Have a Hands-Off Holiday With These Grocers and Bakers

Kristen Schmidt

Give yourself a break and let someone else do most of the cooking for parties and family get-togethers this holiday season. We steer you to the specialty food shops, grocers and bakers who can make your party sparkle and sing without costing you a single droplet of sweat.

Wine: The Andersons

The Andersons not only has a massive wine selection including celebratory bubbly-it has a really smart selection and personable experts working in the department. Ask for help deciding which bottle will pair perfectly with your meal or snacks. Want to learn more? Sign up for the store's wine-tasting newsletters for upcoming opportunities to educate your palate.

Cheese and charcuterie: The Market Italian Village

Go whole-hog and try the super-premium and rare Jamon Iberico ($118 per pound), or find a great value with Jamon Serrano ($23 per pound). We also picked up a hunk of dense, sweet walnut-fig cake ($17 per pound) to accompany pungent cheeses. Browse the market shelves for honey and preserves to round out your party cheese board.

Hors d'oeuvres and side dishes: The Hills Market

The Hills specializes in catering and prepared foods (the "Hills Own" label is locally famous), so make either location your stop for starters and sides. We were tempted by the Lobster Spring Rolls ($3.25 each), filled with a generous mix of lobster chunks, peppers, cabbage and carrot. A handy catering menu clearly states which items fit your guests' dietary needs, too.

Sweets: Patisserie Lallier

Pastry chef Michelle Kozak creates several traditional French holiday treats. We love these little chocolate mousse verrines ($2.75 each). And there's virtue in this forgivable vice: The mousse is gluten-free and made with Snowville whipping cream, organic cane sugar, fair-trade organic dark chocolate and local free-range eggs.