Fill up on fine foods, not the humdrum homemade stuff.
Smith & Wollensky is offering this seasonal starter, Pan Seared Foie Gras.
Star Fish offers up oysters many different ways: your oysters hot-smoked, wood-grilled or even BBQ pan-fried.
Roka Akor offers a variety of fresh sashimi.
B&B Butchers is featuring holiday classic beef Wellington on its Christmas takeout menu.
La Table plays with color in its salmon presentation.
Holiday meals get a bad rap — a well-earned one. They’re high in calories and get you feeling low, too afraid to record your calorie count in your fitness app. If you really want turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pie, they’re well worth it.
But if you fall in that camp, are you sure you aren’t just going through the motions? If you’re going to go big this holiday season, you should at least enjoy it.
When it comes to guilty pleasures, home cooking doesn’t stand a chance against a night out on the town.
Say sayonara to the standard fare and go eat sushi this Christmas Eve. Say farewell to staples like stuffing and head on over to a steakhouse this Christmas Day. The options for holiday meals in Houston will please everyone. There are more restaurants open on Christmas Eve and even Christmas Day than ever. You can try out something seasonal with a prix fixe menu, or go for your favorites.
PaperCity has assembled a handy appendix of restaurants open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. This the ultimate Houston Christmas dining guide. The Christmas restaurants are arranged by category in case you’re craving a particular cuisine. After all, not everyone is eager for grandma’s casserole.
Christmas Eve Restaurants
1. Bosscat Kitchen & Libations
This Christmas Eve, eat brunch like a boss. Bosscat Kitchen & Libations is open for the mid-morning meal from 11 am to 3 pm. If you want a holiday party on your plate, go for the color-crusted Fruity Pebbles French Toast. Brunch cocktails can keep you toasty throughout — add a carafe of mimosas or even a Bloody Mary for some extra holiday cheer.
2. CRU Wine Bar
This holiday, join the CRU. Sip on a signature mimosa and enjoy Sunday Brunch on Christmas Eve from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm. If you’re looking for a meal later in the day, take part in the three-course prix fixe menu, regular menu, or a la carte meal that evening. For $40, guests can enjoy dishes like ahi tartare, herb crusted branzino, and eggnog crème brulee until 10 pm.
3. Benjy’s in the Village
Have yourself a merry little Christmas Eve. The Rice Village Benjy’s serving you brunch from 10 am to 4 pm and dinner from 5 to 10 pm. You can’t beat their small plates. Choose several and make them a meal, or order them as starters. They’re known for their crispy Brussel sprouts.
4. Benjy’s on Washington
The Upper Washington joint will be seating brunch til 3 pm on Christmas Eve. Get your New Year’s Resolution started early with the healthy Protein Power Bowl. Or, you know, indulge for the holidays with the “KFC” Korean Fried Chicken.
5. Rainbow Lodge
Don’t stick to just red and green this Christmas season. Go for the whole rainbow on Christmas Eve. Rainbow Lodge will serve its brunch menu from 10:30 am to 2 pm and its regular dinner menu from 5 to 9 pm. Rainbow Lodge is known for their wild game. Sample it with the “Taste of the Wild” starter medley.
6. Hotel ZaZa
5701 South Main
Hotel ZaZa restaurants The Tipping Point and Monarch are embracing the holiday season with Christmas Eve and Christmas Day meals. Both restaurants will serve their full menus on Christmas Eve, with hours extended to 10 pm. Make the most of the Monarch view by sitting out on the lit patio. Start things off with housemade pimento cheese before tucking in for 48-hour sous vide short rib.
7. King’s BierHaus
1329 East Broadway, Pearland
Keep your eyes open — you never know what Christmas Eve events might pop up. This year, King’s BierHaus is teaming up with barbecue powerhouse Killen’s for a Kolache Pop Up Shop. King’s x Killen has got you covered from savory to sweet from 9 am to 12 pm. There’s the old-school cheese with smoked polish, and there’s also surprising ones like The Butcher (chopped sirloin marinated in lager).
Don’t forget sweat creamed cheese and strawberries to finish the afternoon off.
8. FM Kitchen & Bar
Less FML, more OMG. FM Kitchen & Bar’s Chef Ryan Hildebrand offers a special Christmas Eve Brunch menu all day, starting at 11 am. Get your fill of Steak and Ale soup, Egg Nog Pancakes, Christmas Pork Belly & Eggs, Bagel and Lox, and FM Wellington. Satisfy your sweet tooth with the gastropub’s Snickerdoodle Shake.
