14 NYC Restaurants for Christmas Dinner in 2020
Takeout meal kits, spreads delivered to your door, and heated outdoor dining.
The end of the year is near, and that means Christmas is fast approaching. We’ve all had plenty of anxiety and stress in 2020, and this is especially true for the restaurant industry, where the latest challenge in the year’s tumult is the announcement that indoor dining in NYC will cease once again.
To give ourselves a much deserved break from cooking this holiday—and to support our city’s beloved restaurants—why not let the pros do what they do best and order takeout meal kits, massive spreads delivered to your door, or enjoy cozy outdoor dining in heated setups instead. From contemporary Chinese offerings to continue a longstanding Christmas tradition for many, to a new Italian joint or holiday takeout box from a two Michelin-starred restaurant, these NYC spots have you covered on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. And as always, no matter how you spend the holidays, please wear a mask and social distance responsibly.
Lotus + Cleaver
Pre-fixe takeout and delivery: For 4 to 6 people, $225, Christmas Eve only
Eating Chinese food on Christmas is a serious tradition for some, and this new spot located at the LIC food hall, Jacx & Co, can get you the goods without having to trek outside. At this new fast-casual Chinese restaurant from the team behind Wayla and Kimika, Lotus + Cleaver’s special holiday package offers two mains to choose from: rotisserie duck with winter citrus sweet & sour sauce and Chinese mustard, or pomegranate glazed roast pork. The five side dishes include brussels sprouts with speck ham and pine nuts, in addition to 8 treasure sticky rice in lotus leaf (Chinese sausage, dried shrimp, dried scallop, shiitake mushrooms, chai po, gingko nuts, farm egg, and scallions). Dessert is Chinese egg tart with fig brulee.
How to order: Place order by 12/19 via website or Resy to receive on 12/23 or 12/24
A la carte for outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
This brand new Gramercy Park restaurant serving contemporary Italian food and pasta by Chef James Tracey (Craft, Starr Restaurants, La Pecora Bianca) has dishes like mushroom lasagna; lumache with pork ragout and whipped ricotta; braised lamb neck with polenta; and beef, veal, and pork meatballs. Chef Tracey will also offer holiday specials for both Christmas Eve and Christmas, with a Christmas Day brunch from 11 am–4 pm.
How to order: Reservations are available on Resy. For takeout or delivery, order on AllSet, Seamless.
The Dolar Shop
Prix-fixe for outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery: For two people, $129.99, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Founded in Shanghai in 2004 and specializing in Chinese-Macanese one-person hot pots, this global hot pot brand just launched their flagship restaurant in the East Village (making it their 2nd NYC location in addition to Flushing). On Christmas, guests can choose from the popular Exquisite Silver Soup, in addition to Szechuan hot & spicy broth; The Dolar Shop spare rib broth; or tomato & oxtail broth. Along with one of three sauces to choose from (seafood sauce, sesame sauce, or garlic with sesame oil), each broth also comes with prime boneless short rib, boneless beef plate, shrimp pâté, enoki mushroom, black beef tripe, mung bean noodles, an ancient plum juice for cooking, and more.
How to order: Reservations are available on Yelp. For takeout and delivery, order on Chowbus, Doordash, Grubhub.
Pre-fixe takeout and delivery: Dinner, $145 per person, Christmas Eve; Christmas morning pastry box, $150; Christmas Day Dinner, $155 per person
This Meditearrean seafood focused restaurant has a gorgeous offering for those looking to celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. Each package includes, yup, seven seafood-focused courses, plus an optional wine pairing of two or four bottles. The courses are tuna tartare with caviar and potato chips; Mediterranean octopus a la plancha; lobster bisque; spaghetti vongole with little neck clams; rigatoncini with calamari, tomato, and scallion; grilled branzino; and butter-poached lobster. On Christmas Day, there’s a pastry box with Santa cookies, pull-apart pistachio bread, and cinnamon rolls, complete with supplies to make your own mimosas. For dinner that night, enjoy a new spread with mezze like winter chicories and burrata; tortoloni in brodo; a choice of suckling pig porchetta or grilled branzino, and more.
