of the venues to see what they are offering. -david

It’s that time of the year, when Americans gather around the Thanksgiving table. Because of the number of requests from travelers, and some locals, here is a round-up of places serving Thanksgiving meals. Since the holiday is celebrated on Thursday, which is a regular working day in Paris, many places offer the meal on other nights of the week as well.

I’ve linked to the venue, and the event, so folks can check out what each place is offering. I can’t make specific recommendations since I usually stay at home so this list is for informational purposes. Listed are two places that sell Thanksgiving supplies and foods, and most outdoor markets and butchers in Paris also sell turkeys (and turkey melons!) There are excellent farm-raised turkeys in France, although they’re not as common to find as other poultry.

If you plan to cook one, many butchers and volaillers can make sure to have one for you if there is advance notice, however some can be rather expensive – especially in neighborhoods where a lot of non-French people reside or stay. So be sure to ask the price first before placing an order to avoid any surprises. Some will spit-roasted and cook it for you, and others will stuff it, if you inquire. And it’s usually not a problem.


Ô Chateau: Thanksgiving Dinner

Verjus: Thanksgiving Dinner

La Cuisine: Thanksgiving Day cooking classes

Joe Allen: Thanksgiving Dinner

Breakfast in America: Thanksgiving Dinner

Hotel Édouard 7: Thanksgiving Dinner

American University Club: Thanksgiving dinner

Blues Bar-B-Q: Thanksgiving Dinner

Le Saint-Martin Bistro: Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving: Take-away meals and Thanksgiving supplies

Real McCoy: Thanksgiving supplies

La Grange aux Dîmes: Fireside Thanksgiving Dinner, 20mn from Paris

The American Church in Paris: Community Dinner


[If you're looking for Christmas week suggestions, you can find tips and some restaurant addresses on my FAQs page.]


Thanksgiving Recipes on the Site

Chocolate-Pecan Pie

How to Make Candied Ginger

My Favorite Snack Mix

Roasted Pumpkin

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Quick Mincemeat

Persimmon Bread

Ingredients for American Baking in Paris

40 comments

  • Hi David,

    I remember you had a recipe for Thanksgiving turkey à la Ruhlman on your site. Is that correct? I can’t find it.

    By the way, thanks for your recommendations for Paris. I was there for four days recently with a friend and Candelaría was excellent! I have never had such good brownies! The margaritas au tamarin went down well too.
    The chocolate&coconut guimauves at Pain de Sucre…. to good for words.
    And the best: Jacques Genin of course. He even invited us into his kitchen for a short tour!! Unbelievable. Of course his caramels and Paris-Brest, etc., etc.
    I could go on. But just wanted to say many thanks for all the info you have provided on this amazing city.
    All the best.

  • I’m headed to the Mandarin Oriental this issue – will report back :) Great list!

    • Hi Lindsey: I imagine that some of the grand hotels do a special dinner but I didn’t see the Mandarin Oriental offering a dinner on their website. If there is a link, you’re welcome to add it here in the comments. Have fun!

  • I think I will just have the butcher roast the turkey for me… we have a tiny oven and there’s a lot that needs to go in it on Thanksgiving!

  • I cooked Thanksgiving dinner in Paris one year: an American friend of mine was living over there and invited a bunch of ex-pats over for Thanksgiving dinner. He neglected to inform me, however, that, other than procuring the turkey (from Thanksgiving, I think) and wine, he had done no other meal prep at all; hadn’t even thought about what else to serve. So I had an afternoon to plan a menu, shop for ingredients in a foreign city, and then figure out how to crank out all those dishes at once in a teeny, tiny, “typical” Parisian kitchen.

    I do remember attempting to “seal” the oven with lame-ass French aluminum wrap, because the door wouldn’t fully close around the turkey; also making up some sort of cherry-port sauce on the fly because, by the time the turkey came out of the oven I was out of any patience for gravy. There were sides I’m sure: sweet potatoes? Green beans? It’s all lost in a fog of stress-cooking and wine. And laughing. Lots of laughing.

    We ate at about midnight. Which I now realize was just about right. :)

  • Café de Mars in the 7th also have a Thanksgiving Dinner this year :)
    http://www.cafedemars.com/

  • Yes, strangely it’s not listed on their website but Alec mentioned it and I called up right away to book :) It’s indeed a 55€ menu that includes Marx’s take on some classics – very interested to see how that plays out!

  • Having sit down for 16 on 25 November and starting the shopping list a week from now when I drive over to Boulogne to gather foodstuff for the Horn of Plenty. Wishing everyone now a lovely Thanksgiving.

  • Turkeys can be had for a lower price when they are in season and unfortunately Thanksgiving comes too early for cheaper French fowl. So keep your recipes out and do it again!

  • That pumpkin looks so smooth and beautiful. Looks like you’ve got lots of great recipes to share. I’m ready to pig out!

