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The best restaurants open on Christmas Day in NYC

At the best restaurants open on Christmas Day, NYC's finest chefs save you from cooking in the kitchen

Fish Cheeks
Photograph: Courtesy Kylie Thompson Fish Cheeks
By Dan Q Dao, Marion Bernstein and Time Out contributors |
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Those looking for hassle-free dining during the most wonderful time of the year can book resverations at one of the best restaurants open on Christmas Day. NYC has plenty of traditions to cross off your holiday to-do list—including visiting the Rockefeller Christmas tree, going broke on bespoke gifts at holiday markets or gathering around the table for a home-cooked meal. And yes, you can really find that last one at these places! From boisterous Indian restaurants to Italian favorites, here are the best NYC restaurants open for Christmas dinner.

RECOMMENDED: See the full guide to Christmas in New York

Restaurants open on Christmas Day

Restaurants, Soul and southern American

Red Rooster Harlem

icon-location-pin Harlem

Red Rooster is Samuelsson at his most populist. While the former Aquavit chef, now a TV star with his own burger chain, mostly sacrifices elegance in favor of mass appeal, you'll still find the occasional haute cuisine flourish.

Tavern on the Green
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Restaurants, American

Tavern on the Green

icon-location-pin Central Park

A few yars back, Jim Caiola and David Salama revamped the landmark as an urban farmhouse decorated with wood-beam ceilings, leather-covered tables and multiple hearths. Mesa Grill alum Katy Sparks does a 180 from the original's Eisenhower-era plates for modern, fire-driven fare: wood-roasted Japanese eggplant with pomegranate and sheep's-milk yogurt, braised farro pasta with blistered sweet peppers, and lamb shank with creamed chards and mint gremolata. The 11,000-square-foot space—nearly half the size of the old Tavern—is enclosed in a glass cube overlooking the park, with a 300-seat couryard and outdoor bar.

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PALM COURT dishes
Photogrpah: Paul Wagtouicz
Restaurants, Tea rooms

The Palm Court

icon-location-pin Midtown West

On December 25, head to the Plaza’s iconic dining room for a taste of its grand Christmas buffet ($190). From 12 to 4:30pm, hotel sophisticates will have the exclusive pleasure of indulging in traditional meats including Cabernet braised beef short ribs and smoked pit ham, alongside festive accompaniments such as Christmas bread pudding and baked spiced-apple parcels.

Kitchen 79
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Jutharat P.
Restaurants, Thai

Kitchen 79

icon-location-pin Jackson Heights

For a nontraditional Chirstmas dinner, opt for southern Thai comfort dishes like po pia thod (fried spring rolls with veegtabes and glass noodles) khao pad sub pa rod (pineapple fried rice with yellow curry poweder) in trendy digs.

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Restaurants, Indian

Tikka Indian Grill

icon-location-pin Williamsburg

Joining a surge of relaxed modern-Indian restaurants, this homestyle Williamsburg kitchen is spearheaded by Bangladesh-born Malika Khan, who taps into the Bengali and Northeast specialties she learned from her mother. For the holiday, Khan will tender a special Christmas platter that comes with samosa chaat, saffron rice, garlic naan and a choice of kurzi lamb chicken tikka or achari mushroom.

Restaurants, American creative

Tuome

icon-location-pin East Village

Thomas Chen, who tended burners at Eleven Madison Park and Commerce after culinary school, opted for a more relaxed, personal New American spot in the East Village, where high-minded tendencies are on display in plates like lobster chow fun and lemongrass-smacked wagyu beef tartare with a three-hour egg yolk.

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Fish Cheeks
Photograph: Courtesy Kylie Thompson
Restaurants, Thai

Fish Cheeks

icon-location-pin Noho

Celebrate the day in Thai-inspired technicolor. From its colorful scalloped tiles to its fiery, hand-crushed red curry paste, this seafood-forward, family-style Thai restaurant newcomer offers everything you’ll need to feel festive this Christmas—including mango sticky rice cocktails.

Industry Kitchen
Photograph: Courtesy Industry Kitchen
Restaurants, Contemporary American

Industry Kitchen

icon-location-pin Financial District

With a seafood restaurant menu showcasing coastal favorites like red pepper aioli-drizzled oven-poached shrimp and ginger-miso marinated salmon, Industry Kitchen proves that Christmas can be had in paradise—especially when said dishes can be paired with craft drafts (Founders All Day IPA, Allagash Saison) and seaside-inspired cocktails (Beekman Slip, Courier Pacific).

Looking for a bar on Christmas Day?

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