Gathering around the table with family and friends to enjoy a festive meal is a hallmark of the holiday season, and one that is often enjoyed multiple times throughout the November and December months due to Thanksgiving and Christmas occurring in rapid succession. However, having two big holidays so close together can become overwhelming for even the most dedicated cook, and there's no shame in needing a break from the kitchen come Christmas Day (and no judgment on our part if you treated yourself to a Thanksgiving dinner out, too!).
We've rounded up a variety of restaurants around Houston that are opening their doors on Christmas Day, spanning everything from fancy brunches to low-key diners, so you can take a break from the kitchen and enjoy a meal out with the family. And don't forget to check out our holiday guide for more events and things to do during the season.
Babin's Seafood House - Various locations
If Christmas brunch isn't on your radar and you're more interested in an evening out with the family, head to Babin's for some New Orleans style fun. The popular chain is open from 3-9 p.m. on Christmas Day and guests can take advantage of their full regular menu, as well as a Christmas special grilled steak and lobster tail plate for $39.99. Reservations aren't required, but they are highly recommended, as the restaurant has a history of filling up quickly on Christmas.
Luby's - Various locations
If you're looking for a relaxed family dining experience this Christmas Day, you'll want to take the family to Luby's. Guests can enjoy all of their standard buffet favorites as well as a few holiday specials, such as a jumbo pork chop and prime rib. Luby's is also offering holiday feasts to go for families wanting to dine at home without the stress of cooking for a crowd. Holiday hours vary by location, so be sure to call ahead to your local restaurant for holiday hours. Find the full holiday takeout menu here.
House of Pies - Uptown and Edgebrook
Enjoy home-cooked flavors 24 hours a day at this Houston landmark establishment. There are three locations in the city. All breakfast, lunch, and dinner options will be available all day Christmas day. For dessert, choose from one of the largest selections of pies and cakes in the area. Try a seasonal favorite like Pumpkin Cheesecake, or a southern staple like Texas Pecan Pie. Seating on Christmas day is first come, first served.
RELATED: Breakfast, Brunch & More with Santa for Houston Kids
Photo courtesy Denny's
Hotel Galvez - Galveston
2024 Seawall Blvd., Galveston
Spend Christmas Day by the sea enjoying brunch at Hotel Galvez. Traditional brunch menu items will be available, as well as a selection of chef specials. Seating for brunch starts at 10:30 a.m. and continues every hour on the hour until 6:30 p.m. Reservations for this festive event are highly recommended. Brunch pricing is $65 for adults, $59 for seniors, and $36 for children ages 6-11. Kids 5 and under are FREE.
Fogo de Chao - Westchase
8250 Westheimer, Houston
For a fun twist on traditional Christmas dinner fare, try dining churrasco-style at Fogo de Chao. The restaurant is offering unlimited servings of various cuts of different types of meat including beef, pork, chicken, and lamb. Also includes is a fresh salad bar and Brazilian side dishes like garlic mashed potatoes, caramelized bananas, and crispy polenta. Christmas day hours will be 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and reservations are recommended. Regular dinner pricing all day. Kids 6 and under eat FREE.
Brenner's - Various locations
Whether it's brunch you're interested in or an evening out, Brenner's has you covered. The popular restaurant will be open from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Guests will be able to take advantage of all of the delicious menu items that have made this a Houston hotspot, as well as indulge in some holiday-themed features. Reservations are not required, but they are highly recommended.
Moody Gardens Hotel - Galveston
7 Hope Blvd., Galveston
Families can enjoy a Christmas day brunch buffet at the Cafe in the Park restaurant at the Moody Gardens Hotel. Made-to-order omelet and waffle stations are the stars of the Christmas Day brunch buffet. Brunch will be served from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Brunch pricing is $37.95 for adults, $27.95 for seniors, and $17.95 for children ages 4-12. Kids 3 and under are FREE.
1600 Bar + Grille - Downtown
1600 Lamar, Houston
Located in the gorgeous Hilton Americas-Houston hotel, this upscale casual dining restaurant offers farm-fresh ingredients with a Texas twist on classic American dishes. For Christmas Day, they will be offering an extended breakfast buffet from 6 a.m.- 1 p.m. with a harpist playing onsite to compliment your meal beginning at 10 a.m. Breakfast buffet is $23 per person. Reservations are recommended.
Photo courtesy of Denny's
Denny's - Various locations
When it comes to being kid-friendly, Denny's is a slam dunk in the restaurant arena. The laid-back atmosphere is perfect for a relaxing Christmas Day meal with the family, and the breakfast, lunch, and dinner options are sure to satisfy even the pickiest eaters. Limited time holiday meal options include a holiday turkey melt and a turkey and dressing dinner. Denny's will be open all day Christmas Day.
Waffle House - Various locations
Open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, Waffle House will be serving up your favorites for breakfast, lunch, and dinner this Christmas. The kids' menu is sure to please with options like grilled cheese, burgers, and waffles- of course!
Katz's Deli - Various locations
Katz's never closes...even for Christmas! Enjoy New York street-style fare to celebrate the holidays this year. With a wide variety of sandwiches, soups, salads, burgers, and pastas to choose from, Katz's Deli has something for everyone in your family. The kids' menu includes classic favorites such as cheese pizza and spaghetti and meatballs. Open 24 hours on Christmas day with regular menu pricing.
The Aquarium - Kemah and Downtown
The Aquarium will be open for regular service on Christmas Day. It's a perfect time to enjoy a delicious meal with family and friends, as well as participate in the various attractions at the restaurant's two locations. Reservations are required. Times are yet to be announced as of November 20, 2018.
Radio Milano - CityCentre
800 Sorella Court, Houston
Indulge in authentic Italian fare at Radio Milano's Christmas Day brunch. A full buffet complete with cooked-to-order pasta, a carving station, fresh fruit, and a selection of mini desserts is sure to please your entire family. The buffet is available from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. and reservations are highly recommended. Brunch buffet is $45 per person.
Saltgrass Steakhouse - Various locations
Enjoy a special Christmas Day menu at Saltgrass Steakhouse complete with chicken and seafood selections, a variety of hearty steak options, and your choice of pecan pie or bread pudding for dessert. Reservations are recommended, but not required. Most locations will be open from 11 a.m.- 4 p.m., but the Kemah Boardwalk location will be open until 6 p.m.
Rainforest Cafe - Galveston
5310 Seawall Boulevard, Galveston
On Christmas Day, have the ultimate kid-friendly experience at Rainforest Cafe in Galveston. Order classic favorites off of their regular menu while your kids take in the sights and sounds of the restaurant's signature rainforest decor. Rainforest Cafe will be open 11 a.m.- 7 p.m. on Christmas day.
Grotto - Westheimer and The Woodlands
While not all locations will be operating on Christmas day, both the Westheimer and The Woodlands Grotto restaurants will be serving their authentic Italian menu on Christmas day this year from 11 a.m.- 7 p.m. Reservations are highly recommended.
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. - Galveston
Spend Christmas day taking in a seaside view when you dine at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. on the Galveston Pleasure Pier. The restaurant will offer their regular menu from 11 a.m.- 7 pm. on Christmas day.
Top image courtesy of Denny's.
This post originally published in 2017.