Party time, Austin-style! Festivities are reaching peak season, and good holiday party trays can be edible works of art to feed and impress the masses.
Whether for work or private parties, these Austin companies have the hookup on noteworthy holiday party trays and boxes that will have your loved ones drooling with appreciation.
Some of these places will deliver, but they all have pick-up options. You can customize them, too. The following are organized by type of party tray, from savory to sweet.
Thank you to Tiny Pies, Walton’s Fancy & Staple, and Spread & Co. for offering me complimentary samples for the purposes of this review.. All opinions are my own.
1/ Antonelli’s Cheese Shop
Long considered the gold standard of cheese trays, Antonelli’s has been perfecting the art of the party tray for nearly 15 years. The cheese shop in Hyde Park has an astounding selection of cheese and cheese-friendly items such as honey, chocolate, crackers, and my favorite odd little delight, oatcakes.
Antonelli’s delivers a variety of holiday party trays with meat, nuts, fruit, veggies, assorted spreads, and, of course, cheese. If you are hosting or attending a smaller gathering, stop by to taste test the cheese and customize your own DIY party platter.
Bonus: Antonelli’s famous cheese classes make great group activities and holiday gifts.
4220 Duval St. – Website
➡️ Keep reading: How Austin’s Tiny Pies Ended Up on Tables Across the U.S.
2/ Spread & Co.
Spread & Co. has made a name for itself with meticulously curated and arranged cheese and charcuterie boards, available for delivery or pickup. This local business has been successful enough to open a brick and mortar location this year, and it’s fun to watch the magic happen.
Spread & Co. is also making grab-and-go options for the party person on the go. These “gift bags,” as Spread & Co. is calling them, have pre-portioned cheese, charcuterie, nuts, and such. They’re easy and quick options you can pickup and take home to arrange yourself. For a proper party tray (or several), order 48 hours in advance. For bigger orders, more lead time is ideal.
If you have a cozier gathering planned with only a few friends, consider picking up a small cheese and/or charcuterie board to-go. Each one is enough for two or three people. I ordered one of each, and both were delicious. The cheese board came with three cheeses, Marcona almonds, honey, housemade strawberry jam, mustard, olives, and pickles. The meat board had three meats and the same sides.
Bonus: Eat lunch when you pick up your order. Spread & Co. has a wonderful cafe menu!
1601 W. 38th St. Unit 1 – Website
3/ Ritual Catering
I first tried a Ritual Catering party tray at my friend’s studio, LettyWoman Medical Aesthetics. I couldn’t get over the variety of goodies on the trays, both sweet and savory. What I love most is while there are familiar items, such as cheese and meat, there are lots of spreads and dips to add depth of flavor.
Ritual makes a point of highlighting the grazing rituals and stories we all have, from gathering around and sharing food. This Austin business specializes in artistic visual perspective and pairings, considering elements of design, colors, and textures. The team also carefully places food items next to each other based on flavors that pair well together.
The champagne dessert board is full of delectable treats like Fluff Meringues and gold-dusted macarons, as well as fruit. The champagne dessert board also comes with bitters, raw sugar cubes, lemon peel, and blood orange bitters for making classic cocktails, and violet, rose, or lavender syrups to enhance your bubbly.
You even have the option of ordering a year-round Oktoberfest board with sausages, housemade beer cheese, and sauerkraut! Ritual Catering is delicious, artistic, and women-owned!
4/ Rebel Cheese
Vegans need cheese, too, y’all! We Austinites are fortunate to have our very own vegan cheese makers and shakers! Rebel Cheese has had a rabid following from the git-go, and since it opened a brick and mortar in Mueller, it’s really been hopping with activity.
Owners Kirsten Maitland and Fred Zwar searched high and low for vegan cheese that tasted good, but their search felt futile. Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say, and so they took matters into their own hands and started experimenting.
They eventually came up with 20+ vegan cheese recipes and realized this was a business in the making. Maitland and Zwar started building their highly anticipated vegan deli and wine shop in Mueller, and finally opened in fall 2019. The line on opening day wrapped around the block, and business shows no signs of slowing down.
