12 Great Places To Have A Holiday Dinner
Places open for dine-in or carryout on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
After three steady years of Door Dashing our way through life, cooking dinner—even on actual holidays—doesn’t have the luster it once did. Not to mention, we’re so close to ending the year without legal trouble, so let’s remove any unnecessary risks that may lead us to squaring up over the last pack of unsalted butter at Kroger. Here are a few places open on Christmas Eve and Day, where you can avoid a stream of “who made that?” questions.
If you usually spend Christmas day putting together toys and troubleshooting new gadgets, then build in some chill time with a visit to Red’s Beer Garden in East Atlanta, which is open from 2-8pm on Dec. 25. Choose from a selection of drafts and an even bigger selection of canned brews, including seasonal flavors. Loaded tots and holiday ale just seem like the perfect way to wrap up the day in a big barley-flavored bow.
photo credit: Andrew Thomas Lee
‘Tis the season to be jolly, and fewer things make us happier than a multi-course meal we don’t have to cook. And we’re especially cheerful about Lazy Betty’s eight-course Christmas Eve tasting menu, which will include a lamb rack and seared foie gras. Plus, a reliable source (our Elf on the Shelf) tells us caviar and champagne taste better on Christmas Eve. Make a reservation at this Candler Park spot and test the theory. You know, for research purposes.
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Grass VBQ Joint
Despite reminding your family for the 3,205th time that you’ve been fully vegan for the past five years, your aunt still acts surprised that there’s nothing for you to eat from her pork-tastic table spread. This year will be no different, so might we suggest eating beforehand and getting this roasted plant-based turkey meal from the West End’s Grass VBQ ghost kitchen, which is open on Christmas Day.
photo credit: LuAnn DeMeo
You’re hosting your first holidays with your in-laws, and you’re feeling the pressure to deliver a memorable food moment. Imagine the insurmountable hole you’ll dig when you over-crystalize the pear tart or “forget” your father-in-law’s never-before-mentioned aversion to red onion. Booking Christmas Eve dinner at Aria in Buckhead, which is one of the city’s finest restaurants and our go-to for impressing the-in-laws, presents a solution that will make everyone happy.
Open on Christmas Eve, 5Church is offering their regular menu of steaks, seafood, and flatbread. But you can get into the spirit before or after dinner with a trip to the restaurant’s Virtue Rooftop Bar, which is festively decorated for the season and also serving holiday-themed drinks and bites. The Buckhead location is open for Christmas Eve, too.
photo credit: Henri Hollis
If you’re looking for a place to wait up for Santa, head to Johnny’s Hideaway in Buckhead, where you can dance and jingle from Christmas Eve to 3am on Christmas Day. Then head back again on the 25th, and do it all again. The popular nightclub and restaurant is where you can grab a beer and people-watch their regular cast of characters, everyone from sweater-vest wearers to ageless (go with it) party animals.
Midtown’s Four Seasons annually pulls out all the festive stops this time of year with grandiose decorations. Luckily for famished hotel guests and local regulars, some of the good cheer carries over into the kitchen, where you’ll find Bar Margot with special menus cooked up for Dec. 24 and 25. You can also score a reservation for the hotel’s famed Sunday brunch, which gets a holly-jolly makeover on Christmas Day.
photo credit: Tabia S. Lisenbee-Parker
Make a reservation for Christmas Day brunch at Three Arches, in the Hyatt Centric Buckhead. In addition to offerings like mochi waffles and sweet potato hash, they’re also featuring a hot chocolate station, so you can spend the whole breakfast with whipped cream on your upper lip because no one in your family loves you enough to tell you. The holiday programming goes on with afternoon tea and a prix fixe Christmas dinner. The Hyatt’s rooftop bar, Spaceman, is also hosting a bourbon tasting and a holiday costume contest on Christmas Eve.
photo credit: Mia Yakel
Hampton + Hudson
If hearing your chatty cousin jabber about the L.A. Rams’ sputtering offense isn’t your idea of fun, head over to this Inman Park fave on Christmas Day (opens at 6pm) for a joyous evening of eating and enjoying holiday movies on the bar TV. Beyond the upscale bar food, H+H will have seasonal drinks and a live DJ, too.
photo credit: Amy Sinclair
Win — Taste Of Bali
It’s the season for giving, which means sharing is even more en vogue. So take your loved ones to Win in Buckhead on Christmas Eve to share a boatload of Indonesian plates, like saté, lumpia, and whole fried snapper.
photo credit: Asher Moss
You’ve worked up an appetite opening presents on Christmas morning, and you want to dive into some brunch. But we’re going to say a scattered and smothered All-Star special might not thrill your out-of-state in-laws. So make a reservation at Tiny Lou’s at Hotel Clermont in the Old Fourth Ward, which from 10am-2pm is serving brunch classics with a twist, like duck confit and waffles or quail and grits. Make sure to save room for dessert (we’re eyeing the matcha crepe cake with eggnog mascarpone) as you bask in one of Atlanta’s most historical buildings.
Nakato Japanese Restaurant
A staple of the Atlanta dining scene for the last 50 years, Nakato is open on Christmas Day, and we know they’ll be stuffing their sushi rolls with more care than anything old St. Nick could muster. Make sure to snag a reservation, so you aren’t the reason grandma misses out on the hibachi experience.