Arts and Culture

Food becomes less exciting and more burdensome after we pack away Thanksgiving leftovers and trudge into the rest of the holiday season.

Between the planning and shopping and wrapping and stressing, it becomes more difficult to plan and execute a memorable meal. At some point, even the most dedicated cook runs out of time or patience to plan and execute a meal for family, friends and other visitors.

Fortunately, plenty of businesses in the Louisville area cater for the holidays. From cookie platters to Christmas buffets, restaurants and bakeries in Louisville will help you cross a few things off your to-do list.

Here are some tips to ease some of the holiday cooking burden.

Playing host this year? Let a local business take on the herculean task of a cooking a holiday meal for a big gathering. Paul’s Fruit Market, which has four locations in Louisville, will prepare a dinner for two or 12 that includes a main dish, several sides and dinner rolls (prices start at $39.99). Place an order by noon on Tuesday and pick everything up on Dec. 24. If a full meal seems too daunting, pick up some party platters and let your guests graze for the evening. Paul’s and ValuMarket, which also has several locations in the city, offer selections of hors d’oeuvres and snacks.

But maybe entertaining is entirely out of the question.

Going out to eat on Christmas day is a limited but viable option if you just need a break from the kitchen — just be prepared to part with some of your Christmas cash and make your way downtown. Rivue Restaurant Lounge on the 25th floor of the Galt House will host a brunch buffet ($52 for adults, $25 for kids), as is Blu Italian Grille in the Marriot Hotel ($39 per person). The English Grill in the Brown Hotel will have two seatings for Christmas dinner ($69 for adults, $20 for kids). And let’s not forget about the long held American tradition of Chinese restaurants being open on Christmas Day (read more about Jewish Christmas or watch the last scene in classic movie “A Christmas Story”).

In Louisville, restaurants serving a wide range of Asian cuisine will be open on Dec. 25, including Joy Luck and Kashmir Indian Restaurant in the Highlands, Oriental House on Shelbyville Road and Annie’s Café on Woodlawn Avenue near Southern Parkway.

If you feel ambitious enough to cook a little something, consider letting a bakery at least round out your meal and make some treats for Santa, too.

Cake Flour in the East End offers cakes, tarts, stuffed cupcakes and cookies that you can order before your gathering. Cocos Cakes, a new bakery in Old Louisville, is also taking holiday orders. Other bakeries making holiday goodies include Plehn’s in St. Matthews and Sweet Surrender Dessert Café on Frankfort Avenue.

Whether you’re feeling ambitious or ambivalent about your holiday meals, Louisville eateries have you covered.