19 Best NYC Restaurants And Bars To Celebrate Christmas In 2022

Christmas Day in New York City might embody the ideal holiday retreat, complete with strolls along 5th Avenue and sipping cocoa in Central Park. Or, it might just be another Sunday, and you want to find a nice place to eat instead of showing up to a dark dining room. Trying to figure out which restaurants are open in New York on Christmas Day can feel like an endless loop of unhelpful Google searches and outdated information. We get it, too many of our go-tos have scaled back or shuttered for good after a couple of tough years for restauranteurs. So, we've put together a list in alphabetical order for where to dine and drink on Christmas 2022 to satisfy a range of diets and tastes.

Our list of restaurants delivers views, comfort food, cocktails, or a cozy space to cuddle up with a loved one who shares a distaste for washing dishes. Sure, you can head to Chinatown (trust us: You're unlikely to be disappointed), but while far from exhaustive, we found more than a few culinary destinations across the boroughs. The holiday season doesn't need to be a fervor of home cooking to enjoy an elaborate meal and decadent treats for one, two, or 10 of your closest chosen family members. This is New York! Let's leave it to the professionals this year.

Christmas bites in a hip locale: As You Are in downtown Brooklyn

Brooklyn's interborough public transit can feel like a practice in futility (our thoughts are with you this holiday season if you live off the F train). But not everyone wants to head to Manhattan for a meal, especially on a holiday. As You Are isn't exactly a neighborhood joint, but it is located near a subway line trifecta in Boerum Hill, bordering downtown Brooklyn. The bar, restaurant, and bakery has earned kudos for its mouthwatering pastry and breakfast program, all tucked inside the newish Ace Hotel Brooklyn. We certainly took notice when the first images of glazed donuts, cinnamon rolls, and pastel de nata (otherwise known as Portuguese egg tarts) crossed our inbox. You might prefer a green smoothie, broken brown rice porridge, or avocado toast.

Despite the chains growing portfolio of "boutique" hotels, the Ace Hotel manages to speak to the neighborhood each location inhabits. As You Are manages to be a bit retro, the right amount of kitsch, and suitably homey. On Christmas Day, the restaurant will be running its brunch and dinner service, with additional specials on the evening menu. If any of that speaks to you, then we can't blame you.

Join the joie de vivre of the season: La Grande Boucherie in Manhattan

La Grande Boucherie is the type of dining establishment that you can visit if you want some serious pomp and circumstance without feeling stuffy. The Midtown location isn't just a nod to Parisian architecture: The architecture embodies the Belle Epoque style with a vaulted skylight ceiling with stained glass imported from the renowned "Les Puces" flea market in Paris. Art Nouveau touches are visible all along the gallery, a year-round outdoor plaza with heated floors that stretches the length of the restaurant. Now, the entire brasserie occupies an entire city block (a vertical block, but still).

The La Grande Boucherie Midtown is unlike any other space in the city because of its special pedestrian arcade at 6 1/2 Avenue of the Americas that acts as an introduction to the space and remains open at both ends of the expansive dining hall. All of the restaurant group's four NYC Boucherie locations, including Union Square and two in the West Village, will be open for Christmas Day. Oh, and expect all the French bistro classics. Head to the Petite Boucherie at the corner of Christopher and Gay Streets if you prefer a more intimate, neighborhood vibe. Can't make it for Christmas Day? The mini-chain now hosts a weekday breakfast that you might make up for the loss.

Families and winter activities: Bryant Park Winter Village near Times Square

Ice skating surrounded by skyscrapers isn't only found at the iconic rink in Rockefeller Center. Bryant Park Winter Village boats an even larger rink, even if the Christmas tree is much smaller. It's also free to book a time slot, if you bring your own skates, and can be reserved a week in advance. You'll also find plenty of vendors housed in thatched roofs selling global cuisine. Although retailers are less likely to be open Christmas Day, visitors can count on food shops being open from noon to 5 p.m. as a low-key way to spend the holiday. 

We found the crispy tofu banh mi at Mama's Cupboard to be fresh, flavorful, and a great value. The shop's paired-down menu also offers a truly moth-watering savory puff pastry. We can't imagine a more New York day than ice skating, hot cocoa, and boozy specialties steps from Time Square.

Inventive coastal Indian cuisine: Chola in Midtown East

Chola is a Midtown East mainstay, serving coastal Indian cuisine within walking distance to Central Park and the Roosevelt Park Tramway, in case you're interested in a scenic walk following your meal. The restaurant opened in 1998 to wide acclaim and has since focused its menu on the western shore states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Kerala, as well as the eastern coastal states of Amil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Bengal.

