Food & Drink

18 New Orleans Bars & Restaurants That Are Open on Christmas Day

Published On 12/16/2015 Published On 12/16/2015
J Stephen Young (edited)

Drinking & dining out is a year-long affair in the Crescent City, so even on Santa’s special day, you’re always able to grab a great cocktail & a bite to eat. Here are some notable spots to choose from if you happen to be in need of a little stronger holiday spirit on the 25th...

Broussard's Restaurant & Courtyard

Broussard's Restaurant & Courtyard/Empire Bar

French Quarter
One of the newest (and coincidentally one of the oldest, weirdly enough) old Creole restaurants in the French Quarter will be open and ready to stuff you full of holiday cheer. 
 

Besh Steak

Warehouse District
Who wants wine and steak for Christmas? If the answer is you, you’ll find it inside Harrah’s.

Café Adelaide & the Swizzle Stick Bar

Café Adelaide

Central Business District
Chances are things are going to get fancy and fun at Adelaide and the Swizzle Stick bar on Xmas day, should you find yourself hungry, thirsty, and in the CBD. 
 

Borgne

Central Business District
Chef Brian Landry’s love letter to Gulf seafood might be just the perfect spot to share a festive drink. Excellent cocktails, and a stunning beer menu.
 

Chiba

Leonidas
Sake for Christmas? WHY NOT? And to pair it, nothing says the holidays like sea urchin, salmon roe, and tuna tataki. Chiba is only open for dinner, 4pm to midnight.

Kingfish

Kingfish

French Quarter
The spectacular pairing of Nathan Richard's cuisine and a killer cocktail menu (fit for the Kingfish himself) will not steer you wrong down in the French Quarter on Christmas Day. Or pretty much any day, for that matter. All reservations are officially booked, but walk-ins are welcome and available.
 

LĂĽke

Central Business District
Pop a bottle of bubbly and order the intimidatingly wonderful grand seafood tower (“Le Grand Plateau De Fruits De Mer”, featuring a whole Maine lobster, 16 oysters, 12 shrimp, 10 clams, 16 mussels, king crab, and ceviche) for a truly special holiday experience on Xmas day this year. It will do you no wrong.

Domenica

Domenica and PIZZA Domenica

Central Business District and Uptown
If you happened to miss Chef Alon Shaya’s special Chanukah menu at Domenica, don’t fret; both his original outpost in the Roosevelt Hotel and the new Uptown slice spot will both be serving beer, pies, and pillowy garlic knots on the 25th.

Restaurant August

Central Business District
John Besh is no Grinch when it comes to his restaurant group, all of which pretty much open on Christmas day, including his flagship, August. (Editor's note: after getting some updated information, it looks like August will be open on Christmas eve, but sadly closed on Christmas day this year). 

Shaya

Uptown
Famously, many of the Besh Group restaurants stay open 365, and thank goodness that's true for Shaya, which is going to be serving up its Israeli food fit for peasants and magi alike.

Restaurant R'evolution

Restaurant R’evolution

French Quarter
Chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto are making sure their beautiful baby is going to be pleasing fancy folks on the 25th.  
 

La Provence

French Quarter
Should you find yourself in Lacombe, LA for some reason -- or are looking for a good reason to visit -- Besh’s elevated country spot out there won’t let you down come Christmas.

J Stephen Young

Willa Jean

CBD
The best new bakery in NOLA isn't wholly closing up shop for Christmas, thank goodness. However, it's only open until noon, and you need to place an order in advance on its website if you want to get in on the hot baked action.

Compère Lapin

CBD
Chef Nina Compton's popular new spot will be feeding the masses on the 25th with its elegant Creole/Caribbean fare, and it has a killer prix-fixe menu that you'll want to check out, just in case you happen to burn your goose.

Jung's Golden Dragon

Uptown
Because Jung's is known for its upscale Chinese, you know it's going to be killing it on Magazine St come Xmas day for the Uptown set -- and really, anyone else who likes Chinese on Christmas, which should be everybody, right?

