If there’s one day of the year when it can be challenging to dine out in New York City, it’s December 25th. Luckily, we’ve rounded up five Clean Plates approved spots in Manhattan that are throwing open their doors that day (stay tuned for our Brooklyn picks, coming soon). Whether you’re looking for a casual meal or festive fine dining, we’ve got you covered — and hey, who says you have to celebrate Christmas to take part?
1. Mas (la grillade)
Prix fixe menu – $75
Walk through the door of Mas (la grillade), the sister restaurant of Mas Farmhouse, and the festive aroma of a wood-fired grill will welcome you. These grills — which use locally sourced woods, the perfect complement to the restaurant’s locally sourced food — cook everything on the menu, from squid stuffed with bay leaves to wild striped bass with parsley and walnut gremolata. Reservations are required.
a la carte menu
Print, on the ground floor of the ink48 Hotel, is an elegant place to spend the holiday. In this candlelit, contemporary dining room order seasonal, hearty dishes from the regular a la carte menu, including slow braised short ribs served over creamy mashed potatoes or crispy duck breast served with roasted turnips and lacinato kale. (And hey, while you’re in the neighborhood: why not take in a show?)
3. Jimmy’s No. 43
Tickets $25 (plus tax, gratuity, and beverages)
Christmas dinner can be a casual affair of hearty seasonal food and craft beers if you spend it at Jimmy’s No. 43 in the East Village. A special holiday menu includes the elements of a great home-cooked meal: roasted meats, root veggies, and plenty of sides. Finish your meal with a festive pie, then toddle on home (or stick around for a nightcap).
4. Café Cluny
Standard a la carte menu plus Christmas specials
For a Christmas dinner in a warm, inviting environment, make a reservation at Café Cluny. This charming little West Village institution is the perfect, intimate place for a holiday meal. Dinner on the 25th will be a la carte – including favorites like roasted chicken (organic and antibiotic-free, of course) – with special holiday items available, as well.
5. Josie’s West
a la carte
This Upper West Side restaurant ups the ante by offering both brunch and dinner on Christmas day. Start your holiday with brunch dishes like the veggie omelette filled with roasted portabella mushrooms, asparagus, fennel, and natural cheddar. Tempting dinner options include natural pumpkin ravioli with shitake mushrooms or grilled Scottish salmon with pecan mashed sweet potato. Afterward, why not take a stroll in Central Park?
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Jessica Colley is a freelance travel and food writer based in New York City. She shares the inside scoop on her travels at The Great American Travel Dream.
Photo of Macy’s at Christmas by Gary Wong on Flickr