Are you trying to plan a big family meal but don't want to actually do the cooking? By ordering a take out turkey dinner for a holiday or other family celebration you can have the best of both worlds. There are several places in Toronto where you can buy prepared meals for Thanksgiving, Christmas or other celebrations, and in Mississauga you can even get a full turkey dinner year-round.
Order in Advance
Unfortunately this can't be a last-minute fix when the grocery store runs out of turkeys on Christmas Eve Day. Different places have different cutoff days for ordering, but always assume you'll need to place your order a bare minimum of 48 working-day hours in advance.
Somebody Still Needs to Pick it Up
Remember that while this option is easier in many ways, someone will still need to be sent out on a holiday errand - possibly one that will involve standing in line for awhile.
Consider Doing a Little Cooking on the Side
If you're worried that ordering dinner will mean your family celebration is missing that special something, consider preparing additional vegetables or a dessert that's been a traditional family favorite.
Take Out Turkey Dinners Available Year-Round
Stage West Dinner Theatre
Stage West has a turkey dinner available year round that you pick up hot and ready to serve and includes a nicely roasted 12-15 pound bird plus mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, corn, carrots, cranberry sauce and a dessert. That's the basic meal - which they say will feed 8-10 people and costs around $160 - but you can also add a ham, a second turkey, or more of any of the sides. You can also choose to handle sides yourself and order only a turkey or ham. Order online or by phone, and consider the gift certificate option as a unique gift.
• Review Note: This is the one my family has used in the past with great results. The food isn't as fancy as many of the gourmet-inspired menus the other places offer, but that also means you're generally spending less money and have less chance of upsetting picky eaters.
Prepared Holiday Meals Available for Thanksgiving and Christmas 2012
Located near Mt. Pleasant Road and St. Clair Avenue, the Summerhill Market regularly sells quality groceries, prepared foods and also does catering. For holiday take-out they offer sliced free-range turkey dinners for you to warm up at home that come with apple, onion and sage dressing, gravy, buttermilk mashed potatoes, orange cranberry sauce, maple roasted butternut squash and french green beans for around $27 per person.
A beef tenderloin dinner is also available from Summerhill for about $8 more per person, and remember there are a variety of other prepared foods available year-round. You need to order at least 48 hours in advance and if you need more food, Summerhill has uncooked whole free-range turkeys and cooked hams for you to heat at home available as part of their regular product line.
Whole Foods Market
The Whole Foods Market offers a wide menu full of options for your Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah or New Year's Eve celebrations. Build your own meal or order one of the family dinner packages; choose to cook it yourself or pick one of the options you can reheat and serve. Whole Foods has a variety of vegetarian items as well and even offers a full vegan holiday dinner (sold per person). Explore the "order online" section of the website for all the options (There are also Whole Foods Market locations in Oakville and Mississauga).
Black Creek Pioneer Village
Jane & Steeles
Black Creek Pioneer Village offers sit-down meals during the Thanksgiving weekend, but there's also a To-Go option you can order in advance and pick up on the Sunday or Monday. Options include turkey, stuffing and gravy only, or you can get the full meal:
- Mixed Greens with Local Riesling Poached Pear and Woolwich Goat’s Cheese
- Oven Roasted Ontario Turkey with Walnut Celery Stuffing
- Cinnamon Orange Cranberry Sauce
- Green Beans with Bacon
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes
- Pumpkin Pie
Fairmont Royal York Hotel
Across from Union Station
Turkey dinner from the Fairmont Royal York can be ordered as a complete meal (with a fresh baguette, Maple Roasted 100 km Parsnip and Pear Veloutte, cranberry sauce, gravy, Onion Sage Stuffing, Herb Roasted Château Potatoes, Maple Glazed Root Vegetable Medley, and Home Style Pumpkin Tarts with Whipped Molasses Cream) or you can just get the turkey, stuffing and jus. In both versions you can choose between meals suited for 4 or 8 people. This means there's a big price range - from $139 for four people sans sides up to $320 for the full fixings suited for 8, before tax. The Royal York's "Turkey to Go" program also supports the Daily Bread Food Bank with turkey donations. Pick-up is available on December 24 & 25. Click on the "Festive Brochure" link on the Fairmont Royal York website for all the details.