30 Restaurants And Fast Food Chains Open On Christmas 2023

Are you looking for a place to eat out this Christmas? You're not alone. A 2022 study by the National Restaurant Association (admittedly not the most impartial source) found that 77% of Americans get some or all of their holiday fare from a restaurant (via Restaurant Business). It's not just sit-down eating, either. 50% of the respondents said they would be getting takeout or delivery during the holiday season, letting them enjoy the best of both worlds — a meal at home that's been prepared for them.

While we look forward to a home-cooked Christmas dinner, we understand why some people prefer to dine out. It's less stressful than preparing everything yourself, giving the freedom to focus on making memories instead. Others might eat out because they're trying to stay away from family drama or because they just don't celebrate Christmas. In Britain, 24% of the people who go to a restaurant for Christmas dinner simply want a new experience (via Bar Magazine).

The big challenge for those wanting to eat out on Christmas may be finding a place to eat. According to the most recent data we could find, only 19% of restaurants remain open on Christmas Day while 76% are open on Christmas Eve (via Toast). Still, there are some great choices out there for people seeking a different kind of holiday treat. From restaurant websites and announcements, here are 30 restaurants and fast food chains open on Christmas, for anyone who wants to get out of the house.

1. Denny's

"America's Diner" is known for its around-the-clock service — as of August 2023, 75% of its franchises were open 24/7. Christmas is no exception, as all locations will be serving hungry customers, and most will be open all day and night.

Denny's frequently offers special holiday meals and treats too. For example, in 2019, Denny's announced a holiday menu that included a Cinnamon Roll Pancake breakfast and a Turkey and Dressing dinner. During the holiday season, guests can also "round up" the check to support No Kid Hungry, a campaign that raised over $1.2 million during the 2022 season alone.

2. Red Lobster

What if you're looking for the taste of seafood on Christmas? Red Lobster might have you covered. In both 2021 and 2022, select locations were open on December 25 for dine-in or take-out — you'll need to check the company website for which restaurants are open and during which hours.

Should your local Red Lobster be serving, make sure to check out the "Sleigh with Seafood" holiday menu that includes Family Feasts, party platters, and gift card specials to feed a crowd. It's even giving away some Christmassy recipes to make at home.

3. Waffle House

Since the first Waffle House opened its doors in 1955, it's been a 24/7 eatery — that was one of the reasons the founder opened it. Not only is Waffle House open on Christmas Day, but according to one employee, it's usually the busiest day on the calendar. 

While we're not aware of any meal specials, a tasty meal and a "Merry Christmas" from the staff is enough for us. With more than 1,900 locations across the South, East Coast, and Midwest, there are plenty of places to enjoy a bite.

4. Ruth's Chris Steak House

A holiday is a great excuse to enjoy fine dining, and Ruth's Chris Steak House is here to offer it. It's not just open on Christmas — it has extended hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (as well as New Year's Eve and New Year's Day) to give you a merry holiday experience.

Participating locations also sport a holiday menu that includes limited-time dishes like the Celebration Surf & Turf. Note that although reservations aren't required, they're strongly encouraged to avoid a long wait (though you can sit at the bar if you're not picky).

5. Applebee's

As a franchised restaurant, the operators of Applebee's Neighborhood Grill + Bar locations have the option of whether to open on Christmas or not. So you might be able to enjoy a meal and drinks at your local outpost, though hours could be limited. 

For a point of reference, the Columbia, Missouri Applebee's was open from 4 to 10 pm on Christmas in 2022. Call or check the website to confirm hours, and while you're there, check out the annual "Sleigh Bells Sips" holiday cocktail list — or get one to go in certain areas.

6. Huddle House

Fans of Huddle House will be happy to know they can enjoy "Any Meal, Any Time" on Christmas. According to the dining chain, a trip to Huddle House is even a family tradition for some. 

Whether your idea of an unconventional Christmas dinner is ham, prime rib tips, or a giant breakfast, everyone can enjoy what they want. Note that while Huddle House is normally open 24/7, some locations may adjust their operating hours on Christmas Day and/or Christmas Eve, so make sure to confirm before heading over.


