The Citiblog

Places to Celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas in NYC
December 3, 2021, 7:54.38 pm ET



Photo: Aquavit Julbord


Two Michelin star restaurant Aquavit is bringing back their famous family-style Julbord, a Swedish Christmas smorgasbord, all day from noon to 9pm on Saturday, December 18 and Friday, December 24 for $175 per person, with a complimentary cup of a warm Glogg. For those celebrating at home, Aquavit is offering a Christmas Kit ($495) to go which serves four.


Chef Marc Forgione’s Wood-fired Nolita destination Peasant will be open on Christmas Eve, serving their regular a la carte menu. The restaurant is also offering options for group dinners in the private downstairs Wine Room, which can accommodate up to 25 people, offering a variety of family-style menu, including the option for chef Marc to curate a Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner. Peasant will be closed on Christmas Day.


For Christmas Eve, Italian family-style restaurant Carmine’s is offering a new Feast of the Seven Fishes special ($350), available for dine-in only with reservation. Dishes include Fried Calamari, choice of Baked Clams or Clams on the Half Shell, Shrimp Cocktail, red or white Clam Sauce over pasta, Mixed Seafood with pasta, Shrimp Scampi, and Salmon Oreganata. Additional holiday specials are offered on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, along with their full menu.


Chef Mike Price is serving up the restaurants’ yearly feast on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Offered at $75 per person, three courses are available (which can also be ordered a la carte). The first is an Insalata Frutti Di Mare, cold poached seafood salad with octopus, mussels, scallops, celery hearts, fennel, and pickled peppers. The second course is Spaghetti Fra Diavolo with spicy tomato, peekytoe crab, shrimp, whipped ricotta, and basil. Fo the third course there is Ippoglosso Al Forno, baked halibut with Maine lobster and meyer lemon gratin, wilted spinach, and salmoriglio.


Casual seafood restaurant The Mermaid Inn is offering Happy Hour all night on Christmas Eve at its three New York City locations, with $1.25 oysters and small plate specials including Salmon Tartare and Artichoke & Spinach Dip, along with select $6 beers and $9 wines and cocktails. Reservations can be made at Closed on Christmas Day.


From Christmas week through New Year's Eve, Spanish restaurant Socarrat is offering a special holiday dinner featuring a Lamb Truffle Paella ($65 per person) with lamb chops, truffle puree, asparagus, saffron aioli, and rice cooked in mushroom sofrito. The paella is served with shareable tapas such as Croquetas de Hongo (mushroom croquettes) Gambas al Ajillo (garlic shrimp) and Datiles, bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with Valdeon cheese. For dessert, Churros with Hot Chocolate and Flan will be served. Reservations, take-out, and delivery can be placed through

Photo: Virgil's Real BBQ


For Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, barbecue restaurant Virgil’s is offering a special 16 ounce Smoked Prime Rib ($38). Their full menu of barbecue favorites, including Memphis Style Pork Spare Ribs, Texas Beef Brisket, Barbecued Chicken, and Carolina Pulled Pork, along with plentiful sides will also be available. Meals can be ordered for take-out or delivery from either of their locations; dine-in reservations can be made for their Times Square restaurant at


Olmsted, chef Greg Baxtrom's restaurant in Prospect Heights, is offering a limited number of dinner packages for four people for $500. The festive feast can be picked up on 12/24 and 12/25 from 10am - 2pm. The menu includes Rouille Olives, Jasper Hill Farm Harbison Cheese and Honey Mustard Glazed Duck Duo Terrine. Other offerings include Black Truffle Short Rib Pot Pie with Dueling Sweet Potato Duchesse, Brussels Sprouts Okonomiyaki, and Austrian Christmas Stollen and Eggnog for dessert.


For Christmas Eve, Chef Bryce Shuman is offering a 3-course prix-fixe lunch special with amuse and sides ($95pp). The menu includes - For the table - Pretzel Crisps with Ricotta Mustard. Other offerings include Cobb Salad, Butternut Soup and Beet Salad. Second course - Applewood Smoked Ham with Brown Sugar Mustard Glaze; Salmon Mi Cuit with Horseradish Cream; Charcoal Grilled Hangar Steak with Italian Chicories and Dry Aged Beef Jus; and Grilled Miatake Mushroom with Lentils and Mushroom Broth. For Dessert, there is Chocolate Yule Log Cake (Buche de Noel)


Chef Einat Admony in collaboration with Yuchen Ye are offering a limited regular menu and special dishes for Christmas Eve such as Yemenite Soup Dumplings, Vegetarian Fried Egg Rolls with sweet and sour sauce, Crispy Glazed Short Rib with daikon pickles, and Fried Whole Fish with ginger and scallions.


