Vegetarian Thanksgiving Feast and Raffle


How do I make reservations?

Reservations and pre-payment using PayPal are required. Like in recent years, we're using a lottery process this year. The reservation period opens Saturday, November 4, 2023 at 11:30 AM. The reservation period closes Monday, November 6, 2023 at 11:30 AM. There's no rush – as long as you request your reservation during this period, you'll have the same opportunity as others to attend. To be fair to all, duplicate reservation requests for the same party at the same event are not permitted. Learn more about the reservation process.

Where is Parizade located?

Parizade is at 2200 W. Main Street in Durham (see a map).

Take the Durham Expressway (NC 147) either north from I-40, or south from I-85/15-501, and exit at Swift Avenue. At the end of the exit ramp, turn right if coming from I-40, or left if coming from I-85/15-501. At the light just ahead, turn left onto Main Street. Go through one light at Ninth Street and in 100 yards or so, turn right into the Erwin Square complex.

Where do I park for Parizade?

Parking is available in the Erwin Square complex where the restaurant is located.

Where is Coco Bistro & Bar located?

Coco is at 101 Glen Lennox Dr, Chapel Hill, NC 27517 (see a map).

Where do I park for Coco?

There is a parking garage directly next door with ample parking. There are signs located in front of the restaurant directing visitors to parking. There is also on-street parking in front of the restaurant.

What is the price?

For our event at Parizade, the all-inclusive price is $48.50 for current TVS members, $56.00 for other adults, and $20.00 for children aged 5-10; children younger than 5 eat for free. For our event at Coco, the all-inclusive price is $38.00 for current TVS members, $42.00 for other adults, and $15.00 for children aged 5-10; children younger than 5 eat for free.

Since reservations are required, how do I make a reservation?

We use a lottery process for reservations. Learn more about the reservation process.

If my party is assigned a seating time during the lottery, can I later get a refund if my plans change?

Refunds are not available if you are assigned a seating time. (Just like when you buy tickets for a performance, the tickets are not refundable.) But your reservation is transferable – if necessary, just email us to let us know to whom we should transfer the reservation if that proves necessary.

If the lottery results in my party not being assigned a seating time, how do I get a refund?

We will refund your payment if your party can not be accommodated at the event. You do not need to request a refund.

If I want to join TVS or renew my membership in order to pay the lower cost for Thanksgiving, how does that work?

In order to pay the lower cost for Thanksgiving, you must have a TVS membership that will be current on Thanksgiving Day. If not, you can join TVS or renew your membership at the same time you make a reservation, which will allow you to pay the lower member price. Annual membership is $15 for individuals and $20 for families; 27-month memberships cost double. Student and low-income membership is $10 per year.

I'm unsure if my membership will be current on Thanksgiving Day. How can I confirm this?

When you begin the reservation process, you'll enter the last name and code that are associated with your membership. You'll then be told the status of your membership. Email us if you have any issues accessing your membership information.

I lost my code. How can I obtain it?

When you begin the reservation process, one of the options is to have your code sent to the email address on file. Email us if you have any issues accessing your membership information.

I'm a member of TVS. Can my out-of-town family members get in with me at member prices?

Yes, they can get in with you at member prices.

Who else can get member prices in my party?

If you're an Individual or Student/Low Income member, the member price only applies to you. If you're a Family member, your immediate family living with you can all get in for member prices. Other local family must pay non-member prices, unless they are visiting you from out-of-town (see previous answer).

I prefer to pay with a check or cash for the event. Is that possible?

We prefer to receive payment through PayPal. If that isn't a possibility for you, please email us and we can see if we can make alternate arrangements.

Can I call the restaurant that I'm eating at directly and give them my credit card number?

No – TVS is processing credit card transactions and collecting all money for the meal in advance. Of course if you buy additional items, like drinks from the restaurant that aren't included, you will have to pay the restaurant directly, and can use a credit card for that.

Can I hold off on giving anyone my credit card number and just bring my credit card to the Thanksgiving event?

No – we need to make sure that the seats are paid for before the lottery begins, and therefore we'll need your payment during the reservation request process.

I would love to come but can't because of difficult financial circumstances. Is there anything that you can do?

We may be able to help! We don't want you to stay away if extenuating circumstances make the cost an issue. We may be able to fully or partially subsidize a small number of meals; please email us to explain any financial hardship and to see if we can help out.

When should I arrive?

To help reduce lines, we limit the number of people who can arrive at the restaurants at the same time. For the Thanksgiving Day seating at Parizade, possible arrival times are 11:30 AM, 12:00 PM, 12:30, 1:00, 1:30, and 1:45; the entire event will last from 11:30 AM to approximately 4:00 PM. You can (and are encouraged to) stay as long as you like after your arrival; the raffle will likely begin around 2:15 PM.

