photo credit: Bonfire Media

Where To Eat In Philly On Christmas Eve & Christmas Day feature image

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Where To Eat In Philly On Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

Restaurants offering holiday feasts on December 24th and 25th.

Let’s be real—sometimes your Christmas spread can feel like Thanksgiving 2.0. From relatives getting lost in PHL and last-minute gift runs to siblings who are kitchen hazards, it’s best to leave the cooking to the pros. Italian restaurants, tapas spots, and sushi bars can make all the difference in salvaging your holiday magic. So check out this list of great places with holiday tasting menus and decor festive enough to make your whole family feel like they’re on the set of a Hallmark movie. If that’s your thing.

Christmas Eve

Where To Eat In Philly On Christmas Eve & Christmas Day feature image

photo credit: Fork

8.5

Fork

$$$$

306 Market St, Philadelphia
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You love Fork. Your boss loves Fork. The neighbor that you’ve never spoken to but always wave at when you see him walking his dog loves Fork. Between the big booths, chatty space, and decked out tree in the center, it’s a people pleaser. From 4:30-9:30pm and at $105 per person, your meal can include plates of mussel toast, caviar and buckwheat sable, grilled octopus, and NY strip steak with bone marrow and potatoes, all ending with Christmas pizzelle cookies. 


The great thing about one of the best restaurants in the city offering a holiday meal is that with everyone eating at home, you’ll likely get a reservation (finally). Vernick Fish is hosting a Feast of the Seven Fishes dinners on December 23rd and 24th. For $175 per person, you’ll get a celebratory five-course meal—including dishes like a whole branzino and a Nantucket Bay scallop crudo with Meyer lemon and freshly shaved black truffle. There’s no bad seat in the house–stare into the open kitchen while sipping on a glass of wine (there’s an optional $75 pairing) or out onto Arch Street.


For a date, casual dinner, or group dinner in Midtown Village, Little Nonna’s covered patio and candlelit dining room is hard to beat. The cozy Italian restaurant will offer a Feast of the Seven Fishes menu that includes a warm seafood salad, baked clams, fritto misto, octopus, shrimp scampi, and a few other dishes for $50 a person. 


Where To Eat In Philly On Christmas Eve & Christmas Day feature image

photo credit: Bonfire Media

We head to Rittenhouse’s Oyster House, one of the city’s best raw bars, for post-work lobster rolls or when roasted oysters are a better alternative to sitting in traffic on a Tuesday. On Christmas Eve, for $80 per person, they’ll have salt cod croquettes with black truffle aioli, a house-made linguine with crab, and plenty of other seafood-heavy dishes on their three-course tasting menu. 


This casual South Philly BYO is known for its brunch, but on Christmas Eve-eve (December 23) you can pass their warm frisée salad, potatoes dauphinoise, grilled broccoli with roasted garlic, and a 12 oz prime rib around the table. There’s also a choice of dessert on the $65 per person menu—malted milk chocolate ice cream, salted caramel cheesecake, or brown butter apple tart—that you can dive into at their long chef’s counter or in a cushiony booth while overhearing how grateful everyone is that gift receipts exist.


This upscale-yet-cozy Italian spot on North Broad is an ideal place for any meal, even on a holiday. On December 23, have a seat in their covered greenhouse or candlelit bar inside and you’ll see plates of wood oven-roasted stuffed clams, monkfish piccata, cannellini beans and escarole, and spaghetti ai frutti di mar all come from the open kitchen. It’s $85 per person plus an optional $50 wine pairing. End the night with a limoncello tiramisu or panettone and zabaione. 


With a large outdoor deck and two floors for dining, Fishtown’s Kensington Quarters always draws a crowd. During the holiday season, they reel people in with their Seven Fishes Dinner. The $125 per person meal includes a bacalao croquette, swordfish milanese, oysters and roe, lobster agnolotti, and a few other dishes to go with their wine pairings. 