Considering that covers 8,000 miles of Indian coastline, it's no surprise that Chola excels at seafood such as Jhinga Koliwada, which is a crispy fried prawn in the style of Koli cuisine, and the Lata Shetty's Lobster Ghee Roast. We appreciate the ample sea and land selections and specialties which include plenty of options for vegetarians and vegans.

Brazilian steakhouse for take away: Fogo de Chão near Rockefeller Center

Pairing a visit to the iconic Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center with a steakhouse feast is a powerhouse combination for meat lovers. Fogo de Chão is open on Christmas Day for regular service from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., meaning you can bring the whole family for top-quality Brazilian-style churrasco. (There's a reason 11.5% of Tasting Table readers surveyed consider this the best steakhouse chain.) Reservations are recommended, especially if you're arriving with a large party. The tri-level space also offers a lounge area if you're looking for cocktails or small bites with loved ones in a space that isn't your studio apartment or hotel room.

Prefer to enjoy your steak at home? Fogo de Chão also offers holiday packages for up to six people, compiling fire-roasted meats such as filet minion and marinated chicken breast with asparagus or sweet potato casserole, depending on which package you order. You'll need to order at least 24 hours in advance and expect to pick up your fixings no later than 10:30 am on Christmas Eve. However, the luxury of simply reheating a decadent meal on Christmas Day is a true gift of foresight.

Decadent Japanese soul food brunch: Hakata TonTon in Midtown East

This Southern Japanese-style restaurant takes inspiration from the food of Hakata, Fukuao Prefecture, the ancient trading port known as the "gateway of Asia." The coastal city is influenced by its close Korean and Chinese neighbors, resulting in a varied international cuisine. Executive chef Koji Hagihara shares a diverse culinary background having gained notoriety at Chinese restaurants in Japan and New York. The Hakata TonTon menu features a variety of regional dishes like a motsu hot pot, made with chicken broth and beef intestines paired with cabbage and chives for texture.

Hakata TonTon is open for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for both daytime and evening meals. While dinner is the main draw, TonTon started a new brunch service for anyone interested in a hearty Christmas morning spread. The Yum Cha Set is a $75 meal for two that includes gyoza soup, an assortment of 10 small plates, and a choice of Japanese tea. 

Legendary Peking duck: Hwa Yuan in Chinatown

Act while you can to secure seats at this Sichuan legend in Chinatown. Hwa Yuan restaurant on East Broadway is a celebrity hot spot that will be open on Christmas Day for its take on Chinese delicacies. Original restaurateur and chef Shorty Tang lays claim to the invention of cold sesame noodles, which are a must-order. Today, the Hwa Yuan Szechuan legacy is carried on by his son, who creates a must-try fine-dining menu that includes a spectacular Peking duck.

This is the ideal spot for a group or family members not interested in the fuss of an at-home meal. Plus, if Hwa Yuan is good enough for Martha Stewart, then it's good enough for us.

Best ramen in NYC: Ichiran in Bushwick and Manhattan

We understand it's a bold statement to claim the best ramen restaurant in NYC. We'll let you talk amongst yourselves about the merit of that statement, as we mention [checks notes] that the original Ichiran in Japan is said to have birthed the supremely porky tonkotsu ramen that we all know and salivate for, and New York City hosts the chain's only U.S. locations. The commitment to craftsmanship includes never letting a bowl of delicious, delicious ramen noodles sit for more than 15 seconds before it reaches a customer.

As of publication, all of Ichiran's NYC outlets, including Midtown, Times Square, and Brooklyn, will be open on Christmas. Keep in mind, all of the restaurants have slightly different hours and the last seating is around 60 minutes before closing. Cozy up to a Ramen Focus Booth to savor the balanced pork-bone broth without distraction. Ichiran could be the ideal spot for anyone seeking a little alone time without sacrificing a quality meal on Christmas Day.

All-day brunch ideal for family and friends: Jack's Wife Freda in Soho

Whenever we are stumped for where to dine in the daytime, we tend to find ourselves thinking of the reliability of Jack's Wife Freda. We also often think about the satisfaction of once watching a chic couple eat in silence at the Chelsea location, each wearing dark sunglasses inside the cafe's dining room. It's a type of calm one gets from eating food that just hits and an enviable familiarity of sharing a meal with someone you love — who also has a raging hangover. If that doesn't remind you of the spirit of the holidays, don't worry. This is absolutely a place to bring your parents or three of your chosen family members regardless of their desire to imbibe.

