Talking Turkey – Thanksgiving Dinner in Tokyo 2020

ByJason Gatewood
Oct 12, 2020

Talking Turkey – Thanksgiving Dinner in Tokyo 2020

Let’s face it: Thanksgiving is purely a North American holiday, meaning we shouldn’t expect much fanfare here in Tokyo on the third Thursday of November. In most parts of Japan, you may only have one choice if you wanted to indulge in a holiday feast — do it yourself… minus the turkey, cranberry sauce, and other side dishes, of course, because there aren’t many places that sell them here.

However, with so many expats from the USA in the Tokyo area, there are plenty of places to find a traditional Turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Here’s a shortlist we’ve compiled of our favorites.

Please note that most require reservations and that some of the establishments below are still in the process of deciding their menu; it is recommended that you contact them to confirm details.

Soul Food House

The Thanksgiving tradition at this Azabu-Juban restaurant is older than the eatery itself; proprietors David and LaTonya Whitaker opened up their home to almost anyone in the community every Thanksgiving to enjoy the American tradition years before they decided to open up their full-service Soul Food establishment. This is as close as you will get to sitting next to an actual family if you wind up here, trust me! This year, we are still awaiting their menu announcement, but last year they offered a course menu on for 6,000 JPY that included:

Starters:
Pumpkin Soup
Apple Nut Salad

Main:
Honey Roasted Turkey
Gravy  & Cranberry Sauce
Roasted Ham
Spare Rib or Beef Rib
※Vegetarian Options Available

Sides:
Cornbread Dressing
Garlic Mash Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Macaroni & cheese
And a “House Dessert.”

Where: Minato City, Azabujuban, 2 Chome−8−10 Patio 6F (map)
Website: soulfoodhouse.com

Bistro Vino

Since 2001 (previously under the name of Roti Roppongi), Bistro Vino, a casual yet sophisticated wine bar & brasserie in the heart of Tokyo’s entertainment district, has been highly rated on Tokyo’s culinary map for its consistently high-quality food and service. The Thanksgiving dinners live up to the restaurant’s reputation, including perfectly roasted premium American Turkey. Reservations required.

Thanksgiving Course Menu – 4,500 JPY

Complimentary glass of sparkling wine per Adult.
Smoked Salmon Appetizer, Choice of Salad, Slow Roasted Turkey, Creamy Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Corn Butter, Homemade Country Stuffing, Creamed Spinach, and Holiday Dessert.

Price includes FREE seconds for the hungry eaters!
This special course menu is only available from November 21st (Thurs) to November 30th (Sunday). It has 3 settings per evening with an additional 2 settings on the weekend from 1 pm 3 pm on Weekends and 5 pm, 7 pm, and 9 pm Midweek.

Make your reservations early while space is available.
For reservations, copy and paste the link in a different window.

Online reservations via TableCheck

Children Under 5 are FREE, and kids from
5 yrs ~ 12 yrs old are ½ price.

Where: Minato City, Roppongi, 6 Chome-6-9 Piramide 1F 6 (map)
Website: bistrovino.com

T.Y.Harbor Brewery

T.Y.Harbor is a restaurant and brewery located in a renovated warehouse along the canals in Shinagawa. With a waterside terrace that can be used even in winter, it serves freshly made craft beers and modern American cuisine. They are serving; roasted turkey breast with mushroom gravy, cornbread stuffing, baked sweet potatoes, green beans, and cranberry relish.

Where: 2 Chome-1-3 Higashishinagawa, Shinagawa City (map)
Website: tysons.jp/tyharbor
Dinner page: tysons.jp/news/en/eng/8855

Smokehouse

Tokyo’s first major BBQ joint is getting in on the Turkey Day festivities by serving up a BBQ turkey breastplate with corn pudding, whipped yams, and cranberry relish.

Where: 5 Chome-17-13 Jingumae, Shibuya City (map)
Website: tysons.jp/smokehouse/en/
Dinner page: tysons.jp/news/en/eng/8855

The Oak Door Steakhouse

Enjoy perfectly cooked dishes paired with New World wines in this elegant steakhouse with a vibrant open kitchen, intimate booth and outdoor terrace seating, a lively bar, and a luxurious private dining room in the Tokyo Grand Hyatt Hotel. For Thanksgiving, they are really pulling out all the stops with grilled persimmon with goat’s cheese and pumpkin to start, a main of turkey, mashed potatoes, Brussel sprouts with bacon, roasted carrots, spinach gratin, with pumpkin pie for dessert. This impressive dinner in its upmarket location will set you back 9,000 JPY and is available from November 26 to 28.

Where: Minato City, Roppongi, 6 Chome-10-3 Grand Hyatt Tokyo 6th floor (map)
Website: tokyo.grand.hyatt.co.jp/en/restaurants/oak-door-restaurant
Dinner page: tokyo.grand.hyatt.co.jp/en/restaurants/recommended/oak-door-thanksgiving-dinner/

Do it Yourself

If you don’t feel like heading out into the cold winter air or prefer a more traditional route, it is possible to make 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, if you want it, they have 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.


Image: By The Vault DFW via flickr.com [CC BY 2.0] – (modified)
Image: By Linda, Fortuna future via flickr.com [CC BY 2.0] – (modified)


— By Jason L. Gatewood

Image: Pink Sherbet Photography from USA [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

About the author

Jason Gatewood editor

Our Tokyo based collaborator is a tech nerd, Japanophile, train nut, and a veritable fountain of information on Japan. His current goal is to watch Evangelion and actually "get it", sing every permutation of "Hotel California" at any karaoke gathering, ride every bullet train line, and sample all varieties of ramen throughout Japan. Catch more of his musings at · http://jlgatewood.com