Whether the size of your group has shrunk on Christmas Day or you simply don’t feel like turning on the stove, there are quite a few Milwaukee-area restaurants opening their doors on the holiday. The options range from ethnic (such as Indian, Serbian, German or Chinese) cuisine to traditional fare (like steakhouses and wine-paired feasts), with plenty of casual options perfectly suited for all ages, too. Plenty of restaurants are serving Christmas Day brunch, too, in keeping with weekend-dining trends.
Always open on Christmas Day, Alioto’s (3041 N. Mayfair Road, 414-476-6900) offers entrees such as a “traditional turkey dinner,” baked smoked ham, broiled broiled salmon, and 10-ounce filet mignon. All entrees include a choice of soup, salad, tomato juice, Jell-o or cottage cheese, and either a potato dish or French fries. There’s also a tot-friendly menu and you can create a multi-course menu thanks to appetizers and desserts.
Inject some glam into breakfast with a visit to The Pfister Hotel (424 E. Wisconsin Ave., 414-935-5950) for its Christmas Day brunch buffet, served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Also at The Pfister Hotel, but with a more upscale bent, is Mason Street Grill (425 E. Mason St., 414-298-3131), serving dinner from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Christmas Day. The meal consists of choices for a starter, entrée (choose between butter-roasted Amish turkey and slow-roasted Black Angus prime rib) and desserts, like pecan pie or flourless chocolate cake.
More in the mood for ribs? Carson’s Ribs (301 W. Juneau Ave., 414-223-3311) will be open from noon to 9 p.m., serving off of its regular menu, which includes BBQ Babyback Ribs, steaks and quite a few seafood and poultry dishes like roasted Greek chicken and fresh cedar-plank salmon.
With a nod to Milwaukee’s German heritage is Mader’s (1041 N. Old World 3rd St., 414-271-3377), one of Milwaukee’s oldest restaurants and founded in 1902. A brunch buffet will be served from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on December 25, followed by a dinner buffet from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Naturally, the cuisine skews German (think schnitzel and spaetzle).
Walker's Point, Milwaukee
The Iron Horse Hotel is Smyth (500 W. Florida St., 414-831-4615), always serves a Sunday brunch buffet and they traditionally have offered a Christmas Day brunch as well. Served from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the buffet will feature prime rib just for the holiday.
East Side, Milwaukee
Is dim-sum more your style than ham or turkey? Asian Fusion (1609-C E. North Ave., 414-273-6688) which specializes in Chinese food, will be open from noon to 10 p.m. on Christmas Day. Dishes range from clay pots to beef and lamb specials, and hot soup to warm you up, too. There are plenty of vegetable dishes, too, to please non-meat eaters.
Indian Village (7640 W. Forest Home Ave., Greenfield, 414-585-9777)—a keen focus on Indian and Gujarati cuisine—will be open for business from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on December 25. This means you can dive into the lunch buffet (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) for $10.99 or order off the menu.
South Side, Milwaukee
Three Potawatomi Hotel & Casino (1721 W. Canal St., 800-729-7244) restaurants--plus the buffet--will be open on Christmas Day: Italian-focused (with some gluten-free options) Bella Italiana (414-847-7626), from 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; the diner-style Canal Street Café from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Asian-themed RuYi (4 p.m. to midnight, but the sushi bar closes at 10 p.m.). The buffet will remain open on Christmas Day from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
For a good ol’ steak, head to one of the best spots in town for steak: Packing House (900 E. Layton Ave., 414-483-5054). While the menu won’t be as vast as on a regular night, you can still order a steak and all the sides (baked potato, etc.). The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Check out Serbian food for the first time—or return to one of your favorite ethnic foods—at Old Town Serbian Gourmet Restaurant (522 W. Lincoln Ave., 414-672-0206). On the regular dinner menu, which will be available from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., will be a Serbian hors d’oeuvre tray, goulash, grape leaves and Serbian-style pork chop, along with roast sirloin for the holiday.
If you’ve got the time, consider a mini-cation with a drive up to Kohler (about 45 minutes from downtown Milwaukee). The American Club’s Blackwolf Run (1111 W. Riverside Drive, Kohler, 920-457-4448) hosts a lunch-themed buffet from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on December 25. Cucina (725 E. Woodlake Road, Kohler; 920-452-3888), in the resort’s Shops at Kohler, will host a more elegant, romantic dinner from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Christmas Day, and a more casual pub-like vibe is at The Horse & Plow (419 Highland Drive, Kohler; 920-457-8000) from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Christmas Day. More appropriate for families is The Wisconsin Room’s (419 Highland Drive, Kohler; 920-457-8000) three-course meal (including a children’s menu) on Christmas Day from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. (breakfast and brunch), followed by a three-course dinner from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.