Thanksgiving Survival Guide | Tasting Table Miami

A cheat sheet for your local Thanksgiving dinner

Have your stretchy pants at the ready: The Day of Indulgence is nigh. We're already salivating thinking about the dishes that will line our table—even the one-night appearance of cranberry sauce.

But we know as well as anyone that making a killer Thanksgiving spread can be accompanied by a gravy boat of anxiety. Well, fret not Miami: We've got you covered with a survival guide to help you map out the most important dinner of the year, beginning with the bird.

A Poultry Sum

Don't leave buying your turkey until the last minute: You want to make sure it's high-quality and not juiced up on antibiotics. You still have time to ring up Kosher Kingdom in Aventura and place an order before its Thursday deadline. Unfortunately, it's too late to get a turkey at Proper Sausages, but if you feel like switching it up, you can still place an order for other birds, including Cornish hens, poussin, duck and goose, before the delivery arrives on Monday.

Side Pieces

Whether you like to cook stuffing inside of your bird or on the side, you want it to have a ton of flavor. If you don't have time to make it from scratch, grab some Kansas cornbread or the mushroom and wild rice stuffing ($11 to $36) from Joanna's Market. The sweet potato pudding topped with golden marshmallows is a hit as well.

For other sides, as well as last-minute party favors—including assorted baked goods, cheeses, caviars, wines, pies and specialty cakes—any of the three Epicure markets are one-stop shops. We especially like the Mekong flower rice ($10 per pound). If you're attending a dinner, bring a little something with you for the host: Flavorish Market has all of the aforementioned, plus artisanal jams, chutneys, spreads, spices, pickles and tapenades, as well as a great selection of gift-y items.

The Life of Pie

Fireman Derek's has opened a bakeshop and café in Wynwood and is taking Thanksgiving orders now for his famous key lime ($25), as well as pecan, chocolate-pecan, blackberry-apple and pumpkin pies. Oh, and he's got pumpkin ($25) and Oreo cheesecakes ($50), too.

The Whole Shebang

Want someone else to do the dirty work from start to finish? Fresh Market's traditional holiday dinner ($80) includes a fully cooked (10- to 12-pound) turkey, traditional herb stuffing, Yukon Gold whipped potatoes, home-style gravy, cranberry relish and a dozen soft-yeast rolls. For a more varied spread, Norman Brother's holiday traditional menu offers fresh Bell & Evans turkey ($6 per pound, smoked or oven-roasted, traditionally and en adobo) and options like wild mushroom and Gruyère cheese stuffing ($30 for two pounds) and green bean almondine ($17 for two pounds). Add a Latin nod to your table with its boiled yucca in garlic sauce with a touch of fresh lime and cilantro ($16 for two pounds).

If all else fails, you can always call in the big guns: local restaurants. MC Kitchen's take-out dinner ($425) comes with a prosciutto-stuffed heritage turkey, and Tongue & Cheek's proper feast ($175 to $225) includes arugula salad with almonds, pear and blue cheese; mashed potatoes with roasted garlic and mascarpone cheese; cinnamon-apple cranberry sauce; green beans and crispy shallots; buttermilk biscuits; turkey gravy; and pecan, apple or pumpkin pie.