No need to cook and clean. You can eat out Christmas Eve or Christmas Day or find lots of choices for meals you can just pick up and reheat.
If you don’t want to muster up a Christmas meal next week, we understand. This may be the year to binge Christmas movies and preorder a meal — or go out to eat on Christmas Day. Whatever you decide, Tallahassee restaurants are here to help.
Some places will be open for dine-in on Dec. 25 but there are several other venues that will offer takeout packages for a feast or a la carte items, like sides and desserts, to add something special for your holiday table.
Plus, if you don’t celebrate Christmas you may be looking for a place to get food for the holidays. In the United States, Jewish people have been eating Chinese food on Christmas Day for probably over a century — but add Thai, Vietnamese, Korean and Indian to the list of choices.
While most restaurants are closed on Christmas Day, many are open on Christmas Eve so call your favorite place to find out their schedule. Be sure to make a reservation as soon as possible because restaurants have to allow for social distancing so have limited space.
You’ll also want to order takeout in a jiffy because some businesses have early deadlines. Keep in mind that restaurant gift cards also make great presents and help our local businesses.
Open Christmas Day
Aaru’s: Serving an extensive selection of multi-cultural cuisine, Aaru’s is open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The menu includes Indian, Indo-Chinese and South Indian with dosas, sambar, Indian curries, Tandoor specialties, Thai curries, Biryani rice and vegan options. There’s outdoor patio and deck seating. Hours: 11:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. 1108 S. Magnolia Dr.; 850-350-0129.
Chow Time Grill & Buffet: The new Chinese restaurant will be open all day for Christmas, from 11 a.m to 10 p.m. The menu will feature holiday dishes as well as the usual buffet lineup. The all-you-can-eat selection will be priced $13.99 all day for adults and children 3 to 12. Children under age 3 eat free. Due to the pandemic, the restaurant will ask customers to wear disposable gloves (supplied) while handling spoons. The restaurant will also offer food by the pound for takeout. 1849 Capital Circle NE; 850-765-2961.
Dairy Queen Grill & Chill: The ice cream parlor, which also serves burgers, chicken strips, fries and shakes will be open at the location at 2227 N. Monroe St. Peppermint hot cocoa is a holiday specialty. Hours on Christmas Day will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. 850-386-3326.
The Edward Ball Dining Room at Wakulla Springs: A lovely place to enjoy nature then have Christmas Dinner. Open for seven decades, the Lodge will be presenting a menu that includes prime rib, oven-baked ham, fried Gulf shrimp. The Christmas special will be served from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 550 Wakulla Park Drive, Crawfordville. Call 850-421-2000.
Essence of India: The menu features a long list of Indian favorites including tandoori, curries, samosas, noodles, fried rice and a variety of breads. Essence of India will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. 1105 Apalachee Pkwy.; 850-656-7200.
Joy Luck Place: The Chinese restaurant will be open on Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day, serving its traditional fare and holiday specials. Indoor and outdoor seating are an option. Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. 1002 N Monroe St.; 850-222-1115.
Juicy Blue Tapas Bar & Bistro: The hotel restaurant will be open for breakfast only on Christmas Day, from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Four Points by Sheraton Tallahassee Downtown, 316 W Tennessee St.; 850-422-4216 or visit www.JuicyBlue850.com.
Kami Poke and Korean Kitchen: Expect lots of variety at this fairly new restaurant, open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Look for Korean favorites like beef bulgogi, bibimbap (rice with beef, veggies and a fried egg) and japchae (glass noodles) as well as sushi and poké bowls. Currently takeout only. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Christmas Eve and 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Christmas Day. 1779 Apalachee Pkwy.; 850-765-8272.
Little Paris: The French restaurant is presenting a three-course meal for takeout only on Christmas Eve (from 4 to 9 p.m.) and dine-in or takeout from 4 to 9 p.m. on Christmas Day. The courses, from executive chefs Hervé Alcesilas & Loic Alcesilas, will feature lobster vol-au-vent and shiitake mushrooms, guinea fowl with morels sauce, mashed potatoes and truffles and sauteed vegetables and for dessert, a traditional yule log with chocolate, orange and Grand Marnier. $49 per person. 1355 Market St.; 850-765-7457.
Mayuri Indian Restaurant: The Indian restaurant will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. At lunch, Mayuri’s will offer its popular buffet, and at dinner, you can order from the menu, with dishes such as dosas, curries, vindaloo, tandoor items and vegetarian meals. The lunch buffet is from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner is from 5:30 to 9:30. 1324 Simpson Ave.; 850-402-999.
Midtown Noodles Bar: The pan-Asian restaurant offers an array of choices, with ramen noodle combos, Vietnamese pho soup, dim sum and an array of Chinese, Thai, Japanese and Korean fare. They also serve boba tea and cheesecake.The restaurant will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 1660 N. Monroe St.; 850-999-3023.
