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The best of what’s open on Christmas Day in NYC

Don’t stay in on December 25—New York City has plenty going on this Christmas Day, from dinners to theater.

ABC Kitchen
Photograph: Noah Fecks ABC Kitchen
By Alisha Prakash and Melissa Kravitz |
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The holiday spirit (or your relatives) may try to keep you cooped up on Christmas Day, but whether you’re determined to get out of the house or just couldn’t care less about Christmas, make sure to take advantage of the city on December 25. Perhaps the quietest and least crowded day of the year in the city that never takes a break, pop into a late night bar, an ice-skating rink or one of the many restaurants serving Christmas dinner (or regular dinner) on Christmas Day.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Christmas in New York

What’s open on Christmas Day

Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson
Restaurants, Chinese

RedFarm

icon-location-pin West Village

You don’t have to trek to Chinatown to find Asian restaurants open on Christmas Day. At Ed Schoenfeld’s joint, choose from contemporary Chinese plates like the pan-fried beef wonton cakes, Katz’s pastrami egg rolls, Pac-Man dumplings and even some holiday specials. The addition of farmhouse tables and gingham-covered banquettes makes it a rustic affair. 

Photograph: Tom Mason
Bars, Pubs

Union Hall

icon-location-pin Park Slope

Two floors, a couple of bocce ball courts, a fireplace and endless burgers and brews make for one merry evening. An indie pop-rock soundtrack rounds things out nicely, and on the day after Christmas, they’re throwing a pajama party to help you forget all your post-holiday blues. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Gabriele Stabile
Restaurants, Contemporary American

Momofuku Ko

icon-location-pin East Village

David Chang’s new digs are bigger than before—and so is his Christmas meal, an eight-course lunch or dinner ($225). The menu is constantly changing, but expect innovative grub like the rye mille-feuille with béchamel, trout roe and matcha powder. If you’ve been extra nice this year, splurge on the $175 beverage pairing option.

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Bars, Beer bars

Blind Tiger Ale House

icon-location-pin West Village

With 28 rotating taps, casks and plenty of rare bottles, this West Village watering hole does not disappoint beer bellies. Suds like the Allagash Farm to Face, Saison DuPont and Trinity Passion Swing bring on the holiday cheer. But fill up on home cooking before heading out—the kitchen will be closed for Christmas. 

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Restaurants, Japanese

Brushstroke

icon-location-pin Tribeca

Why cook when you can indulge in a multi-course kaiseki tasting menu ($175 per person) at David Bouley’s sophisticated Japanese joint? There’s also a vegetarian option ($125), and both are beautifully plated on handmade Japanese stoneware—either way, there’s no better gift than celebrating Christmas outside the kitchen. 

Music, Music venues

Le Poisson Rouge

icon-location-pin Greenwich Village

Swap Christmas caroling for a Bollywood Disco-fueled evening with tunes from DJs Rekha and Sumie. The British-born Rekha will spin everything from film classics to the latest, fist-pumping electronic hits, and with NYC-based artist Fictive in charge of the set, lighting and video projection, it’s a feast for the ears and eyes. 

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Bill's Bar and Burger
Photograph: Courtesy Bill's Bar and Burger
Restaurants, American

Bill’s Bar and Burger

icon-location-pin Midtown West

If it’s a hamburger-and-beer kind of Christmas, Bill’s has your back from noon to 10pm on Christmas Day. Go for the bacon and cheddar burger with guac—it is a holiday, after all.

Dumpling Galaxy
Photograph: Courtesy Dumpling Galaxy
Restaurants, Chinese

Dumpling Galaxy

icon-location-pin Flushing

Escape to extraterrestrial Chinese food heaven at this dumpling mecca that serves dozens of savory, meaty, vegetarian and even sweet dumplings, all accompanied by an endless pot of tea. This is cozy cold-weather binge-eating at its finest.

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Music

Blue Note

icon-location-pin Greenwich Village

Jazz up your holiday by catching a performance at the lively Greenwich Village musical hotspot. There will be toe-tapping, head-bopping tunes from the Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Chris Botti, who has recorded and performed with the likes of Sting, Yo-Yo Ma, Frank Sinatra, Joni Mitchell and Michael Buble. Night owls can go to get lost in the soulful saxophone sounds from Peter Valera & The Jump Blues Band during a midnight show, too. 

Photograph: Courtesy Michael Berlin
Restaurants, Chinese

Jing Fong

icon-location-pin Chinatown

This place is worth the wait. There’s a giant escalator, an even bigger dining room and a dazzling chandelier, but it’s the super-fresh dim sum served from a roving cart that will seal the deal. Order the shrimp shumai with glass noodles—it will be a much better Christmas gift than the lopsided sweater your great-aunt knit for you. 

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Merry Tuba Christmas
Photograph: Courtesy Rachael Wright
Things to do

The best Christmas caroling events in NYC

A wise elf once said, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loudly for all to hear,” and you should certainly follow his advice during these fun Christmas caroling events in NYC. Some of the best NYC parks and New York attractions are welcoming carolers to partake in festive (and free!) merriment.

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