12 restaurants serving holiday meals on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day

Holiday table

Christmas is almost here and if you’ve reached maximum capacity on your stress meter, you’re not alone. With shopping, baking, wrapping and the countless Christmas events happening, it’s not a crime to want to skip making a huge holiday meal for everyone.

Many restaurants will stay open for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for people looking to avoid the hassle of hours of prepping and cooking in a crowded kitchen. If you’re ready to give yourself the gift of enjoying a Christmas lunch or dinner instead of worrying about overcooking the turkey, then you’ll want to check out one of these popular restaurants in your area to have your festive feast.

Note: You will want to call your local restaurant to confirm open hours during the holidays and/or to see if reservations are necessary.



Most Applebees’ locations are open on Christmas Eve with a reduced hours schedule. Some even stay open on Christmas Day, but that is an individual restaurant decision, so call ahead before making Christmas dinner plans.


Bring the family together for a Japanese-style meal courtesy of Benihana. According to the restaurant’s official Facebook page, the restaurant will be open both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. You can either pick up a pre-ordered meal or go to the restaurant for a nice sit-down experience.

Boston Market

Looking for comfort food for your Christmas meal? Boston Market might just be the place for you and the family this year. You can pre-order a holiday meal to pick up and select locations will have in-person dining available with limited hours on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Check the official website for more details.

Buca Di Beppo

What better way to enjoy a Christmas feast than with a family-style Italian dinner? Buca Di Beppo offers online ordering for pick-up orders to keep you out of the kitchen on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Visit the official website for location hours and menu options.


Cracker Barrel

If you’re out doing some last-minute shopping on Christmas Eve, you can grab a meal at Cracker Barrel until 2 p.m. Or, you order Christmas Day lunch or dinner ahead of time on the Cracker Barrel website to pick up, bring home and simply heat up when you’re ready to indulge in some sugar-cured ham, prime rib and other options. These meals go from oven to table in just three hours, according to the company’s website.

Cracker Barrel


Even Santa Claus knows Denny’s is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Remember that scene in the popular Christmas movie “The Santa Clause” with Tim Allen? His character, Scott Calvin, brings his young son to Denny’s late on Christmas Eve after burning the turkey.

Well, Denny’s shared a tweet a few years ago reminding everyone that they are open and waiting to serve on the holidays.


The iconic pancake place will have locations open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but you’ll want to check the official website to get the details. The restaurant has a special holiday menu with fun pancake platters and other savory dishes to celebrate the special time of year.

You can also choose the IHOP Holiday Celebrations Family Feast, which comes with a variety of breakfast favorites including pancakes (with DIY decorations), bacon or sausage and hash browns.

Kona Grill

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Kona Grill restaurants around the country will have dine-in and takeout specials, a Christmas Day brunch, and a children’s meal special for the holiday. Menu options include lobster, steak, ham, turkey and Prime Rib, just for starters.

Head over to the Kona Grill website to make your meal reservation or order a takeout meal to enjoy at home on Christmas.

Romano’s Macaroni Grill

Romano’s Macaroni Grill will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve and then from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Christmas Day.

“Create a day full of memories and celebrate the holidays with Macaroni Grill. We’ll be serving our menu full of Italian classics, perfect for the season. Or order your holiday feast for takeout or delivery to celebrate at your house,” according to the official website, which you can visit to make your reservations now.


Directly from the Shoney’s website, we found an all-you-can-eat buffet holiday meal option!

“Starting at 11 a.m. on Christmas Day, you and your family can enjoy all your holiday favorites from our All You Care to Eat Freshly Prepared Food Bar. We’re talking slow-roasted turkey, tender sliced ham, roast beef with mushrooms and gravy, and all your favorite sides. Available for Dine-In or To-Go.”

Panda Express

Ok, so it might be cliché to get Chinese food for Christmas, but we love a fun tradition! Most Panda Express locations will be open for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but you’ll need to confirm hours at your favorite location on the Panda Express website.

Panda Express

Ruth’s Chris Steak House

“Join us for an indulgent holiday feast or elevate at-home gatherings with a variety of seasonal options to go,” the restaurant posted on its website.

Make your reservation online for a sit-down meal at your favorite location or browse the takeout options with meals that serve up to four people, along with extra sides to order if you’d like. Take-out meals include a salad, roast beef tenderloin, garlic mashed potatoes, creamed spinach and chocolate sin cakes.

Will you be dining out or eating in this holiday season?

Food, Holiday & Seasonal

About the Author
Marie Rossiter
Marie is a freelance writer and content creator with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. She lives in southwest Ohio with her husband and is almost a full-fledged empty nest mom of two daughters. She loves music, reading, word games, and Walt Disney World. Visit Scripps News to see more of Marie's work.

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