How to order: Order via website for pickup and delivery on 12/24 or on 12/25 for an extra fee
Pre-fixe takeout and delivery: Dinner for two people, $245, four people, $450
For the first time ever, the two Michelin-starred restaurant by the inimitable Alsatian chef, Gabriel Kreuther, is offering an elaborate Christmas package to-go. The meal begins with roasted parsnip velouté with glazed chestnuts and marinated farro, followed by the impressive main dish: a juicy heritage pork loin Wellington with mushroom duxelles, herbs, and buttery puff pastry. Also included are sides like caramelized baby carrots; Brussels sprouts with melted leeks and cashew crumble; and salad made with Lollo Rosa lettuce, smoked beets, macerated cucumbers, pistachio, and goat cheese. And it wouldn’t be a Gabriel Kreuther meal without the chef’s Alsatian sauerkraut. Dessert is apple strudel with vanilla mascarpone, and traditional stollen. For a splurge, add on a jar of foie gras terrine, Kaluga caviar, and Cinco Jotas jamon.
How to order: Order takeout and delivery via Tock or call 212-257-5826
Pre-fixe delivery: Dinner for 4 to 6 people, $249
At this spot specializing in Central Texas barbecue, Hill Country has created multiple meal kit boxes for delivery through Baldor Market, including a holiday stunner with a robust centerpiece: a whole, 3-pound prime rib that’s smoked in-house. You and your guests can eat it with a dollop of horseradish cream and sides like Brussels sprouts with caramelized shallots and apples, and hot German potato salad with jalapeños. If you still have room left, there’s also a 9-inch, two-layer carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.
How to order: Order via Baldor by December 20
Pre-fixe takeout and delivery: Hors d'oeuvres platter for four people, $100; and dinner, for one to eight people, from $70
Adhering to the rule that all at-home dinner parties (even if they’re just for you and your pod) must have an ample appetizer spread, Houseman is offering two at-home packages: holiday hors d'oeuvres and the Houseman Christmas at home. The hors d'oeuvres spread includes candied nuts, deviled eggs, crudite, duck rillettes, venison Swedish meatballs, and Christmas cookies. The Christmas at Home is an impressive seven-course dinner with the choice of braised short ribs or glazed ham, accompanied by smoked steelhead with mustard sauce and rye crackers; trevisano with mixed citrus, dried mint candied pistachios, paprika; roasted carrots with saffron, lemon, and butter; caramelized cipollini onions, chestnuts, and prunes; and potatoes dauphinoises. Sticky toffee pudding and Christmas cookies can be added for an additional fee.
How to order: Order via website for pickup on 12/23. For just the hors d'Oeuvres, order delivery via Caviar from 12/11–12/31.
Pre-fixe for outdoor dining: $85 per person, $40 for kids under age 12, Christmas Eve only
Pre-fixe takeout: Dinner for two people, $135; four people, $255, eight people, $480
This Lebanese favorite in the Flatiron district will have a four-course prix-fixe menu with hot and cold mezze and Christmas specials like foie gras, lamb shank, and buche de noel. Or take home a feast—the restaurant is also offering three different to-go Christmas packages. Choose from a main dish of braised lamb shank with Lebanese dirty rice, Silk Road short rib with lentils, or Silk Road cauliflower with vegan beluga lentils. All three come with an impressive spread including mashed potatoes, confit wild mushrooms, acorn squash, fattoush salad, and chocolate pie. You can add on batched cocktails, Lebanese wine, and foies gras and caviar as well.
How to order: Reservations are available via OpenTable. For the meal kit, order via website for pickup on Tuesday, 12/22, 11:30 am–7 pm, or Wednesday, 12/23, 11:30 am–7 pm.
