Where can you dine on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the Boston area?
There are a few great choices! But, if you're planning to dine at one of Boston's fine restaurants over the holidays, make a reservation! More than ever, family and friends are gathering in area restaurants on holidays like this, which means spots at your favorites may be gone if you wait too long.
Don't be surprised if a deposit is required to hold your reservation or if there are special menus and seatings for these special holiday meals. Unfortunately, restaurants have been forced to do this because of people who make multiple reservations, so they can decide at the last minute where to go. This leaves other diners without choices and the restaurants with empty tables.
Here is our resource page on openings and closings, other than dining, at Christmas.
What's Open on Christmas Eve?
There are more choices on Christmas Eve than on Christmas Day. Some of our favorite, special places have wonderful holiday meals planned for those who reserve for the 24th.
- The legendary team from L'Espalier normally offers a prix fixe Christmas Eve menu.
- La Morra in Brookline is an ideal spot to meet friends or family from that side of the Boston area. They are offering family style dining, "sharing traditional dishes of Piedmonte."
- Meritage at the Boston Harbor Hotel has a four course prixe fixe menu set for the 24th.
- Petit Robert Bistro locations will be open with regular meals and specials. We like the one on Columbus Ave in the South End.
- Here is the Christmas Eve list from Boston Chefs. Be sure to check back, because this list may grow.
- Here is the Christmas Eve List from Open Table. Be sure to check back, because this list may grow.
At the early date of this posting, some places have not announced their traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes events for Chistmas Eve. Check back or follow us on Twitter for updates on this fun, holiday dining option.
- Coppa Enoteca is one of our favorites and is offering their version of this tradition.
- Dante in Cambridge will present Chef Dante de Magistris' version of the feast with other menu items available.
- Grotto was one of the first to present this holiday tradition. Marliave, Grotto's sibling downtown will also hold in the festive fish feast. Kitchen and will be open offering the regular menu with a seafood theme for those who prefer an à la carte choice.
- Here is a great article from Edible Boston on this traditional meal.
What Boston Area Restaurants Are Open on Christmas?
Hotel restaurants, since they must serve the hotel's guests, are normally open on holidays.
In Boston, hotel restaurants open both the 24th and 25th include some excellent choices:
- Bar Boulud at the Mandarin Hotel
- The Bristol Lounge at the Four Seasons Hotel
- Meritage at the Boston Harbor Hotel
- Brasserie JO at the Colonnade Hotel
Other places open on holidays would include chain restaurants and some places in Chinatown. We once asked a longtime Boston cabbie where we could get something we needed on Christmas, and he said Chinatown was the place to go.
Boston Restaurants Not Open on Christmas Day (2014) is a Trip Advisor conversation started by a visitor from London who was trying to find a top Boston restaurant to enjoy on Christmas Day and was surprised to find so many choices closed.
Eater Boston's Christmas Map (Updated 12/16/2013)
Christmas Day Brunch (2012)
Open on Cape Cod on Christmas Day (just in case you're going there) (2012)
Xmas Lunch in Boston (2012)
But, you can also input information on the reservation you want on Open Table and come up with a list of restaurants open at that hour. Change the hour and the list will change and some are not on the featured lists. It's a good place to start.
From Last Year: Eater Boston has a list of What's Open in Boston Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We'll update with the new one when it's available.
They have many good choices to add to your holiday options. We'd particularly like to recommend:
Island Creek Oyster Bar for Christmas Eve. It's one of our favorite places, and I can just imagine what a happy scene it will be on that evening.
Eastern Standard: They will normally open Christmas Day for breakfast and then for a special 3-course prix fixe meal.
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Words: Penny & Ed Cherubino
Photo: from iStockphoto.com