The Twin Cities Restaurants You'll Actually Want to Eat at on Christmas

‘Tis the holiday season, but Christmas Day means different things to different people. Whether you don’t celebrate, hate cooking, or need to escape from your in-laws after dessert, there are more options than you’d think in the Twin Cities this year. The following establishments are all open on December 25, and they all have something for everyone, from your great-grandma to your kid nephew. We've divided the entries below based on whether or not they're friendly to walk-in customers on Christmas or whether you need a reservation ahead of time.



If you’re celebrating in the Western ‘burbs, Maynards on Lake Minnetonka has a great view, even when the water freezes over. It opens at 5pm, so order fried walleye, fish & chips, and battered shrimp, and you should definitely bring anyone in your family who can down 25-ounce drafts.
Price/reservations: $10-$30; walk-ins welcome

Pracna on Main

St. Anthony Main

If you want to be visited by the Ghost of Christmas past, look no further than Pracna on Main, the oldest restaurant in Minneapolis. Open at 4pm, it’s right next door to the also-open St. Anthony Main Theatre, proving you can grab dinner and a movie any day of the year.
Price/reservations: $15-$25; walk-ins welcome


Golden Valley, Bloomington, Maple Grove

Nothing says family togetherness like communal dining, so bring your whole brood to Benihana for specialty sushi and hibachi. Open from 11am-10pm, you can bet the teppanyaki chefs’ knife skills will surpass yours cutting a holiday ham.
Price/reservations: $10-$32; walk-ins welcome

the lowry
Sydney Gerten

The Lowry


If you need a safe haven to retreat from your relatives, The Lowry is a sure bet for classic comfort food paired with a solid tap beer selection and plenty of top-shelf Scotch. They open at 5pm, so plan your post-meal exodus accordingly.
Price/reservations: $15-$20; walk-ins welcome

Szechuan Spice


Bumpus hounds eat your turkey? Fear not: You can grab great Chinese food just like they did in A Christmas Story at Szechuan Spice, which is open from 11am-10pm on Christmas Day, and they're serving up favorites like General Tso's chicken and Mongolian beef.
Price/reservations: $15-$25; walk-ins welcome

Moscow on the Hill

Cathedral Hill

If you prefer pierogies to pies, you’re in luck. Cathedral Hill’s popular Russian restaurant is open on Christmas Day starting at 4pm. Moscow will serve up beef stroganoff, chicken kiev, and blinis with caviar, and they’re also known for excellent Eastern European vodkas that will help you thaw out from the cold.
Price/reservations: $10-$25; walk-ins welcome

Mickey's Diner

Downtown St. Paul

The art deco vintage dining car is open for grub 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, so you can always get a good meal, even on Christmas. Can’t-miss dishes include the patty melt, mulligan stew, and fried chicken, as well as their all-day breakfast menu and hand-dipped malts.
Price/reservations: $10-$20; walk-ins welcome

The Freehouse

North Loop

Feel like Santa stiffed you in the present department this year? Head to The Freehouse, which opens at 5pm, and order a $1,000 Burger (which costs $15.99, mercifully) with short rib, brisket, sirloin, and Cheddar to make up for it. They also brew their own beer on site, with four favorites always on tap.
Price/reservations: $10-$25; walk-ins welcome

The Monte Carlo

North Loop

Established in 1906, The Monte Carlo is older than any of your relatives and knows what you really want for Christmas: steaks, chops, and burgers. They’re open from 11am until the bar closes, so bring your grandpa and hear out his take on politics the right way: over a classic Manhattan.
Price/reservations: $10-$40; walk-ins welcome

McCormick & Schmick's

Downtown Minneapolis, Edina

If your idea of holiday fun is downing oysters Rockefeller rather than skating at Rockefeller Rink, McCormick & Schmick’s is open at 11am on Christmas. Feast on seafood like bourbon-glazed salmon, bigeye ahi tuna, and grilled swordfish until 10pm.
Price/reservations: $10-$50; walk-ins welcome

