Food

Christmas Around the World: DC-Area Restaurants Celebrate the Holidays with Global Flavors

Where to find Christmas takeout and dine-in feasts from the Caribbean, Mexico, Southeast Asia, and beyond.

Stable serves fondue in private chalets and outdoors on Christmas Eve and Day. Photo by Amanda Hoey.

Ambar
2901 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; 523 8th St., SE
Restaurateur Ivan Iricanin’s Balkan restaurants in Clarendon and Capitol Hill serve their signature all-you-can-eat feasts for Christmas eve and brunch on Christmas day. The meals are available for indoor and outdoor dining. (There’s also generous to-go packages that captures the AYCE spirit.) For both celebrations, you’ll find a range of Balkan sweet and savory pastries, dips and spreads, meat and seafood dishes, salads, and more. Prices vary slightly by meal and location but are generally around $35 before tax and tip, and $55 for takeout. 

Anju
1805 18th St., NW
Celebrate Christmas Eve with modern Korean flavors from Dupont’s star Korean restaurant. The takeout menu for two includes a beef Wellington with shiitake mushroom and perilla duxelle and yuzu-horseradish cream, plus accompaniments like chestnut stuffing, kimchi collards, soy lacquered potatoes, and ginger-pear cobbler. Pre-orders go live starting on December 18 at 2 PM. The restaurant is also open for outdoor patio dining.

Bad Saint
3226 11th St., NW
Celebrate the holidays Filipino-style with dishes from this gem in Columbia Heights. The to-go menu includes lechon (roast pork with crispy skin) and all the fixings like bao buns, banana ketchup, pickles, and more ($85; serves two-to-three). There’s also creamy crab fat linguine ($60), crudite with burnt coconut ($30), and vegan adobo mushrooms. For dessert: a Filipino cookie box. Order online for pickup on December 23 and 24.

Cane
403 H St., NE
Chef Peter Prime’s Trinidadian restaurant makes traditional Christmas pastelles—cornmeal “parcels” stuffed with savory beef and steamed in banana leaves ($12 each, or five for $50). You can also order a showstopper centerpiece from the holiday menu: pineapple chow-marinated Berkshire ham with scotch bonnet-honey glaze (9 to 10 lbs, $220), plus sides like pigeon peas, and sorrel-infused wine. Pre-order by Sunday, December 20 at 5 PM for pickup on Thursday, December 24 from 9 AM to noon.

Anju serves a Korean-influenced beef Wellington for Christmas Eve with shiitake duxelles. Photograph by John Rorapaugh/Leading DC.

Chiko
423 Eighth St., SE; 2029 P St., NW
Chef Scott Drewno is back in the duck game for Christmas Eve, serving half-peking duck feasts ($75) for takeout and delivery from the Dupont and Capitol Hill restaurants. Packages come with all the accoutrements (steamed buns, Chinese mustard sauce, hoisin, and a cucumber-scallion salad) plus duck egg rolls, winter vegetable fried rice, garlic broccoli, and pickles.

Cielo Rojo
7056 Carroll Ave., Takoma Park
Celebrate with traditional Mexican tamales from this Takoma Park restaurant, which is accepting pre-orders for Christmas Eve. Pick between fillings like chicken mole; vegetarian pumpkin, rajas, and cheese; or vegan pumpkin and peppers ($6 each). Pickup is between 11:30 and 5 PM on Christmas Eve. 

The Game
2411 18th St., NW
Jo-Jo Valenzuela serves a Pinoy Christmas Eve from his Filipino gastropub in Adams Morgan, sized for one ($45), two ($80), or four ($150). Dishes include stuffed embutido sausage, chicken pastel, and a coconut-panda dessert. Orders must be placed by December 21 by emailing contact@thegamedc.com (pick up 11 AM to 1 PM).

Jaleo packages a Spanish holiday feast to-go for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Photograph courtesy of Jaleo

Jaleo DC
480 Seventh St., NW
Chef José Andrés’s flagship restaurant serves a five-course Christmas feast to-go that’s packaged cold for pick-up on Thursday, December 24 from 10 AM to 2 PM—so you can enjoy Christmas Eve or Day. Traditional Spanish holiday dishes include Catalan Christmas soup, canelones gratinados (filled pasta with pork, chicken, foie gras, and béchamel sauce), Christmas cookies, and more ($230 for four). Note the menu is also available Tuesday, December 22 and Wednesday, December 23. 

