10 Best NYC Restaurants for Christmas Dinner 2013

The dining area at Balthazar packed with families and couples eating Christmas dinner in NYC

One of NYC's great holiday season traditions is to spend Christmas night eating Chinese food and going to a movie. Sure, keepers of the Chinese-and-a-movie flame tend to be those for whom December 25th is just another day, but trust me, even if you do celebrate Christmas proper, this can be wonderfully low-maintenance, even family-friendly option after so many days and nights of parties and presents. There are also several other very appealing (and fancy!) NYC restaurants serving Christmas Eve/Day menus. In the last year there have been a handful of new and delicious eateries that have opened in Manhattan – and we've updated our guide with a fresh batch in our Best NYC Restaurants for Holiday Dining 2014

Here, then, are a few suggestions….

The seating area of The Mark is packed with New Yorkers enjoying their Christmas dinner

NYC Restaurants Open and Serving Christmas Dinner

For those of you who want to eat something more Christmas-y and festive, so that you don't have to cook or clean up, well, there are plenty of first-rate NYC restaurants serving special dinner menus, including:

  • Balthazar, which always feels like a party so I imagine Christmas dinner will be especially warm and convivial at Keith McNally's iconic Soho bistro. The menu is the same as any other day (which is good news), but with one key Christmas addition: Prime Rib au jus served with truffle mashed potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts and baby carrots.
  • Also downtown, at the great Mas (Farmhouse) Chef Galen Zamarra is preparing a pair of spectacular-sounding prix-fixe dinners on both Christmas Eve and Christmas day.     
  • The acclaimed Spanish Bistro Manzanilla on Park Avenue South. Their meal starts with tapas for the table, then on to seafood, then meat, then sweets like Leche Frita.
  • Another great option would be Jean George's Upper East Side hotel spot The Mark, serving four courses for $108- featuring lobster AND beef tenderloin! 
  • Michael White (chef of recently opened The Butterfly) will be serving up an Italian Christmas feast at Ai Fiori, highlighted by his famous pasta dishes. 
  • Anthony Bourdain's always-a-blast Les Halles has several Christmas specials, including Pheasant Confit and a massive Buffalo Ribeye;
  • If it's comfort food you crave, the super-popular The Smith at Lincoln Center (which we thoroughly enjoyed on our visit back when it first opened) will be open for Christmas and likely packed with revelers.          

The exterior of Les Halles decked out and open for serving Christmas dinner in 2013

Chinese Food on Christmas in NYC

As far as NYC Chinese food on Christmas goes, most everywhere you enjoy all throughout the year stays open right through the holiday. The venerable Shun Lee West, for example, said that they served more than 1,500 people last Christmas, and are certainly hoping to match that this year. Even some non-Chinese places are jumping on the bandwagon, such as personal favorite Fatty Crab on Hudson Street, which will 86 its usual Malaysian fare for the night and bring its rich flavor and rowdy spirit to an all-Chinese menu. And the great Mile End Deli in Brooklyn is hosting its fourth annual "Traditional Jewish Christmas" feast, starring the likes of Smoked Whitefish Rangoon and BBQ Smoked Duck with schmaltzed fried rice. 

Shun Lee is packed on Christmas day as the tradition of having Chinese food and movie on Christmas continues in NYC

Wherever you are and wherever you go, Glenwood wishes you a happy, healthy and joyous holiday!  Bon apetit!

Posted in Downtown, Midtown West, NYC Dining, Upper East Side, Westside | Tagged