The Ultimate Christmas Restaurant Primer 2011

Whether you're traveling, tired, or lazy, these great restaurants are serving Christmas dinner

The holidays are all about gathering with friends and family around the table to enjoy a hearty meal and toast to health and happiness. But sometimes planning a full dinner that satisfies all your loved ones (making sure to mix in the family classics for the traditionalists with the modern dishes for the adventurous eaters) is a task that's simply too much to manage. Sometimes it's just best to make a reservation and leave things up to the professionals.

Click for The Ultimate Christmas Restaurant Primer 2011 Slideshow.

Once you've made the decision to dine out on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, the next step is figuring out the perfect place to go. Choosing a restaurant for a holiday meal is about taking into consideration what's being offered on the menu, what your desired price point is, and what kind of atmosphere your party is looking for. 

In this guide you'll find options across The Daily Meal's featured cities that span each of these variables — from brunches to dinners, traditional menus to inventive ones, high-end prix-fixe tastings to family-style buffets, and from rustic venues to elegant hotel restaurants.

For those seeking a fine dining experience, Providence in Los Angeles and Michael Mina in San Francisco are both offering special menus for Christmas. Those looking for something a bit more cozy and casual should consider The Fireplace in Boston, or Founding Farmers in Washington, D.C. No matter what you're looking for, the The Daily Meal's Ultimate Christmas Restaurants Primer 2011 will have the answer.