Executive Chef Lenny Moon has designed a menu that takes diners on an eclectic culinary adventure as he infuses pan-Asian flavors with European techniques. Served on Christmas Day will be a $70 per person prix fixe menu that begins with a Hortus Royal Platter for Two, chilled lobster tail, yellowfin tuna crudo, and a shrimp cocktail; followed by a Scallop Tostada, served with charred corn and salsa.


Sami & Susu, the Mediterranean restaurant and specialty store in the Lower East Side, is offering a special pickup Christmas package for $70 / person. It includes choice of two spreads like Chicken Liver Mousse or Muhammara; one salad like Moroccan Carrots with harissa vinaigrette, labneh, pistachio, mint, and cilantro, or Apple Tabbouleh with bulgur, herbs, almonds, and red onion; one side such as Turkish Rice Pilaf with caramelized onions, herbs, nuts, and chopped tomatoes, or Crispy Brussel Sprouts with pancetta & balsamic; and one entree like Brisket with stewed root vegetables, or Branzino with herbs, lemon, & garlic.


Sweetbriar Chef Bryce Shuman is offering a 3-course meal Christmas Day for $95 per person. For The Table there are Pretzel Crisps with Ricotta Mustard. First Course includes Cobb Salad, Butternut Soup and Beet Salad. Second course includes Applewood Smoked Ham with Brown Sugar Mustard Glaze; Salmon Mi Cuit with Horseradish Cream, Charcoal Grilled Hangar Steak with Italian Chicories and Dry Aged Beef Jus, and Grilled Miatake Mushroom with Lentils and Mushroom Broth. For Dessert, there is Chocolate Yule Log Cake (Buche de Noel)

Photo: Haven Rooftop


Haven Rooftop above the Sanctuary Hotel in Midtown is ready for diners to escape to enjoy a Christmas Eve special menu complete with a kids and adults price fixe. The kid’s menu is $29 per child and includes a choice of Soda or Juice, Penne Pasta with Butter or Havenly Chicken with Fries and a choice of NY Cheesecake or Crème Brûlée for dessert. The adult menu is $79 per person and includes a choice of Lobster Bisque, Tuna Tartare or Roasted Butternut Squash with Brussels sprouts and brie cheese. Entrees include a choice of Lamb Chops served with mashed potatoes and a red wine reduction sauce, Wild Striped Bass served with cauliflower puree and asparagus, Lobster Spaghetti with blush sauce and Havenly Chicken with beurre blanc sauce, mesclun salad and fries. Dessert includes New York Cheesecake, Tiramisu and Crème Brûlée. This price fixe menu will be served from 5pm - 9:30pm. Haven will also be open for lunch on Christmas Eve 12pm - 2pm.


The Australian-style brasserie Isla Restaurant will serve a special 3-course Christmas lunch from Executive Chef David Taylor for $125 per person. For the table, diners will begin the celebratory meal with Beau Soleil Oysters with Trout Roe and Cucumber Shallot Mignonette, Grilled Prawns with Yuzu Chermoula, and Fried Halloumi with Green Tahini and Lemon Sumac Shallots. Indulge in a choice of Lamb Shoulder served with Anchovy Mint Marinade, Tuscan Kale and Parmesan Polenta, and Seared Scallops served with Celeriac Puree and Cipollini Pine Nut Relish. The table will also enjoy Fried Brussels Sprouts and Fingerling Potatoes with Mint and Creme Fraiche in addition to wine pairings with each course. Desserts include Roasted Apple Pavlova and Hazelnut Milk Chocolate Cake. All bookings receive a complimentary welcome drink and ‘bon bons’ for the table.


Fornino will offer catering for the holidays. The Italian-style restaurant will offer its full menu including appetizer platters, salads, and pizza. "Antipizza" appetizer platters include Formaggio featuring a selection of five imported Italian cheeses, Salumi, la Verdura, and grande misti which features all three options. Their extensive Neopolitan pizza menu includes the classics as well as specialty pizzas such as Salsiccia di Pollo, Pera e Coppa, and Funghi e Prosciutto. Their ultimate pizza party package comes with two varieties of appetizer platters, two varieties of salad, and three pizza varieties along with eco-friendly disposable plates, flatware, and delivery for $50 per person.


