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How to Navigate Thanksgiving at Boston College

Each year, Boston College students flock home to visit their families for Thanksgiving Break. Food, relatives, and friends await the arrival of the BC students who will fill their loved ones in on what has happened during their semester. 

But there are some students who are unable to go back home for break. It is too costly, they live too far away, their parents want them to stay on campus—the list goes on. These students may be feeling lost as they try to come up with plans on how to celebrate Thanksgiving in Boston. 

There are plenty of options in the Boston area these students can turn to as they celebrate Thanksgiving, whether it be a quality meal or a fun activity. 

Boston College Specials

This year, BC will offer a multitude of opportunities for students to have all the traditional Thanksgiving trimmings, ranging from turkey breast and stuffing to cranberry sauce and pies. 

In years prior, BC has amassed tons of food to serve on-campus students a plentiful meal. For example, in 2020 at the height of the pandemic, BC Dining’s Thanksgiving feast required 200 pounds of turkey, 8 gallons of gravy, and 150 pounds of potatoes.

Thanksgiving wouldn’t be as fun if the celebrations only lasted one day though. BC Dining will serve the students throughout the holiday season, starting as early as Nov. 20. 

On Monday, Nov. 20, BC Dining will kick off the week with Thanksgiving turkey burgers at Stuart Dining Hall. On Tuesday, Nov. 21, there will be an “Early Thanksgiving” meal at Lower with all the necessary foods to give students an initial taste of the feast to come. 

Finally, Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23, there will be a special Thanksgiving all-you-can-eat buffet in the Heights Room in Lower from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with the essential Thanksgiving Day dishes. 

A Trip Off-Campus

If you’re looking to get away from campus for a little break, there are plenty of options to have a good Thanksgiving meal around the Boston area. Most of these restaurants have a fixed price for their menus.

First, Baramor at 45 Union St. in Newton is offering special holiday hours throughout the Thanksgiving weekend. It will be open late on the night before the holiday and on Thanksgiving itself.

If you’re looking for something a little pricier, Artisan Bistro at 10 Avery St. by the Boston Common will offer a four-course prix fixe menu at $79. There will be a first and second course of soup and salad followed by a choice of entree. They offer either turkey with stuffing, a fresh seafood meal, or a vegetarian option. If you have a sweet tooth, you can finish off your selection with an assortment of seasonal pies and pastries!

Next on the price scale is Fratelli at 1 Broadway in Everett, Mass. For $69.95, you can get a traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings. You can start off with an insalata mista (mixed salad in Italian) before diving into the main dishes. The restaurant offers roasted turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, seasonal vegetables, corn bread, and gravy. To top it off, you can get a slice of pie or Italian tiramisu. 

Following closely is Bambara located at 25 Edwin H. Land Blvd. in Cambridge, which serves a no-fuss, three-course fixed price menu at $65. They also offer all the general Thanksgiving trimmings with a soup or salad to start and a dinner plate to follow. The dinner consists of turkey with mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, vegetables, and cranberry compote. 

Finally, for a fixed price of $55 per person, Para Maria at 70 Sleeper St. in Seaport has a large variety of Thanksgiving foods, many of which come with a twist! They offer Valencia orange and rosemary brined turkey with red-eye gravy or a sage brioche dressing. Garlic potatoes and bacon brussel sprouts are also available. To close the meal, there is the choice of either a pumpkin cheesecake or an apple crisp. 

Get Moving This Thanksgiving

Many students don’t want to stay cooped up in their dorms all Thanksgiving, so here are a couple options for you to optimize your time and get out into the Boston community. 

Why not use this time to give to those who are less fortunate? This Thanksgiving, you can volunteer for a local organization to provide Thanksgiving essentials to families in the area. United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley fed 80,000 families during the 2022 holiday season and provided these families with ingredients to make a proper Thanksgiving feast with their families.

Another way that you can help out the community is by giving into your sweet tooth! The store Pie in the Sky holds an annual bake sale during the holidays for Community Servings, a Boston-based non-profit that provides chronically and critically ill individuals and their families with nutritious meals. The proceeds from their pumpkin, apple, and pecan pies help support Community Servings’ mission. 

If you have a kitchen to cook some goods in, head over to Formaggio Kitchen, an artisan grocer with storefronts in the South End and Cambridge, to get some quality ingredients for hors d’oeuvres. The store has cases full of specialty cheeses from around the world as well as many interesting grains, beans, salts, and spices to create the perfect Thanksgiving cheese platter. 

Finally, Thanksgiving would not be complete without a turkey trot or a parade watch party. Head over to Franklin Park Coalition’s annual Turkey Trot 5k for a jog on Thanksgiving morning. Afterward, trek back to your dorm or off-campus abode to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the National Dog Show, getting a glimpse of the beautiful floats in New York City and talented dogs in Philadelphia. 

November 16, 2023