Not up for cooking a holiday feast on Dec. 24, 2013? Perhaps you are visiting from out of town, or entertaining more visitors than you want to cook for? There are any number of reasons to dine out on Christmas Eve, and since we’re in New York, any number of places where you can dine. Snag a table at one of the five primo restaurants below for a truly lovely Christmas Eve dinner; all still had availability at press time. (Or if you’re a seafood fan, take a gander at these restaurants participating in the Feast of the Seven Fishes — a classic Italian-American tradition.)
If you’re in the market for a fancier, French-ier meal, fine Mediterranean restaurant Boulud Sud in the Upper West Side is a great bet; its $85 per person fixed-price meal includes highlights such as squab pâté en croûte, capeletti with chestnut, porcini mushrooms and black truffles; veal with pancetta and sweetbreads; and a pistachio-rose bûche de Noël. 20 W. 64th St., 212-595-1313, bouludsud.com
Looking for something a little more casual? Fatty Crab in the West Village participates in the age-old tradition of Chinese food for Christmas, with a menu of upgraded takeout favorites: pork spare ribs, wonton soup, fried rice, General Tso’s, and all the rest of it. Open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, noon to 10pm. 643 Hudson St., 212-352-3592, fattycrab.com
This beloved Upper West Side Greek restaurant has been closed for the better part of a year due to a water main break, and we’re thrilled to welcome it back just in time for the holidays. Whereas many prix-fixe menus range from $50 to $100 or even higher, Kefi keeps things reasonable with a $29.95 three-course menu on Christmas Eve — perfect for a big group or a modest budget. 505 Columbus Ave., 212-873-0200, kefirestaurant.com
This lively SoHo American bistro feels festive any time of year, but we find its energy and warmth (and first-class pies) especially welcoming during the holidays. Splurge on a killer seafood tower and dry-aged steaks, or embrace winter with Brussels and bacon and a rabbit pot pie. 131 Sullivan St., 212-677-6200, TheDutchNYC.com
Blue Ribbon Bakery Kitchen
With its rustic feel and 135-year-old brick oven, Blue Ribbon Bakery Kitchen is a pleasantly homey place to spend a holiday. There’s no special menu; rather, its regular selections have something to please everyone — steak tartare and duck breast if you’re feeling fancy, a mighty fine hamburger if not, and the cheese and dessert selections for a properly celebratory meal. 35 Downing St., 212-337-0404, blueribbonrestaurants.com
For more Christmas Eve dinner ideas, check out the 10 Best Chinese Restaurants in New York City.
Click here to read more about great ways to celebrate the holidays in New York City, and don’t forget to check out our deals and discounts for tours, cruises and shows this holiday season.