Rebel Cheese makes more than 20 cheeses in-house and sources 30 to 40 more from a vegan cheesemaker in Brooklyn. Most cheeses at Rebel Cheese are made from either cashews or a cashew-almond blend, but you’ll also find nut-free and gluten-free options.
The shop also sells housemade vegan pepperoni and salami, and lovely things like jams and clean, vegan wine (not all wine is vegan, oddly enough). Note that Rebel Cheese is a superb option for vegan holiday party trays, but this year it is an in-person, DIY option. You need to go in and make your cheese and sides selection, and the staff will wrap it to go.
For smaller gatherings, Rebel’s chef-curated vegan cheese and charcuterie boards on the regular dine-in menu come with all the fixings.
2200 Aldrich St. Suite 120 - Website
5/ Walton’s Fancy & Staple
Tamales! Walton’s Fancy & Staple has a new Executive Chef, Andrea Juarez, and she is making tamales for the holidays. Tamales are quite the Christmas tradition here in Texas and parts of Mexico. Maybe because each one, wrapped in its own husk, is a small gift.
At Walton’s, you have a choice of green chile chicken, pork chile Colorado, or bean and cheese. There are also specialty sauces to go with the tamales: vegan salsa verde with zucchini (Juarez’s aunt’s recipe) and extra hot salsa roja with freshly diced onion and cilantro (Juarez’s mom’s recipe).
This is a limited time and quantity offer. Get your pre-orders in by Dec. 16, 2019, for pickup on Dec. 23 only. Call (512) 542-3380 or email email@example.com by Dec. 16 to place your order.
Bonus: Walton’s Fancy & Staple is also offering a full catered holiday meal for pickup from Dec. 16-23, 2019 (allow 72 hours advance for holiday meal orders). The thyme-rubbed turkey looks incredible.
609 W. 6th St. - Website
6/ Pueblo Viejo
It wouldn’t be an Austin party without tacos, now, would it? Okay, you can have a party without tacos, but I find that tacos are ideal for morning parties, especially in the office. Pueblo Viejo has you covered for holiday taco trays.
These trays can hold as many tacos as you want. Pueblo Viejo will deliver or you can pick up. The most popular breakfast taco picks are:
- Taco Don Chago (refried beans, cheese, avocado, bacon)
- Classic migas
- Taco bueno (egg, potato, chorizo, cheese)
You may also order lunch or dinner taco trays with chicken, steak, el pastor, and chicharron options, along with several specialty tacos. All catering and taco tray orders come with the red, creamy green, tomatillo, and habañero salsas. Call (512)-373-6557 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
121 Pickle Road - Website
7/ Tiny Pies
Tiny Pies makes killer holiday party pie trays, both sweet and savory. If you are a fan of hand-held goodies that are different from the rest, then this option is perfect.
These tiny pies come in two sizes: tiny and teeny tiny. Teeny tinies are two to three bites’ worth, though a dedicated snacker could fit a whole one in their mouth. You can choose your flavors or go with the most popular picks which are:
- Texas Two Step
Tiny Pies can mix sweet and savory pies, and empanadas, for holiday party trays, too. The team can customize hand pies to order, as well.
Besides the pies, there are pie pops and hand pies in adorable shapes for Hannukah, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. You’ll even find Texas-shaped pies.
Tiny Pies also has a box of pie bites to grab and go. This is a box of 12 bite-sized squares, six of the sweet pecan and six of the caramel turtle pecan pie bites. The pecan pie is made from owner Amanda Wadsworth Bates’s great-grandmother’s recipe. I tried them and they are VERY good.
5035 Burnet Road and 2032 S. Lamar Blvd. – Website
8/ Hayley Cakes
Hayleycakes is quickly becoming the Austin go-to for cute, themed cookies. The talented team offers adorable holiday options, traditional or funny. These cookies are super cute and can be ordered in bulk.
The bigger the order, the more lead time you should give.
1700 S. Lamar Blvd. - Website
Make a Statement With Your Holiday Party Trays
I hope you’re sitting down because I’m about to blow your mind. Not only are all of these Austin businesses excellent for holiday party trays, but they are solid choices for parties year-round. Start at the top and work your way through over the next 12 months!
@theAustinot wants to know:
Where’s your go-to for holiday party trays in Austin?