With Thanksgiving being very much a North American holiday, we aren’t really within our rights to expect Nagoya to celebrate the third Thursday of November in quite the same way as it would be done in the US. However, like other international traditions such as Christmas, Hallowe’en, or Valentine’s Day, there is a distinct feeling that Thanksgiving is growing in stature.
Of course, it is not yet celebrated with the same gusto as the aforementioned holidays, but there are still a few places dotted around the city that put on a Thanksgiving spread. Unfortunately, there are fewer places to choose from this year, as The Hilton has discontinued their Thanksgiving buffet, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying a great dinner.
Here’s a short list we’ve compiled of our favorites. Please note that most require reservations, and any prices quoted may be subject to tax.
Midtown BBQ, perhaps Nagoya’s finest American barbecue establishment – and so popular is that they have expanded into Yokohama and launched their own range of BBQ sauces available in Costco be returning with their ‘Smoked Thanksgiving’ event.
Details are, at the time of publication, not yet confirmed 100 percent, but they have said that on Thursday, November 26 and Friday 27, they will be serving up their famous Smoked Turkey Plate, cooked over a real fire, with just a little bit of smoke to complement the flavors. To whet your appetite, last year this included:
2500 JPY Smoked Turkey Plate
Smoked Crispy Skin Turkey, Smoked Sausage, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Mushroom Shallot Gravy, Stuffing, Grilled Seasonal Vegetables, Cointreau Fresh Cranberry Sauce, Butter Roll
500 JPY Fresh Pumpkin Pie.”
They advise that seats are limited, so booking is strongly recommended.
Be aware that they have changed location to a beautiful spot on the river, so don’t wander down to the old place by mistake!
Coat of Arms regularly holds international events, and their Canadian Thanksgiving in October went down a storm. For Nagoya’s American community, they are putting on no less of a top-notch spread with a special turkey dinner from Monday 23 to Sunday 29 of November.
You can choose from roasted turkey, smoked ham, or half and half accompanied by creamy mashed potatoes, steamed veggies, sweetcorn, green beans, homemade stuffing, turkey gravy, cranberry sauce, and a homemade dinner roll, all for 1,900 JPY for a regular and 2,380 JPY for a large.
Shooters Sports bar is so American that, should you cut it, it would bleed apple pie. But at this time of year, that pie takes on more of a pumpkin flavor. This is what they have to say for themselves:
“Shooters is the longest standing American sports bar in Nagoya and is well respected in the community for having great food and drinks. With the largest seating restaurant/bar venue in Nagoya, we strive to make all events meet our customers’ expectations.”
At the time of going to press, Shooters was yet to confirm their menu, so it is advisable to give them a call closer to the day to confirm details.
However, last year’s Thanksgiving dinner included turkey with cranberry sauce and gravy, country stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and a dinner roll. A kid’s dinner was 1,600 JPY, a small was 2,100 JPY, and a regular was 2,600 JPY. Also, they offered a piece of pie for an extra 300 JPY.
This year Shooters will be serving their Thanksgiving dinner from November 28 to December 1. They also cater for full roast dinners (including turkey, of course) with sides for taking out to host your own Thanksgiving dinner in your home with family and friends.
If you don’t feel like heading out into the cold winter air or prefer to go down a more traditional route, it is possible to have Thanksgiving dinner right in your own home.
The Foreign Buyers Club provides pretty much everything that you need for your homemade meal. From whole turkeys to pumpkin pie and all of the trimmings in between, they pretty much have it if you want it. Even candied yams with marshmallows! If a turkey isn’t your thing, they’ve got ham, lamb, chicken, and duck too.
But if the meat is what you desire, you can’t go wrong with The Meat Guy. They stock turkeys ranging from 2kg up to 6kg – enough to comfortably feed ten or more people – all are Grade A, premium, and American. They even do their own range of stuffing, and if you feel like something a bit out of the ordinary, their smoked turkey drumsticks are extremely popular.