Where to eat on Christmas

11 best Houston restaurants open and serving on Christmas Day

11 best Houston restaurants open and serving on Christmas Day

Annie Cafe Christmas decor
The Annie Cafe is decorated for the holidays. Photo by Jacob Power
Phat Eatery sizzling beef with black pepper
Sizzling beef with black pepper at Phat Eatery. Photo by Chuck Cook
Peli Peli beef wellington
Peli Peli will serve beef Wellington on Christmas. Courtesy of Peli Peli
Annie Cafe Christmas decor
Phat Eatery sizzling beef with black pepper
Peli Peli beef wellington

For most people, Christmas Day means staying home, spending time with the family, and enjoying a home-cooked meal.

However, not everybody wants to cook on Christmas. For those people, we offer this list of restaurants (and one bar) that will be open on the holiday. Since these hardworking Houstonians are taking time away from their families to feed strangers, we recommend tipping generously. After all, it’s Christmas!

Our annual suggestions of Chinese restaurants for those celebrating “Jewish Christmas” will appear next week.

The Annie Cafe & Bar 
Ben Berg’s refreshed take on Cafe Annie will be open for lunch and dinner from 10 am to 7 pm. Expect its regular menu (try the lumache pasta and Gulf crab meat tostadas) plus a few specials created by executive chef Robert Del Grande. 1800 Post Oak Blvd.; 713-804-1800

Located in Spring Branch, this restaurant elevates the typical Korean barbecue experience in a couple of ways. First, the well-trained staff oversees the traditional tabletop cooking. Second, they offer a number of high quality meats, including dry-aged ribeye and Japanese wagyu. On Christmas, the restaurant will be open from 5pm to 11 pm. 1453 Witte Rd.; 832-740-4350

The Burger Joint 
If late-night hunger strikes, this Montrose restaurant can help. The Burger Joint will be serving its full menu from 11 am to 12 am on Christmas Day. Try this month’s special Jalapeño Ranch Bacon Burger (befe patty, bacon, Muenster, red onion, garlic pickles, and homemade jalapeño ranch). 2703 Montrose Blvd.; 281-974-2889

Cleburne Cafeteria 
Recently named the best cafeteria in America, this Houston institution will be open from 11 am to 8 pm on Christmas Day. Choose from the restaurant's full range of offerings, which always include turkey and dressing, as well as fried chicken, fish, and more. Take-out will also be available on a first-come-first-serve basis. 3606 Bissonnet St.; 713-667-2386

Skip the usual ham or turkey and let chef Kaiser Lashkari feed the family masala-spiced fried chicken, Hunter’s Beef, and garlic naan. Recently named to GQ’s list of 22 new classic restaurants, Himalaya will be open from 11:30 am to 9:30 pm. 6652 Southwest Fwy; 713-532-2837

The Upper Kirby favorite serves a decadent buffet on Christmas Day. Priced at $75 for adults and $35 for children 4-10, the offerings include rosemary and garlic roasted leg of lamb, tandoor-roasted turkey with apricot and cranberry stuffing, chicken korma, mixed breads, and plenty of desserts. Choose from one of three seatings: 10:30 am, 1 pm, and 3:30 pm. 2925 Richmond Ave.; 713-960-8472

Peli Peli 
All four locations of the South African restaurant will be open on Christmas from 2pm to 8 pm. In addition to its regular menu, chef Ryan Stewart is offering two specials: a 14-ounce double bone-in pork chop with carrot bredie and an 8-ounce beef Wellington served with Drakensburg legumes. See website for address and phone numbers.

Phat Eatery 
Check out the Malaysian restaurant’s newly expanded dining room from 11:30 am to 8 pm on Christmas Day. Not only is chef-owner Alex Au-Yeung serving some of the finest Roti Canai and Curry Laksa in town, but the lack of traffic on the holiday means the drive to Katy will never be easier. 23119 Colonial Pkwy (Katy); 832-913-6382

Present Company 
Houston’s most-Instagrammable bar will be open from 7 pm to 2 am. If hunger strikes, the kitchen will be serving a limited menu until midnight. 1318 Westheimer; 281-974-4752

Shun Japanese Kitchen 
The innovation Japanese restaurant will be open for normal dinner hours on Christmas (5-10 pm). In addition to its regular menu of nigiri, hand rolls, and shareable plates, the restaurant will offer a four-piece fried chicken special with mashed potatoes, truffle mac and cheese, biscuits, and two glasses of champagne for $25. 2802 S Shepherd Dr.; 832-409-5888

Verandah Progressive Indian Restaurant 
Chef Sunil Srivastava will serve a three-course, $65 prix-fixe menu at his stylish Upper Kirby establishment. The restaurant promises lots of tempting choices for appetizers, entrees, and desserts. Open 6-9 pm (last seating 8:30). 3300 Kirby Dr.; 281-501-0258