Appreciative tourists describe Christmas at the beach
They say there’s no place like home for the holidays — but we’re guessing they weren’t the ones cooking Christmas dinner for the entire extended family.
If you’d prefer to keep the holiday simple this year, eating out can be a festive option.
Many restaurant chains also offer pre-cooked holiday meals, so all you have to do is heat and serve.
Here is a list of restaurants that will dish up Christmas meals around Bradenton.
If none of these sound just right, don’t forget that there’s also a lot of great Chinese food around town.
Did we miss a restaurant? Send us an email at email@example.com and we’ll add it to the list.
Bob Evans restaurants are open for dining in on Christmas Eve and offer pre-prepared meals that can be picked up or delivered before Christmas Day. The restaurant offers a complete holiday spread for a decent price. Options include a meal for four, eight or eight to ten people.
Details: 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Christmas Eve. Closed Christmas Day. 4115 14th St. W., Bradenton and 7393 State Road 70, Bradenton.
Boston Market offers full menus of holiday food that you can carry-out, order for delivery or enjoy at the restaurant. The Christmas Day dine-in menu offers individual meals or a “Feast for 3.” Offerings include carved ham, sliced turkey breast, rotisserie chicken, holiday sides, rolls and pies.
Details: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Christmas Eve. Noon-6 p.m. Christmas Day. 5002 Cortez Road W., Bradenton. bostonmarket.com.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
Cracker Barrel stores are closed on Christmas Day, but “Heat n’ serve” and to-go meals can be ordered as soon as 24 hours in advance. The meal of cured ham, cornbread dressing, roasted gravy, cranberry dressing, yeast rolls and pie serves up to 10 people.
Details: 6 a.m.-2 p.m. Christmas Eve. Closed Christmas Day. 2203 Cortez Road W., Bradenton and 636 67th St. Cir. E., Bradenton. crackerbarrel.com.
Denny’s is open 24/7, and they are offering a special menu for the holidays. The “Festive Flavors” menu features pumpkin spice and cinnamon roll pancakes, turkey and dressing dinners, a holiday turkey melt and pumpkin and pecan pie. Dine-in or get it to go.
Details: Open 24/7. 610 44th Ave. W., Bradenton. dennys.com.
Eliza Ann’s Coastal Kitchen at Waterline Marina Resort and Beach Club
Eliza Ann’s Coastal Kitchen at Waterline Marina Resort and Beach Club in Holmes Beach will offer gourmet three-course meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
First course: Choice of appetizer, including wild boar pasta, endive and radicchio salad or black truffle bisque.
Second course: Choice of entree, including seared scallops and barbecue-glazed pork belly ($46); roasted grouper ($44); filet mignon ($55); or grilled loin of venison ($48).
Third course: Choice of dessert, featuring egg nog crème brulee, brownie sundae with candy cane crumble or spiced apple olive oil cake.
Details: Reservations recommended. Available 5-10 p.m. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 5325 Marina Dr., Holmes Beach. 941-238-6262. waterlineresort.com/events.
IHOP restaurants offer a roasted turkey and stuffing entree on the menu, and they are open on Christmas Day. Alternatively, you can go for the limited-time Grinch pancakes (yes, they are bright green).
Details: Open 24/7. 5427 14th St. W., Bradenton and 6320 State Road 64 E., Bradenton. ihop.com.
Old Hamburg Schnitzelhaus
Old Hamburg Schnitzelhaus in Holmes Beach will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day serving traditional German fare. The menu includes many varieties of schnitzel as well as a special of roasted duck with a choice of potato dumplings or spaetzle noodles.
Enjoy your food with imported wine or German beer on draft.
The restaurant will also be open on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Details: 4:30-9 p.m. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Reservations recommended. 3246 E. Bay Dr., Holmes Beach. 941-778-1320. schnitzel.house.
Pier 22 Restaurant in downtown Bradenton will offer a decadent holiday menu on Christmas Day.
Offerings include appetizers (scallops, crab cake, lamb lollipops, escargot) soups and salads, entrees (steak, prime rib, duck, seafood and more) and ten different desserts.
Details: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Christmas Day. 1200 First Ave. W., Bradenton. Reservations recommended. pier22dining.com.
Starbucks coffee shops will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for all of your caffeine needs, and with the chain’s ever-expanding food offerings, it can be a good place to grab a quick bite.
Details: Hours vary by store. starbucks.com/store-locator.
In an emergency, there’s always Waffle House. The restaurant does not offer a holiday menu, but all of your old favorites will be there. We recommend the pecan waffle.
Details: Open 24/7, 365. 2400 Cortez Road W., Bradenton and 603 67th St. Circle, Bradenton. wafflehouse.com.