  • Hi David, I follow your blog faithfully and love your recipes. I just looked at your recipe for instant mincemeat which looks quite good (not that I find the traditional kind too time consuming to make) but would offer one suggestion. In place of brandy or cognac, use Applejack, Calvados or some other apple based brandy. It makes a world of difference.

  • The American Club of the Riviera have a wonderful Thanksgiving lunch at the very grand Hotel de Paris in Monaco. It is on Thanksgiving day, Thursday 22nd November and they always invite members of the American forces so that they are surrounded by others on this important day when they cannot be with their own relatives and loved ones. It is the only celebration of the year which is neither religious nor military. See http://americanclubriviera.com/ for full information.

    Wherever you are, enjoy the day. Jackie

  • David – my message about Thanksgiving day on the Riviera was deleted because apparently you cannot insert a commercial website address. I must advise you that the American Club of the Riviera is not a commercial enterprise – it is a social club. I am sure your readers would be interested in this wonderful Thanksgiving lunch in Monaco if they are anywhere near the Cote d’Azur on the 22nd November. Jackie

    Comments containing links are automatically flagged for moderation on the site but I do allow comments to enterprises that pertain to the posts and subjects of the site. So I did approve the previous comment & thanks for the tip-off for folks in the Riviera! : ) – dl

  • Good to see that it is possible to celebrate Thanksgiving in Paris without having to resort to fetching the traditional ingredients from all over town!

    Thanksgiving was an unknown holiday back when I was a student in Rome. I found half a turkey somewhere out in EUR, (all other butchers offered either breasts or thighs) and a can of Ocean Spray cranberry jelly at Castroni’s near the Vatican. White sweet potatoes were available at Campo de’ Fiori, but no pecan nuts anywhere. I made the stuffing according to a recipe in my then boyfriend’s “Joy of Cooking”.

    And here I am in Vienna, where I can get all the ingredients at Naschmarkt in the city center, even fresh Ocean Spray cranberries! Global world. ;-)

  • Great list. I used to live right on Rue St. Paul one year and would pop in to Thanksgiving in Paris for root beer and boxes of nerds now and then. The couple who own that place are great. I can recommend Le Saint-Martin Bistro if you’re in a pinch. One year, I was coming back from an emergency trip to the States and didn’t have enough time to prepare a dinner. I picked up the food at Saint-Martin and took it back to a friend’s apartment to enjoy with a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau. You can’t beat a home-cooked dinner hosted by someone, though. My first year in Paris, I was lucky enough to be invited to another Thanksgiving dinner of alumni from my college. The crowd was a nice mix of Americans, Europeans spouses, and children. This is what Thanksgiving is all about- sharing our great tradition with others over great food. We all brought a dish to share, making it a lot easier on the hosts and their typical small French oven. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Do you have any suggestions for New Year’s Eve dinner in Paris that won’t break the bank?

    • There is nothing reasonable on New Year’s Eve in Paris so it’s best to find a party to go to – or make your own!

      • Can you suggest something unreasonable? Jules Verne is out of the budget. We’ll be at Opera Garnier for the ballet and would like to dine somewhere other than the local pizza place. We’ll be a block off rue Cler. We used to go to Au Petit Tonneau on rue Surcouf, but Chef Ginette Boyer died :(

  • I remember your post about your Thanksgiving night several years ago, when you were racing to the hospital. I recall chuckling away while reading it….once I knew you were OK, of course ! So glad you’re still around to keep us entertained !

  • Haven’t been to Paris for years – I love your blog, and the pictures are great too; makes me want to trawl the SNCF website, and visit the a big city for a while!

  • Thanksgiving in France, always in challenge! I do a big one in Burgundy every year. No turkeys here until Christmas, I’ve looked everywhere. But I’ve had good luck with roasting turkey parts–cuisses, and a rolled roast–on a bed of veggies to flavor it all,with a little broth. No pepperidge farm stuffing, so it’s strictly make-your-own, and I’m always down to the wire finding fresh cranberries. But it all works out. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • I did Thanksgiving in Koln Germany in the early nineties, it was a rather small bird It was all we could get, but a success.
    I made them save the bones for stock,after I made the soup everyone was astonished how good the soup was.
    I was named left over queen there after

  • hmm thanksgiving in paris…that leaves me torn. i think everything must be better in paris, but then, thanksgiving is so american. maybe it’s one day i’ll be glad to be living here instead of there.

  • Happy Thanksgiving in Paris.

  • Merci, David!

  • San-Francisco based French chef Laurent Manrique will also be cooking Thanksgiving dinner at l’Auberge Flora in the 11th arrondissement. He’s an excellent chef and the menu looks terrific. Reservations only, first come, first serve.