For the event at Coco, possible arrival times are 6:00, 6:20, and 6:40. You can (and are encouraged to) stay as long as you like after your arrival; the raffle will likely begin around 7:15 PM.

On the reservation request form, you'll be asked to rank each seating time in order of preference, along with an inside vs outside option for most of the times. During the lottery, the system will try to find room for your party in the order of your ranking.

Our setup at the restaurant is made much easier if we don't have to host arrivals before the event begins.

What are your COVID protocols for Thanksgiving at Parizade and Pre-Thanksgiving at Coco Bistro & Bar?

Both restaurants will have indoor seating and outdoor seating options, which you will rank on the reservation request form. We recommend but don't require masking inside each restaurant when not actively eating or drinking.

How should I dress?

If the past is any judge, expect to see people dressed neatly. Some will be in suit and tie, many will be in more casual but neat attire.

Is it okay to come alone?

Absolutely! We'll have folks with TVS making sure that you're comfortable and can help to seat you and introduce you to others.

In addition, at Parizade we will have a designated Community Table for guests who are coming to the event alone. If you would like to be seated there, answer "yes" to the question on the reservation form, "Would you like to be seated at a Community Table?".

For the seating at Coco, we don't yet know if there is sufficient interest in a Community Table. If you are coming alone to this seating and would be interested in sitting at a Community Table, please answer "yes" to the question on the reservation form, "Would you like to be seated at a Community Table?". If there is enough demand, we will have such a table and you will be seated there when you arrive. Otherwise, we will be happy to seat you elsewhere.

My reservation is for a large group. Can I reserve a table for our group?

Generally, we have both small group and community seating and, though our event is always crowded, we haven't had a problem seating groups.

If your reservation for Parizade is for a group of 5 or larger, and your entire party has a reservation for the same time, we will reserve a specific table for your group.

For either of our events, if your group of guests will be spread across multiple reservations, please let us know in the "notes/questions" box on the reservation form that your reservation is part of a larger group, and include the name that should be used to reserve the group table. Note that each party must have the same confirmed reservation time in order to be seated together.

Can my party of two have a small table just to ourselves?

At the Thanksgiving Day seating at Parizade, a limited number of small private tables for two can be requested in the restaurant next to Parizade (which contains additional seating areas for our Thanksgiving event). These tables will only be available for those arriving at 11:30 AM or 12:00 PM. Please request a table for two when you make your reservation.

What can I expect at the event?

Besides happy people and a wide variety of great food in a superb restaurant known for its quality, service, and decor, we'll have a raffle and free literature that you can browse or take home about vegetarianism. The press is often at our Thanksgiving Feast, so don't be surprised to see TV cameras or newspaper reporters.

Do we have the restaurant to ourselves?

Yes! At Parizade, this includes the main dining room, more intimate club room and boardroom in the back, and additional seating in the restaurant next door also owned by Giorgios Bakatsias, the owner of Parizade.

Is the event non-smoking?

Yes, it is. No smoking is permitted inside or immediately in front of the entrance.

It sounds like a big event! Will the lines be long?

This event has grown in popularity so much so that many years ago we had long lines just getting folks into the event. Now that we stagger arrival times and require advance tickets, it's much easier for guests to come in to the restaurant fairly quickly. And implementing multiple serving lines has reduced waiting in the buffet line; in recent years there never seemed to be a wait at all for getting food! This year should be similar; there will no doubt be some lines, but we aim to keep them pleasantly moving.

I have special needs that preclude me from standing in the buffet line, as I'm in a wheelchair / have very young kids / other.

We are happy to accommodate you! When you are seated, please alert your server about your needs and, as required, the server can put a plate of food together for you and bring it to you.

What dishes will be served at the event?

See the tentative menus for Parizade and Coco.

I'd like to also have wine with my meal. Can I?

Sure! You can order wine from Parizade's or Coco's bar. Wait staff will help you; you will need to pay when a waiter delivers your drink. (Though the meal price is all-inclusive, you should tip for bar service.)

I would like to bring my own bottle of wine. Can I and, if so, is there a corkage fee?

Parizade has a well-stocked bar that you can order from. However, if you have a special wine that you would like to have served, we have made arrangements to allow you to bring it. Please bring the wine to your server and pay him/her directly the $20 corkage fee. Consider supplementing what you bring with fine selections from the restaurant, as well.

At Coco, if you have a special wine that you would like to have served, we have made arrangements to allow you to bring it. Please bring the wine to your server and pay him/her directly the $15 corkage fee.

I have particular food allergies. Will I be able to find a variety of food I can eat?

