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Your Stress-Free Holiday Dining Guide: Where to Eat on Christmas Eve 2012

Got a lot of family coming over? Eliminate some stress and go out to eat for Christmas Eve.
Got a lot of family coming over? Eliminate some stress and go out to eat for Christmas Eve.

Shopping for family, sending gifts to loved ones afar and decorating the house with an obnoxious amount of holiday decor tends to build quite a lot of stress each Christmas. So, we all love anything that eliminates some of the holiday stress. Let some of your favorite restaurants around Houston do the cooking for you.

We have compiled lists of many of the restaurants open for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and will update this list before the big nights arrive. Check out our list below of restaurants open on Christmas Eve, or head over to our list of restaurants open on Christmas Day.

OPEN ON CHRISTMAS EVE:

Backstreet Café 1103 S. Shepherd, 713-521-2239

Reserve your spot at Backstreet Café for a delicious Christmas Eve three-course meal featuring roasted pears stuffed with dried fruits, nuts and blue cheese and pan seared duck. Finish the meal with a ginger crème brulee or an assortment of cookies Santa loves.

Hugo's 1600 Westheimer, 713-524-7744

Join Hugo's for their Christmas Eve Buffet, or Buffet de Noche Buena featuring live music. Enjoy all your favorites at Hugo's for just $39 per person, and $12 per child.

Kenny & Ziggy's 2327 Post Oak Boulevard, 713-871-8883

Kenny & Ziggy's will be open until 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve serving their notoriously big deli sandwiches, delicious entrees like the Nosh Around the Clock and of course their overly sweet desserts, including the chocolate cream pie and cheesecake. Kenny & Ziggy's will re-open on December 26.

Mockingbird Bistro Wine Bar 1985 Welch, 713-533-0200

If you're looking for a romantic Christmas Eve lunch or dinner filled with delicious food and wine, make reservations at Mockingbird Bistro Wine Bar. Enjoy the three-course meal for $65 per person featuring roasted chestnut soup, American Kobe short ribs with collard greens and grits, and a flourless chocolate cake served a la mode with white chocolate ice cream. Add a Sommelier's wine pairing for $95.

Prego 2520 Amherst, 713-529-2420

From 11 a.m. until 11 p.m., Prego offers their full menu and bar for a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner you can celebrate with the whole family. Celebrate this Christmas with a variety of Italian classics, like mushroom risotto, veal scaloppini and homemade lasagna with veal and beef. Save room for their famous chocolate soufflé and strawberry shortcake.

Mia Bella Trattoria 16535 SW Fwy Suite 2510, Sugar Land, 281-240-5000 110 Vintage Park St., Houston, 281-251-8930

Both the Vintage Park and Sugar Land locations of Mia Bella Trattoria offer Christmas Eve dinners featuring never-before-seen menu items from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m. Choose from pistachio-crusted sea bass, Romano-crusted ravioli and grilled rib eye. Each item is priced individually; make your reservations soon to taste delicious food not on their regular menus.

Haven 2502 Algerian Way, 713-581-6101

Haven offers a three course Christmas Eve dinner for $55 per person, featuring fried oysters with a Mexican marigold choron sauce, quail with jalapeno sausage dressing and a classic turkey with cornbread pudding, giblet gravy and sweet potatoes. Not only does each person get to choose one dessert such as peppermint crème brulee or chocolate ice box pie, but everyone can have complimentary milk and cookies from good old Saint Nicholas. If you'd rather eat your meal at home, you can order a meal serving 6-16 people. Order before December 21 and pick up cold on December 23, or hot or cold from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

The Bird & The Bear 2810 Westheimer, 713-528-2473

The Bird & The Bear serves a Christmas Eve a la carte menu with a numerous amount of dishes ranging in cuisine. Try anything from Morocco, Spain, France or the entire Gulf Coast. There's a cuisine for everyone. Enjoy live music throughout the night for a festive Christmas Eve dinner.

Ouisie's Table 3939 San Felipe, 713-528-2264

Come to Ouisie's Table for a southern Christmas Eve dinner. Just like The Bird & The Bear, Ouisie's Table will serve a special a la carte menu, including specialty drinks and live music. You'll have to come and see what they're offering this year, but with Miss Ruby overseeing each item coming out of the kitchen for her 17th time, this should be a great Christmas Eve dinner.

