Following the whirlwind of Christmas events in DC, shopping for the best gifts for everyone on your list and after deciding where to see Christmas lights in DC, you may not feel like preparing an elaborate dinner spread. Enter our list of DC restaurants open on Christmas Day and Eve. You're welcome. These eateries offer special menus to make holidays bright. All that’s left to decide is which one of the 20 best Christmas movies to watch when you get home.
RECOMMENDED: Christmas in Washington, DC guide
DC restaurants open on Christmas Eve
Chef Jeff Tunks serves a New Orleans–themed celebration for Christmas Eve at this Southern-style restaurant with a contemporary twist. The three-course meal begins with an amuse bouche for all, followed by appetizers like turtle soup, lobster etouffee and duck jambalaya. The fun continues with entrees like jumbo lump crab cakes, BBQ shrimp and prime rib—the price varies, depending on your choice. Then end on a sweet note with friandes. 202-408-8848. 4-9pm.
Price: table d'hôte
Now in its sixth year, Fiola’s Feast of the Seven Fishes tasting menuis an elevated take on the Italian tradition of avoiding meat the day before Christmas.Dishes include Alaskan king crab and baked Maine lobster, as well aswhite chocolate panettone bread pudding.202-628-2888. 5–10:30pm.
Price: $150 for four courses plus dessert
Another Feast of the Seven Fishes? Yes, and here’s why you should care:Celebrity chef Mike Isabella casts a countrywide net with a menu that includes West Coast and East Coast oysters, snow crab with spaghetti and uni,and seafood brodo. The feast will be available from December 16 through 24. 202-234-5015.Beginning at 5pm.
Lupo Verde has a little fun with its Christmas Eve feast.Expect seared cod with cauliflower and roasted red pepper, lobster ravioli and grilled baby octopus with mushrooms, and linguine with clams and pecorino romano. The meal ends on a sweet note with traditional panettone e torrone. 202-827-4752. 5-11pm.
Do you hear that? It’s the sound of two fireplaces raging in the dining room at 2941, which is decked in wreaths and twinkling lights this time of year. It’s a fitting setting for chef Bertrand Chemel’s warm, contemporary American dishes, which have earned him a spot on many local “best of” lists. For Christmas Eve,chef Chemel’s three-course prix fixe menu includes bison tartare with fried quail egg and frisee salad, roasted veal with baby turnips and sea bass with sesame Brussels sprouts.Pastry chefs Caitlin Dysart finishes off the meal with a chocolate Christmas ornament—a flourless chocolate cake with dark chocolate mousse and salted caramel cream—for dessert. Vegetarian and kid-friendly menus are also available. 703-270-1500. 4–10pm.
Price: $85, $25 for children’s prix fixe
In addition to a traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes featuring saffron and squid ink tagliatelle and barbecue Norwegian salmon filet with slow-cooked spaghetti squash, chef Todd Gray also caters to vegetarians with a fun Feast of the Seven Vegetables. Veggie lovers can expect caramelized Maui onion soup, creamy orzo risotto and apple cider glazed heirloom cauliflower. 202-331-8118. 5:30-9pm.
Price: $65 for three courses, $78 for five courses
Nestled inside The Hay Adams hotel, The Lafayette serves up a Christmas Eve dinner curated by executive chef Nicholas Legret. The meal kicks off with, among other options, soy cured Atlantic salmon and morel mushroom cream veloute before moving on to entrée options such as Colorado rack of lamb and seared Nantucket baby scallops. For dessert, look forward to gingerbread Bundt cake with Chantilly cream and nutmeg or Brandy Alexander cheesecake bursting with berries and Italian meringue. 202-638-6600. 5:30-10pm.
Price: $95 four three courses, $45 for children 4-12
DC restaurants open on Christmas Day
Have a farm-to-fork Christmas at this local culinary stalwart.
It’s all in the details at Blue Duck Tavern, where executive chef Franck Loquet and chef de cuisine Brad Deboy prepare an à la carte spread. Things get creative with Coca Cola–braised beef brisket, while shrimp comes on a bed of grits mixed with tasso ham and spinach. 202-419-6755. 11:30am–9pm.
Price: $100, $45 for children under 12
Christmas dinner goes upscale at the restaurant within the Four Seasons.
We don’t want to ruin the surprise, but there will be booze and meat at Bourbon Steak. Hail a Manhattan from the roving bourbon cart, or opt for a 22-ounce Porterhouse. Both will be available on Christmas Day, as well as specials like lobster bisque, heirloom rye gnocchi with braised lamb leg, and dorade with bouillabaisse. You can also order from the full regular menu. 202-944-2026. 6-10:30pm.
Price: à la carte
Take the family for a few spins around the ice skating rink after your meal.
Within this booming waterside restaurant, you’ll find a sushi counter, an in-house bakery, a spacious dining room and a full bar. Translation: diverse options like meatball pizza, shrimp scampi, a vegetarian Reuben and scallop ceviche. Though the restaurant won’t offer a holiday-specific menu, you can’t beat views of the rink right out front. 202-298-8783. Noon–8pm.
Price: à la carte
This Dupont Circle favorite offers its regular menu plus a few Christmas treats.
Since 1987, La Tomate has drawn regulars for its no-nonsense Italian entrees such as tuna with fried capers, veal Milanese and a dish simply called “comfort pasta.” (We’ll take two, please.) You’ll find these as well as a handful of one-night-only Christmas specials. Don’t forget the mulled wine. 202-667-5505. 4–10pm.
Price: à la carte
This cool, 1920s-inspired Dupont hang has long drawn loyal fans for its stellar cocktails and clean Italian cooking.For Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the restaurant celebrates with a decadent five-course Feast of the Seven Fishes. Look forward to cavatelli with mussels and sea urchin cream, baccala ravioli with salsa rossa and parsley butter, and diver scallops with farro risotto and golden raisins. 202-956-6650. 5:30–10pm.
Price: $65; optional wine pairing $35