The 2020 NYC Christmas Food Guide
Where to order prime rib, holiday ham, cookies, and more this Christmas.
From brainstorming ways to get a Christmas tree onto the subway or into an Uber XL to prancing around the house in ill-fitting footed pajamas, Christmas is a full-time commitment. And making dinner on top of it all might not be in the cards for you this year. But that doesn’t mean you’ll have to settle for peppermint bark with a side of crumbs from the bottom of a gingersnap tin. Plenty of NYC restaurants are offering holiday specials for takeout and delivery that can help you with dinner, dessert, and stocking your wine cabinet.
Do you need some help getting into the festive spirit this year? Our guide, Where To Do Festive Christmas Stuff In NYC can help. Or maybe you’re looking for celebratory Hanukkah food? We have a guide to that too.
Going out to eat and ordering takeout is a great way to support restaurants right now. If you want to make an even bigger impact, consider donating to the NYC employee relief fund, and signing up for email updates to stay in the loop about passing the RESTAURANTS ACT.
Christmas dinner this year will be anything but traditional, which means you have every reason to try wine and small plates instead of glazed ham for dinner. Thankfully, this East Village natural wine bar has transformed into a holiday shop offering wine packs and pre-made dishes for pick-up and delivery. From cauliflower empanadas to thick basmati cabbage rolls, Ruffian’s $75 vegetarian dinner for two has a bunch of things you probably wouldn’t make yourself. Plus they’ve hand-picked 25 bottles of wines that you can get in-store, which will pair perfectly with your meal.
Even if you’ve baked your way through the worst year in recent history, perfecting an apple spice bundt cake or coconut macaroon recipe sounds like a stressful way to end it. Instead, pre-order both from Ciao Gloria and spend your newfound free time learning calligraphy or belting Mariah Carey lyrics. This Prospect Heights bakery and cafe is also offering holiday pies, cookie boxes, and more for pick-up only.
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If you want a classic holiday table spread with dishes like glazed ham, mashed potatoes, and gravy, check out the Christmas dinner package from Bubby’s in Tribeca. They have a $175 option for two and a $350 for four, and everything comes with easy-to-follow reheating instructions. Personal pies are included with both dinner packs, but you can also pre-order a full-size eggnog, sour cherry, or peanut butter chocolate pie from Bubby’s and pick it all up on Christmas Eve.
Since you probably won’t be celebrating with the majority of your family this year, you’ve got a lot of freedom to decide on the dinner menu. But if you plan on pre-ordering from The Fly in Bed-Stuy, don’t forget about the rotisserie chicken. It’s served ready-to-roast, and a whole one will feed two hungry people for $28. They’re also selling sides like mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts, and their famous sour cream based white sauce, which you should absolutely dip everything in.
Where To Do Festive Christmas Stuff In NYC
There’s never really a bad time for a feast of seven fishes. But since Reverence in Harlem is serving a pre-made meal kit version for the holidays, you may as well take advantage. The $325 dinner package comes with a bunch of Spanish and Italian dishes and serves up to four people. Expect things like ceviche el tigre, duck in rose petal mole, and a Christmas morning breakfast kit. Reverence also has tons of cakes, pies, and cookies you can add to your order, and everything is available for pick-up and delivery.
Maybe you don’t want to make a huge deal about the holidays (you’ve matured in the past year, and are above such things), but you still want to have something great for dinner. Keep Hearth in mind. This Italian spot in the East Village has a holiday menu that reads like a list of things someone who cares about both your health and your happiness is offering to cook for you. There are green vegetables, a few desserts, and large-format meal kit options like a whole smoked ham and a classic feast of the seven fishes.
While you won’t be able to sit in the cushy booths at this French bistro in Soho, you can stop by to pick up a four-course feast for the holidays. For $125 per person, you’ll get soup, salad, potato gratin, and your choice of beef bourguignon or chicken grand mere. There’s also a dessert menu that has complicated-looking things like a chocolate hazelnut bûche de noël you would probably feel defeated after attempting to make yourself, and madelines that’ll make you want to become an au pair and move to Paris.
Osteria Morini is offering a $165 three-course holiday dinner for two that includes things like squid ink pasta and porchetta. It’s a great option if you’re planning on celebrating Christmas with the one person lucky enough to see how matted your hair is every morning. And just in case you’re too drained to bake or stop at a bottle shop, this dinner includes chocolate cake and a bottle of wine. You must place your order by December 19th, and keep in mind that these holiday meals from this Soho spot are pick-up only.
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photo credit: Adam Friedlander
Ihawan serves some of the best Filipino barbecue in Woodside, Queens. And while you should eat here all year long, they’re offering huge portions of sisig, lechon kawali (fried pork belly), and sweet ham for the holidays. Everything comes in huge catering trays that are about the size of a small moving box, so you’ll have more than enough for Christmas dinner (and the next week or so afterwards).
If you really want to have a over-the-top dinner party this Christmas, try the six-course dinner package from this upscale Korean spot in the East Village. It’s $95 and comes with dishes like grilled octopus, duck prosciutto, and beef wellington, all of which should help make your family Zoom calls much more exciting. You can pick up your meal or have it delivered straight to your door, along with an optional wine pairing or a champagne and caviar to-go set.
It may come as a shock that most of the presents we give our loved ones involve eating. Birthdays at special occasion restaurants we selfishly wanted to try ourselves, anniversary blow-out meals, or care packages of incredible meat like these braised short ribs. Each galbi jjim order from this Korean spot in Flatiron is cooked overnight with shiitake mushrooms, daikon, carrots, gingko nuts, and chestnuts, and comes with enough meat to feed six people. All you need to do is refrigerate and reheat following the instructions.
Red Hook Tavern
Red Hook Tavern excels at cooking meat. So ordering roasted prime rib or honey glazed ham from this Brooklyn spot is always a good idea. Especially since they’re serving a dinner package which lets you choose between the two, along with side dishes like mushroom lasagna and fingerling potatoes, plus a holiday breakfast kit. The pre-made meal comes in two sizes: a small for $150 and a large for $300. And since most great holiday celebrations require booze, this Red Hook spot is also offering pre-batched cocktails like negronis and mimosas that can serve up to four people for $30 each.
La Newyorkina is permanently closed
Waking up to fresh tamales on Christmas morning takes a lot of work. That is, unless you pre-order yours from this Mexican ice cream shop and cafe. Their Christmas menu has vegetarian options like plantain mole, mushroom, and sweet hibiscus, along with warm comfort foods like pozole and mixiote with pork. You can place your order through their website, and pick it up from their West Village or Red Hook location.
We’re not going to say that eating fifty empanadas for Christmas dinner would be depressing - we’ll simply say that it’d be logistically challenging to prepare on your own. Fortunately, Jelisa’s Cafe on Staten Island makes it easy by offering huge to-go trays that you can pick up within 48 hours of placing your order. This bakery offers portions of 50, 75, and 100 for holidays, including filling options like shrimp and chicken alfredo.
Short of an antacid and a reminder not to fill up on shrimp scampi, Antonio’s Trattoria in the Bronx has all of your Christmas dinner needs covered. Their $40 family trays for four include things like chicken salad, veal meatballs, eggplant parmigiana, and more. They also offer wine pairings and beer packs for an additional $20-25 depending on how much you order.