At Tiny’s Cantina in Prospect Heights, Executive Chef Cenobio Canalizo has curated a festive array of specials that pay homage to his native Puebla for Christmas Eve + Day.Hailed as the quintessential holiday cocktail throughout Mexico, Rompope ($14) is a spiced beverage, similar to eggnog, that originated in the 17th-century via Pueblan nuns. Made in-house this season at Tiny’s, Chef Cenobio’s recipe is a rich combination of Mexican ceylon cinnamon and dark rum, thickened with milk and egg yolks. For those under 21, the drink will also be available in dessert form with a Rompope Flan ($9), made with the eggnog liqueur and darkened with caramel.


Tuscany Steakhouse, located in the heart of Central Park South, will be open on Christmas Eve from 12 pm – 10 pm and on Christmas Day from 4pm – 10 pm. Tuscany Steakhouse is owned by veteran restaurateur Steve Haxhiaj, an alumnus of Wolfgang’s Steakhouse. The main attraction presents itself in the form of Tuscany Steakhouse’s USDA Prime Dry-Aged Steaks, which are dried in the restaurant’s signature aging box. The restaurant’s interior is dimly lit, with white-washed brick and roman arches trimmed with rich oak offers old world European charm. The wine list features more than 300 bottles.

Photo: Jack & Charlie's No. 118


Jack & Charlie's No. 118 is open for Christmas Eve. Choose from the regular a la carte menu and specials such as Wild Mushroom Soup with black truffle whipped cream; Braised Christmas Goose "Au Vin" - red wine braised goose with chestnuts, smoked bacon, button mushrooms, and spaetzli; Dover Sole Meunière with brown butter, lemon and soy-caper sauce; and Warm Spiced Carrot Cake with whipped cream cheese frosting, salted rum caramel sauce and ginger ice cream.


Limani New York will be open on Christmas Eve from 12 pm – 11 pm. the stunning Greek-Mediterranean dining destination located in the heart of Rockefeller Center. Helmed by Executive Chef-Partner M.J. Alam (Estiatorio Milos), Limani creates a truly exceptional experience for its guests, highlighting clean Mediterranean flavors spotlighting whole fish flown in daily from the Mediterranean. Upon entering the guests will find themselves whisked away to the islands of Greece. Marked by beautiful white marble bar, one will find an expansive dining room with high ceilings and white leather seating and a beautiful blue infinity pool.


Pekarna on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, will be open for Christmas Eve from 5pm - 2am and Christmas Day from 11am - 2am. The restaurant and cocktail bar melds traditional Slovenian and New American dishes with French techniques. Executive Chef Kamal Hoyte, who runs the kitchen, honed his culinary skills at some of the finest restaurants in New York, including Oceana Restaurant and Restaurant Daniel.


With locations in Times Square, Midtown, and Brooklyn ICHIRAN will be open on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day from 12 pm-8:30 pm. ICHIRAN is the world’s leading expert in Tonkotsu ramen. Solo dining booths are designed so guests could focus only on the ramen that sits before them, savoring the fragrance of the broth and experience each slurp of ramen. The Hakata-style homemade thin noodles are prepared daily factoring in the humidity and temperature that day at ICHIRAN’s Brooklyn Factory. ICHIRAN’s famous ramen is also available for delivery.


Located in Hell’s Kitchen, Badshah will be open on Christmas Eve from 5 pm - 10:30 pm and on Christmas Day for brunch from 12 pm-4 pm and dinner from 5 pm-10:30 pm. Named after the Hindi term for “King of the Village,” Badshah features inventive dishes inspired by Indian street food and signature classics updated in creative ways with spices, flavors and dishes representing different regions of India across the menu.


Madam Ji, Located in Greenwich Village, will be open on Christmas Eve from 5 pm - 10:30 pm and on Christmas Day for brunch from 12 pm-4 pm and dinner from 5 pm-10:30 pm. The restaurant offers modern interpretations of traditional Indian flavors for an elevated after work dinner or a boisterous, Bollywood-inspired weekend brunch. To complement the menu, Madam Ji offers crisp and refreshing cocktails and the delicious betel leaf ice cream, Paan Kulfi, for dessert.


Co-Executive Chefs Yuu Shimano (Guy Savoy’s eponymous three Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris) and Tomohiro Urata (three Michelin-starred La Maison Troisgros in Roanne) have designed exquisite $200 eight-course omakase tasting menus featuring signature entrées that are only available on December 24, 25, and 31st. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the featured entrée will be a Filet Foie Gras Pie with Sauce Periguex and Black Truffles.


