12 Top Options for Christmas Dining in Dallas

The full spread being offered at Dakota's this holiday.
The full spread being offered at Dakota's this holiday. Courtesy of Dakota's, photo by Beckley Photography
We’ve entered that part of the year where the days fly by, and if Dec. 25 closing in has you wondering what you’re going to do about holiday food, we hear you. For Christmas Day, a number of hotel restaurants will be open with a variety of buffets, prix fixe menus and a la carte offerings. You can dine at Ellie’s at Hall Arts Hotel, Fearing’s at the Ritz-Carlton or LAW at the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Las Colinas (among others).

We created a list of 12 of the best places to go for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners and brunches. These Dallas restaurants have holiday food for you whether your mood is fancy or casual. We’ve also included some take-home options to keep your kitchen worry-free.

Place your orders or make your reservations now to make sure your top picks are available.

3 Eleven Kitchen and Cocktails
311 N. Market St., #100 (West End)

3 Eleven will have a full menu on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day that includes a three-course steak dinner option ($49). Seafood options are plentiful and there’s a host of shareable plates to start with. If all you want for Christmas is a cocktail, their hot-buttered bourbon, winter Paloma or holiday horchata will hit the spot. Visit the website or call 214-744-1423 to make reservations.

Celebration Market
4515 W. Lovers Lane (Northwest Dallas)

For decades, Celebration Market has been preparing Christmas dinner to feed your family at home for the holidays, and this year is no different. Whether you want grilled beef tenderloin, rosemary-roasted or Cajun-fried turkey or a spiral-cut honey ham, you can choose your options a la carte or as a family feast ($100-$265).

Even if you’re not getting takeout for Christmas dinner, don’t sleep on their fresh-baked breads, holiday casseroles and pies ($20-$22). Order on the website or call 214-352-0031 by Monday, Dec. 20 for Christmas week pickup Dec. 22-24.

600 N. Akard St. (Downtown Dallas)

Newly reopened underground steakhouse Dakota’s will be open for dinner on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. On those days exclusively, you can order chef Ji Kang’s whole roasted lamb crown for three to four people ($175) with sourdough and cranberry stuffing served with lamb jus. The regular menu is also available, and it’s the perfect time to try their limited quantity beef Wellington. Whatever you choose, you’ll dine in a luxurious space. Visit the website for more information or reservations.

614 W. Davis, Suite 100 (Bishop Arts)

A new addition to our Top 100 Restaurants this year, Corey McCombs' and Matt Balke’s Encina will be open for dinner on Christmas Eve from 5 to 10 p.m. Special dishes for the evening include curry butter-poached lobster, roasted rack of lamb from John Dory and Elysian Fields. The regular dinner menu will also be available. Visit the website or call 469-620-3644 for reservations.

Elm & Good
2551 Elm St. (Deep Ellum)

If you want Christmas tamales or enchiladas, Elm & Good has options for you for takeout or dine in on Christmas Eve from 5 to 10:30 p.m. Chef Graham Dodds brings his take to traditional tamales (three for $9 for dine-in or six for $18 to-go) with turkey carnitas or local mushrooms and salsa roja and salsa verde.

The Christmas enchilada plate at their Feliz Navidad dinner includes three turkey breast enchiladas with red chile or three Oaxaca cheese enchiladas with green chile ($12 to-go). The enchilada plates ($23) include braised borracho Anasazi beans and cilantro rice. For dessert, there’s Mexican vanilla flan ($6) topped with caramel and orange zest. Reserve a seat or place an order online or by calling 469-498-2525. The latest time to place Christmas Eve takeout orders is 5 p.m.

Fireside Pies
6750 Abrams Road, No. 105 (Lake Highlands), 5717 Legacy Drive, No. 110 (Plano) and additional locations in Grapevine and Fort Worth

Fireside Pies is bucking their traditional pie menu for the holidays and is instead offering something special from chef Stephan Pyles. The meal ($195) includes chile-honey baked ham and Fireside's signature lasagna. The dinner also includes tomatillo green beans with almonds, elotes, caramelized shallot-sage mashed potatoes, garlic and Parmesan yeast bread, cranberry mojo and honey mustard sauce. Choose cranberry-white chocolate bread pudding with Maker’s Mark butterscotch sauce or honey crisp apple-cream cheese flatbread pie with aged balsamic for dessert.

Order by 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19, by emailing [email protected] or calling the Fireside Pies location near you between the hours of 2 and 5 p.m. If you order by Dec. 17, you’ll get both desserts instead of just one.

