Where to find starters, sides and desserts for your holiday gatherings in Baton Rouge

While Thanksgiving dining is centered around a single day, the Christmas season presents all sorts of opportunities to eat, drink and be merry. Holiday parties and brunches, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners, New Year’s Eve cocktail gatherings and other get-togethers give hosts plenty of chances to dazzle friends and family with festive menus.

But it’s also the busiest time of the year, so more home cooks are supplementing home cooking with holiday dishes prepared by their favorite restaurants, retailers and caterers.

There’s still plenty of time to place your orders for the season. Nearly every restaurant, grocer and caterer in town has a lineup of holiday offers. Here are just a few of the spots where you can source wow-factor dishes that will impress your guests and make life easier.  

Maxwell’s Market

Order all sorts of holiday options from Maxwell’s three locations, including a complete holiday meal for 12 comprised of roast turkey, cornbread dressing, gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, rolls and pumpkin or pecan pie. You can also order beef tenderloin, prime rib and various side dishes a la carte, such as Maxwell’s signature spinach Maxwell, a spin on spinach Madeleine studded with artichoke hearts. A special New Year’s Day catering menu includes pepper jelly glazed pork tenderloin, cabbage, black-eyed peas, cheddar cornbread and apple pie or bread pudding.

Bergeron’s City Market

Pick up speciality cheese tortes like mango and fig, or baked Brie, Natchitoches meat pies, and other party appetizers from Chef Don Bergeron’s City Market. The spot has long been known for holiday catering to go. The Bocage-area caterer and restaurant also offers several different side dishes, including mascarpone mashed potatoes, shrimp and mirliton casserole, and crabmeat and eggplant casserole, as well as turkey, beef and pork main courses. Take home a quart of veal grillades for an elegant brunch.

Queen Eats and Royal Treats

This soul food truck, mobile caterer and Tiger Stadium vendor is known for bold Cajun cooking and dishes like seasoned chicken wings, shrimp pasta, birria nachos, sausage po-boys, chicken and waffles and lots more. Order the decadent peach cobbler cheesecake for a lip-smacking Christmas dessert.

Robert Fresh Market

Enjoy traditional Southern sides with a Louisiana twist at Robert Fresh Market on Highland Road. Andouille cornbread dressing, sweet potato casserole with praline sauce, oyster dressing, shrimp and eggplant dressing and Grand Marnier cranberry sauce are part of Robert’s festive Christmas line-up. The supermarket also has poinsettias and meals to go.

Culinary Productions

Chef Williams Wells’ catering company is known for its elegant cocktail party pick-ups, including sushi, charcuterie, canapes and lots more. Culinary Productions’ desserts include elegant custom truffles, parfaits, chocolate cornets, gourmet cupcakes and other treats.

Gourmet Girls

Gourmet Girls’ Christmas Carry Out menu includes luxe hors d’oeuvres, side dishes and desserts that scream edible art. Owner Katia Mangham especially excels in the gorgeous dessert space, with options like the Christmas wreath king cake and the Merry Merry Cake, a French vanilla cake filled with strawberry Champagne mousse topped with sprinkles and an festive acrylic Merry Merry sign.

Bistro Byronz

One of Baton Rouge’s most popular family-owned restaurants includes a catering menu that’s perfect for holiday brunches, easy lunches and casual dinners. Satisfy your brunch guests’ hunger with shrimp and grits, eggs Benedict casserole, or poulet and pancakes, Byzonz’s answer to chicken and waffles. Pick up homestyle pans of the restaurant’s signature dishes, including its wildly popular Pot Roast Creole and Back of the Stove Chicken. Each order feeds 10-12.

Ruffino’s Restaurant

Ruffino’s three-course Christmas Eve Dinner to Go for 10-12 features a classic holiday line-up of spinach salad, roast turkey and gravy, glazed smoked ham, tasso cornbread dressing, green bean casserole and scalloped sweet potatoes. Dine on praline pumpkin pie for dessert.