Persis Indian Grill: You can either dine in or get your lunch or dinner to go on Dec. 24 or 25th at Persis. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 4:30 to 10 p.m. The restaurant has a special as well: Take 10 percent off any online order through Jan. 3 with the code WELCOME21 Visit www.persistally.com. 3111 Mahan Dr.; 850- 877-8899.
Munchies Pizza Campus: The Munchies location on Virginia Street will be open on Christmas Day, serving Chicago and New York-style pizza as well as wings, garlic knots, oven-baked subs and desserts. Call to check hours. 695 W. Virginia St.; 850-759-0660.
Reangthai: This Thai destination, known for its repertoire of dishes — including curries, stir-fries and noodles — will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. There will be specials available on Christmas Day. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30 to 9 p.m. Christmas Eve and noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 25. 2470 Capital Circle NE; 850-386-7898.
Sakura Sushi & Grill: The Japanese restaurant offers hibachi, teriyaki, tempura and other classic dishes along with a lengthy sushi lineup. Sakura will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch and 5 to 10 p.m. for dinner. On Christmas Day, Sakura will be open noon to 5 p.m., offering a special meal as well as its regular menu. 1318 N. Monroe St.; 850-222-9991.
Super Perros: The Colombian restaurant will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 24 and 25. 2010 W. Tennessee St.; 850-421-2378.
Tan’s Asian Cafe: You can order Indonesian, Chinese and vegan dishes at Tan’s. The restaurant will be open for takeout only during its regular hours, from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. 2743 Capital Circle NE; 850-523-4282.
Volcano Hot Pot & BBQ: You can make-your-own hot pot or order barbecue and traditional Asian items on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. You can also get takeout family bundles. 1872 Thomasville Rd.; 850-222-6888.
Zingales Billiards and Sports Bar: If you’re looking for a late-night spot for food and billiards on Dec. 24 and 25, check out this family-owned venue, which will be open from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Dec. 24 and 25. Zingales, which has been in Tallahassee for 10 years, is at 1147 Apalachee Pkwy.; 850-629-4343.
Other choices include the chains Denny’s, iHOP, Village Inn and Waffle House.
Takeout dishes and preorders
The Bark: Load up on vegan holiday meal packages that can be picked up on Dec. 24th. Deadline for ordering will be Dec. 21. Options will include baked “mac ‘n cheez,” seitan (made from wheat gluten) and assorted desserts. Check thebarkfl on Instagram for updates. 507 All Saints Street; 850-900-5936.
Black Fig: The catering service, with gourmet meals to go, is taking orders for holiday dishes, featuring blue cheese dip with fig preserves, a whole roast beef, roasted turkey breast, seafood casserole, multiple sides and desserts among other dishes. Place your order pronto because the deadline is Dec. 18. Orders must be picked up from Black Fig between 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 23. 1400 Village Square Blvd.; 850-727-0016.
Carrabba’s Italian Grill: The Italian restaurant will be open for dining in or takeout Christmas Eve but closed on Christmas Day.. You can also pick up their “Create Your Own Catering” packages or ” Catering Bundles” that serve 10 or more but are individually packaged meals. Carrabba’s Family Bundles start at $34.99 and feed up to five with choices such as lasagne, chicken Parmesan, salmon Saporito plus salad and bread. Packages available for carside carryout and delivery. 2779 Capital Circle NE; 850-297-1100.
Cracker Barrel: The folksy chain restaurant will be closed for Christmas but you can preorder “heat and serve” meals for the holiday. One package serves four to six people for $79.99 and includes a half-spiral, sliced sugar ham, cornbread dressing, roasted turkey gravy, sweet rolls and two sides. The other package serves eight to 10 for $139.99 and features a spiral, sliced sugar ham, cornbread dressing, gravy, three sides, sweet yeast rolls and a whole pecan and apple pecan streusel pie. You can order until supplies run out. The restaurant will close at 2 p.m. Dec. 24th. 2920 Hospitality Rd.; 850-385-9249.
The Hawthorn Bistro & Bakery: You can preorder whole pies, half and whole quiches, chocolate and Nutella babka, cookies, rolls and pastries to complement your holiday meal. To order, visit hawthorntlh.com/holiday-menu/ or call 850-354-8275. Pre-order until Dec. 20. Pickup will be Dec. 23 and 24 during business hours. 1307 N. Monroe St.