9. Ouisie’s Table
3939 San Felipe
Ouisie’s Table is livening up Christmas Eve with an a la carte dinner. Available from 5 to 10 pm, dinner dishes like shrimp and cheese grits and crispy Gulf oysters pay homage to the restaurant’s Louisiana influences. Fitting festive finds like braised osso bucco and lamb chops Provencal round out the menu.
The third annual Christmas Eve Dinner at Underbelly is taking its cues from the Griswolds with a Christmas Vacation Feast. The “holiday meal that’s fit for the newest member of the Jelly of the Month club” has two seatings, 1 and 5 pm, and costs $75 for adults and $35 for children, plus tax and gratuity. Think turkey, glass after glass of eggnog, and the proverbial Jello mold.
11. Backstreet Café
1103 S. Shepherd
Backstreet’s bringing back its Christmas Eve Dinner. The 5 to 9 pm dinner kicks off with complimentary eggnog and is set at $52 per person, plus tax and gratuity.
Appetizers will include items like baked oysters with parmesan breadcrumbs, and jalapeno sausage-stuffed quail. Dinner options run the gamut from braised lamb shank to grilled beer tenderloin and pan-seared grouper. Specialty ice creams will add an edge to classic dessert — a Golden Delicious apple tart with bourbon maple ice cream, or a sticky English pudding with salted caramel ice cream.
12. Kenny & Ziggy’s
2327 Post Oak
The New York delicatessen is open on Christmas Eve until 8 p.m. Its regular menu of whopping sandwiches, European entrees, and salads will be available, with a notable addition. The “It’s the Great Holiday Sandwich, Charlie Brown” Sammy is back. The prodigious sandwich makes its return with fresh roasted turkey, sage and chestnut stuffing, and cranberry sauce between two pieces of grilled challah bread. Come and grab it through the end of December.
13. Smith & Wollensky
Stake out the Highland Village Steakhouse’s winter menu. It’s available on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. If you’re looking for a holiday happy hour spot, the steakhouse has got you covered. They’ve got a range of sliders: angry shrimp and pulled pork, to name a few.
If you’re going for a full-fledged meal, kick it off with the Shellfish Tower before the main course. Smith & Wollensky is preparing two “Steak for Two” options, Chateaubriand and Porterhouse, sliced and served with red-wine demi-glace. Discounted seasonal wine selections dubbed Cellar Steals complement the meal.
4. B&B Butchers
B&B Butchers is open on Christmas Eve? Cut it out! Regular lunch and dinner menus are available this Sunday. Come in anytime from 11 am to 9 pm. Whichever meal you choose, start it off with chef Tommy’s Bacon with roquefort blue cheese and truffle infused honey. Merry music will set the stage for your supper with a one-hour live caroling performance starting at 8 pm.
Take your tidings and add some take-out on Christmas Day. B&B is preparing special to-go orders with fare like Beef Wellington and truffled mac & cheese. Orders must be placed a full 24 hours in advance, except for the always-available filet mignon. They’re taking the final orders by 6 pm on December 23 for a December 24 pick up between 10 am and 5 pm.
Pick up B&B’s holiday gifts while you’re there. Get Chef Tommy’s bacon aKit or German Steel Steak Knives for the meat-lover in your life.
15. Chama Gaúcha Brazilian Steakhouse
Brazilian steakhouse Chama Gaúcha will be open from 12 to 9 pm. Enjoy its classic rodizio menu for $52.50. It’s in the style of Fogo de Chao, with a two-sided card. Steak will be served hot by a trained Brazilian chef, or “gaucho” from a skewer. They’ll slice, you’ll grab with tongs.
16. Brenner’s Steakhouse on the Bayou
Take a break from tinsel and Christmas lights and give yourself a more scenic view. Head to Brenner’s for a Christmas Eve meal along the bayou. The regular menu will be served from 11 am to 9 pm. Eat filet mignon and New York Strip to your heart’s content, and don’t forget about classics like crunchy German potatoes and apple streusel.
17. Steak 48
4444 Westheimer Road
Here’s a primer on where to get prime cuts. Steak 48 will be open on Christmas Eve, serving its regular menu. Enjoy dishes like the Domestic Wagyu NY Strip, Bone-in KC Strip, or Bone-in Short Rib.
