Best restaurants open on Christmas

December 22, 2014, 4:15 PM UTC
Courtesy of Peninsula Grill

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By Kate Parham Kordsmeier, Travel + Leisure

Twenty-two million turkeys appear on Christmas tables every year, washed down by 122 pounds of eggnog and made possible by umpteen hours in the kitchen. No doubt about it, hosting Christmas dinner is a lot of work.

Let’s be honest: sometimes the reality of hosting a festive feast is enough to turn the cheeriest person into a Grinch. If your favorite thing to make for dinner is reservations, we’ve got you—and your loved ones—covered this holiday.

There are dozens of restaurants just waiting to host you for a meaningful meal on Christmas Day—no preheating or dish duty required (though, in the spirit of the season, consider leaving a generous tip for those who are working).

For a truly one-of-a-kind Christmas away from home, snag a seat on the open sleigh ride that brings diners through the Colorado woods to Uley’s Cabin for an intimate, mountain-inspired feast including venison chop and roasted chestnut soup. Or get dolled up in your Sunday best for a spread of figgy pudding beignets and eggnog crème brûlée at the Grille at Morrison House in Alexandria, VA.

Chef Tim Graham’s Chicago hot spot Travelle puts a more playful spin on the season, offering a choice of entrées dubbed “Naughty” or “Nice”—served, we hope, without judgment.

Going out for Chinese food is its own sort of Christmas tradition, and one of the finest places to partake is at San Francisco’s Yank Sing, where roast beef is swapped for Shanghai dumplings and other dim sum.

In short, whatever you’re craving at Christmas, one of these restaurants will satisfy.

The Grille at Morrison House, Alexandria, VA

A snowball’s throw from the Capitol building, The Grille serves a three-course Christmas lunch featuring a parade of revamped classics—figgy pudding beignets, reindeer carpaccio, eggnog crème brûlée—along with complimentary champagne. The hotel picks a special color theme each holiday season (purple for 2014) and sets up Christmas trees in the dining room, wraps the banisters with pine garlands, and festoons the fireplace with winter florals. $50 per person.

The Ice Bar at Uley’s Cabin, Crested Butte, CO

You’ll truly be dashing through the snow on a sleigh to reach this 200-year-old miner’s cabin in the woods, where chef Chris Schlaudecker prepares an intimate five-course, mountain-inspired dinner of Colorado venison chop, roasted chestnut soup with black-eyed peas, and Scottish toffee cake with pecan mascarpone. You'll want to linger by the roaring fire inside the cabin. $120 per person.

Blaue Gans, New York City

Michelin-starred chef Kurt Gutenbrunner’s three-course menu brings the tastes of Bavaria to downtown Manhattan, beginning with the traditional roasted Christmas goose. Wiener schnitzel, an array of sausages, caviar, and apple strudel round out the feast. Partake in the Austrian custom of hanging an ornament on the Christmas tree, which anchors the dining room at Blaue Gans, an invitingly laid-back space with oversize mirrors and vintage film posters. $90 per person.

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