All of the food will be plant-based. There will be a wide variety of food but if you have a concern, feel free to email us before the event to see how we can best accommodate you. Please ask us at the event for questions on ingredients of any particular dishes and we'll do our best to help you. We attempt to use labels like "GF" (gluten-free) and "SF" (soy-free), but if you have questions or other allergies, ask for Dilip or to talk to the Chef when you arrive.

I have problems eating sugar. Will there be desserts that I can enjoy?

None of the desserts will have refined white sugar or honey. Other sweeteners, like turbinado sugar, are used. If you wish to avoid all added sweeteners, fruit will be available.

I will be attending with my children. Will there be food that kids will enjoy?

We sure hope so. Thanksgiving is a family holiday and we want to make sure that families enjoy our event. We get rave reviews about the food at this event every year, and aim for a wide variety of dishes. Most of the dishes have gourmet sensibilities, but we aim to always have a relatively simple pasta dish, as well as salads, breads, and grains. We hope that the discerning as well as not-so-discerning diner of any age, vegetarian or not, will come away loving the food!

I would like to participate in the Thanksgiving or Pre-Thanksgiving feast but I'm not able to eat at the restaurant. Can I pay to stop by and get a takeout meal?

Yes, indeed. On the reservation form, there's a checkbox to indicate that the reservation is for takeout. Takeouts are available at any seating time.

We love the food! Can we bring containers to bring home extra food?

In general, no. Food is made for the number of people coming to eat at the event. Some event organizers and volunteers actually don't eat until the event concludes.

However, in the event that there is an excess of some item(s), an announcement will be made during the raffle. The restaurant will have containers for your use then – or you will be able to use your own reusable containers – to take home any such items.

How does the raffle work?

We always have many generous donors who provide gifts to TVS, including cases of food products, books, gift certificates from area businesses, t-shirts, various services, and much more. Many of these prizes are of value of at least $25-50 and sometimes much more. We will sell raffle tickets for $1 apiece and draw for these prizes around 2:15 PM at Parizade.

Our plans are to keep the event at Coco more quiet. We anticipate having a welcome and some announcements around 7:15 PM, followed by a small raffle of a few prizes.

Is the raffle at Coco separate from the raffle at Parizade?

Yes. Winners at either restaurant will be drawn only from tickets purchased by guests attending that restaurant.

Do I have to be present to win a prize in the raffle?

Yes and no. We require that somebody with a winning ticket be present during the raffle to claim each prize. If you purchase raffle tickets and can't stay for the actual raffle, you can certainly give your tickets to somebody else who will be present and who can collect, on your behalf, any prizes that you will have won.

I am planning on coming but will also be attending another Thanksgiving event after I eat. What happens if I leave early and miss the raffle drawing after I enter?

Please see the last question. Please note that if we draw a ticket and nobody present is holding the winning number, we will simply draw again.

I have something that I would like to donate to the raffle. Can I?

Yes; please email us before these events.

What does vegan mean?

The food at the event will all be vegan, which means that no animal products will have been used. There will be no meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, or honey in any of the dishes, and we also won't have any refined sugar. If you're new to veganism or vegetarianism, you may be surprised at how delicious and diverse our menu is!

Why vegan?

We invite you to view a presentation put together by Dilip Barman. Not only is veganism great for the environment, human health, and the animals, but also we want to ensure that most everybody will be comfortable eating anything at the Feast and to showcase to the public how easy and exciting vegan food is!

What is TVS?

The Triangle Vegetarian Society was founded in 1986 to promote the nutritional, ethical, and environmental aspects of vegetarianism. Before the pandemic TVS was an active group with monthly potlucks as well as many special events like our Thanksgiving Feast. We encourage membership not just for vegetarians, but for all who have an interest in any aspect of vegetarianism.

Do I have to be a member of TVS to come?

Absolutely not; in recent years, for example, only about 45-50% of the attendees were members. But if you decide to become a member when you make your reservation request, you can pay the lower member price.

What is the history of the TVS Thanksgiving?

Please see the History page.

Is our vegan Thanksgiving unusual?

The truly "traditional" Thanksgiving was probably vegan, with the possible inclusion of deer, according to historian Rynn Berry. The European settlers' first Thanksgiving when they arrived on November 11, 1620, likely consisted of beans and corn that they stole from the Native Americans. In November 1621, the Pilgrims joined the natives in their centuries' old harvest festival.

According to Rynn Berry, "The main meal was a sort of corn meal mush along with nuts and fruits ... popcorn and popcorn balls made by the Indians with maple syrup were served as a sweet. There was a variety of breadstuffs ... it is also possible that other native foods such as pumpkin and squash were served." The meal was primarily vegan, with the possibility of some wild game included.

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving to be a national holiday. The idea of eating turkeys was popularized by an article in Ladies Home Journal in the 1930s.