The name Jack's Wife Freda is a nod to the co-founder's Jewish Grandma, and the menu is an elevated diner experience borrowing from Israel, South Africa, and New York's Jewish food culture. The all-day cafe has plenty of brunch-to-dinner classics designed to please booze hounds and teetotalers alike, although we highly recommend Freda's signature cocktails, including the Bloody Mary and cantaloupe mimosa. The Soho location at Lafayette and Spring streets will be open on Christmas day for reduced hours from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30-ish (the ambiguity is a gentle reminder to not keep your Bubbe waiting).

For a Chinese feast: Jing Fong in Chinatown and Upper West Side

If you haven't visited Jing Fong, you might have heard of the restaurant world waiting for the return of this dim sum institution after the restaurant announced a permanent closure due to Covid-19 misinformation and bias hurting Chinatown business owners. The space on Centre Street is significantly smaller, but it's still serving favorites tableside from carts.

The Jing Fong kitchen is known for crafting dim sum delicacies, including steamed and pan-fried dumplings, fluffy bao, and crispy turnip cakes. This is the type of comfort food you want on Christmas Day, especially if you're in the mood for a "yum cha," a traditional dim sum brunch. If you're not looking to travel downtown, there is another Jing Fong location on the Upper West Side. 

All-day, Israeli-inspired comfort food: K'Far in Williamsburg

Williamsburg recently received a new culinary destination courtesy of K'Far, meaning village in Hebrew. The all-day restaurant, bar, and cafe in the Hoxton Hotel takes inspiration from Israeli cuisine by way of Tel Aviv and K'Far Saba. Guests will be able to grab a Jerusalem bagel in the morning, but you might want to stay awhile once you see the space. 

Did we mention the earthy interiors with avocado green booths, green foliage, and pale pink walls? Maybe we should add that you can enjoy pull-apart challah rolls or a cast iron savory baklava. What about a za'tar brick chicken or bone-in short rib with amba and pomegranate? K'Far is brought to you by the same team as neighborhood gem Laser Wolf so expect the same level of care in the kitchen that you'll find at its Brooklyn sibling.  

Upscale seafood restaurant with nautical vibes: Lure Fishbar in Soho

Lure Fishbar is serving seafood and yacht club glamour to the well-heeled crowd that frequents Soho. The actual aesthetic is a below-deck moment with excellent mood lighting. Despite succumbing to seasickness in real life, we do love a "I'm on a boat!" throwback. You'll also find a list of Lure Christmas Day specials, including a whole roasted branzino or Maine lobster plate. However, the full menu will also be available, so we wouldn't pass up the lobster mac and cheese or oysters with caviar.

The expansive raw bar includes plenty of sushi options but the impressive lobster roll is among the city's best. Even though there's still plenty of seating available, as of publication, we recommend grabbing a reservation because it's better to be safe than left waiting out in the cold on Christmas.

Pre Fixe at a brasserie: Marseille in Hell's Kitchen

Hell's Kitchen is a Times Square-adjacent neighborhood that is a bit of an after-show destination for the Broadway set. We've overheard at least one conversation between performers that felt plucked right out of "All About Eve," all while enjoying chicken and waffles alongside a cocktail served in miniature, inflatable flamingo. In other words, you can really find yourself a good time and plenty of food options.

French stalwart Marseille will be offering a three-course prix fixe menu on Christmas weekend for $80 plus tax and gratuity, which is not a bad deal, considering it is a holiday and the cost is in line with what you might spend for a regular pre-fixe in the city. Service will run from noon to 9 p.m. and reservations are bound to be scarce — at the time of publication, we saw only outdoor tables available during some of the prime-time slots. The bouche noel sounds delightful, and the option of a whole free-range turkey stuffed with seasonal treats and foie gras with trimmings of Brussel sprouts, root vegetable purees, and cranberry chutney, makes the value jump quite a few percentage points.

Warm up with eggnog waffles after ice skating: Melba's in Central Park

A quiet stroll in Central Park is an ideal way to spend a winter holiday. And what better way to cap off that walk than with ice skating and Southern cuisine to warm up? We recommend stopping by Melba's at The Overlook for a bite with views of the Wollman Rink below. Founder and Harlem native Melba Wilson brought her popular Harlem restaurant rinkside to serve parkgoers her proven definition of comfort food (think crispy fish strips, a chicken n' waffle cone, and a side of DiscoOasis Fries). 'Tis the season for brown-butter ice cream and eggnog waffles, don't you think? The café is open from noon to 8:00 p.m. on Christmas Day.

