If you are not planning on a home-cooked meal on Christmas Eve or Day, several moderately-priced national chains are open and serving. If there is a tip bucket, tip generously, because the staff is giving up their holiday for you.
Call ahead to confirm that your preferred location is open, and its hours, since some independently-operated franchises may be closed or limit their hours.
ALSO SEE The Washington Post food critic rates ten top chains, including Applebee’s, IHOP, Red Lobster, Denny’s and Outback Steakhouse. It has nothing to do with what’s open Christmas Day, but it’s a good read, and the ratings might surprise you. They did surprise me.
Thanks to the trade publication Restaurant News for assembling this list of chains open on Christmas Day.
Boston Market: Select locations open for dine-in and take-out. Individual Christmas Meals (choice of hand-carved ham, roasted turkey breast or half signature roasted chicken) served with two sides, dinner roll and a slice of apple pie are $12.99. Market Feast for 3 (ham, turkey or chicken with three large sides, three dinner rolls and a whole apple or pumpkin pie) is $34.99. Hours are typically 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. but call your preferred location for hours.
Buca di Beppo: Open at 11 a.m. for dine-in or to-go.
Denny’s: Christmas is actually the diner chain’s busiest day of the year. Serves breakfast, lunch and dinner all 24-hours of Christmas Day.
Huddle House: Often their busiest day of the year. Opens at 6 a.m. on Christmas Day.
IHOP: Open all day (24-hours restaurants will keep to schedule, hours may vary at other locations).
Luby’s: Most locations are open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Your choice of entree with two sides and bread: Prime Rib $15.99 or Blackened Chicken Breast with Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp $13.99. Dessert and drinks are extra.
McDonald’s: Some locations are open. Call ahead to confirm.
Perkins Restaurant & Bakery: Most locations open at 6 a.m. on Christmas Day.
Shoney’s: Christmas Day selections start at $12.99; Kids 4 and under eat FREE with an adult Fresh Food Bar purchase
Sizzler: Select locations open, mostly in Arizona and California. Hours vary.
Starbucks: Most free-standing locations are open.
Steak ‘n Shake: Open on Christmas Day, usually starting at 11 a.m.
Village Inn: Open all day (though hours may vary by location). Be sure to get a slice of Candy Cane pie.
Waffle House: Open all day.
Not in the mood for standard fare such as turkey or ham?
Look to your local neighborhood restaurants. Many Chinese, Middle Eastern and Indian spots are open on Christmas for lunch and/or dinner.