By Collin Kelley

While the holiday dinner fixings are traditionally bought at the local supermarket and served at home among the family, many Intowners are finding new traditions – which include shopping for all-natural foods and deciding to dine out at restaurants.

Shopping at a Farmers’ Market

Some of Intown’s markets close down after the fall harvest, but a number of them will be open for the holiday season, including Peachtree Road Farmers’ Market (www.peachtreeroadfarmersmarket.com), which will be offering foods, gifts and more through Dec. 19. The market is located in the parking lot of St. Philips’s Episcopal Cathedral in Buckhead from 8:30 a.m. to noon every Saturday. There will be a cooking demonstration with local chefs on how to prepare fall squash for holiday meals on Dec. 5, and on Dec. 19 there will an Artist’s Market to help people with all those last-minute gifts of soap, scarves, jewelry, jam, honey or coffee.

Morningside Farmers’ Market (www.morningsidemarket.com) will also be open year-round offering foods and goods from local farmers, while the bustling DeKalb Farmers’ Market (www.dekalbfarmersmarket.com) in Decatur will be a destination for many.

The Decatur Farmers’ Market (www.decaturfarmersmarket.com), at the corner of Commerce and Church, is open every Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m. in December featuring organic and sustainable food.

Dining Out for the Holidays

If you don’t want to be chained to the stove, or if you just want to try something a little different, many of Atlanta’s restaurants will be open on Christmas Eve and Day.

The Melting Pot (www.themeltingpot.com), which has four locations around the city, will be serving its famous fondue, filet mignon and more.

Trade the Christmas tree for bamboo this year and add some international flare to your holiday dining at the Spice Market (www.spicemarketatlanta.com) in the W Hotel Midtown, which will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. If you’re tired of turkey, treat yourself to chargrilled chicken with kumquat lemongrass dressing instead.

Atkins Park (www.atkinspark.com) in Virginia Highland will open at 6 p.m. on Christmas Day for its traditional holiday dinner. Reservations are highly recommended.

If you can’t jet off to Paris for the holiday, you can drive up to Buckhead to Au Pied du Cochon (www.aupieddecochonatlanta.com), the French brassiere located inside the InterContinental Hotel, which is serving on Christmas Eve and Day.

If you want the ultimate in casual, Waffle House is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the waitresses are sure to add an extra “sugar” or “honey” or “baby” as they serve you your steak with scattered, covered or smothered hashbrowns.

More restaurants scheduled to be open on Christmas Day include the Lobby at Twelve in Atlantic Station, Nan in Midtown, McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood at CNN Center and Imperial Fez in Buckhead.

Holiday Take-Out

If you want to eat at home, but don’t want to deal with the actual cooking, many restaurants have tasty take-out specials for the holidays. Place your order now and pick it up in time for the meal.

Alon’s Bakery (www.alons.com) has special holiday menus for Hanukah, which begins Friday, Dec. 11, and for Christmas. The Hanukah meal includes braised beef brisket, noodle kugel, potato latke and more, while the Christmas feast features turkey and dressing.

Savor (www.savourgourmet.com) in Peachtree Battle shopping center has delicious selections of gourmet foods, cheeses, wines and more that can be picked up and served for a holiday party or meal.

If you want a taste of New Orleans, try The Market at Parish Foods and Goods (www.parishatl.com) in Inman Park, which offers everything from po’boys to complete dinners that you can pick up or, if you live in the neighborhood, have delivered.

The Hungry Peach (www.thehungrypeach.com) offers holiday catering, bringing meals to your door, packaged in individual containers with easy re-heating instructions.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

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