Grove Market Cafe: Chef/owners David and Elizabeth Gwynn (Cypress Restaurant, Vertigo), are preparing a holiday feast. Options include braised boneless beef short ribs ($15 a pound), a baked sugar cane glazed ham (serves six to eight, $36) or roasted Cornish game hens ($12 each). They also offer a list of sides to serve four to six or 10 to 12, as well as sauces and desserts. Place order by 2 p.m. Dec. 20. Pickup by 2 p.m. Dec. 24. 1370 Market St.; 850-894-5060. You can order online at www.grovemarketcafe.com/
Lucilla: The Southern-influenced restaurant will be open on Christmas Eve. Chef/co-owner Joe Richardson will also be creating a lavish Christmas meal for two that you can pick up Christmas Day and heat up. The menu: turkey breast with brown sugar, glazed ham, roasted red potatoes, cornbread stuffing, bacon braised brussels sprouts, ginger whipped sweet potatoes and turkey gravy for $63 per couple. Add-ons like chocolate-chocolate chip bread pudding and Granny Smith apple crisp are available along with wine pairings. Pickup is from noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 25. Orders accepted through evening, Dec. 19. More details at lucillatallahassee.com or email [email protected] 1241 E. Lafayette St.; 850-900-5117.
RedEye Coffee: The popular coffee shop is offering Holiday Morning packages. The deadline for ordering is by noon Dec. 21. All orders will be ready for pick-up between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Dec. 24. All RedEye Coffee locations close at 2 p.m. Dec. 24. Package 1 ($30) brings six muffins (three blueberry and three pistachio) or six cinnamon rolls (traditional only) and one half-gallon jug of cold brew (regular or vanilla cream). Package 2 ($45) offers the muffins or cinnamon rolls, cold brew and white chocolate cranberry bread pudding (for six to eight) and Package 3 ($63) offers the six muffins or cinnamon rolls, white chocolate cranberry bread pudding, half-gallon of cold brew and one half-gallon jug of traditional Coquito Mixer (12-15 servings). Coquito is a coconut based, alcoholic drink sometimes called the Puerto Rican eggnog. This is just the mixer. You add the rum. RedEye will also be having a Cocoa Bomb and Coquito Sale on Dec. 24. Call or order online. 1122 Thomasville Rd., 850-425-5701; 1196 Capital Circle NE, 850-999-8278. https://redeyecoffee.com/collections/the-breakfast-club/products/the-breakfast-club-holiday-morning
Social catering: For Christmas, the catering service is offering packages for two and for six to eight. A la carte brunch items and desserts are also available. A holiday meal for two is $55 and offers a choice of turkey roulade, cabernet braised short ribs or wild mushroom ravioli with sides, These are available for pickup on Dec. 22 or 23 from SoDough Baking Company, 1306 Thomasville Rd. between 4 and 6 p.m. Ordering will close at 5 p.m. Dec. 21. 850-800-7267. To order, visit madisonsocial.com/holidays
SoDough Baking Co: The bakery will be offering desserts you can pre-order: banana pudding, doughnut bread pudding kits, holiday cookie trays and SoSpice bread. Pick up is between 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 24 at SoDough, 1306 Thomasville Rd.; 850-702-5542.
Tally Mac Shack: The mac ‘n cheese specialists are preparing half and full takeout pans of six favorite Tally Mack Shack dishes for $25 to $35. The pans are dubbed “Wake ‘N Bake” because “all you have do is wake up on the morning of, put it in the oven and serve.’ ” The half pans serve 10-14 people and the full pans serve 20-26. Available for pickup starting 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 23 at Tally Mac Shack at Happy Motoring. 1215 S. Adams; 850-570-6858. You can order in advance online at www.pickuptallymacshack.com/
Tastebudz Catering and Takeout: You’ll find a full meal or a la carte items at this catering service and togo shop. A complete meal includes honey ham or sliced white and dark meat turkey (or a combination of all), three sides, bread and dessert for $15.99 per person. A prime rib dinner is $19.99 per person. A la carte options available. Orders accepted until noon Dec. 21. Pickup times are 2 to 6 p.m. Dec. 23 or 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 24. 2655 Capital Circle NE; 850-309-7348. You can order at www.tastebudz.net/
Treva’s Pastries and Fine Foods: The shop is offering a long list of Christmas delicacies. Consider red velvet layer cake, gingerbread cake — and gingerbread cookies — chocolate buche de Noel, Santa sleigh cookies and a chocolate salami. Pickup deadline is Dec. 21. Pick up during the week or from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 24. View menu at www.trevas.net/christmas.html 2766 Capital Circle NE; 850-765-0811.
Uptown Cafe & Catering: Here’s an item that elevates your whole holiday season. The specialty at this breakfast and lunch spot is apricot-glazed smoked salmon, smoked on premises, available in half or whole portions at $27.99 a pound. You can pick it up until 3 p.m. Dec. 23. Shipping available. 1325 Miccosukee Rd.; 850-219-9800,