Bringing joy at this time of year can be as easy as serving your guests—or showing up to a party with—something delicious and handmade. But your hands don’t have to be the ones making it. There are plenty of stores and restaurants around town creating holiday dishes worth sharing with your friends. We’re giving you a few places to start:
Any old morning can be improved upon with a box of French pastries from this picture-perfect Greenwood bakery owned by pastry chef Rachael Coyle. When the stakes are high—the out-of-town in-laws are staying with you or you have a half-dozen hungry kids to feed on Christmas morning—order ahead to take advantage of Coyle’s special holiday menu of treats both sweet and savory.
Our pick: Place your order for Coyle’s bake-at-home cinnamon rolls by December 17, available for Christmas only. Sold in packs of six ($22), the rolls come with cream cheese frosting. Feel free to pass them off as homemade. Greenwood, 8300 Greenwood Ave. N; 206.257.4736
Deep Sea Sugar & Salt
Want to show up with a showstopping dessert? Order one of the impressive layer cakes from baker Charlie Dunmire’s Georgetown cake shop. If you really want to make a statement, pick up a pint of ice cream and bouquets of fresh blooms while you’re there. (She also stocks various other sundries.)
Our pick: Though it’s hard to beat the tea-reminiscent London Fog, go for something from the holiday menu, such as the cranberry ricotta cake: a ricotta olive oil cake with layers of mascarpone cream, cranberry filling and cream cheese frosting ($45/6-inch cake, $65/9-inch)—and order by December 16 for pickup on either December 24 or December 30. Georgetown, 6601 Carleton Ave. S; 206.588.1186
PCC’s winter greens gratin can be a side or main dish
PCC Community Markets
If you wanted to, you could easily have this local chain of markets cater your entire meal, regardless of the time of year. For the holidays, it pulls out all the stops: roasted turkeys, bone-in hams, roasted Brussels sprouts, sage stuffing, pecan praline yams and anything else you could dream up for the dinner table.
Our pick: In the Venn diagram of decadent side dishes and nutrient-rich veggies, the winter greens gratin ($9.99/pound) falls squarely in the center, featuring a blend of kale and spinach with plenty of Gruyère, Emmentaler, blue cheese and a crispy bread-crumb topping. Plus, this dish is kept on hand throughout December in the casserole section of the deli, so pick up as needed and reheat. Multiple locations
PIE WHOLE: R&M Dessert Bar has an impressive menu of seasonal treats, but you can’t go wrong with the pumpkin tart, which features the perfect crust-to-filling ratio
R&M Dessert Bar
Known for late-night desserts in small sizes, perfect for sharing with someone special, this Capitol Hill jewel box of a spot also does larger versions of its signature sweets—from delicate tarts to fluffy cheesecakes to rich chocolate cakes—to pick up, if you order 48 hours in advance.
Our pick: One bite of the pumpkin tart with maple whipped cream ($35/9-inch tart) and you’ll never want to make another pumpkin pie. For December 24 pickup, order by December 20. R&M will actually be open December 25 from 4 to 10 p.m., so if you need to pick up something at the last minute—or, perhaps, escape the relatives—head on over. Capitol Hill, 601 E Pike St.; 206.351.9993
This maple leaf bar/restaurant/butcher’s shop, from owners Matthew Brady and Joel Klemenhagen, has built a reputation as much for its cocktail program as for its house-cured meats, available (alongside a menu of other hearty dishes) for dining in or to pick up from the meat counter and serve at home.
Our pick: Grass-fed beef roasts from Gleason Ranch will be available for the holidays ($40–$80), but we find greater appeal in the charcuterie options. To add to your meat and cheese platter, swing by for house-made salami and coppa ($32/pound). Or go for the bacon ($12/pound), perfect for pairing with those cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. Maple Leaf, 7777 15th Ave. NE; 206.659.0074