Enjoy Thanksgiving in Prague

Let’s Talk Turkey: Thanksgiving in Prague

Prague in late November for many usually means plummeting temperatures and warm winter clothes, but for its sizeable American expat community – 3,179 with permanent or temporary residency according to the Czech Republic's Ministry of the Interior in 2011, with a further 1,278 Prague-based Americans with long-term visas – late November, or more specifically, the fourth Thursday in November (which falls on the 27th this year) means only one thing: Thanksgiving.

A harvest festival of sorts, the tradition of Thanksgiving as it is known today is widely thought to have first taken place nearly four hundred years ago in 1621 when pilgrim settlers in what is now the state of Massachusetts celebrated a particularly fruitful faring season with a three day feast alongside Native Americans from the neighbouring Wampanoag tribe.

Thanksgiving Day was declared an official national US holiday in 1863 by president Abraham Lincoln and nowadays typically involves watching the famous televised Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade marching through the streets of Manhattan before gathering with family, friends and loved ones for a giant feast of roasted turkey with all the trimmings before vegetating in front of the television to watch NFL's annual Thanksgiving football games.

No doubt by now a slow, steady homesick tear is trickling down the cheek of any American expat reading this article, but fear not – your trusty team at Prague TV have compiled a useful guide on how to replicate America's favourite holiday in Prague.

Jáma Bar, owned by native Chicagoan Max, is always a reliable option on Thanksgiving in Prague. This year, for just 390 Kč, Jáma will serve a hearty, traditional dinner of succulent turkey and honey-glazed ham accompanied by homemade stuffing cranberry sauce and green beans with bacon, ending with a classic Thanksgiving dessert – ginger pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Dinner is served between 6 pm and 12 pm and due to popular demand, reservations are a must.

Another popular option for Thanksgiving dinner is the Anděl branch of TGI Friday's where guests who book a table in advance can get a wholesome three course meal for 550 Kč. Starting with a warming bowl of potato soup with bacon, cheddar and green onions before progressing, naturally, to roasted turkey with mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables, guests will want to make sure the leave room for TGI Friday's indulgent dessert finale of molten chocolate cake.

New this year is Joe’s Grill located in the heart of Vinohrady; serving Thanksgiving lunch & dinner with sports all day long. This American Grill is serving a menu of Thanksgiving menu of Roasted Turkey w/ gravy, honey baked ham, dressing, mashed potatoes, homemade macaroni & cheese, green bean casserole, glazed carrots, cranberry sauce, southern coleslaw, assorted breads & your choice of caramel apple pie or pumpkin pie. Lunch is 250kc, dinner is 350kc. Dinner is served between 11:30am to 9:45pm, reservations are recommended.

For a more expensive option, the Prague Marriott Hotel is hosting an all-American Thanksgiving buffet dinner at its Midtown Grill restaurant between 6 pm and 11 pm priced at 995 Kč per head, which will include several delicious options including whole roasted turkey with sage and giblet stuffing and blackened salmon fillet with lemon butter sauce accompanied by sides like glazed chestnuts, candied yams and sweet potatoes.

Having somebody else do all the cooking and subsequent cleaning up is great, but some of you might prefer the comforts of home on Thanksgiving. If so then the gourmet deli Culinaria, which imports several specialty American foodstuffs, can fulfil your every Thanksgiving need. Offering a pick-up and delivery service, patrons can order dishes like corn soup, four types of potato, chocolate pumpkin cheesecake and, of course, turkey. Culinaria even sells delicious homemade cider to wash down you Thanksgiving feast with.

A course, a proper Thanksgiving wouldn't be complete without watching the 'big game', or to us non-Americans, the NFL's American football games. Head on down to the Lion & Ball Sports Bar which is showing the first two of the NFL's three games – the Chicago Bears v. the Detroit Lions game will kick off at 6:30 pm followed by the Philadelphia Eagles v. the Dallas Cowboys game which starts at 10:30 pm.

There you have it – all the ingredients for a fantastic Thanksgiving in your adopted home away from home. So, to all our American readers, 'Happy Thanksgiving', or as they say here in Prague, 'Stásný den Díkuvzdání'.

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