SoBou

SoBou

French Quarter
It’s a Caribbean Christmas for all at SoBou, and if you’re looking for some wonderfully festive cocktails, and maybe an alligator corn dog, this is where you’re headed.
 

Five Happiness

Gert Town
Jewish Christmas means one thing, and that’s Chinese food. If you’re a member of the tribe and you’d like to continue this hallowed tradition (or if you just like roasted duck and lo mein), Five Happiness is the place you’re going to head for all your dumpling and noodle needs. (Note: if you’re more than a party of five, it will behoove you to make a reservation well in advance.)

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Scott Gold is a writer in New Orleans who will definitely be eating Chinese on Christmas. Follow him @scottgold.

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1. Broussard's Restaurant & Courtyard 819 Conti St, New Orleans, LA 70112 (French Quarter)

This resto plates seafood, a variety of savory meat options, and a number of vegetarian dishes, while offering an extensive wine list in an upscale and picturesque setting. It is also features the Empire Bar, which is run by notable mixologist Paul Gustings, who makes some of the best drinks in the city.

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2. The Empire Bar at Broussard's 819 Conti St, New Orleans, LA 70112 (French Quarter)

Located at the fine dining establishment Broussard's, the Empire Bar houses a lavish marble bar, behind which barman supreme Paul Gustings will be waiting to make you a Ramos Fizz, or one of the other extraordinary 'tails on the menu. Try one of Gustings' signature Napoleon brandy-based cocktails or the Leite de Onca, which is a cachaça-based cocktail with toasted coconut shavings, pineapple syrup, heavy cream, condensed milk, and Mexican chocolate.

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3. Besh Steak 228 Poydras St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Central Business District)

Located in Harrah’s Casino, Besh Steak serves up some of NOLA's finest meat cuts, the headliner being a gargantuan, 30-day dry-aged 18oz prime NY strip.

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4. Café Adelaide & the Swizzle Stick Bar 300 Poydras St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Central Business District)

This Central Business District resto & bar serves a variety of delectable food and drink options, like signature cocktail-paired brunches (concocted by Executive Chef Carl Schaubhut and Bar Chef Lu Brow), and they also dole out 25 cent martinis. Yeah, that’s a quarter of a buck, friend. The relaxed vibe of this cocktail bar makes you feel comfortable to chat with your friends, and the friendly atmosphere will make you want to stay for hours.

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5. Borgne 601 Loyola Ave, New Orleans, LA 70113 (Central Business District)

Named after a lake on the coast of Louisiana, Borgne serves up inspired seafood that does not disappoint. Stop by during happy hour (3-6pm) for half-price beer, wines by the glass, and bar food specials.

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6. Chiba 8312 Oak St, New Orleans, LA 70118 (Uptown)

If you're looking for tasty Japanese food Uptown, look no further than Chiba, which does an array of sushi and the like, AND it also features an extensive sake list.

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7. Kingfish 337 Chartres, New Orleans, LA 70130 (French Quarter)

Thibodaux native, Chef Nathan Richard, created a menu at the casual Kingfish restaurant that combines the Cajun reverence for honoring ingredients and culinary history with a sophisticated, often playful take on modern trends that excite visitors and natives alike. The plateau de fruits des mer is this spots take on a traditional meat charcuterie board, using local seafood to create all manner of fresh and cured sausages, terrines, and smoked items.

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8. LĂĽke 333 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Central Business District)

Although this may be a New Orleans restaurant at heart -- complete with white tablecloths and old world courses like crab and corn bisque and fried oyster salad -- they've certainly perfected the burger, which is made from chuck and brisket and comes on a buttered brioche bun. French, German, and Belgian brews are also available, including three that are custom-made in Louisiana.

