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East Bay Thanksgiving If You’re Far From Home or Hate Your Family

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Let’s face it, not everyone is living the Old Navy-esque holiday family dream. Many of you come from far-away places and can’t afford a ticket for turkey back home. Some of you may live close by relatives but can’t stomach the torture of listening to your MAGA uncle and his caravan rant while he bogarts the gravy. There are countless reasons you might be alone this Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get in on some laughs and a healthy dose of tryptophan.

Graphic illustration courtesy of Gear Live

The best possible solution is grabbing up a seat at a Friendsgiving table, but if your friends are lame and you need something to do, we’ve got you covered. In case if you’re not in the mood to tackle a turkey at home, we’ve put together a list of places you can hit up to grub, booze, give and play.

Get your kicks on and kick off the holiday with an early morning run in the company of many for Oakland’s annual Turkey Trot. It will cost you about $50 to participate in the 5k and you’ll need to pre-register by 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, but the money goes to help the Alameda County Community Food Bank and Oakland’s Public Schools.

Register here. Meet up at 550 El Embarcadero (Lake Merritt Eastshore Park) by 8:30 a.m. and hope the rain is minimal during the race.

Turkey Trot. Photo courtesy of Sea Coast Kids Calendar.

Sumo Roll in Berkeley will keep its door ajar for you from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to fill your belly on some unconventional Thanksgiving fare. The Hawaiian poke/sushi bar is breaking Yelp with rave reviews for their delicious and pretty affordable sushirritos, so if you prefer spicy tuna over wet stuffing, Sumo Roll has you covered.

Address: 2173 Allston Way, Berkeley. Phone: 510-277-4519. Hours: 11-2. Website link here.

Harry’s Hofbrau in San Leandro is keeping it real with a Thanksgiving Day meal fit for a king or queen. For $19.99, you can get a ham or turkey plate with all the fixins you can drown in gravy, and dessert! The old-school hoffbrau comes stocked with giant Jenga and pie, so head down with a buddy or make some new friends over a holiday meal and a beer.

Address: 14900 E 14th Street, San Leandro. Phone: 510-357-1707. Hours: 12-8. A link to their website is available here.

Sign at Harry’s Hofbrau. Photo courtesy of SF Gate

San Francisco Food Not BombsFood Share” may not technically be in the East Bay, but it deserves a mention. You can show up at the 16th Street BART station to pick a free plate of food and spend time with some other hungry holiday goers, but the group is also welcoming help in the kitchen before the masses arrive. If you really want to spend the day doing something good, or if you just really need a meal, we can’t think of a better group to spend the day with.

Deets about the meal:
Address: 16th Street Station. Hours: 6-7
Cooking: 3-6
You can reach out to their Facebook event page linked above to get info about joining the kitchen crew.

For the serious gamers (arcade games, that is), High Scores Arcade in Alameda will be open for special Thanksgiving hours. Crack those knuckles and get ready to do record breaking or pull out one of their hundreds of board games for a less technical sort of challenge. Either way, the black lights and jukebox will keep your holiday spirits pumping whether you “Finish Him!” or fight for Park Place. Great idea for friends who’d rather compete than eat.

Chillin’ at the arcade. Photo courtesy of Franco Paz via Unsplash

Address: 1414 Park Street, Alameda. Hours: 11-6. Price: $6 for 1 hour or $12 for a Day Pass. Check their website here for further details.

What’s the best ending to a solo Thanksgiving? A dive bar, of course! The Avenue in Oakland is open Thursday to keep your buzz alive until the wee hours of the morning and according the nice man who answered the phone, they’ll be offering up food to soak it up with. The place is well known for its annual Halloween decorations, friendly staff and affordable booze – give them a shot for your Turkey Day woes. Enough PBR pitchers will drown any holiday blues.

Address: 4822 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. Phone: 510-654-1423. Hours: 11:30 – 1 a.m.

Whatever you choose to do tomorrow, we wish you an amazing Thanksgiving!

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Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Journalist, editor, student, single mom to a pack of wolves, foodie, music lover, resident smart ass, and champion of vulgarity and human kindness.