Don't want to cook on Thanksgiving? Rochester restaurants provide options

Forager Brewery and Cafe is among several Rochester eateries offering up orders for catered Thanksgiving Day meals. Here's a look at the turkey and trimmings you can order — in advance — for the holiday.

A slice of pumpkin pie that comes included with all Thanksgiving catered meals at Forager Brewery and Cafe.
Contributed / Annie Henderson
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ROCHESTER — While cooking up a big Thanksgiving meal is a task many cooks look forward to each year, others just want to enjoy a great holiday meal without all that time in the kitchen.

Fortunately, for those who enjoy the eating at Thanksgiving, there are options available in Rochester to skip the cooking altogether with several local restaurants that will stuff you with everything from cranberries and pumpkin pie to, well, stuffing.

Forager Brewery and Cafe is offering up orders for catered Thanksgiving Day meals that serve up to four from now until Saturday, Nov. 19. The brewery has been doing this for five years but took last year off due to COVID-19.

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“We are just trying to make it easier for people that are busy and that want to enjoy a home-cooked meal prepared by our team at Forger,” said Annie Henderson, co-owner of Forager.

The meals are prepared for pick up the day before Thanksgiving on from noon to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23 at Forager. Included in these meals are turkey, scalloped potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, rolls, and pumpkin pie. The cost of the meal is $130 for the group of four.


“We usually get 100 families every year that order and pick it up," said Henderson, adding that the brewery tried to pair several beer options to go with the meal. "They can also add our house-made beer that is paired with the meal. We brew some fall lagers and a lot of food-friendly beer. We'll focus on beers that are popular in the fall and winter.”

While Forager is providing these meals for Thanksgiving Day, the restaurant will be closed on the holiday itself. This allows time for Henderson and her family members to trim the brew pub with decorations for the next holiday season.

“We want store staff to celebrate with their families Thanksgiving Day, as well as my family coming for Thanksgiving," Henderson said. "We decorate for Christmas and that's been a tradition that we started the very first year Forager opened.”

While Forager will be closed on Turkey Day itself, two Rochester restaurants —Canadian Honker and Five West — will be open on Thanksgiving Day.

Five West will serve up a Thanksgiving buffet available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 24. The buffet will have up to 20 different types of Thanksgiving-themed foods.

Canadian Honker will be open for dine-in and takeout from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., but no breakfast will be available on Thanksgiving Day. Meals will cost $23 and come with choices such as turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, dinner rolls, coconut cake, pumpkin pie and much more.

A limited number of items from the regular menu items at Canadian Honker will be available on Thanksgiving Day. Gluten-free and kids menu options are also available.

In addition to being open Thanksgiving Day, Canadian Honker will also have catered to-go options for people to order before Thanksgiving Day. Those meals will be available to pick up at the catering location at 2112 Second St. SW.


Forager Brewery and Cafe

1005 Sixth St. NW, Rochester, Minnesota


Five West

1991 Commerce Drive NW, Rochester, Minnesota


Canadian Honker

1203 Second St. SW, Rochester, Minnesota


Theodore Tollefson is a business reporter for the Post Bulletin. He is originally from Burnsville, Minn., and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a bachelor's degree in journalism in December 2020. Readers can reach Theodore at 507-281-7420 or
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