Toronto restaurants offering takeout turkey dinners, prime rib roasts and seafood platters for the holidays
When we compiled a list of take-home Christmas dinners last year, we hoped that the next time the holiday rolled around, it would be free of scary headlines and tough decisions about holiday gatherings. Yet here we are… again. But even in a seemingly perpetual state of uncertainty, it helps to know we can rely on the uncanny creativity and endurance of Toronto’s restaurants. Here’s a selection of what’s available to take home for your probably-once-again-smaller-than-usual Christmas gathering, because even if we can’t have the giant parties we want, we can all have the turkey dinners—or seafood platters, pierogi baskets, and fried chicken buckets—we crave.
At this beloved east-end bodega, menus typically come with a lot of personality. This year is no different: the goodies include an adorable gingerbread cottage perched on a three-layered gingerbread cake (complete with mini LED candle), a cookie-decorating kit, a few decked-out snack boards (including a vegan option), tourtière and handmade dumplings by collaborating chef Ken Yau. Offerings range from $8.50 to $42, and don’t sleep on their excellent indie wine selection. Order online 48 hours in advance for pickup.
This popular Junction brunchery and catering outfit is serving up three different platters of pierogies: the OG, smoked apple and bacon, and (wait for it) stuffing-stuffed pierogies, all complete with caramelized onions, sour cream and sauerkraut. Consider tacking on a festive sweet, like gingerbread-eggnog cheesecake or a kilo of mulled cider. Pierogies are $40-$47 for 25 pieces, desserts range from $10 to $22. Order online for pickup between Dec. 21 and 24.
Feed four to six people you love with Pepper’s “Foodcourt Family Meal,” complete with some of the Wallace-Emerson eatery’s best-loved comfort classics. Just $99 gets you a bucket of fried chicken, spaghetti with hot dogs, mashed potatoes, gravy, buttered corn, garden salad with raspberry vinaigrette, Christmas hamonado (pork cooked in pineapple), green coleslaw and fried coconut-chocolate haupia pies. Order in-store or via DM 24 hours in advance for pickup anytime between now and the end of the year.
If you’re craving seafood this Christmas, it’ll be hard to find a more comprehensive option than this one from the Junction’s favourite seafood spot (which recently just kiboshed indoor dining for the safety of their staff). For $175, you can land a one-and-a-half-pound poached lobster, eight large shrimp with house cocktail sauce, tuna tataki, hot-smoked trout, house-cured gravlax, smoked salmon schmear, eight devilled eggs with trout roe and crudités with green goddess dressing. Order online for pickup on Dec. 24.
Chef Craig Harding’s Christmas dinner hamper requires a bit of at-home assembly; it’s the perfect option if you want to get your cook on, minus all the planning and prep. For a bit of effort (full instructions are included) you’ll end up with a luxurious meal that includes a three-pound prime rib roast, celeriac and potato gratin, castelfranco salad with pear and toasted pumpkin seed, and hen of the woods mushrooms with charred onion baba ghanoush and salsa verde. $200 serves four for dinner, and you can opt to add-on a tray of their signature lasagna for $45, or a delectable bergamot meringue pie for $28. Order online for pickup on Dec. 23.
For a real fancy at-home holiday feast, there’s Alobar’s reheat-and-eat kit. It includes: a selection of cheese and charcuterie to start (because what’s a party without a snacky tray?), lobster, various veggies, cheesy baked rigatoni, beef short rib with black truffles, Alo’s famous bread and butter, and dark chocolate cheesecake with raspberry compote to finish. $240 for two.
Order online for pickup on Dec. 23.
If you can’t imagine Christmas without a traditional turkey dinner, look no further than this adorable Leslieville diner. The package includes a conveniently pre-carved, maple-brined Ontario turkey with gravy, whipped potatoes with smoked cheddar and chive, green beans, arugula salad, sage and apple brioche stuffing, house-made cranberry sauce, dinners rolls with whipped truffle butter, and an apple pie from Gerrard St. Bakery. A few add-ons, from extra turkey to cocktail shrimp, are also available. $90 for two, $200 for five. Order online for pickup on Dec. 24.
The Fairmont Royal York’s ritzy restaurant is offering three different heat-at-home dinners: each is a full menu complete with ham or turkey, sides like brioche popover rolls, rosemary and onion stuffing, new potatoes and maple-glazed vegetables, as well as a choice of pumpkin or mincemeat pie. You can add an extra portion of anything on the menu—and if you’d rather not bother with carving the meat, pay an extra $20 and they’ll do it for you. $275 feeds four, $450 feeds eight (the larger size is only available with ham). Order online for pickup on Dec. 24 or 25.
Choose your own dinner adventure with the holiday offerings at this Leslieville brewpub, which has your back whether you’re in the market for a little help with sides, a snack board, or a well-rounded meal. For $195, a local beef or pork roast which comes with winter greens gratin, root vegetable mash, and holiday spiced sausage stuffing along with four slices of chocolate stout tart and a 375ml bottle of Sangfroid (an oak-aged farmhouse ale). $60 gets you just the sides, and for $75, you can get a Holiday Smorgasboard that includes a bevy of cold cuts, shrimp and preserves. Order online for pickup between Dec 22 and 24.
If you’re just in it for the snacks, Liberty Commons has you covered. Their platter-portioned festival specials include the Liberty Staples, chock full of all your favourite game-time grub (nachos, wings, slider, etc.), a veggie-friendly version of that and the Pitmaster’s Platter, which comes with all kinds of not-veggie-friendly foods. $140 and up. Order online for pickup.