11 DC Restaurants That Have Christmas Covered This Year
Feast of the Seven Fishes, hot cocktails in a chalet, and so much more.
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring because they skipped out on the stress of cooking their own holiday meal at home. Genius!
Whether you’re planning a special meal for Christmas Eve or Day, there are several DC restaurants offering holiday menus to help celebrate the season with as little stress as possible. From the classic Feast of the Seven Fishes to elaborate sushi spreads and Chinese takeout, these DC restaurants have your Christmas meals covered this year.
If your ideal holiday meal doesn’t include dishes you have but once a year, head to Ambar in Clarendon, Capitol Hill, or Shaw. The Balkan restaurant will be offering its signature brunch feast on Christmas Day that includes an all-you-can-eat spread of kebabs, spreads like beet tzatziki and ajvar, and plenty of fresh-baked pita. Tack on unlimited drinks, and you’re sure to find some Christmas spirit.
Always a popular pick for Christmas Day, Chang Chang is offering a Chinese feast for the upcoming holiday. The dinner menu is crafted by chefs Simon Lam and Pichet Ong and includes dishes like pan-fried dumplings, mapo tofu, eggplant with spicy garlic sauce, bamboo fish, and sweet and sour spare ribs. Plus, the venue offers carryout service so you can eat spicy noodles without peeling yourself away from a Christmas movie marathon.
How to book: Via Tock
Yearning for the ski slopes, but can’t get away this holiday season? Head to Dirty Habit on Christmas Eve for apres ski cocktails and hearty fare at its chalet pop-up. The vibe comes courtesy of European ski chalet decor, cozy fire pits, and an artificial snow machine (in case we don’t get a white Christmas). Top dishes to try include the fondue cheese puffs and smoked cassoulet with black winter truffles, plus a series of seasonal drink specials.
The Conrad hotel’s signature restaurant Estuary has a special wintertime menu for the holidays. The theme is “Winter at Bay” and channels Chesapeake-inspired dishes, like roasted oysters and smoked fish dip. But the real star is the restaurant’s outdoor dining options, where you can cozy up by firefits and enjoy hot cocktails or a full feast. For larger parties, you can book one of the private dining rooms, which are available for parties of 15 people or more.
For holiday specials that last through the new year, book a reservation at Gatsby. From Christmas Eve through December 31, the restaurant is offering specials like braised boneless short ribs served with glazed carrots and sweet potato dauphinoise and a cozy signature cocktail called Greta’s Toddy with whiskey, green chartreuse, black tea, lemon, and honey. During this time you can also get a slice of apple crumble pie courtesy of the bakery next door, Mah-Ze-Dahr. If pie doesn’t sweeten the deal enough, happy hour will run during normal hours from noon to 6 pm at the bar.
For literal chestnuts roasting on an open fire, head to this sleek and stunning waterfront dining room at The Wharf. The Grill is open on both Christmas Eve and Day for brunch and dinner. The holiday menu showcases roasted chestnuts, bone-in short ribs with a pomegranate braise, and pan-roasted Day Boat sea scallops with brown butter, sage risotto, and winter squash. To end the meal on a sweet note, try the chocolate bread pudding paired with a hot toddy.
The latest restaurant from Hakan Ilhan (Brasserie Liberte, Mirabelle) is serving an Italian experience on Christmas Eve and Day. The $70 three-course menu from chef Lina Nicolai includes several seafood dishes, keeping with the Feast of the Seven Fishes tradition. Enjoy dishes like sauteed calamari with parsley and basil chimichurri, seafood ravioli, and cioppino, then return on Christmas Day for brunch, lunch and dinner available from the restaurant’s typical a la carte menus.
The West End sushi destination will be open on Christmas Day, offering its full menu of hot and cold Japanese dishes, A5 wagyu, and tacos. Executive chefs Chico Datur and Eudy Camilo Cruz have also assembled a duo of takeout holiday packages, a signature Crispy Rice Party Box, and bottled cocktails.
Stable is one of the city's coziest spots for the Christmas season. The restaurant is decked with lights, garland, and several wooden chalets that make it feel as if you’re dining in the Swiss Alps. Open on Christmas Eve and for brunch on Christmas Day, the restaurant is offering a fondue prix-fixe menu for $56 per person with a glass of Simonet Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine, plus an appetizer, fondue for sharing, and dessert.
For a Southern-style meal, head to Succotash downtown or at the National Harbor. Brunch, including their signature chicken and waffles, will be offered until 3 pm on Christmas Eve and Day before making way for holiday specials at dinner. The dinner menu includes honey-glazed-ham biscuits with cranberry-ginger jam, miso-butter poached lobster, roasted duck breast, and eggnog cheesecake for dessert.
In cozy Old Town Alexandria, Vermilion is offering special Christmas Eve meals imbued with seasonal flavors. V’s French Toast topped with coriander, orange and cinnamon maple syrup and a Savory Galette with roasted beets, swiss chard, and goat cheese are available during brunch service. For dinner, the restaurant is offering a four-course menu for $105 per person with dishes like marinated tri-tip, winter squash with a Vadouvan curry, and a Santa-approved dessert of milk and cookies.