The Houston Food Finder Guide To Dining Out On Christmas Day
At Christmas, some dream of visits from Santa, while others wish only for a clean kitchen and a hot meal they don’t have to cook. For the latter group, hope is not lost. We’ve rounded up a variety of restaurants around the city open for Christmas Day, serving up everything from upscale brunch buffets to spicy dumplings.
Remember to call ahead for reservations. As spots fill up, you won’t want to be left out in the cold.
Lucienne, 1070 Dallas: Christmas Day brunch at Lucienne runs from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and includes a special three-course menu featuring items like crab cakes and a mushroom cappuccino with Parmesan biscotti to start. Follow up with a choice of Beef Wellington, oven roasted chicken or striped bass with star anise-braised cabbage. Finish with Pistachio Napoleon, which includes a crème brulee filo dough, or the caramel chocolate mousse with argan oil ice cream and toasted sesame seeds. The cost is $55 per person, plus tax and service.
Quattro, 1300 Lamar Street: Enjoy live piano music alongside your Christmas Day Brunch at Quattro in the Four Seasons. From 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., guests can choose from over 85 items, including a raw bar, sushi, cheese, charcuterie, carved beef, lamb and fish. Of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without dessert. The cost for the sumptuous brunch is $105 for adults and $49 for children ages six to 12. The price includes complimentary soda, tea, coffee, Bloody Marys and mimosas.
ARA and Axis Lounge, 2222 West Loop South: Christmas Day dinner at the Royal Sonesta Hotel features a decadent French specialty: the Tournedos Rossini, or filet mignon with brioche, seared foie gras and perigourdine sauce, for $45. Don’t forget to warm up the apple cider in the lobby on the way in. For reservations, call (713) 627-7600.
Ristorante Cavour, 1080 Uptown Park Boulevard: The Hotel Granduca offers its annual holiday brunch buffet this Christmas from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at its Ristorante Cavour restaurant. The extensive offerings include several salad options, charcuterie and Italian antipasti, smoked seafood, a raw bar, a carving station and breakfast items like omelettes and buttermilk pancakes cooked to order. Special children’s menu items are also available. The cost for adults is $75 and $25 for children. For reservations, call (713) 418-1104.
White Oak Kitchen + Drinks, 5011 Westheimer: The restaurant inside the Westin Oaks Hotel is open Christmas day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The morning holiday brunch features two courses for $25, with mains ranging from mascarpone French toast to a bison truffle burger with pecan-smoked bacon. The holiday dinner menu offers three courses for $45, and plenty of options for picky or adventurous eaters, including roasted rosemary turkey and a green tea-lacquered salmon with vegetables.
The San Luis Hotel, 5222 Seawall Drive: If you enjoy the peacefulness of the beach during the winter, or happen to be south of Houston for Christmas, consider attending brunch at the San Luis Hotel from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The hotel’s elegant Grand Ballroom is transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with festive decorations and a Santa appearance. Guests enjoy a curated collection of chef-inspired dishes and traditional holiday favorites, in addition to bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys. Cost is $65 for adults, $60 for seniors and $30 for children ages four to 12. Call (409) 477-1500 for reservations.
The Hilton Galveston Island Resort, 5400 Seawall Boulevard: Whether you’re away from home on Christmas vacation or live in the area but don’t want to cook, The Hilton Galveston Island Resort welcomes brunch guests on Monday, December 25 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost is $40 for adults, $30 for seniors and $20 for children ages four to 12. Call (409) 744-5000 to make reservations.
Carmelo’s Ristorante, 14795 Memorial: Christmas Day marks the end of the 37 years that the family Italian restaurant will be open. On its last day operating, Carmelo’s is serving a buffet brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., complete with American favorites like roast turkey and ham, and Italian specialties like sea bass rollatini and spicy veal meatballs. Cost is $44.95 per adult and $25 for children under 12, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations, available through the website, are recommended.
Brenner’s Steakhouse, 10911 Katy Freeway: If you’re in the mood for a classic steakhouse meal with a cozy ambience, head to Memorial City and try to snag a seat near the stone fireplace. Brenner’s is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Christmas Day. For reservations, visit OpenTable or call (713) 465-2901.
Radio Milano, 800 Sorella Court: From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on December 25, Christmas brunch includes options like mini crabcakes and French onion soup as a first course, with prime rib, vegetarian lasagna, and Hong Kong fried toast—a stuffed French toast filled with chocolate, nutella, banana, berry compote, and cream—as main courses. Pricing is $45 for adults and $20 for children.
Charivari, 2521 Bagby: For classic European Christmas dishes, like duck with apple red cabbage and potato pancakes, or Wiener schnitzel with mashed potatoes, European-styled Charivari delivers. Named for the French word that translates to a “beautiful good mix,” the special a la carte Christmas menu offers options fitting for a Merry Christmas in any language. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Fogo de Chão, 8250 Westheimer: The family-friendly churrasco restaurant offers its dinner menu and new holiday menu items all day on Christmas. That makes it a great stop for families looking for a meal after a day of gift-opening. From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., enjoy bone-in Cowboy Ribeye, lamb chops and beef ribs and many more meaty cuts, in addition to seasonal sweet potato casserole. Children under six are complimentary and children ages seven to 12 are half price.
Toulouse, 4444 Westheimer: The French restaurant located in the festively lit courtyard of River Oaks District is open regular hours on Christmas Day, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., serving a special a la carte Christmas menu. Options include Lobster Tail Tournedos, a lobster tail wrapped in bacon served with “devil sauce,” green peas and goat cheese ravioli; Diver Scallops and Sweet Breads Vol au Vent, served with a creamy truffle sauce and sautéed spinach; Dover Sole with homemade gnocchi and champagne truffle sauce; and an Australian rack of lamb served with sweet potato puree, crispy lardon and wild mushrooms.
Avenida Brazil: The restaurant formerly known as Tradicao Brazilian Steakhouse is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on December 25, serving up its regular menu of Brazilian-style steaks and seafood.
Kiran’s, 2925 Richmond: Celebrate Christmas Day with a Mistletoe Buffet offering a large variety of options, including Indian-style breakfast tacos and traditional dishes like bison meatballs, vindaloo mushrooms and malai kofta: fried handmade cheese and vegetable dumplings in a cashew cream sauce. The restaurant offers three seatings at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Cost for the meal is $75 per adult, and $35 for children under the age of 12. Children under the age of 5 are complimentary. Call (713) 960-8472 or email for reservations.
Shanghai River Restaurant, 2407 Westheimer: If you’re one of many that believes a proper Christmas includes a meal out for Hunan or Sichuan dishes, Shanghai River is open on Christmas Day and serving up everything from spicy dumplings, lo mein, sesame shrimp, and their Hunan Sliced Lamb in a black bean sauce in a full and varied menu.