Many (though not all) IHOP locations are open 24/7 — and in a continuation of the trend, that includes Christmas for participating locations, although the hours may vary. You should check to be certain, of course, but with more than 1,700 locations in the U.S. and elsewhere, there's a good chance you can find an open IHOP if that's what you're craving.

IHOP is currently serving a Homestyle Turkey & Stuffing meal and offering a "Buy $25, get $5" special on gift cards. Past holiday menu items have included limited-edition pancake flavors, melts, family meals, and milkshakes to suit taste buds at every hour of Noel.

8. Benihana

Are you seeking fine Japanese steak, sushi, and entertainment on Christmas? Head to the nearest Benihana. It's so well known for Christmas opening that it even inspired a two-part episode of "The Office" in 2006. You can make a Christmas Day or Christmas Eve reservation right now on the website, and a limited-time menu includes the Merry Margarita Punch Bowl and Ferrari Brut Rosé wine.

This year, almost 80 locations across Northern, Central, and South America will be open for those who want a sophisticated holiday meal. Just remember to follow the Benihana dress code.

9. McDonald's

What if the holiday meal at home was a disaster and you need a quick bite to fill your stomach? There's always the reliable golden arches. In 2022, a McDonald's spokesman told Today that most locations are open on Christmas and other holidays.

As franchised restaurants, it's ultimately up to the store owner, so use the website tools or app to confirm if your nearest McDonald's is open. Keep your eyes out for a potential holiday menu as well, as past seasonal offerings have included the Double Big Mac, the Jerk Chicken Sandwich, and the Holiday Pie.

10. Boston Market

There are almost 300 Boston Market fast-casual restaurants across the U.S., and almost all of them are expected to be open on Christmas. The exact hours will vary, so check first before you head in. Boston Market goes all-out for the season, too.

Holiday catering specials are available through December 31 as either a buffet or individual meals, featuring the signature rotisserie chicken, ham, or turkey plus sides like stuffing and cranberry sauce. You can order meals online as well for pickup or delivery.

11. Starbucks

With opening presents, family visits, and everything else happening on Christmas, Starbucks will be there to provide a pick-me-up. Most of the company's roughly 35,000 worldwide locations will be serving on Christmas, though hours may change slightly. The company recommends using the Starbucks app to see if and when your local Starbucks is open.

If you're feeling festive, try out the holiday menu. This year's version features annual favorites like the Peppermint Mocha and Chestnut Praline Latte along with new beverages, pastries, and other delights. There are also bags of Christmas Blend and Holiday Blend coffee to brew at home.

12. Golden Corral

Skip the arguments about what to serve on Christmas and go to a restaurant that has it all. The more than 350 Golden Corral buffet and grill locations nationwide will be open on Christmas — and during dinner hours, you can enjoy the "Holiday Buffet" that includes carved turkey, ham, and roast beef along with traditional holiday sides and desserts.

Don't want to eat in? On its website, Golden Corral has the option to preorder to-go buffets on Christmas and Christmas Eve with pickup, drive-up, curbside, and delivery options. Select the nearest restaurant to see its operating hours on those days.

13. Hard Rock Café

For music lovers, a trip to the Hard Rock Café is a wonderful holiday present. All Hard Rock restaurants worldwide — including over 30 U.S. locations from Washington State to Key West — are open on Christmas for their regular operating hours.

You can make reservations on the Hard Rock website and order from its multi-course holiday menu that includes New York strip steak, baby back ribs, burgers, and grilled salmon. Pickup options are available as well — though with Hard Rock Café owning the world's largest catalog of music collectibles, we can't imagine why you wouldn't want to visit.

14. Domino's

From birthdays to holidays, pizza is almost always a safe bet. If you just need some pizza on Christmas, try Domino's. Although Christmas is the one holiday Domino's observes at the corporate level, most locations are independently owned franchises, meaning they get to decide whether they're open — contact your local Domino's to confirm. All locations are open on Christmas Eve with limited hours.

We're not currently aware of any holiday-specific deals, but you can enjoy all the regular offerings, including the $6.99 Mix & Match menu and the rewards program. The online ordering tool lets you schedule up to three weeks in advance.