Fish City Grill and Half Shells
6617 Snider Plaza (University Park) and 10 other North Texas locations

Fish City Grill’s 12 Days of Christmas has specially priced drink or food offers every day through Dec. 24. On Dec. 17, get $2 cups of gumbo and $3.50 14-oz Yuenglings or on Dec. 18, get $2 cups of clam chowder and $7 hurricanes. Each day brings a one-day-only special that’s available for dine-in or takeout, but not for delivery.

The 12th day lands on Christmas Eve with an offer of $10 off a minimum purchase of $25. Most locations will be open limited hours on Christmas Eve, and all will be closed on Christmas Day. Check the location nearest you for holiday hours and details on the 12 Days of Christmas specials.

Pangea Restaurant and Bar
6309 N. President George Bush Highway, Suite 8101 (Garland)

This upscale restaurant by chef Kevin Ashade is accepting reservations for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Pangea appetizers include crab cakes, Jamaican beef patties, potstickers and Cajun pot pie. Entrées range from steaks to lobster tail to blackened catfish, and all are best accompanied by chef Kev's cornbread and his Not Your Mama's Greens. Make reservations at OpenTable.

The Statler, Primo’s MX, Sfereco
1914 Commerce St. (Statler Hotel, Downtown Dallas), three additional locations of Primo’s MX Kitchen and two locations of Sfereco

Santa’s sleigh is full of dining options at all Primo’s and Sfereco locations, plus Waterproof, Scout, Overeasy and Bourbon & Banter at The Statler on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day, Sfereco Lewisville and Flower Mound locations will be closed and all other RHC restaurants and bars are slated to be open.

If you’d rather dine at home, there are take and bake holiday meals you can pick up at Primo’s MX locations (plus Sfereco in Lewisville) on Dec. 23 and 24. There’s a smoked ham dinner ($165) for six to eight people with cornbread dressing, green beans with toasted almonds, whipped sweet potatoes, cranberry orange sauce and Parker House rolls and a Texas BBQ Beef Brisket dinner ($185) with three-cheese mac n’ cheese, jalapeño bbq beans, creamy coleslaw, and cornbread. A wide selection of entrees, sides and desserts will also be available a la carte.

Visit the RHC website to order online by 5 p.m. Dec. 22 for pickup times after 11 a.m. on Dec. 23 and 24 at any Primo’s MX location or at Sfereco in Lewisville.

Rise + Thyme
211 S. Akard St. (Downtown Dallas)

Holiday take-house package at Rise + Thyme in the AT&T Discovery District includes crispy five-spice duck for two or three people ($130) or slow-cooked prime rib for four to five people ($275). Both packages come with salad, potatoes, baby carrots and chocolate pot de crème. Add-ons include a cinnamon roll kit ($20), an ounce of Kaluga caviar ($100) or a smoked fish platter for four ($60). Order and prepay on the website by 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 16 for pickup on Dec. 23 and 24.

The Rustic
3656 Howell St. (Uptown)

It’s a holiday tradition to Drink the Tree at The Rustic by choosing your favorite brew from the beer bottle Christmas tree. They also have homemade tamales. You can enjoy both from 4 to 9 p.m. on Christmas Day at The Rustic.

Bowl and Barrel (8084 Park Ln #145), a sister business of The Rustic, also has their own Drink the Tree celebration. Visit on Christmas Day from 3 to 9 p.m. for some beer and a little bowling to burn off all those extra holiday calories.

TJ’s Seafood
6025 Royal Lane, No. 110 (North Dallas) and 4212 Oak Lawn Ave. (Oak Lawn)

For some people in Dallas, Christmas shrimp is as much of a tradition as Christmas tamales are for others. Owner Jon Alexis recently shared the story of original owners hand-peeling more than 30 pounds of shrimp for their first fresh seafood Christmas offering more than 30 years ago.

The shrimp dishes, party platters and catering orders TJ’s now prepares for Christmas require a refrigerated 18-wheeler to store them. Shrimp peeling is a “family” affair that former employees from years past join in to help. This year’s take-home options include that must-have shrimp along with raw and ready-to-eat seafood, sandwich platters, side dishes, dips and more.

Visit the website as soon as possible (quantities are limited) to order some for your family for Dec. 24 pickup at the Preston Royal and Oak Lawn locations.
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By day, Kristina Rowe writes documentation that helps users navigate software, and as a contributor to the Dallas Observer she helps people find their way to food and fun. A long-time list-maker, small-business fan and happiness aficionado, she's also been an Observer reader for almost 40 years.
Contact: Kristina Rowe