The holiday meal can be stressful—toy-crazed children, cranky in-laws, and the overbearing guest who overdid it on the punch—without adding the pressure to cook the turkey, sides, and dessert. So, you have a choice: kill yourself trying to be Martha Stewart, or outsource the work to a hotel, restaurant, or grocery store. If you choose the latter, we won’t judge you.
The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (900 West Georgia Street, 604-647-0517)
For $295, you get a meal (serves six to eight people) that includes an 18- to 22-pound roasted Fraser Valley tom turkey with sage sausage stuffing, Brussels sprouts, roasted root vegetables, garlic mashed Yukon Gold potatoes, artisan bread rolls with butter balls, turkey giblet gravy, cranberry Triple Sec relish, and spiced pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Pickup is December 24 and 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Sutton Place Hotel (845 Burrard Street, 604-682-5511, extension 34)
The $325 Turkey Express will feed eight to 13 guests with an 18-pound roasted turkey, apple sage stuffing, seasonal veggies, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, turkey gravy, dinner rolls, and cranberry cheesecake. Deadline for ordering is December 22 at noon. Pickup happens December 24 to 26.
Cravings Restaurant & Lounge (8808 Osler Street, 604-261-7779)
If you’ve spent your savings on the kiddies’ gifts, Cravings offers a slightly more reasonable option ($18 per person). The meal features roasted turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables, cranberry sauce, and turkey gravy. The turkey and fixings will be on offer from December 1 onward and require at least one day’s notice (two days if you’re feeding 10 or more). The restaurant will be closed Christmas Day but will put everything in oven-friendly dishes for reheating.
Max’s Deli & Bakery (3105 Oak Street, 604-733-4838)
From now until December 15 (or while quantities last), place your order for the $249 roast turkey dinner (feeds 18 to 20). Expect a 22-pound roasted turkey, with mashed potatoes, a veggie medley, roasted yams, stuffing, turkey gravy, and cranberry sauce. Half-orders are $129. If you want just the bird, full turkeys are $149, half-turkeys are $79. Carving costs $15 for a whole turkey. Pickup can occur before or on Christmas Day.
Memphis Blues (Various locations)
Those who want to add a southern twist to the holiday dinner can go for Memphis Blues’ smoked turkeys. These free-range, nonmedicated birds weigh 16 to 17 pounds, feed 12 to 14 hearty appetites, and are accompanied by corn-bread stuffing and turkey gravy for $99.95 ($89.95 for just the turkey, $15 for an extra order of the fixings). Give the restaurant at least a couple of days’ notice, the more the better. Memphis will be closed Christmas Day but will have turkey dinners ready at 4 p.m. on December 24.
Big Lou’s Butcher Shop (269 Powell Street, 604-566-9229)
For the highest-quality bird, order your roasted turkey from a meat expert. The dinner package includes roasted Fraser Valley free-range turkey with Italian-sausage stuffing, pommes purées, baby carrots, beets, Brussels sprouts, turkey gravy, and cranberry jelly. The meal comes in two sizes: $130 to feed six to eight people, or $225 for 10 to 12 guests. Order by December 18 for pickup until the 24th.
Whole Foods Market (Various locations)
As well as traditional turkey-based meals with all the trimmings that serve four to eight people ($99.99 to $169.99), Whole Foods offers a meal for eight centred on ham ($149.99). (Note that while the ham is fully cooked and just needs to be reheated, the turkeys are sold raw and ready to cook with detailed instructions.) If you want just the sides, a set of six—from stuffing to gravy to pumpkin pie—runs $49.99 for four people or $69.99 for eight people. Gluten-free ingredients are available. The vegan dinner for four ($79.99) includes a vegan field roast, vegan mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, squash, cranberry relish, rolls, and poached saffron pears. Call the store for order deadlines and order at least 48 hours in advance.
Urban Fare (Various locations)
Individual turkey dinners ($13.99 each) may suit smaller holiday groups. Enjoy seven ounces of roasted turkey breast with mashed potatoes, roasted squash, apple raisin stuffing, cranberry sauce, and turkey/chicken gravy. The meals are available the week leading up to Christmas. (The store is closed on December 25.) Order at least three days ahead.
T & T Supermarket (Various locations)
Whole roasted soy-marinated turkeys are $5.99 per pound. Or go for the Christmas Potluck Combo for $158.88 (serves 12 to 15). Sup on an eight-pound roasted turkey; a deluxe sushi and sashimi party tray; fried rice or noodles; sweet-and-sour pork; deep-fried items like spring rolls and tempura prawns; a spinach, lettuce, kale, and carrot salad with mixed nuts and fruit; and almond custard topped with mixed dry fruit. Food can be picked up from December 3 until January 1. Order at least three days in advance at the T & T gourmet section.