15. Romano's Macaroni Grill

For a fancier take on Italian food at Christmas, head to Romano's Macaroni Grill. This authentic Italian restaurant is open on Christmas Day and Christmas Eve at its normal hours — typically 11 am to 9 pm.

You can make reservations now on the restaurant's website or schedule pickup, delivery, and catering up to a month in advance. While Christmas specials have not been announced at time of writing, Romano's is offering a three-course Thanksgiving meal featuring roasted turkey breast at $34 for adults and $17 for kids.

16. Perkins Restaurant & Bakery

Perkins, which was purchased by Huddle House in 2019, will have select restaurants open for Christmas Day dining and pick-up alongside its sibling eatery. With nearly 300 Perkins Restaurant & Bakery locations spread across 32 states, there's a good chance of finding an open option, though you should check with individual locations to confirm.

It recently released the annual holiday menu which features a homestyle Butterball turkey dinner and multiple prime rib offerings. Perkins also has a Holiday Bakeshop with assorted cakes and pies to satisfy sweet teeth.

17. Dunkin'

As the slogan says, America runs on Dunkin' — and on Christmas, you need your caffeine fix as much as ever. A Dunkin' company spokesman says that many but not all locations will be open for Christmas. This isn't surprising considering Dunkin' has a franchise-driven business model that leaves operating hours up to each store.

Check with your local Dunkin' or use the app to confirm the opening hours. When you stop in — even if it has to be the next town over — the holiday menu will be bustling with treats such as the Peppermint Mocha Signature Latte, Spiked Cookie Iced Coffee, and Triple Chocolate Muffin.

18. Kona Grill

While some people like something familiar on Christmas, Kona Grill promises to offer a unique meal and experience. All locations will be open on December 24 and 25 from 11 am to 11 pm. In recent years, holiday specials have typically been announced around mid-December. 

For 2022, those specials included a weekend Christmas brunch, gourmet dinners such as Prime Rib and Surf & Turf, and specialty cocktails — plus there are kid's meals and to-go options. Visit the Happenings page on the Kona Grill website to stay up to date as Christmas draws closer.

19. Sullivan's Steakhouse

A visit to Sullivan's Steakhouse is another way to take in a more sophisticated meal and atmosphere. It's taking reservations at all locations for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with slots available between noon and 8 pm. 

In addition to the regular offerings of steaks, seafood, and cocktails, Sullivan's has a Holiday Favorites Menu available from November 1 through January 2. This includes the Filet Mignon Duo, spicy Lobster-Basil Stuffed Shrimp, and Braised Short Rib with wine pairings chosen by a sommelier. From Pittsburgh to Tucson, it's a great option for high-end holiday dining.

20. Marie Callender's

If you want homestyle holiday dining without having to make it at home, Marie Callender's will make it for you. Participating locations are open on Christmas, though some may only offer takeout due to demand. Use the online store locator to check what services are available. 

Recent Christmas Day menus have included classics like turkey and ham as well as Shrimp and Chicken Carbonara and Fresh Vegetable Pasta — which, of course, come with a slice of their famous pie. You can also pre-order whole pies as well as meals that serve up to eight people for family feasts.

21. Yard House

If your idea of a good Christmas is fusion food, draft beer, and classic rock music, the Yard House is the place to be. The company website states that select locations are open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and to check with the nearest Yard House for their hours. 

We've been told that Orlando, Las Vegas, and Hawaii are among the Yuletide options. They have to-go ordering and holiday party bookings at all restaurants, and while Yard House does not do reservations, you can join the waitlist online to reduce the potential downtime.

22. TGI Fridays

It doesn't matter what day of the week Christmas or Christmas Eve falls on — you can celebrate at TGI Fridays in both the U.S. and the U.K., with hours appearing to vary based on the year and location. In fact, U.K. locations already have their Christmas menu out and are booking reservations! 

The two-course menu includes an appetizer and entrée with choices such as the Fridays Festive Burger, Cajun Chicken Pasta, and Christmas Combo Bucket. And did we mention the festive cocktails and bottomless brunch? We'll keep our eyes out for when the stateside TGI Fridays have their Christmas offerings.