Where To Eat In Philly On Christmas Eve & Christmas Day feature image

photo credit: Amada

With low lighting and lots of cozy booths, Amada is an intimate tapas bar in Old City where we could happily spend any day (including the holidays). On Christmas Eve, they’ll have seatings at 3pm, 5pm, and 7pm, and offer an $80 three-course menu with dishes like patatas bravas with paprika aioli, brussels sprouts with fermented garlic honey, and a 10 oz prime rib. Plus, with an extensive sherry list, we’re sure the spread can go a long way in convincing your in-laws that no future holiday requires you to chop a vegetable. 


Where To Eat In Philly On Christmas Eve & Christmas Day feature image

photo credit: Cry Baby Pasta

We’re always trying to find the best restaurants for every occasion, whether it’s as simple as a second date spot or something a little more obscure—like where to go when the power goes out at your place on Christmas Eve. In any case, Cry Baby Pasta in Headhouse Square has you covered. Their Feast of Seven Fishes ($70 per person) includes small plates like lobster arancini, grilled octopus salad with salsa verde, and the main pasta dish–crab tagliatelle with creamy red pepper sauce. Ditch an evening of batteries and toy assembly for a night of pasta, candlelit tables, and a long bar where you can sip on some unique reds. 


No, the “Feasts of the Seven Vegetables” isn’t a produce super-sale at Acme. It’s Fitz on 4th’s plant-based take on the traditional Italian-American holiday dinner. Head to this colorful and modern vegan Queen Village spot for a $50, seven-course dinner, with an optional $35 wine pairing. The food options include king oyster cioppino, edamame dumplings, and butternut squash risotto. 


Christmas Eve doesn’t have to be spent fighting with relatives, wrestling with gift wrap, and hoping the Eagles don’t blow it against the Cowboys. Instead, head to Fishtown’s buzzy Izakaya By Yanaga for a $75 dinner with a complimentary sake pour. They’ll be serving Beausoleil oysters, hamachi ponzu, crispy rock shrimp, and a selection of maki and sashimi. If you have room for more, they have an additional $5 nigiri that goes great with highballs (their specialty) and music that has nothing to do with Santa sneaking in. 


Christmas Day

Where To Eat In Philly On Christmas Eve & Christmas Day feature image

photo credit: Aqimero: GAB BONGHI

With holidays in back-to-back months and New Year’s Eve a week away, it doesn’t hurt to head to a place where you can unwind and be pampered. On Christmas Day, the upscale Latin grill at Center City’s Ritz-Carlton will be hosting a $95 brunch from 12-4pm. The dining room, full of chandeliers and Parthenon-esque stone columns will have plates of sauteed mushroom toast and yellowfin tuna ceviche whizzing by. There are also larger specials, like spiced Mexican chocolate french toast, huevos rancheros, and grilled lamb chops with a guajillo puree that go great with the complimentary bellinis and mimosas.


After the chaos of the holidays, we need a good reason to head to one of the wildest streets in the city. With their a la carte Christmas day offering, South Street’s Bridget Foy’s gave us one. From 3-8pm, they’ll serve crab hush puppies, smoked salmon toast, prime rib with garlic mashed potatoes, eggnog cheesecake, and plenty of other options inside their laidback dining room. Pair any choice with their bourbon, egg cream, and nutmeg eggnog or pomegranate vodka cocktail and celebrate with the people who didn’t get you a pair of socks this year. 


Where To Eat In Philly On Christmas Eve & Christmas Day feature image

photo credit: Dim Sum House

Let’s face it–at this point, we’ve all reached our turkey, cranberry sauce, ham, and mac and cheese limit. That’s why Dim Sum House is the perfect alternative. The food here is always solid and we can eat their family-style (serves up to eight) prix fixe $300 Feast For All special that includes double typhoon lobster, whole peking duck, dim sum, and more. Head here with your group and be surrounded by paintings of dragons, Chinese pottery, and forget the world of holiday leftovers exists. 

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