Mandola Family Restaurants Nino's, 2817 W Dallas St., 713-528-1008 Vincent's, 2701 W Dallas St., 713-528-1008

Vincent and Mary Mandola decided to open Nino's and Vincent's this Christmas Eve to offer their regular menu and a special Christmas Eve dinner menu. Be sure to visit one of these excellent Italian restaurants for a delicious holiday meal filled with lasagna, pork tenderloin, homemade bread and of course, Vincent's spit roasted lemon and garlic rotisserie chicken. If you can't dine in on Christmas Eve, order before December 21 and take home all of these dishes that feed 6-20 people. All you have to do is pick it up and heat it the next day. Call 713-522-5210 for Christmas Eve reservations or to place an order to-go for the holidays.

benjy's on Washington 5922 Washington Ave., 713-868-1131

Make a Christmas Eve reservation at benjy's on Washington for a delicious farm-to-table dinner with the whole family. Choose from their wood oven pizzas or large plates, including housemade gnocchi, seared sea scallops or roasted chicken and dumplings. It's sure to be a heart-warming and comforting meal.

Branch Water Tavern 510 Shepherd, 713-863-7777

Branch Water Tavern offers their regular menu on Christmas Eve featuring braised beef shortrib, duck fat roasted carrots and jumbo lump crab cakes. Finish the night with a warm sticky toffee pudding or apple tart tartin, all served a la mode.

Fleming's 1201 Lake Woodlands Drive, 281-362-0103 2405 West Alabama, 713-520-5959

Both locations of Fleming's in The Woodlands and Houston are open Christmas Eve. Pair your steak or fish with wonderful sides the whole family can share, such as their chipotle cheddar macaroni & cheese or creamed spinach. Top it all of with a walnut turtle pie or three layer carrot cake drizzled with dark rum caramel.

Jasper's 9595 Six Pines Dr #900, 281-298-6600

Kent Rathbun offers an outstanding Christmas Eve dining experience at Jasper's. His sophisticated southern cuisine menu will fill your hearts with holiday cheer. You won't want to miss the famous Maytag blue cheese potato chips or the slow smoked baby back ribs chosen as Bon Appetit's top three choices for "America's best ribs." For a sinfully delicious dessert, finish the night with their Butterfinger crème brulee.

Kirby's Prime Steakhouse 1111 Timberloch Place, 281-362-1121

Dining at Kirby's on Christmas Eve is a wonderful experience. Having been twice on Christmas Eve, it is one of my favorite places to eat at around the holidays. It's a typical steakhouse menu filled with chopped salads, crab cake appetizers, outstanding steaks, lamb and seafood all paired with family-sized side dishes. Be sure to order dessert; you won't regret it.

Bistro Provence 13616 Memorial Dr, 713-827-8008

For $48 per person, Bistro Provence offers an excellent French menu filled with foie gras, beef wellington and a chocolate tart. The restaurant will seat from 6:00 to 6:30 p.m. and 8:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Brennan's of Houston 3300 Smith St, 713-522-9711

Let Brennan's take care of you and your family on Christmas Eve. From 11 a.m. until 10 p.m., Brennan's offers a menu filled with comforting holiday items featuring a spiced three apple salad, old fashioned duck breast and Santa's milk and cookies. Many of their famous items like the turtle soup au sherry will be offered as well.

Strata 122 Vintage Park Boulevard, 281-379-2889

Strata is offering a two-night Christmas Celebration Dinner, on both Christmas Eve and the eve of Christmas Eve (December 23). For $34.95 a person, enjoy a three-course meal where you get to choose the courses. Appetizers include selections such as tomato-poblano soup or beef empanadas; entrees include dishes such as filet mignon or sage-rubbed chicken breast; and desserts include your pick of pumpkin cheesecake or white chocolate bread pudding. Reservations required.

Bistro Alex 800 Sorella Court, 713-827-3545

Bistro Alex inside Hotel Sorella will be open for dinner between 6 to 9 p.m. on December 24.

Damian's 3011 Smith, 713-522-0439

Damian's will be open on Christmas Eve for regular lunch and dinner service, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5:30 to 10 p.m. Its full menu will be available.

Line & Lariat at Hotel ICON 220 Main Street, 713-224-4266

On December 24, join Line & Lariat at Hotel ICON for Christmas Eve festivities from 5 to 9 p.m. Enjoy items like tamales, wild game summer sausage with artisan cheeses and house-made crackers. There will be an eggnog and wassail table set up, plus plenty of Christmas music and movies playing in the lobby to keep you merry.

