Whether you're tired of cooking for the holidays or you're traveling with your family to the Washington, D.C. area this Christmas, there are plenty of great restaurants that will be open over the holidays this year. No matter where you go in Washington, D.C., Maryland, or Virginia, you are sure to find some fantastic Christmas dinners and brunches — with buffets and a la carte menus — at the finest restaurants in the Capital Region. However, please check with the individual restaurant to verify hours and prices, and some places get very busy, so call now to make your reservation for your family's holiday feast.
On Christmas Eve, you can enjoy a three-course prix fixe dinner accompanied by a live jazz band at the 701 Restaurant (701 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.). Located conveniently in the Penn Quarter, this contemporary American restaurant is within walking distance of several great attractions in D.C.
The holiday dinner menu starts with your choice of first courses including beau Soliel oyster soup, shrimp toast, porcini soup, pear and beet salad, lobster ravioli, and foie gras. For the main course, you can choose from wood-roasted acorn squash, wild Maryland rockfish, monkfish "saltimbocca," herb-roasted ribeye steak, or local duck breast; for dessert, choose from a lemon meringue tart, sticky toffee pudding, vanilla yule log, or chocolate pot de creme.
Located inside the Park Hyatt Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C., the Blue Duck Tavern (24th Street and M Street, Washington, D.C.) will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in 2018. This contemporary neighborhood diner typically serves a deluxe menu of seasonal items, and the holiday season brings a whole slew of new dishes to the table.
On Christmas Eve, you can stop by the Blue Duck Tavern from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. for a variety of holiday market selections served off of an a la carte dinner menu; on Christmas Day, you can either attend an a la carte breakfast from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m. or a "lunch into dinner" three-course holiday feast from noon until 8 p.m. Additionally, the Blue Duck Lounge will be serving select holiday dishes from 6 to 10:30 p.m. and a late-night menu from that point until close.
The classic Belgian-French bistro Et Voila! (5120 MacArthur Boulevard) will not only be open on Christmas Eve and Day but also serving up a variety of special dishes prepared by Executive Chef and owner Claudio Pirollo in honor of the holidays.
In addition to the regular a la carte menu, the holiday menu features additional appetizers including a venison pate with endives salad, salmon gravlax with potato waffle, and oysters Rockefeller style with a champagne sabayon and Belgian caviar. Meanwhile, additional entree options include Cervana venison stew, a rack of lamb with coriander and mint crust, and pan-seared scallops with kale and smoked potatoes. For dessert, you'll be able to enjoy a Buche de Noel made of passion fruit, vanilla, and chocolate and prepared in the shape of a Christmas tree.
You can enjoy a traditional Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve at Fiola (601 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.) this year in addition to their regular a la carte menu. The holiday menu will feature four courses and dessert which includes options like red king prawn Crudo with Calvisius caviar; baked Maine scallops and black truffle; squid ink fusilli, red wine-braised octopus, and calamari; Maine lobster and Barolo, and Christmas Italian panettone.
Located across from the Capital One Arena, Legal Sea Foods (704 7th Street NW, Washington, D.C.) has been a staple of the D.C. community since it opened its 7th Street location in 1995; on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from noon to 9 p.m., you can enjoy a special holiday feast featuring favorites from land and sea.
Menu favorites include crispy calamari, jumbo shrimp cocktails, blackened raw tuna "sashimi," freshly shucked clams, "Treasures of the Reef," signature crab cakes, pecan-crusted snapper, and a variety of lobster and surf n' turf dishes.
This Christmas Eve from 4:30 to 9 p.m., you can take a casual stroll through Lafayette Park then stop by The Oval Room (800 Connecticut Avenue, Washington, D.C.) for a classic holiday dining experience within steps of the White House.