If you plan on a pre- or post-meal skate, consider buying a premier pass for entry to the Wollman Rink which will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Have a Brooklyn, Queens, or New York Public Library card? You can use the NYC Culture Pass to gain discounted or free tickets and avoid the steep fees.

Vintage charm and classic dim sum: Nom Wah in Chinatown and Nolita

The original Nom Wah Tea Parlor is tucked away on a small yet bustling restaurant row in Chinatown. Open since 1920, the New York institution first became known for its moon cakes and tea before creating its mark as a dim sum destination. It also moved next door in 1968 after losing its lease and ditched the dim sum carts. (Another location opened in Nolita in 2016.)

Despite a few changes over the last century, Nom Wah has maintained its vintage aesthetic and commitment to the classics, including a variety of pan-fried dumplings, its signature original OG egg roll, and a variety of rice rolls. Most people will say that Joe's Shanghai around the corner is the spot for xiao long bao (soup dumplings). However, we've found that Nom Wah's still might sell out of the Shanghainese specialties if you don't arrive late, so they must be doing something right. Both locations will be open on Christmas Day.

Soak in the views of Central Park in winter: Robert at Columbus Circle

If spending the day with skaters at Central Park sounds like a holiday gone wrong, you can still soak in aerial views of the park atop The Museum of Arts and Design at Columbus Circle. Robert is open for dinner on Christmas Day from 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. as the final reservation. Sure, the interior is reminiscent of a '90s Trapper Keeper (Google it, we'll wait). But, those views! And ignore the 2010 review from The New York Times. Critic Sam Sifton only appears to cook at home these days, anyway.

Nowadays, the service is often impeccable and the food is tasty. Try the tuna tartar, while the sea bass and rigatoni is sure to satisfy. No harm in asking for a window seat while you're at it — just know you won't be the only one.

For Old World dining: Russian Tea Room in Midtown West

The Russian Tea Room may be well past its heyday, but if there was ever a time to visit the culinary OG, it's during the holidays. Anyone who watched Carrie from "Sex and the City" fall for the emotionally distant Russian artist might recognize the appeal of the restaurant. The whole set-up goes full meta when you realize the actor who plays Carrie's "lover" (her words, not ours) was a famous ballet dancer in real life, and it just so happens that members of the Russian Imperial Ballet founded the Tea Room in 1927.

The Old World aesthetic is completed by ruby red booths, ornate gold detailing, and white tablecloths. The Russian Tea Room will offer a four-course Christmas pre-fixe for $145 per adult and $95 per child. The menu showcases classics such as red borscht, boeuf à la stroganoff or côtelette à la Kiev. We find the space can feel celebratory and downright pampering, whether you care about pop culture or just want to dine in the same fashion as have a century of artists and intellectuals.

Seasonal, local bites and beats: Sisters in Clinton Hill

If the local and seasonal American fare of Sisters in Clinton Hill doesn't pull you in, then the cozy atmosphere and design aesthetic certainly will. The sculptural bar with a marble countertop and rattan chairs might just feel transportive. The rich woods of the dining room mimic the natural and sustainable sourcing ethos of the menu, including meats without antibiotics and seasonal specials. The space serves brunch in a relaxed atmosphere during the day, and embraces light fare, mood lighting, and a DJ booth by night. The high ceilings with skylights are enough to make the season feel bright.

We recommend this spot if you're aiming for a vibe of saddling up in a room full of your hippest friends. Plus, if the idea of sipping a Fugue State made with mezcal, genepy herbal liquor, maraschino, and lime is your idea of a warm hug, then feel free to grab a spot near us. Sisters dinner reservations end by 9:45 p.m. on Christmas Day, but cocktail service typically runs until midnight on Sundays. 

Plant-based brunch classics: Urban Vegan Kitchen in Astoria and the West Village

We've all been known to indulge a bit more than perhaps we should during the holidays. Christmas Eve is the ideal time for a bottle, or two, of lambrusco or a few too many glasses of Kir Royal. A decadent brunch at Urban Vegan Kitchen can satisfy meat eaters and vegans alike and just might cure what ails you. 

Located in the West Village and Astoria, this Black-owned business might not use animal products but you won't miss out on a flavor. Dine on chili cashew cheese fries, mushroom penne with vodka sauce, and southern fried seitan for chick-un and waffles. Open all day, you can also mosey over whenever your energy levels can make the journey.