La Famosa
1300 Fourth St., SE
Chef/owner Joancarlo Parkhurst’s new Puerto Rican restaurant in Navy Yard channels warmer climes with an island-inspired holiday lineup to-go. Get in the spirit by ordering bottles of homemade coquito, a creamy blend of coconut, condensed milk, spices, and house-infused rum, which you can purchase solo or with cookies. Throughout the month of December the kitchen is also serving a Puerto Rican feast for four-to-six ($180) with pernil asado (roast pork), rice and pigeon peas, pasteles with yucca and salt cod, rice pudding, and more. The restaurant serves its regular menu for indoor and outdoor dining. 

La Famosa packages a Puerto Rican holiday feast to-go with coquito, roast pork, and more. Photograph courtesy of La Famosa.

Lebanese Taverna
Multiple area locations
Celebrate the holidays with Lebanese dishes from the Abi-Najm family, who are behind this homegrown chainlet. Centerpieces include lamb leg or shoulder with spiced rice and three-herb sauce, sides like fried cauliflower with tahini-pomegranate sauce, buche de noël cakes, and more. Round out the spread with regular mezze, dips, spreads, et al. Order online for pick-up at the Tysons Galleria, Rockville, Baltimore, or Arlington market locations on December 10, 11, 24, 26, or 31.

Makan
3400 11th St., NW
Chef James Wozniuk’s new Malaysian restaurant is serving a Christmas dinner menu to-go for two ($85). Butterfly pea rice is accompanied by beef rendang curry, spicy-sour skate wing, curry eggplant, pickles, salads, and more. In addition to the meal, guests can opt for tropical cocktails to-go and wine packages themed around vacation destinations.

Maydan
1346 Florida Ave., NW
Chef Marcelle Afram’s family-style holiday feast centers around a whole leg of lamb mandi (a rice and meat dish) served with hummus, beet dip, shanklish-stuffed dates, fennel and chicory salad, condiments, homemade bread, and passion fruit baklawa ($85 per person excluding tax, beverage, and a 22 percent service charge that covers Covid-era dining precautions). The feast is available inside the wood-fired restaurant or outdoors; additional family-style menus are available to-go.

Maydan’s beet borani dip, part of a multi-course holiday lamb feast. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Muchas Gracias
5029 Connecticut Ave., NW
Chihuahua native chef Christian Irabién has created a modern Mexican menu for the holidays. The eight-course feast features dishes like huitlacoche ravioli, pork loin in garlic gravy, and Oaxacan chocolate mousse ($120 for two, $200 for four). You can also order individual tamales. Pre-order online by December 18 for pick up on Christmas Eve from 11 AM to 6 PM.

Padaek
6395 Seven Corners Center, Falls Church
Lao meets Chinese dim sum for chef Seng Luangrath’s carryout Christmas feast for two ($65). The spread includes taro puffs, pork dumplings, cheung fun rice noodle rolls with scrump, peking duck wraps, and more. Pre-order for Christmas pickup from noon to 3 PM (available Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 8 PM otherwise).

Crispy fish at Tiger Fork. Photograph courtesy of Tiger Fork

Rasika and Bombay Club
633 D St., NW; 1190 New Hampshire Ave., NW; 815 Connecticut Ave., NW
Restaurateur Ashok Bajaj’s pioneering fine dining Indian restaurants, which just celebrated their 15th (Rasika) and 32nd (Bombay) anniversaries, have your holiday covered with prix-fixe menus for dine-in, takeout, and delivery alongside regular a la carte. Bombay Club serves a three-course Christmas Eve dinner ($55 per person) with dishes like Kerala-style lobster soup and clove-roasted wild boar chops. Rasika Penn Quarter and West End are open on Christmas Day, and serve a three-course menu ($55 per person) with options like masala salmon cakes, coconut shrimp curry, and Goan Christmas cake.

Stable
1324 H St., NE
We may not get a snowy Christmas this year, but you can channel alpine vibes at this Swiss restaurant, which is serving its regular menu of fondue, homemade breads, spatezle, and schnapps for Christmas Eve dinner and brunch on Christmas Day. Patrons can book semi-private indoor chalets or opt to brave the weather outside with the help of heaters, blankets, and gluewhein. Takeout is also available.

Tiger Fork
922 Blagden Alley NW
The modern Hong Kong-style restaurant is serving its fourth annual Chinese feast on Christmas Day—though the spread is takeout-only this year from noon to 6:30 PM. Pick between a prix-fixe menu for three-to-four diners ($80) with “greatest hits” like smashed cucumbers, stuffed buns, sausage-and-prawn fried rice, and a barbecue platter. You can also go a la carte with classic items like crispy fish, noodles, and more. Order online via Tock.

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Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.