The three-course prix fixe holiday menu will feature appetizers like foie gras parfait, beetroot cured salmon, braised lamb cheek, winter chicories, a root vegetable harvest, and a puree of kohlrabi soup. For the main course, you can choose from a Christmas goose with sunchoke, sage, and prunes; venison loin with Georgia candy squash and pears; crispy skin branzino with spigarello; pork ribeye with mushrooms, apples, cabbage, and pickled mustard seeds; butter-poached lobster with cauliflower, tarragon, and golden potatoes; or a winter savory-cured eggplant with truffle, char, pecorino, onion, and pomegranate. For dessert, you'll have your choice of a sweet potato brulee, parsnip cake, or a Manjari chocolate yule log.
Located in National Harbor, Maryland, the Gaylord National Resort (201 Waterfront Street) has a host of on-site restaurants that will be open on Christmas Day, including the Pienza Marketplace, which will feature a special Christmas Day Grand Buffet from noon to 5 p.m.
You'll be able to fill your plate with carved-to-order meats like herb-crusted strip loin and roasted turkey and holiday favorites like brown sugar-glazed Virginia ham, roasted Brussels sprouts, apple cider and ginger honey-glazed baby carrots, creamed spinach, gruyere scalloped potatoes, toasted brioche stuffing, and wild rice pilaf. Additional buffet items include selections from a stuffed pasta station, a from-the-sea bar, a kids' station, a soup and salad bar, and a full dessert station complete with festive yule log displays, eggnog cheesecake shooters, and a variety of other holiday favorites.
Also located in National Harbor, Rosa Mexicano invites guests to spice up their ¡Felices Fiestas! with a holiday menu on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The festive dishes are available a la carte or as a prix fixe two-course dinner with a holiday cocktail.
On both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can enjoy a full holiday menu that features shared plates like guacamole en molcajete, queso fundido, nachos de tres quesos, and ceviche de Camarones. On the holiday menu itself, you'll also find starters of pozole rojo (traditional Mexican soup) and el jefe tacos (with white fish, sweet potato, and bacon) as well as entrées of Pescado a la Veracruzana (pan-seared fish), filete con hongos (pan-seared filet mignon), and medio pollo pibil (half-roasted achiote chicken); for dessert, you can enjoy Mexican cookies and milk and a specialty cocktail called Ponche de Granada with Montelobos mezcal, Dolin Blanc vermouth, Campari, cava, and toasted avocado leaf salt.
A little further out from D.C. in Potomac, Maryland, you can enjoy a festive holiday buffet on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at Normandy Farm (10710 Falls Road, Potomac); reservations are required for both meals.
Buffet starter items include a raw bar including clams, oysters, and home-smoked salmon; quiche lorraine; pancakes and Belgian waffles; mushrooms a la Grecque; broccoli, red cabbage, and pear salad in an Asian vinaigrette; a specialty country pate; and an imported and domestic cheese tray. For the main course, you can select from entrees like a roasted turkey in giblet gravy, a roasted steamship round of beef with fresh horseradish sauce, veal marsala, beef stroganoff, lamb tarragon, chicken coq au vin, and almond-crusted tilapia.
For an upscale dining experience right on the waterfront in Alexandria, Virginia, you can head to Chart House on Christmas Day to enjoy an a la carte menu. Traditional favorites like Mac Nut Mahi, Spiced Ahi tuna, snapper Hemingway, prime rib, filet mignon, NY Strip steak, and paneed chicken will all be served in a dining room overlooking the Potomac River.
Rtiz Carlton in Virginia
In either Arlington or McLean, Virginia, you can stop by the Ritz Carlton for a special holiday meal on Christmas Eve, and the Ritz Carlton Pentagon City (1250 South Hayes Street, Arlington) will feature a special Christmas Brunch in the Grand Ballroom with a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus.
Meanwhile, the Entyse Wine Bar and Lounge inside the Ritz Carlton Tyson's (1700 Tysons Boulevard, McLean) will offer a three-course Christmas menu including choices from dishes like wild mushroom soup, slow roasted prime rib, pan seared sea bass, and a dessert of apple cranberry yogurt cake with salted caramel ice cream in addition to the full regular menu.