10 Boston Restaurants Open on Christmas Eve with Reservations
Here's where to celebrate the season with family and friends.
From the Italian Feast of Seven Fishes to the Jewish Christmas practice of ordering Chinese food, Christmas Eve traditions are important—and if your tradition is going out to dinner with family and friends, it’s time to make plans. Whether you’re looking for an elegant prix-fixe menu or a family-style spread with good wine and whiskey, these 10 Boston restaurants can help you celebrate. Happy holidays!
Looking for dining ideas on Christmas Day? We have those, too.
Open all day on Lovejoy Wharf, Alcove is serving up its festive holiday lunch specials from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., including Nantucket Bay scallop crudo with caviar and champagne soubise, and Massachusetts steak frites with Scituate Lobster tail. Following a more limited mid-day menu, dinner is on from 5-11 p.m. with celebratory fare like caviar service; fettuccine with Dog Patch Farm guanciale and an optional truffle add-on; and beef short rib with grits, cippolini onion, and fresh-grated horseradish.
Reservations available between 2:30-5 p.m. and 5-10 p.m., 50 Lovejoy Wharf, Boston, 617-248-0050, alcoveboston.com.
The Backroom at Moody’s
Every good holiday spread needs a nice cheese and charcuterie board, and you’ll certainly find that at this Waltham gem from the team behind New England Charcuterie. The Backroom restaurant is open 5-8 p.m. with its regular menu of raw bar options, meats and cheese boards, pastas, flatbreads, and more—including an excellent wine list. (Rather prepare for Santa’s arrival with a big bucket of fried chicken? New sister spot Pollo Club is also open next door from 5-8 p.m., though it doesn’t accept reservations.)
Reservations available between 5-8 p.m., 468 Moody St., Waltham, moodyswaltham.com.
Bambara Kitchen and Miracle Bar
Christmas Eve is the final night for this year’s Miracle Bar pop-up at the Kimpton Marlowe Hotel’s lobby bar. Make your family a reservation at in-house restaurant Bambara Kitchen to start with chef David Bazirgan’s seasonal fare—including his white truffle specials—then head over to the festively decorated bar to wind down with a drink. Among the jolly libations is the Christmapolitan with vodka, elderflower, cranberry, and lime; Jingle Balls Nog with brown butter and cinnamon fat-washed cognac; and the Snowball Old Fashioned with caramelized pecan bourbon. Bonus: All of the glassware used for the Christmas-themed pop-up is for sale. (Last-minute shoppers, we’re looking at you.)
Bambara reservations available from 3:45 a.m.-8 p.m., Miracle Bar open 5-11 p.m., Kimpton Marlowe, 25 Edwin H. Land Blvd., Cambridge, 617-868-4444, bambara-cambridge.com.
Head to this white-tablecloth spot in Somerville for a three-course prix-fixe featuring seasonal delights such as fig and chestnut stuffed-quail with fried Brussels sprouts; Maine lobster risotto; vegetarian cassoulet with garlic breadcrumbs; and cranberry clafoutis with amaretto crème anglaise. There will be special wines available by the glass and bottle, as well.
Reservations available between 5:30-8:30 p.m., 118 Beacon St., Somerville, 617-576-7700, bergamotrestaurant.com.
Over in Inman Square, chef Alex Saenz is preparing suckling pig lettuce wraps for a Christmas Eve special, and large parties can also preorder whole animals for their tables with enough advanced notice. The excellent regular menu will also be available, though note things are closing down slightly early so the staff can enjoy Christmas Eve with their families.
Reservations available between 5:30-8:30 p.m., 1071 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 617-714-3693, bisqcambridge.com.
Have your Feast of Seven Fishes in view of the Charles River. Chef Dante deMagistris is preparing the classic Christmas Eve menu his way, as a four-course prix-fixe for $75 per person. Among the specials are recipes from his Italian grandmother, which might include angel hair aglio e olio with anchovies and golden raisins; grilled striped bass with walnut stuffing and mushroom broth; and orange pastry cream-filled zeppole. (Are you west of Cambridge this season? deMagistris’ Il Casale restaurants in Belmont and Lexington are also serving up the Feast of Seven Fishes this Christmas Eve.)
Reservations available from 5-9 p.m., 40 Edwin H. Land Blvd, Cambridge, 617-497-4200, restaurantdante.com.
Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse
Both the brand-new Seaport and the classic Back Bay locations of this upscale, local chain are serving up a special Feast of the Seven Fishes prix-fixe on Christmas Eve, alongside regular offerings. The $75 three-course menu features dishes like a citrusy salad of shrimp, octopus, and Jonah crab; lobster pepperonata with linguini; and cod loin with Wellfleet littlenecks, mussels, leeks, and polenta croutons in a saffron-shellfish brodo.
Reservations available between 4-10 p.m., 75 Arlington St., Back Bay, 617-357-4810; 50 Liberty Drive, Seaport, Boston, 617-261-4810, davios.com.
It’s not just Christmas Eve when chef Pino Maffeo is serving up his take on the Feast of Seven Fishes. Seven a la carte menu additions are available at his North End spot from December 20-24. Among the specials are baccala two ways (fried, and as a salad with pickled vegetables), lobster fra diavolo, and stuffed lobster. Cozy up by the modern fireplace and enjoy struffoli for dessert: the pan-fried dough treat, tossed with honey and sprinkles, is complimentary for all guests.
Reservations available between 4-10 p.m., 326 Commercial St., North End, Boston, 857-277-1895, ilmoloboston.com.
Have yourself a traditional Jewish Christmas with Asian-inspired specials like Reuben egg rolls, brisket bao, and lox rangoon, plus house-made sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) and other a la carte menu items. Like the delis of your childhood, this Kendall Square spot boasts an in-house gift shop full of everything from T-shirts to cookbooks to bottles of “pickle seasoning,” for any last-minute gift needs.
Reservations available between 5:15-9 p.m., One Kendall Square Bldg. 300 (15 Hampshire St. on GPS), Cambridge, 617-958-DELI, mamalehs.com.
The Smoke Shop BBQ
All three locations of chef Andy Husbands’ barbecue joint are open on Christmas Eve until 7 p.m. Preorder some Best of Boston barbecue from the catering menu, then get there early to pick it up and start celebrating with a baller flight of whiskey.
25 Hampshire St., Kendall Square, Cambridge, 617-577-7427; 343 Congress St., Fort Point, Boston, 617-261-7427; 325 Assembly Row, Somerville, 617-623-7427, thesmokeshopbbq.com.