Houston Restaurants For Escaping the Holidays

Who doesn’t occasionally dream of escaping the holidays? Maybe a Caribbean cruise in December or a two-day Netflix binge with your phone off. Sometimes the best way to spend Christmas is enjoying a meal away from all that Christmas. Whether you’re looking to go MIA this Yuletide or just looking for a non-traditional way to celebrate with friends and family, these ten Houston-area restaurants are offering some of the most mouthwatering ways to escape the holidays this season.

Multiple Locations

Detention Burger at Bernie's
The Detention Burger at Bernie’s Burger Bus. Photo courtesy of Bernie’s Burger Bus.

Bernie’s Burgers Bus: If you’re doing last-minute shopping on Christmas Eve or just need to fuel up ahead of the big day, this food-truck-turned-burger-chain is open on Christmas Eve — but only until 3 p.m. Their gourmet burger creations include The Principal, The Homeroom and The Substitute with blue cheese, bacon and Burgundy mushrooms. Add an order of Panko-Crusted Onion Rings and a Salted Caramel Apple Pie Shake for a break from the holiday stress.

Dish Society’s Chicken Biscuits. Photo by Kimberly Park.

Dish Society: Looking for a casual yet refined Christmas Eve breakfast, brunch or lunch to elude or possibly prepare for the holiday festivities? Try one of Dish Society’s several locations, each will be open on the 24th until 3 p.m. Start your holiday on the light side with avocado toast, or make it the only meal of the day with a brisket-stuffed sweet potato, sweet glazed salmon or 44 Farms chimichurri steak tacos. 

The queso recipe is a closely guarded secret at Molina’s Cantina – and has remained so for over 50 years! Photo by Julie Soefer.

Molina’s Cantina, 7901 Westheimer & 3801 Bellaire: For those in need of a holiday reprieve, find some solace in a tall margarita and a deep bowl of queso at either of Molina’s two locations. The Tex-Mex kitchen will be open on Christmas Eve until 8:30 p.m. serving their regular menu.

International District

Black Pepper Butter Soft Shell Crab. Photo courtesy of Fung’s Kitchen.

Fung’s Kitchen, 7320 Southwest Freeway: Let the Fung family take care of the cooking this year. Houston’s most renown dim sum eatery will be open, as usual, on Christmas Eve and Day serving their famous cart-service dim sum until 3 p.m. and a full menu of Chinese fare until 9 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling (713) 779-2288.

Peking Cuisine, 8332 Southwest Freeway: For an extravagant and, in its own way, traditional Christmas lunch or dinner, dine on a luscious and savory Peking Duck from Peking Cuisine. The beloved Chinese restaurant will be open on both Christmas Eve and Day for dine-in and to-go orders. Enjoy a Christmas meal in Houston’s Asiatown, or take home an unforgettable feast to enjoy with the family. Reservations or orders can be made by calling (713) 988-5838.


Picture of pork soup.
Phat Eatery’s Malaysian street food brings an Asian twist to Christmas Eve dining. Photo courtesy of Phat Eatery.

Phat Eatery, 23119 Colonial Parkway: Stop into Katy Asiantown’s award-winning Malaysian concept this Christmas Eve or Day from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and trade the turkey and glazed ham for a steaming bowl of bak kut teh (Chinese pork rib soup) or an order of roti canai or roti with curry chicken dip. With its acclaimed menu, Phat offers a perfect escape from the predictability of that same-old Christmas meal. Reservations can be made online or by calling (832) 913-6382.

Rice Village

Prego in West University. Photo courtesy of H Town Restaurant Group.

Prego, 2520 Amherst: This year, break from the Christmas staples by trying some Italian comfort food. This neighborhood trattoria in the heart of Rice Village will be open on Christmas Eve from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. offering their full menu and wines from their award-winning list. Reservations are highly recommended.


We’ll be back again for the .38 Special. Photo courtesy of Jonathan’s The Rub.

Jonathan’s The Rub , 9061 Gaylord and 12505 Memorial: Both Jonathan’s The Rub locations will be open on Christmas Eve from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., serving their full menu. Indulge in Jonathan classics such the chicken saltimbocca with butter white wine caper sauce or fried chicken and grits with bacon and white gravy. Reservations are encouraged.


Enjoy a Christmas Day boil at Shell Shack on Washington. Photo courtesy of Shell Shack.

Shell Shack, 2412 Washington: Enjoy a different kind of holiday feast with a good old-fashioned Gulf Coast crab and shrimp boil from Shell Shack. The Washington Ave seafood kitchen will be open on Christmas Day serving their full menu, featuring their signature boils with choice of crab, shrimp crawfish, sausage, corn and more. Enjoy a full bar and menu from 3 p.m to 2 a.m. on Christmas Day.

Enjoy Christmas Eve at Superica. Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee.

Superica, 1801 North Shepherd: Ford Fry’s elevated Tex-Mex joint is open on Christmas Eve for lunch until 2:30 p.m. Swing by ahead of Silent Night festivities for signature dishes such as Superica’s fajitas al carbon, tacos de camarones or carnitas de puerco. Wash it down with a signature cocktails like the Blood Orange Margarita. Reservations can be made at (713) 955-3215.

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  • December 24, 2019 at 7:51 pmLiz

    I have no friends or relatives on Christmas so reading these is excellent. I will be looking for a Christmas essential dish. I think I will take Shell Shack 3 p.m to 2 a.m. on Christmas Day. I am very happy that there has been an excel article.