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9. Domenica 123 Baronne St, New Orleans, LA 70112 (Central Business District)

Named after the Italian word for 'Sunday,' this spot in the CBD's Roosevelt Hotel is meant to evoke feelings of dinner at your nonna's casa. The menu takes simple, rustic fare to the next level. The thick crusted pies here are the show-stoppers, especially the Tutto Carne with bacon, salami, and sausage, all topped with a farm egg.

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10. PIZZA domenica 4933 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70118 (Uptown)

The pizza at Domenica, Alan Shaya's spot in the Roosevelt Hotel, was so good that he decided to dedicate an entire restaurant to it. The Uptown pizzeria focuses on Neapolitan pizzas topped with seasonal ingredients and house-cured meats. The menu features speciality pies, like the ode-to-NOLA muffaletta pizza, plus a few salads and appetizers, like top-notch garlic knots and house-smoked chicken wings.

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11. Shaya 4213 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115 (Uptown)

This Uptown spot doles out "modern Israeli cuisine," and is run by the same man behind the ever-popular Domenica and PIZZA Domenica, and there's just as much fanfare. A massive, custom, wood-fire pita oven dominates the kitchen, which cooks up modern versions of Mediterranean fare like hummus, tabouli, baba ganoush, and stuffed grape leaves, not to mention a pomegranate-lacquered, fall-off-the-bone lamb dish that will blow your mind.

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12. Restaurant August 301 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Central Business District)

Grab your nicest suit or cocktail dress and head to this Central Business District establishment for an elegant night out for fine dining. Chef Josh Besh gained national fame from his appearances on Food Network and Bravo, but this flagship restaurant put him on the culinary map in New Orleans. Try the famed gnocchi with blue crab and black truffles, but only after you pick the perfect glass or bottle from the restaurant's extensive wine list. If you want the most complete (and expensive) culinary experience, opt for the prix fixe degustation meal.

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13. Restaurant R'evolution 777 Bienville St., New Orleans, LA 70130 (Central Business District)

This resto takes classic Cajun and Creole cuisine and adds a modern twist, thanks to head chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto.

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14. La Provence 25020 Highway 190, Lacombe, LA 70445

A member of the John Besh resto empire, La Provence features a completely renovated interior with shiny hardwood floors, rustic stucco work, and ceiling beams made of distressed oak, making it a relaxing and comfortable space to enjoy its unique Cajun/French fare.

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15. Willa Jean Bakery 611 O'Keefe Ave, New Orleans, LA 70113 (Central Business District)

This Central Business District bakery is run by the dream team of Kelly Fields and Lisa White, who design all the baked goods for John Besh's restaurant empire. Expect Southern-style baked goods, as well as a host of eats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Willa Jean serves up Intelligentsia Coffee, and the varied cocktail menu will have you frequenting this sleek, sophisticated bakery for more than just its food.

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16. Compère Lapin 535 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Warehouse District)

Lead by Top Chef contestant Nina Compton, Compére Lapin is Caribbean-meets-Louisiana-Creole cuisine that is thoughtful and refined, but not fussy. Add a killer bar program (headed by NOLA barkeep Abigail Gullo from SoBou), and you've got yourself your next Friday night dinner reservation. Located in the Warehouse District, the space is a stunner, with exposed brick walls, wood finishes and a mosaic tile floor.

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17. Jung's Golden Dragon 3009 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

Dining in or taking out, this popular Chinese restaurant offers a large menu full of traditional dishes. Favorites include the Szechuan chicken, cold sesame noodles, and pork pot stickers.

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18. SoBou 310 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (French Quarter)

Located inside the W Hotel, SoBou is a spirited restaurant south of Bourbon St (hence the name) feels like a modern-day Creole saloon. The restaurant and lounge is known for its hand-crafted cocktails, and serves creative spins on traditional bar snacks like crispy pork skin and spicy beer nuts, as well as some heartier dishes. SoBou also has a beer garden with beer taps in the tables and self-serve wine machines.

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19. Five Happiness 3605 S Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118

Located in Gert Town, Five Happiness doles out tasty Chinese fare, from classic options to specialty dishes you'll only find there.

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