Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and while in the US it comes with time-off, expats in the Czech Republic are cashing in their sick days.

The North American holiday, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, commemorates a time to practice gratitude with friends and family over a grand feast. Many expats redefine Thanksgiving by finding heartfelt alternatives at local shops, cafés, and restaurants that may help close the gap between homesickness and nostalgia. 

Though returning home for the holidays may not be an option, the homesick memories of running to the store for last-minute canned cranberry sauce because it was forgotten or having to get dressed up only to change into pajamas an hour later persist. 

Whether expats want to celebrate at home or out in the city, here are five alternatives to cooking an elaborate homemade meal this Thursday.

Manifesto Market

With over 380 people interested but only 100 portions prepared, Manifesto Market, located in Andel, is a hot commodity. The market offers not only the traditional turkey, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes, but corn on the cob and cornbread stuffing. And the cherry on top: if you still have room for dessert, each portion comes with an apple cinnamon bread pudding topped with a pumpkin spice caramel drizzle. The Thanksgiving event will occur from 18:00-22:00 on Thursday, charging 795 CZK per person.

Photo via: Manifesto Market

The Globe Bookstore and Café

A venue known for its expat customers and expat prices, The Globe, at Nové Město, has its annual Thanksgiving menu on Thursday from 12:00-23:00 at 800 CZK per person, but 500 CZK per child. Their menu includes a choice of wine or beer, sautéed green beans, soup, turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes with gravy. Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without dessert, so the café offers a choice of a pumpkin chiffon or traditional apple pie with a cup of coffee to chase it all down. 

Cafés and restaurants catering for this North American holiday have begun their prep days in advance. “Oh my god, we are already preparing our foods, like pies, for Thanksgiving today (November 20th). The kitchen has not stopped working on it since 10 AM today, and they will continue prepping until Thursday morning,” said Gloria Simons, a waitress at The Globe.

Jáma Garden Pub

The most affordable meal is offered at Jáma Garden Pub for 650 CZK per person. The feast includes turkey, macaroni and cheese, and a choice of mashed potatoes or sweet potato fries. Naturally, for dessert, a slice of classic pumpkin pie is included. Located in Nové Město, Jáma Garden Pub will serve Thanksgiving starting at 16:00 on Thursday.

The Candy Store

If a meal at home is more your speed, The Candy Store, an American, British, and Japanese sweets and snacks shop, offers many treats expats might miss on the holidays while abroad. Not only does The Candy Store have marshmallows, but pumpkin pie filling as well. Nine stores cover Prague, their locations being in Prague-2, Prague-6, Prague-5, and Prague-9.

Prague Shakespeare Company

After Thanksgiving dinner, if a food coma doesn’t leave you bedridden, the Prague Shakespeare Company, found at Divadlo Na Prádle, introduces The Thanksgiving Play. The comedy, by Larissa FastHorse, is a satire about a Thanksgiving Day pageant run by “woke” artists trying to balance the holiday with Indigenous People’s Heritage Month. The play will run sporadically on November 23, 24, 27, and December 1 and 2.

Photo via: Prague Shakespeare Company

This brings to mind the historical reality of Thanksgiving, one representing the devastating impact of colonization by European settlers towards the Native Americans and indigenous peoples, where mistreatment, manipulation, and murder followed for more than four centuries.

So while being grateful this year, it’s important to be mindful of history while sharing a meal and remembering the many people and places to be thankful for.