18. Morton’s The Steakhouse
5000 Westheimer; 1001 McKinney
Come for the steak, stay for “Partridge in a Pear Tree,” Morton’s crafty holiday cocktail. Sip on the vodka and Prosecco-based beverage and savor the specialty Cote de Boeuf. The 36-ounce bone-in USDA Prime Ribeye is available through January 1. Or go surf and turk with a Steak & Lobster special. You can also eat off the regular menu. The steakhouse is open between 4 and 9 pm.
19. Pappas Bros. Steakhouse
1200 McKinney; 5839 Westheimer
Pop on over to Pappas Bros. for Christmas Eve dinner. The Downtown and Galleria locations will both serve their regular dinner menu from 5 to 9 pm. Whet your appetite with apps like lobster deviled eggs and smoked salmon rillettes, but save room for the dry-aged meats.
Hugo Ortega’s Xochi will be open for Cena de Noche Buena, or Christmas Eve Dinner, from 5 to 9 pm. The a la carte Oaxacan menu will be accompanied by live music from Media Luna. Get in the celebratory spirit with some Mexican craft beers, tequilas, and mezcals.
After driving through River Oaks to check out the Christmas lights, swing by Picos’ tamale stand at the corner of Richmond and Kirby. It’s open on Christmas Eve from 11 am through 7 pm. You can even call ahead to pre-order and pick up freshly made orders to unwrap on Christmas Day after you unwrap your presents.
Viento provides the live soundtrack to Hugo’s Buffet de Noche Buena, or Christmas Eve Buffet. The cost is $45 for adults and $15 for children, not including beverages, tax, and gratuity.
2200 Post Oak
Satisfy your coastal Mexican cravings at Caracol from 11 am to 9 pm. The world is your oyster, and you can have it on the half shell or wood-roasted. Enjoy both regular lunch and dinner menus.
24. The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation
Want some sizzle with your holiday spirit? Head over to the Original Ninfa’s on Navigation, the one that started it all. The restaurant’s open for business from 11 am to 8 pm on Christmas Eve, and we know you’re open to fajitas. And who can say no to some queso and guac?
25. Artisans Restaurant
In lieu of staying in, head out to eat on Christmas Eve. Downtown’s fine French restaurant Artisans is gifting diners with Christmas Eve hours. From 5 to 9 pm, a four-course menu is available for $80 per person. Standouts include foie gras and duck confit, poached lobster tail, and Buche de Noel, a classic dark chocolate Christmas log.
The French café nestled in the courtyard of River Oaks District will be open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from 11 am to 10 pm. On Christmas Eve, a special dinner menu will feature Australian rack of lamb, diver scallops and sweet breads, lobster tail tournedos and dover sole. Guests can finish it off with a praline chocolate cake a la mode. Bon appetit.
27. Cafe Azur
It’s a fait accompli — you’ve decided to dine at Cafe Azur on Christmas Eve. The cafe brings the tastes of the South of France to your table with escargot, bouillabaisse, ratatouille, and steak frites. Enjoy from 11 am to 9 pm.
28. Bistro Provence
Stay au courant with Bistro Provence’s holiday specials. The French bistro is putting on a special Christmas Eve dinner. French classics like foie gras and duck breast a’lorange make the menu. Dinner is $65 per person, plus tax and gratuity, with a $30 paypal deposit required. There are a couple of two-hour seatings, with reservations for the first from 6 to 6:30 pm and the second from 8 to 8:30 pm.
29. Etoile Cuisine et Bar
1101-11 Uptown Park
Etoile is serving the crème de la crème with its prix fixe Christmas Eve menu from 5 to 10 pm. Enjoy entrees like Maine diver scallops, beef tenderloin and braised short rib, or winter vegetable risotto. Buche de Noel gets an accent of pistachio ice cream.
30. La Table
1800 Post Oak
La Table presents a full a la carte menu and a special three-course menu on Christmas Eve, starting at 5 pm. Special entrées include the signature heritage chicken for two, and wild-caught striped bass topped with Black Royal Siberian Ossetra caviar with vegetables and a potato puree. C’est magnifique.
31. Kata Robata
Come get your sushi and small plates before sneaking Santa’s gifts under the tree. Kata Robata will have its regular menu and a special happy hour menu from 12 to 5 pm on Christmas Eve. Spice things up with some hot signature rolls, like Tropical Spicy Tuna or Texas Hamachi.