Restaurant Marc Forgione
Pre-fixe delivery: Dinner for six people, $249
At chef Marc Forgione’s eponymous restaurant, they’ve teamed up with WeGate, a company specializing in pre-prepared meals from well-known chefs, to offer a holiday box filled with perfectly elevated comfort food ready after reheating. The box includes a Pat Lafrieda pastrami spiced strip loin of beef au poivre with brandy cream peppercorn sauce, chicken breast a la king with wild mushroom gravy, lobster and kale mac & cheese, glazed carrots, and a truffle parsnip and potato mash. You also get two dips to snack on as you wait for your main spread to warm up: smoked onion remoulade and sunchoke spinach dip.
How to order: Order on select dates throughout the month on WeGate
A la carte outdoor dining: Christmas Eve only
Celebrating more than 100 years of business on Arthur Avenue, Mario’s is a Bronx institution that’s been serving up Neapolitan dishes inspired from family recipes that date back to the early 1900s. Owned and operated by generations of the Migliucci family, on Christmas Eve, Mario’s will have an a la carte Christmas menu featuring Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes dishes, including clams oreganata, baccala salad, various homemade pastas, and barattolo di mare.
How to order: Reservations are available by calling the restaurant at 718-584-1188
A la carte outdoor dining: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
This popular Keith McNally classic that’s a marriage between a classic tavern and steakhouse in Paris is known for their burgers, steaks, and delectable items like roasted bone marrow. The restaurant will have its regular dinner menu on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, along with specials including scallops crudo with sea urchin and soy ginger dressing; chicken pie with winter black truffles; halibut with gnudi, caviar, and beurre blanc; and a coupling of beef with short ribs and tenderloin with Pommes Anna and chasseur sauce.
How to order: Reservations are available via Resy
Prix-fixe for outdoor dining: $80 per person, Christmas Eve only
This Korean contemporary favorite known for their addictive honey butter chips is offering a four-course Christmas Eve prix-fixe menu in their new private, outdoor, heated rooms (complete with 3,000 watt dual heaters and electric fans for extra circulation). The menu features signature dishes like the Oiji bowl and honey butter chips with vanilla ice cream, as well as new creations like Wagyu galbi (marinated wagyu short ribs), beef tartare, and crispy black sea bass.
How to order: Reservations are available via OpenTable
Pre-fixe for outdoor dining: $50 per person, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
At this contemporary Russian restaurant in the LES, Tzarevna will be serving a three-course pre-fixe menu representing a quintessential Russian holiday feast. Diners can expect warming dishes popular in winter, like shuba salad, which is colloquially called “Herring Under Fur Coat;” the beloved Georgian bread and cheese boats called khachapuri, with wild mushrooms; and roasted organic chicken with baked cabbage and pork belly. For dessert, there’s honey cake with blueberries, halva creme brulee, and syrniki, a dish of Russian cottage cheese pancakes made with condensed milk and sour cream.
How to order: Reservations are available via Resy
Pre-fixe takeout and delivery: Dinner for two to three people, $163
Chef Suzanne Cupps has gained a loyal following at her first solo project after leaving Danny Meyer’s group, and for the holidays she’s offering her twist on the classics with a take-home meal kit. The five-course kit includes Cabot cheddar focaccia with baked pumpkin and charred onion jam; chicory salad with pickled fennel, cara cara orange, and saffron dressing; Maine lobster manicotti made with einkorn pasta and celery root bechamel; Urfa chili braised lamb with roasted carrot, new potato, and curry compound butter; and a Mutsu apple galette with goat’s milk caramel. For vegetarians, the lobster in the manicotti is swapped with shiitake mushrooms and the lamb is replaced with a roasted carrot cassoulet with leeks, confit new potato, and chili compound butter. Best of all, if you order delivery, chef Suzanne Cupps will deliver it to your doorstep herself.
How to order: All orders must be pre-ordered one week in advance on Outpost for pickup Tuesday–Sunday, 11 am–8 pm, or delivery Wednesday and Friday.