Lincoln Square’s Atlantic Grill recently reopened under new management and continues to offer the freshest seafood and highest quality meats, now with a touch of Michelin-starred Chef Antonio Salvatore’s Mediterranean influence while also pulling inspiration from the food and cuisines near global bodies of water. Atlantic Grill is open for Christmas Eve dinner, offering its regular menu, from 5pm to 10pm, making it an ideal place to celebrate the holiday following a performance at The Metropolitan Opera or New York City Ballet.


Bar Benno is offering its decadent à la carte menu this Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from 5pm-10pm, with bar service running until 11pm. Start off the holiday celebration with a selection of champagnes and sparkling wines, or a seasonal craft cocktail like the Baked Goods, made with french single malt whiskey, calvados, poire williams, baking spices, and bitters. Guests may then select from the full dinner menu, featuring French classics like escargot, mussels with vadouvan cream, and duck leg confit with Brussels Sprouts, squash puree and vinaigre de cidre.

Photo: Casa Limone


Casa Limone will be open from 8am to 10pm on Christmas eve with a taste of Southern Italy. In addition to the a la carte menu, guests can swing by the bar to cozy up under the warm glow of holiday lights and enjoy a mug of Italian hot chocolate ($7) and a slice of Panettone ($12), a traditional sweet bread usually prepared and enjoyed for Christmas and New Year.


Macchina celebrates modern Italian American fare, bringing clean flavors to life in artigiano pizzas and pastas using Italian stone-fired burning ovens of Swedish design. The restaurant boasts a rustic setting that celebrates vintage Italian mechanicals. Macchina is open on Christmas Eve from 5pm to 11pm, and will be serving its usual pizzas in addition to a special Holiday (pizza) Pie. Available throughout the month of December, the Holiday (pizza) Pie is a city-style pizza with maple-bourbon glazed ham and caramelized onions.


Miracle—the adored, Holiday-themed cocktail pop-up bars—are back with newly launched Williamsburg bar, Thief, festively transformed for the Christmas season to be Miracle on Union, the only Brooklyn Miracle location. As is tradition, guests are swept into a whole new festive world decked out from floor-to-ceiling in holiday decorations and cheer. Miracle on Union invites guests through a candy cane-striped doorway manned by a giant, inflatable Grinch (with the Grinch inspiration continuing inside so guests can “steal Christmas” at Thief). Inside, the bar serves craft cocktails with a holiday twist, surrounded by a winter wonderland of Christmas lights, faux snow, tinsel, gifts, and ornaments to create a lively, merry bar. Christmas Eve & Day Offering: Miracle on Union is open on Christmas Eve from 3pm to 2am and Christmas Day from 3pm to Midnight.


Saint Theo’s, the coastal Italian spot in the West Village known for its late-night energy and celebrity sightings, is the place to be this holiday season. From 5pm to 11pm on Christmas Eve, Chef Ashley Rath [formerly of The Grill, Santina, and Dirty French] will be offering guests a take on a Feast of the Seven Fishes: a $205 tasting menu featuring coastal Italian-inspired specials such as grilled sardines with lemon gremolata, caviar soup, branzino, and grilled panettone with mascarpone.


Spaghetti Tavern, a Pasta-Slinging Honky Tonk bar, is the dream of Jason Scott and Robert Marchetti - Two friends who love late nights, country music, spaghetti and whiskey. This tavern is, put simply, a one stop shop for all of your favorite things, so that you don't have to move your barstool from open until closing time. Open on Christmas Eve, the Spaghetti Pasta-Slinging Honky Tonk will be celebrating the holiday from 4pm to Midnight.


Midtown’s Yoon Haeundae Galbi presents a contemporary take on traditional Korean BBQ recipes, inspired by owner Bobby Yoon’s grandfather’s restaurant which opened in 1964 in Busan, South Korea. Yoon will be open from 5pm to 10:30pm on Christmas Eve. In addition, Yoon’s hearty meal kits will also be available for delivery or pick-up leading up to the holiday. The kit, serving three to four people, includes three cuts of meat (signature Marinated Short Rib, Prime Strip Loin, Dry-Aged Prime Ribeye), Soybean Stew, Potato Noodles, Lettuce Ssam Wraps, three orders of Ssamjang, four Banchan sides, and two servings of rice. Guests may preorder now until December 19.