32. Roka Akor
O come all ye hungry. Roka Akor is unveiling two seasonal menus for its inaugural holiday season in Houston. The first menu makes its debut on Christmas Eve. The $95 five-course tasting menu has hits like Robata Grilled Pork Belly with Tarragon Miso and Japanese Mushroom Rice Hot Pot with Shaved Black Truffle.
The Japanese pub and restaurant will be open from 11 am to 6 pm serving its full menu. Ramen’s a feel-good classic, but poke is all the rage. Try tuna or salmon, or go tropical with the Hawaiian Poke Bowl. Poke pairs well with sake, and Izakaya offers whole sake flights in case you can’t make up your mind.
34. Goode Company Barbeque
5109 Kirby, 8865 Six Pines, 8911 Katy Freeway, 20102 Northwest Freeway
Scoot on over to any of Goode Company Barebeque locations for a real pick-me-up. You can pick up smoked whole turkeys (preorder), Goode Company Chocolate Pies, and Brazos Bottoms Pecan Pies at the annual drive-thru booths. They’ll be open the 23rd and Christmas Eve from 8 am to 5 pm.
35. Quattro at Four Seasons Hotel Houston
There may be four seasons, but when it comes to hearty meals, winter is the best. Wine and dine your family at Quattro this Christmas Eve. From 6 to 10 pm, a special holiday menu will be served, along with buffet station options and wine pairing selections. Dinner is $68 per person, with an extra $40 per person with the optional wine pairing.
36. D’Amico’s Italian Market Café
Christmas Eve dinner at D’Amico’s? That’s amore. The Italian eatery will be open will be serving its a la carte menu on Christmas Eve. Gnocchi’s a no-brainer, and the tomato and goat cheese bruschetta’s a classic.
Don’t pass on this pasta. Prego will be open from 11 am to 11 pm. The regular menu will be served, featuring pastas like the sweet, butternut squash Ravioli di Zucca or the Spaghetti con Polpette, a meat lover’s dish with housemade veal and beef meatballs, pancetta, and wagyu beef in a tomato sauce.
38. Radio Milano
Pur CityCentre front and center for your Christmas Eve brunch. Radio Milano, located in Hotel Sorella, will have a three-course prix fixe brunch with offerings like crab cakes benedict from 10 am to 3 pm. Brunch is $30 per adult and $15 per child.
39. Hotel Granduca
1080 Uptown Park
Bring on the buffet. For $75 per adult and $25 per child, you can enjoy nearly 10 fully stocked buffet stations. Fill up on the smoked seafood station with items like Hickory Smoked Black Cod and Mesquite Smoked Hot Sturgeon. Want something on the sweeter wide for breakfast? Try out ricotta cheese blintzes or tiramisu French toast.
Ristorante Cavour at the hotel will also be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Christmas Eve.
40. Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen
Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen is opening its doors on Christmas Eve for its regular Sunday Brunch menu, 10 am to 3 pm, and its regular dinner menu, 3 to 8 pm. Enjoy some NOLA-inspoired seafood and Italian flavors this season. Get things going with $1 oysters, and keep them going with a frozen Hurricane.
41. The Oceanaire Seafood Room
Seafood makes for a great holiday meal. See for yourself at The Oceanaire Seafood Room from 1 to 9 pm on Christmas Eve. The regular menus will be available. Enjoy oysters from all Massachusetts to Prince Edward Island. You can go for a casual lunch with a lobster grilled cheese and crabcake sliders, or fresh for dinner with Nantucket Bay Scallops Parpardelle.
42. Star Fish
Follow your guiding star to this popular seafood spot in the Heights. Dig into their regular menu—get your oysters hot-smoked, wood-grilled or even BBQ pan-fried. Go ahead, indulge in some fresh fish for the halibut.
Modern Mediterranean gets a holiday treatment with a four-course Christmas Eve dinner. Chef Jose Hernandez of Lucienne, located in Hotel Alessandra, has developed a four-course dinner with highlights like roasted pear salad, foie gras, and butter poached lobster. Dinner is available from 5:30 to 10 pm and is set at $80 per person, or $105 if you choose the wine pairing option.