Pancho Villa


Pancho Villa wants to wish you Feliz Navidad this year by opening at 11am and serving up some of the best Mexican food in town until midnight. Find fajitas, enchiladas, tacos, and burritos, along with some Christmas cheer (aka seriously strong margaritas).
Price/reservations: $10-$20; walk-ins welcome

needs reservations
Fogo de Chão
Fogo de Chão

Fogo de Chão

Downtown Minneapolis

Fogo gives new meaning to the term “meat coma,” so if you’re planning on dining here on Christmas Day, we don’t recommend eating beforehand. Open 11am-9pm, the restaurant will have Brazilian gaucho chefs slice more than a dozen kinds of meat and seafood tableside for you to try, and they take reservations for parties up to 14 (so literally, bring your whole family.)
Price/reservations: $52.95 for the full churrasco experience (adults), kids 7-12 are half price ($26.50), kids under seven are free; reserve a table


Downtown Minneapolis

Inside the luxurious Le Meridien Chambers Hotel, it’s no surprise that Mercy is open at sunup (6:30am) on Christmas Day. Catch brunch with a Bloody Mary, a gourmet dinner of duck, lobster, or scallops until 10pm, or visit The Library Lounge, tucked away in the basement, for a craft cocktail.
Price/reservations: $10-$80; reserve a table

FireLake Grill House


Attached to the Radisson Blu near the Mall of America, FireLake opens for weary travelers at 6:30am on Christmas Day. For the post-coffee crowd, there’s also a Christmas feast featuring popovers, spit-roasted prime rib, and honey whiskey cake. Eat like a king -- all without having to leave your hotel.
Price/reservations: $44.95 for the prime rib Christmas dinner (adults), $18.95 (kids 6-12); reserve a table

manny's steakhouse

Manny's Steakhouse

Downtown Minneapolis

Manny’s is the kind of place to see and be seen, and on Christmas Day it’s no different. This year, they’re offering a holiday buffet from 9am-3pm, including prime rib, Nueske’s bacon, oysters, pastries, and desserts, so you’ll get to snap plenty of fancy food photos for Instagram.
Price/reservations: $44.95 for the holiday buffet (adults), $14.95 (kids 3-12); reserve a table

Nicollet Island Inn

Nicollet Island

What screams Christmas more than celebrating at an inn? There’s plenty of room for everyone this holiday, as the the restaurant will serve a traditional, five-course meal including filet mignon, scallops, and chocolate mousse from 11am-8pm on quaint Nicollet Island surrounded by the Mississippi.
Price/reservations: $75 for the five-course holiday buffet (adults), $20 kids; reserve a table



Downtown Minneapolis

Adjacent to the Loews Hotel, Cosmos serves up New American cuisine and opens on Christmas Day at the same time your kids will want to get up for presents: 6:30am. Later in the day, they’ll serve a special Christmas menu with surf & turf, roasted chicken, and hand-rolled pasta. Cosmos is also known for creative cocktails, so be sure to pour one down your gullet for holiday spirit.
Price/reservations: $55 per person for three-course Christmas menu; reserve a table

Buca di Beppo

Downtown Minneapolis, Highland Park, Eden Prairie, Burnsville, Maple Grove

Meals at Buca are served family-style, so the more the merrier, especially on Christmas Day. Open 11am-10pm, Buca allows you to dig into an Italian feast of salads, pastas, and parmigianas. You can also reserve a private dining room if you know your family gets crazy after some Lambrusco.
Price/reservations: $10-$30; reserve a table

Ruth's Chris

Downtown Minneapolis

Ruth’s Chris is a special place for special occasions, so why not celebrate there on December 25? The steakhouse is open from noon to 8pm serving hearty filets, rib-eyes, strips, and porterhouses that would all be Santa-approved.
Price/reservations: $10-$115; reserve a table

The St. Paul Grill

Downtown St. Paul

Located in the sophisticated, more-than-a-century-old Saint Paul Hotel, The St. Paul Grill serves up lunch and dinner on Christmas starting at 11am. In addition to steaks, chops, and seafood, they have a lengthy wine list that will impress your family vino aficionado.
Price/reservations: $10-$75; reserve a table

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Jenna Bennett wishes she could convince her family to order sushi for Christmas dinner but will get by nevertheless. Tweet or Instagram her some seasonal cheer @jennasbennett.
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