23. STK Steakhouse

The Christmas season seems to be very popular at steakhouses, with STK Steakhouse locations worldwide joining the list of Christmas Day dining options. It's accepting reservations online now using OpenTable. 

The most recent menu items haven't been announced at this time, but in the past, STK Steakhouse has done a Christmas prime rib meal on multiple occasions along with steak and seafood specials and a Christmas Day brunch. The Christmas section of the website is teasing wagyu beef, holiday cocktails, and other delicacies — and in New York City, you can eat, drink, and enjoy a snowy view at The Lodge by STK Rooftop.

24. Fogo de Chão

Prefer your holiday steak with a Brazilian twist? Head to Fogo de Chão. According to their website, most if not all locations are open from 11 am to 9:30 pm on Christmas Eve and 11 am to 9:30 pm on Christmas Day with dinner pricing all day long. You can make reservations now, which are highly recommended for holiday dining. 

If you want to treat someone else for Christmas, treat yourself as well with bonus gift cards until January 1. Fogo de Chão also does holiday party bookings with customizable food options and semi-private or private spaces.

25. KFC

While we were unable to confirm if KFC is open on Christmas in the U.S., fried chicken lovers in the U.K. and Japan will be able to get their fill. According to CNN, dining at KFC has become a widespread Christmas tradition for the Japanese.

U.K. customers get to enjoy "Perfectly Seasoned Greetings" as well with items like the Gravy Bucket and the Stuffing Stacker Burger — two chicken filets with stuffing, cheese, and cranberry sauce on a bun. For U.S. diners, KFC is offering the Mac & Cheese Wrap, the Colonel's Homestyle Brownie, holiday-themed bucket artwork, and matching apparel.

26. Chart House

For a great Christmas meal with an equally amazing view, chart a course to this seafood restaurant. Reservations can be booked for 3 to 9 pm on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, though remaining availability depends on where you're planning to go. 

In past years, it's offered a Christmas-Day-only three-course dinner with a mix of traditional Christmas dishes and Chart House staples. Alternatively, you can pre-order a Prime Rib Family Meal Pack for pick-up on December 24 or 25, which costs $130 and serves up to four people.

27. Morton's The Steakhouse

Christmas reservations are available now to enjoy upscale dining at over 50 Morton's locations nationwide, with more overseas. The hours for each location vary — we found multiple Morton's accepting bookings from noon to 8 pm on Christmas and 4 to 9 pm on Christmas Eve, but you should double-check with your nearest venue. 

The featured presentation is the Chateaubriand Holiday Dinner from December 24-31, a three-course meal featuring tender filet steak. With prices starting at $179 for two people, it's not within everyone's budget, but those looking for a ritzy experience will certainly find it.

28. Shoney's

Since the mid-2010s, Shoney's has been working on revitalizing the All-American restaurant brand — and that includes being open for Christmas dinner. The annual Christmas Day Feast has previously included a buffet-style bar of freshly prepared holiday and everyday foods, with dishes like turkey, ham, crispy chicken, roast beef, and shrimp. 

It's available to go as well, if you want to bring a meal home — or you can treat someone else by purchasing a $30 gift card for just $25. The hours at different Shoney's locations vary, so check online before heading over.

29. Smith & Wollensky

In both the U.S. and overseas, select Smith & Wollensky locations are open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. You'll have to check the location, though. While writing this, we confirmed that reservations for both days are available at the New York City location, but found other venues may only be open for Christmas Eve or for neither day. 

The 2022 Christmas menu featured a three-course meal with courses such as free-range turkey, braised lamb shank, and pan-fried bass. In a fun holiday tradition, the NYC restaurant turns its green exterior into a giant Christmas gift waiting to be unwrapped.

30. Legal Sea Foods

Thanks to Legal Sea Foods, revelers can get a taste of the New England coast even at Christmas. While it used to be open to dine in on December 25, it may now only be open for Christmas Eve. With the Legal Sea Foods Holidays at Home menu, you can order in advance for the big day — though you'll need to give at least 24 hours notice.

The menu features family-size portions of everything from their popular New England Clam Chowder and lobster rolls to desserts like Key Lime Pie. There are Party Platters as well for family and company events.