Take a tour of Eastern Europe without ever leaving Houston. Charivari is open on Christmas Eve from 4 to 9 pm. Nosh on foods from various nationalities: “Budapest style” foie gras, Transylvanian Charcuterie Delight, Berkshire Pork Schnitzel, “Vienna style.”
45. Kiran’s Restaurant
Joy to the world and Indian fusion cuisine. Kiran’s is open during its regular hours for Christmas Eve, 11 am to 2 pm, and 5 to 10 pm. The regular menu will be available, and the chef is cooking up some ideas for special courses.
Christmas Day Restaurants
1. Hotel ZaZa
5701 South Main
On Christmas Day, The Tipping Point and Monarch are serving up some holiday faves and a custom menu designed by Hotel ZaZa’s corporate executive chef Dan Landsberg. It covers everything from dinner to signature cocktails.
The special menu adds a Texas twist to some classics, like Broken Arrow Ranch Roasted Quail and Herb Roasted Prime Rib. The dessert menu’s specialties include rum pecan pie and spiced pumpkin hazelnut cheesecake. For cocktails, sommelier Christopher Fleishman has dreamed up the “Some Like It Hot” — Jameson Irish Whiskey, apple brandy and some other spirits — and “Almond Joy” — Bailey’s Irish Cream and Stolichnaya Vanilla Vodka. Drink up!
2. Smith & Wollensky
The Highland Village steakhouse is open on Christmas Day as well as Christmas Eve. If you’re looking for a holiday happy hour spot, this restaurant has you covered. They’ve got a range of sliders: angry shrimp and pulled pork, to name a few.
If you’re going for a full-fledged meal, kick it off with the Shellfish Tower before the main course. Smith & Wollensky is preparing two “Steak for Two” options, Chateaubriand and Porterhouse, sliced and served with red-wine demi-glace. Seasonal wine selections dubbed Cellar Steals complement the meal.
3. Brenner’s Steakhouse on the Bayou
Make the most of Christmas Day and head to Brenner’s any time from 11 am to 7 pm. Take your pick of angus or Akuashi, beef and wash it down with a cocktail or craft beer from Blue Bar.
4. Morton’s The Steakhouse
5000 Westheimer; 1001 McKinney
Find the same festive, meat-centric meals as the day before. Lunch and dinner are served from 2 to 9 pm on Christmas Day.
The French café is open on Christmas Day. A special dinner menu will feature Australian rack of lamb, diver scallops and sweet breads, lobster tail tournedos and dover sole. Diners can finish it off with a praline chocolate cake a la mode. Bon appetit. Come in from 11 am to 10 pm.
Lucienne keeps your party going with a Christmas Day brunch starting at 11 am. Kids eat a la carte. Brunch is $55, plus tax and gratuity, for everyone else. Get things started with a crab cake appetizer before moving onto entrees such as beef Wellington or oven roasted chicken. Children can enjoy a holiday inspired turkey dish with a cranberry cake, or go for tried-and-true spaghetti.
7. Kiran’s Restaurant
Open up those presents and bring your family to an Indian brunch buffet on Christmas Day. Plan on one of three seatings: 11 am, 1:30 pm, or 3:30 pm. The restaurant plans to stay open until about 6 or 7 pm.
Get some seasonal specialties at Charivari from 11 am to 8 pm Christmas Day. Seasonal specialties include the wild boar, elk burger and venison “baden-baden.”
9. Quattro at Four Seasons Hotel Houston
Four reasons to feast on Quattro’s Christmas Day Brunch: carved beef, sushi, raw bar, and charcuterie. Not to mention lamb, fish, and an entire buffet of desserts. Brunch runs from 10 am to 3:30 pm. The meal is $105 for adults, $49 for kids ages 6 to 12, and complimentary for children 5 and under.
Quattro is also repeating its Christmas Eve Dinner on Christmas night.
10. Radio Milano,
Christmas Day means Radio Milano’s Christmas Brunch, round two. Crab cakes benedict, dulce de leche crepes, and more.
11. Hotel Granduca
1080 Uptown Park
12 days of Christmas, nearly 10 buffet stations. Take in an iced ocean raw bar, chef’s carving stations, and more. Hotel Granduca doubles up on holiday brunch, repeating Christmas Eve’s brunch menu.
12. The Oceanaire Seafood Room
From 1 to 8 pm, you can enjoy the Oceanaire’s daily menu in The Galleria. Mahi Mahi, jumbo scallops, king salmon ahoy!