The Definitive Guide to Houston

Where to Dine on Christmas Eve

in Dining & Nightlife by

‘Twas the night before Christmas…

There’s something inherently magical about Christmas Eve. Is it the anticipation of the morrow? The excitement of seeing family, friends, and, of course, whatever’s in those packages under the tree? Or is it the meal, that twilight dinner for which everyone comes together to enjoy delicious food and a relaxing, indulgent night?

Houston is one of the best places in the country to be dining any time, but this Christmas Eve, the possibilities are endless. Discover your options, and make your reservations—the season is upon us.


Julie Soefer Photography

One of Houston’s newest and best restaurants, Xochi is 2017 James Beard Award Winner chef Hugo Ortega’s homage to the cuisine of Oaxaca, Mexico. Located inside the Marriott Marquis, Xochi will be open on Christmas Eve for lunch and dinner. Dinner will be served from 5 to 9 p.m., accompanied by live music from Media Luna. Reservations are highly recommended.

1777 Walker St. in the Marriott Marquis Houston  |  (713) 300-4440  |


One Fifth Romance Languages

Boeuf of all Boeufs
Julie Soefer Photography

From 2014 James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Shepherd comes one of the most lauded restaurants in town. This highly sought-after Montrose eatery will be open for regular dinner service on Christmas Eve—if ever there was an occasion to indulge in the much written-about Pièce de Résistance, this is it. Reservations are highly recommended.

1658 Westheimer Rd.  |  (713) 955-1024  |



Lucienne, Hotel Alessandra
Image courtesy of Hotel Alessandra

Located downtown in the gorgeous new Hotel Alessandra, Lucienne’s Executive Chef Jose Hernandez is whipping up a four-course dinner on Christmas Eve. The meal will feature dishes such as Gravlax with horseradish mustard, capers, and bread; Oven Roasted Duck, served with roasted chestnuts, potato cake, and lavender sauce; and sweet treats like Fig Crepe Soufflé. This holiday feast is available from 5:30 to 10 p.m. and is priced at $80 per person, or $105 with a wine pairing. Reservations recommended.

1070 Dallas St.  |  Reservations  |


Feast of the 7 Fishes at The Pass

The Pass Houston
Photo by Ralph Smith Photography

On the night before Christmas, The Pass will prepare seven courses of seafood—their take on the Italian-American tradition. In true Italian fashion, they will be serving plenty of great wine. The Feast of the 7 Fishes will take place at 6 p.m. and is priced at $125 per person, or $200 with pairings, plus tax and gratuity. Purchase your tickets by calling (713) 628-9020. Tickets are non-refundable, but are transferable.

807 Taft St.  |  (713) 628-9020  |


ARA Restaurant and Axis Lounge

ARA and Axis Lounge, Royal Sonesta Houston
Image courtesy of Royal Sonesta Houston

The fabulous Royal Sonesta Hotel’s ARA Restaurant and Axis Lounge are celebrating Christmas Eve with special entrees. Prime Rib served with yukon mashed potatoes, glazed veggies, and natural jus will spotlight the dinner menu.

2222 West Loop South  |  (713) 627-7600 ext. 3500  |


Backstreet Cafe

Backstreet Cafe
Image courtesy of Backstreet Cafe

Enjoy Christmas Eve dinner at storied River Oaks institution Backstreet Cafe from 5 to 9 p.m. Dinner is priced at $52 per person, plus beverage and gratuity. Complimentary eggnog will be served. Reservations are recommended.

1103 S. Shepherd  |  (713) 521-2239  |



Toulouse River Oaks District

Located in the magnificent courtyard of the River Oaks District, which has been gorgeously decorated for the holidays, Toulouse is the perfect place to dine for Christmas Eve. There will be a special dinner menu, featuring such dishes as Lobster Tail Tournedos (lobster tail wrapped in bacon, served with a devil sauce, green peas, and goat cheese ravioli), Diver Scallops and Sweet Breads Vol au Vent, served with a creamy truffle sauce and sautéed spinach, Dover Sole Meuniere Gratinee with homemade gnocchi and champagne truffle sauce, Australian rack of lamb served with grand veneur sauce, sweet potato puree, crispy lardon, and wild mushrooms, all finished off with a Praline Chocolate Cake and ice cream.

4444 Westheimer Rd.  |  (713) 871-0768  |


Christmas Vacation at Underbelly, Dinner with the Griswolds

Underbelly Dining Room and Wine Cellar
Julie Soefer Photography

For their third annual Christmas Eve theme dinner, Underbelly is channeling the Griswolds to serve a holiday meal that’s fit for the newest member of the Jelly of the Month club. The meal will feature three courses, including turkey (they promise theirs will not be as dry as Clark’s), plenty of eggnog, and, of course, a jello mold. Dinner is priced at $75 for adults and $35 for children. There will be two seatings: 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Please note, the 5 p.m. dinner is sold out. Tickets may be purchased here.

1100 Westheimer Rd.  |  (713) 528-9800  |

Cover image Julie Soefer Photography

Mary Cate is a Houston-based writer, photographer, and reading fiend, recently returned to her native city after time in Austin and New York City. She loves sharing the best of Houston with the world — margaritas, anyone? She and her husband serve local businesses through their digital content company, Two Cats Communications.

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