Christmas Eve is fast approaching, and you’ll find many more options for dining out than on Christmas Day. Whether you’re looking for a casual meal off a regular dinner menu, a holiday special, or a prix-fixe experience, there’s a little something for everyone.
Festive Regular Menus
5120 MacArthur Blvd., NW
This cozy Palisades spot offers a few holiday additions to the regular menu, including foie gras terrine, lobster cocktail, Dover sole with Champagne mousseline, and a yule log cake for dessert.
1601 14th St., NW
The 14th Street hotspot looks the festive part with plenty of trees, wreaths, and sparkling lights, but the á-la-carte menu is served per usual (note an earlier closing time at 9). You can still make things extra-special with an elaborate shellfish plateau and a bottle of bubbly.
2401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
It’s a special occasion every night at chef Robert Wiedmaier‘s newly renovated dining room, and Christmas Eve is no different. The regular tasting menu is offered; don’t skip the classic boudin blanc with truffles.
1813 Columbia Rd., NW
This bustling neighborhood bistro always feels merry. Thankfully, the usual menu is on the table, so you can go casual with a great bacon cheeseburger or opt for more-elaborate beef bourguignon.
301 Water St., SE
The hearty Northern Italian fare at Michael White‘s eatery is sure to warm up a chilly night. The regular menu is served, with standouts like lasagna verde, seafood brodetto, and braised short ribs.
5455 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase
Christmas Eve can be served on the lighter side at this Japanese spot, which serves its typical variety of sushi, sashimi, and small plates such as seared lobster and scallop with creamy ponzu and smoked mussel miso soup.
1226 36th St., NW
One of Washington’s most atmospheric restaurants always dresses up for the holidays, with plenty of decorations and a wood-burning fireplace. The regular menu takes a seasonal course, with butternut squash soup perked up with pomegranate, or fried oysters with caviar.
1625 I St., NW
Guests can order a set three-course menu from the blackboard for Christmas Eve ($60 per person) or go à-la-carte. Either way, complimentary popovers prevail.
1099 New York Ave., NW
While chef Fabio Trabocchi‘s more formal restaurants offer seafood feasts, diners can get a four-course menu of robust dishes from his native Le Marche at the more casual sibling ($85 per person; $55 with wine pairing).
1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Chef Michel Richard offers two menus for Christmas Eve: a three-course pre-theater option from 5 to 6:30 with dishes such as hamachi tartare and roasted veal loin ($55 per person), or a regular five-course tasting that adds items like lobster-and-apple risotto ($105 per person).
777 I St., NW
Carnivores can find the meaty equivalent of Feast of the Seven Fishes with Victor Albisu‘s Feast of the Seven Beasts. Venison ceviche, smoked calf brains, and many shanks await ($78 per person, available December 19 through Christmas Eve).
2275 L St., NW
Guests can pick between two tastings: a seasonal three-course with dishes like oyster and Champagne stew and duck with foie gras, or a seven-course seafood option ($65 and $95, respectively).
903 N St., NW
A wintry five-course menu is served at this Shaw neighborhood spot, with offerings including smoked egg with caviar, goose galantine, and hare with persimmons ($95 per person; $45 optional wine pairing).
2941 Fairview Park Dr., Falls Church
The prix-fixe menus begin early at 3:30, where the four-course offering is specially priced at $75 for dishes like lobster and scallops in puff pastry and roast pheasant breast. The price rises to $85 after 4:30, while the $25 children’s menu remains the same.