In the classic 1945 movie Christmas in Connecticut, food writer Elizabeth Lane must host Christmas dinner for an esteemed war hero— with no cooking skills of her own. While Elizabeth’s plot in the movie is complex, in real life there are many simple options for those who can’t (or don’t want to!) cook dinner themselves on Christmas Eve. Whether you dread the chaos of cooking elaborate holiday meals or just want to save your energy for Christmas day, here are five great dinner picks for your very own Christmas (Eve) in Connecticut.
Savory Palate Catering
Great for: A classic Christmas Eve dinner
With “Family Gatherings” and “Holiday Pies” right on the front page of their website, it’s no wonder Savory Palate Catering is our top pick for a hassle-free Christmas Eve dinner. They can deliver a classic holiday meal that fits all your guests— including those with allergies and specialty diets— complete with sides and dessert. Plus, they can cater just about any big event; if you’ve got something coming up, this is a great way to test out their services. Contact them to see if they can fit you into their busy holiday schedule!
Great for: Southern comfort food
There’s nothing quite like Southern comfort food! Bears Smokehouse is a great local pick if your taste leans south of Connecticut. Beef brisket, Mashed potatoes, cornbread, macaroni and cheese, and even Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie are on the Christmas Eve menu at Bears— if your stomach’s already growling (whose wouldn’t be?), give them a call and see if they can fit you into their schedule.
Great for: Skipping straight to the fun part of cooking
Let’s face it; meat is the worst part of cooking a holiday meal. Taking up the oven for hours on end, constantly stopping to baste and re-baste, and feeling paranoid you’ll undercook it and get everyone sick… who wants to deal with that? Newington Meat can provide a perfectly cooked Christmas ham or turkey so you can focus on the fun stuff.
Great for: Anyone feeling adventurous— and who loves spicy food!
Nobody ever said your Christmas Eve dinner had to be ham! Zuka Catering blends Guyanese, West Indian, and American cuisine to create a unique and nontraditional menu. Mix and match favorites like roti, chicken curry, fried fish, and even chow mein for a Christmas dinner your family surely won’t forget. As an added plus, they make ordering online smooth as butter— no call necessary.
Great for: A festive dinner out on the town
Though Christmas Eve at home is certainly cozy, it’s a lot of fun to spend the night out! Cava is a festive pick for a holiday dinner; the restaurant decorates their space with 250,000 holiday lights just for the occasion. Plus, the food’s fantastic— when six-cheese garlic bread’s on the menu, you know you’re in for a great meal. Tables fill up fast on Christmas Eve, so make sure you get your reservation early!
BONUS: Glow Hartford
Great for: Christmas Eve… Eve!
Of course, many people prefer to spend Christmas Eve with a home-cooked meal— and there’s nothing wrong with that! If you’re looking for a festive place to eat the night before, Glow Hartford is a great choice. Eat great food and seasonal drinks under one million holiday lights, then spend the night enjoying live entertainment, riding the Glow-comotive, and searching for Santa’s Perfect Gift in the on-site scavenger hunt. Christmas Eve-Eve is the last day Glow’s open, so don’t miss it!