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What is Open on Christmas Eve?
Over the past week or so, I have read multiple articles listing the restaurants open on Christmas Eve, but they all seem to be higher end, prix fix menus. While I am all for a nice dinner (you'll see below that's what I'm doing for Christmas Eve), what about those places open that don't require dressing up, reservations, or hundreds of dollars? I went ahead and included a list of these places I would recommend at the bottom of my post, just in case you are interested.
I decided to find out if some of my favorite less expensive places were open, and came up with this list after spending far longer on the phone than I typically like to do (I HATE the phone!). I was surprised by the number of places that were not sure if they were open or not. Who doesn't know whether or not they are open? I obviously had to exclude those from this list, but surprising nonetheless. Anyway, this list includes some of my favorite restaurants in San Diego.
Low to Moderate Priced Restaurants Open on Christmas Eve
- Tajima: A great place if you're looking for some ramen to warm the soul. One of my personal favorites is the spicy sesame ramen. All locations are open until 10 PM.
- Tan Ky Mi Gia: I found this gem a couple weeks ago that serves up some amazingly sinful Chinese cuisine. Try the combination chow fun and the wanton noodle soup. Keep in mind they are CASH ONLY, however, there is an ATM at the grocery next door. They close at 8 PM, but will close earlier if it is very slow, so I recommend calling first.
- Phuong Trang: One of my favorite Vietnamese spots serving some awesome soups and hands down the best garlic butter chicken wings in San Diego. They close at 10 PM on Christmas Eve.
- Minh Ky: Another great Chinese restaurant. If you check this place out, try the roast duck and Mongolian beef (the beef is extraordinarily tender). They are open until 8:30 on Christmas Eve.
- City Taco: This little North Park spot is a great place to get some unique style tacos. Their menu changes based on availability of ingredients, but they usually have a bacon and scallop taco. If you go, order it, you won't regret it. However, they are only open until 5 PM, so get there early.
- Amarin Thai: The tamarind tiger prawns and crying tiger are must gets here. If you're not interested in beef or prawns (seriously?) they make a great panang curry and all the duck dishes are wonderful. They are open regular business hours, closing at 11 PM.
- Buona Forchetta: Known for their pizza, this place gets busy so expect to wait if you don't arrive early. In addition to their pizza, the osso buco is tender and delicious. They close at 10 PM on Christmas Eve.
- Pizzeria Luigi: The guy I spoke to was "pretty sure" they were open regular business hours, which is until 12 AM. Just to be safe, call first. One of the best pizza joints in town, they offer many different thin crust pizzas, ranging from simple pepperoni to the frenchie (ham, pear, caramelized onion & blue cheese). You can eat there or take it to go.
- Bronx Pizza: One of the other best pizza spots in town for thin crust pizza, but also CASH ONLY. They also have a number of different pizza options, my favorite being their margarita. Eat in or take out. They are open until 7:30 PM on Christmas Eve, but stop taking orders at 6:45.
- The Crack Shack: If you are into fried chicken (who isn't?), you've got to check this place out. It's an order at the counter joint, and it gets quite busy, so expect to wait in line. But its worth it; the chicken is crunchy, juicy and incredibly flavorful - served by itself, on a sandwich, on a stick or in a salad. They will stay open until 9 PM Christmas Eve.
- Devine Pastabilities: Calling all carb lovers! This place serves what it calls a Torpasta, which is pasta stuffed in bread.
Can you get better than that? Especially when the bread is slightly crunchy on the outside, and soft on the inside without getting soggy from the pasta. You've got options such as meat lasagne, eggplant parm, raviola, and carbonara. Yum. Only open until 4 PM; may be early for dinner, but you won't need to eat for a long time after!
- Embargo Grill: Open until 10 PM AND taking reservations for parties of 6 or more. One of the best cuban sandwich spots I've ever been to. Everything I've tried has been amazing, but the Cubano sandwich, the chicken wings (I know weird right?), and plantain chips are standouts.
- World Curry: A great spot to try different curries from all over the world (not literally) if you're looking for a little variety. Go with a group and try a bunch of different kinds. Only open until 4 PM, so go early.
- Baguette Bros: A somewhat newer restaurant, we tried this place a couple months ago and were very happy with what they had to offer. A Vietnamese fusion shop, they offer a modern day style of the traditional banh mi, served with a side of shrimp chips. They also have some pretty great rice bowls. They will be open until 8 PM on Christmas Eve.
- Shan Xi Magic Kitchen: Serving what I believe to be the best fresh Asian style noodles in San Diego. I love this place. If you stop here, you must order the Biang Biang hand ripped noodles; however, all the hand made noodle dishes are wonderful. I'm drooling right now just writing about them, I wish I were there right now. Christmas Eve they are open regular business hours, closing at 9 PM. However, note the guy I spoke to on the phone seemed a little confused, so perhaps give them a ring before heading over to make sure they are in fact open.
- Yakitori Yakyudori: Looking for another ramen spot? Look no further, this is another great option for ramen. For those in your party who prefer something else, this place also has some great yakitori, and other Japanese dishes.
- Dumpling Inn: The options for chinese dumplings in San Diego is not nearly as extensive as LA, or even some other bigger cities, but Dumpling Inn does a pretty good job. The pork XLBs (soup dumplings) are quite good, as well as the deep fried beef curry dumplings. I also think they make a pretty tasty pork pot sticker.
So many great options on this list, I wish I was eating at all of them! If you decide to check out one of these places, I'd love to know what you think.
Prix Fixe "Reservation Required" Restaurants Open on Christmas Eve
While I love all the places above, I will be eating Christmas Eve dinner at Bleu Boheme this year (French food is so decadent). It's a prix fix $60/person menu, so you're looking at a pricier meal, but sometimes its just worth the splurge! If you're looking for something a little closer to this style of eating, here are some suggestions (not an all-inclusive list, just some of my favorites). These are all excellent restaurants, so I recommend making reservations as soon as possible though as they will likely fill the closer we get to Christmas Eve.
- Bleu Boheme
- Cucina Urbana
- Cucina Sorella
- Island Prime
- Oceannaire Seafood Room
- Rustic Root
- Bertrand at Mister A's
- Stake Chophouse and Bar
If you are looking for places that are open Christmas Day, I encourage you to stay in; give those restaurant workers a break! Check out some of my recipes and make something at home 😉