Friendsgiving (n): the turkey-centric festive feast held by your chosen family – your friends – to celebrate each other. No long days of holiday travel or probing questions from relatives allowed.

thanksgiving dinner with turkey, mashed potato, stuffing, sweet potatoes and cranberry

This year, our friends at the Lettuce Corporate office hosted Friendsgiving at the Dining Room at Tree Studios.

The best way to avoid a stressed-out host and ensure a good Friendsgiving? A potluck-style dinner where everyone can contribute.

overhead shot of thanksgiving dinner: turkey, pies, sweet potato, chopped salad, soup, dip, stuffing and more

We’ve rounded up our top tips from the Lettuce crew and paired them with Thanksgiving menu hits from our restaurants to make your own Friendsgiving the best yet:

Angela, Digital Marketing Coordinator: Don’t forget the drinks! Create a signature drink for your guests to enjoy or grab a few bottles of vino for the table.

Drink as the Italians do: Order the Cranberry Cello from Osteria Via Stato or take a note from our resident wine experts, and check out their Thanksgiving Wine Tips.

Anthony, Marketing Manager: No one ever thinks about what comes after dinner. Games are a great way to keep the party going. Cards Against Humanity, Jenga and Charades are a few ways to keep your guests awake after dessert.

Speaking of dessert: Order Shaw’s Crab House‘s Apple Pie, Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab‘s Pumpkin Pie, or Summer House Santa Monica’s Pumpkin Chiffon Pie to go.

Ryan, Social Media Director: Set the mood. Bring some candles, make sure the room is cozy, and make a playlist before your guests arrive! Don’t forget to snap photos and most importantly – have fun!

James holding a pieJames, Senior Accountant: I don’t think people highlight the side dishes at Friendsgiving enough. Instead of focusing only on the turkey, I think it’s more fun picking a bunch of side dishes and pairing different drinks with them.  Friendsgiving is all about sharing with friends and having a great time.

Sides to Bring: Mashed Potatoes, Cornbread & Sage Stuffing, Sweet Potato Fluff from Bub City

Save room in your stove: Order the Stuffing, Sweet Potato Casserole, the Chopped Salad from Wildfire

Sean holding cornbread stuffing

Sean, Staff Accountant: You’re going to want to test run your oven at least two weeks before the event! The last thing you want is a broken oven and left with no way to keep everyone’s food warm!

No oven at home? Try a no-cook option: Here is our recipe for Ema‘s Pumpkin Hummus

Emily holding sweet potatoes

Emily, PR Director: A stressed-out host makes for an uncomfortable dinner party. Things are never going to be perfect so remember to plan ahead and take long sips of wine in between basting.

Turkey to-go more your style? The Ivy Room’s Thanksgiving special provides the turkey for you. Order here.

Michele from Gary, Indiana holding up a chopped salad

Michele, Social Media Coordinator: Chances are if you live in the city, you may not have much room to entertain – or even a full kitchen. Check out smaller venues around your city like Tree Studios here in Chicago, a state-of-the-art chef’s kitchen and gorgeous, cozy dining room, to host your Friendsgiving.

infographic on how to host thanksgiving

Here’s our Friendsgiving Menu:

Ema's pumpkin hummus

Pumpkin HummusEma

chopped salad from wildfire

Wildfire Chopped Salad with roasted chicken, avocado, tomatoes, blue cheese, bacon, scallions, corn, tortilla strips, citrus lime vinaigretteWildfire

delicata squash soup from ivy room

Delicata Squash Bisque – The Ivy Room

thanksgiving turkey from ivy room

Roasted Kaufman Farms TurkeyThe Ivy Room

sweet tater fluff from bub city

Sweet ‘Tater FluffBub City

butternut squash from osteria via stato

Local Butternut Squash with brown butter sage and black pepper baconOsteria Via Stato

cornbread-sage stuffing from bub city

Cornbread and Sage StuffingBub City

four cheese mac & cheese from Joe's

Four Cheese Mac & CheeseJoe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

sweet potato casserole from Wildfire

Sweet Potato CasseroleWildfire

bub city mashed potatoes

Mashed PotatoesBub City

wildfire's mushroom herb stuffing

Mushroom Herb StuffingWildfire

Housemade Local Cranberry Relish from Osteria Via Stato

Housemade Local Cranberry RelishOsteria Via Stato

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie from Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

Pumpkin Chiffon PieJoe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

Dutch Apple Pie with Mick Klug Farm apples from Shaw’s Crab House

Dutch Apple Pie with Mick Klug Farm applesShaw’s Crab House

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie with cinnamon butterscotch from Summer House Santa Monica

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie with cinnamon butterscotchSummer House Santa Monica

cranberry cello from osteria via stato

Homemade Cranberry-Cello – Osteria Via Stato

 

Tell us, what are your top tips for the ultimate Friendsgiving?

friends burning spiritual wood over a candle