Philippe Restaurant + Lounge 1800 Post Oak Boulevard, 713-439-1000

Philippe Restaurant + Lounge will be open on December 24 for dinner service only, from 4 to 10 p.m. Enjoy a special Christmas Eve menu featuring creamy lentil Soup with fresh black truffle shavings ($18); crab ravioli with Pernod shrimp broth, thyme, saffron, orange zest, crab claw and basil ($25); Cornish game hen with roasted fresh chestnut, walnut mustard sauce, fricassee of salsifis and chanterelle mushrooms ($30); and a traditional Christmas Log, a mousse of dark chocolate and caramel milk chocolate layered with vanilla crème brulee and gingerbread sponge cake ($9).

RA Sushi 3908 Westheimer: 713.621.5800 799 Town & Country Blvd: 713.331.2792

RA Sushi will be offering all-day happy hour pricing on Christmas Eve from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The happy hour menu features more than 35 appetizers, sushi specials and drink selections ranging from $2.25 to $7.25. Try some RA favorites like the Viva Las Vegas Roll and Tootsy Maki or a specialty cocktail such as the Emperor's Cucumberita or Strawberry Saketini.

Royal Sonesta Hotel 2222 West Loop South, 713-627-7600

For Christmas Eve, The Restaurant inside the Royal Sonesta Hotel will feature a special four-course prix-fixe menu ($70), in addition to its regular a la carte menu items. The Restaurant will keep its normal hours: 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and 5:30 to 10 p.m.

STRAITS 800 Sorella Court, 713-365-9922

STRAITS Asian Bistro in CITYCENTRE will be open on Christmas Eve for lunch service only, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

TQLA 4601 Washington, 281-501-3237

TQLA will be open on Christmas Eve for regular lunch and dinner service, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Nosh Bistro 3983 Kirby, 713-522-6674

Brand-new eatery Nosh Bistro will offer a four-course menu this Christmas Eve. Choose one of the following four appetizers to share with the table: lamb pizza, shrimp fritters, potato dumplings or crispy rice squares. Following the shared plate, choose between tuna tartare with fried kale greens or lentil soup with roasted garlic, and then nosh on one of the four entrée options: lamb loin, roasted quail wrapped with guanciale, masala salmon and mushroom risotto. Cap it all off with a chat tea cake with fresh mint cream or saffron spheres with cardamom rice pudding. The cost is $65 per person.

On the next page, restaurants that are open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day...  

OPEN ON CHRISTMAS EVE AND CHRISTMAS DAY

Quattro, Four Seasons Houston Hotel 1300 Lamar, 713-276-4700

From 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Quattro offers a special Christmas Day brunch where you fill your plates directly off the line from the chefs. For Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Quattro offers a dinner featuring an antipasti buffet, roasted venison loin with a grilled lobster tail and an array of pastries that'll feed the whole family. Quattro will be open for regular lunch service on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Carmelo's 14795 Memorial Drive, 281-531-0696

Visit Carmelo's on Christmas Eve for lunch or dinner and Christmas Day for lunch from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Enjoy their regular menu, with a few special holiday items like prime rib, baked ham and roast turkey.

Hubbell & Hudson Market & Bistro 24 Waterway, Ste. 125, 281-203-5641

Hubbell & Hudson opens both Christmas Eve and Day for everyone to wine and dine or shop for their holiday meal. Visit the bistro for a delicious dinner filled with menu items cooked with all the ingredients from the market next door. If you'd rather cook a Christmas meal at your house, visit the market before 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve and 6 p.m. on Christmas Day.

Peli Peli 110 Vintage Park Blvd Bldg J Ste P, 281-257-9500

Try something different for Christmas Eve this year and enjoy a South African fusion dinner at Peli Peli. Choose from their mouthwatering entrées like the peli peli prawns, safari steak, or beef short rib osso buco and pair with two of their sides.

Turquoise Grill 3701 Kirby Dr, 713-526-3800

The Turquoise Grill opens their doors on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with delicious Mediterranean cuisine including stuffed grape leaves, Moroccan chicken with jasmine rice, grilled lamp chops and a baklava or cheesecake for dessert.

Kiran's Restaurant and Bar 4100 Westheimer R, 713-960-8472

Kiran's offers a Christmas Day brunch buffet from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. filled with the 12 Dishes of Christmas featuring a tandoori leg of lamb, handmade tamales and a gingerbread trifle with poached pears and spiced cream. The menu starts with a cranberry martini or pomegranate champagne cocktail.



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Backstreet Cafe

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