  • Hi, David-
    Perfect timing for this post. My cousin and I will be arriving on Tuesday and thought about the cooking class at La Cuisine, then realized our goal was to escape the traditional trappings of thanksgiving, so we made a reservation at Guy Savoy!

  • Hi David
    Not sure if you’re aware but there is an annual turkey festival held in the small French town of Licques known as Fete de la Dinde. I haven’t managed to get there but apparently it’s a lot of fun – might be worth a blog sometime in the future…

  • Hi David/wanted you to know, Berkeley wants to abdicate

  • Another great Thanksgiving Dinner Event is Thanksgiving at Patrick’s. 26 Euros per person (not including beverage) gets you the full Thanksgiving Experience! A wonderful real American Thanksgiving Dinner with all the trimmings and the Thanksgiving Story (given by Thomas Macfarlane) ! You can email Camilla at parisevents@live.com for more information!

  • I’m really glad to see that the Thanksgiving store is still there! While I don’t like to think about how long it has been since I lived in France as a student, one of my fondest memories of that time was from that store. My roommate and I were decent cooks, and we had a taste for home-made chocolate chip cookies, which required baking soda (which, in turn, wasn’t available at Monoprix.) We went into the store and bought a bag of chocolate chips and explained that we were making cookies. Rather than making us buy a whole box of baking soda, the very nice lady behind the counter checked in the back and found an open box. She offered us a couple of teaspoons and packaged it up.

    My roommate and I were oblivious, but she realized that she was handing an aluminum foil packet full of white powder to a couple of young American men, and said, “You probably don’t want to be stopped by the police.” One of my funnier moments cooking and eating in Paris!

  • Art Buchwald wrote this column to explain Thanksgiving to the French when he was a correspondent for the International Herald Tribune in Paris in 1949. It has been reprinted annually ever since, especially in the Washington Post (a co-owner of the IHT until the New York Times pushed them out):

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/23/AR2005112302056.html

    Sixty plus years later, it is still worth your time…

  • I prepared Thanksgiving for 10 people (9 French and me) this weekend just outside Paris at my boyfriend’s parents’ house. After struggling with how to cook both a turkey and all the sides in one oven, his mother had the great idea to make Pintade à la Normande (with apples, Calvados), which is cooked in a cocotte on the stovetop. Honestly, it tastes like turkey, but was more moist, and made the tasks of cranberry sauce and gravy not necessary.

    My ‘oh, merde’ moments came when realizing that my pie recipes are made for 9″ pans while her tart pans are 11″, and that she had a convection oven, but those were easily adjusted for.

    I also made my own brown sugar (molasses plus sugar) instead of buying the imports. I recommend everyone do it … once.

    The coolest part was that folks ate things they’d never had before — sweet potatoes, stuffing — and loved them! I am already looking forward to next year!

  • I have so many wonderful memories from our three Thanksgiving celebrations in Geneva in the 80s. Our European friends loved, loved, loved Thanksgiving and everyone wanted a spot at our table. Of course, we invited everyone we could and squeezed them around our fairly large table. And those french turkeys were the best I’ve ever eaten.

  • hello david! we just moved our family of 6 to paris..this is our first thanksgiving in paris. i purchased a 19lb bird through the american school of paris..(my 17 year old had to carry it home on the bus yesterday!)…it just barely fits in my oven AND my fridge! we will celebrate tomorrow night as the kids are in school and my husbands at work.
    thank you for the link to the Real McCoy..headed there today to find some brown sugar! happy i’m looking forward to following your blog..happy thanksgiving to you!

  • Do you guys know where I can get Thanksgiving dinner take out?

    Thx
    Best
    P.

  • @ Steve:
    Thank you for linking to Art Buchwald’s Thanksgiving column – so many fond memories and reading it again and again over the years!

  • THANK YOU for saying….Re: The Turkey…”Just put the dang thing in the oven!” Jeeeeez Everyone is sooooo obsessed with the whole turkey thing and they’re not that great anyway! To brine or not to brine (me…NOT)…to cut the legs/thighs off and finish cooking…NOT….just cook it drink, wine, and shut up!

    Dressing is the best part anyway! Hope your Paris day was great!

    • I know. The run-up to Thanksgiving, and each year, a new technique comes out for roasting, steaming, frying, brining, etc. And folks, it’s turkey! If people want a moist bird, braise it in the oven – basta! (Although there’s no crispy skin…)
      : )

  • If there is a post somewhere that answers my questions I would appreciate a link, if not could you help me with the following?
    re: caramel sauce vs. soft. vs hard toffee-like candy – Is the firmness of the caramel dependent only on the length of time it is cooked or does it also depend on the ratio of sugar:liquid:fat? Also, what characteristics do different liquids (water, milk, evap milk, sweetened cond milk, butter, etc) give to caramel? Is there a ratio or ratios for different forms of caramel?