Where to eat and drink in NYC on Christmas day?
September 5, 2007 5:51 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to be in NYC with my girlfriend over Christmas, and need some advice from the hive mind about the general opening hours of restaurants and cafes on Christmas day in Manhattan.

We're flying in on 22nd and leaving on 27th December, and have been to NYC once before in the winter so know what we're getting into. However, this is the first time we'll be there on Christmas day.

So, does anyone have any knowledge of *cheap* but nice restaurants that open on Christmas day? What about shops and cafes? Does the Subway run? Does everything shut down or are certain places open? Bonus points for any attractions that we should visit that would also be open. We're just as happy bumming around and taking pictures, but will have to stop and eat at some point!
posted by triv to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This isn't NYC-specific, but over the years, I've found that almost all Chinese restaurants are open on Christmas, and virtually nothing else generally is. (Though you may have a wider variety in NYC; the Jewish delis (if any remain in Manhattan) will likely be open, for example).

In fact, the traditional Jewish Christmas is Chinese food and a movie. (Ask your Jewish friends if you don't believe me!)
posted by JMOZ at 5:55 AM on September 5, 2007

This is probably a year or two old, but you could use it as a guide for places to call that most likely will be open again come this Christmas.
posted by allkindsoftime at 6:10 AM on September 5, 2007

I've always found that most ethnic restaurants and bodegas are open as if it were any other day.

Oh and the subways never stop (intentionally).
posted by JaredSeth at 6:18 AM on September 5, 2007

Smaller shops and restuarants may close, but last Christmas I went out for dinner and a movie with friends and I was suprised how many people were out and how much was open. I really wouldn't worry about it.
posted by dame at 6:19 AM on September 5, 2007

I've never run into anything closed in Manhattan on Christmas Day. Businesses/museums are all closed, but restaurants are usually happy to have the customers.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:59 AM on September 5, 2007

Yes, the subway runs. And like everyone else said, you won't have a problem finding a place to eat. 9th Avenue between 42nd and 59th has an incredible selections of restaurants, and many of them are moderately priced. You can wander over from Times Square and just browse until you see something you like.
posted by kimdog at 7:09 AM on September 5, 2007

Hotel restaurants will be open.
posted by brujita at 7:25 AM on September 5, 2007

Yeah, Chinese food is pretty safe. Here's my favorite place, with a few locations to chose from depending on where you are.
posted by Bookhouse at 7:34 AM on September 5, 2007

You can wander over from Times Square and just browse until you see something you like.

Chelsea/West Village have more interesting places to eat, I'd say. Probably cheaper, too.
posted by Mikey-San at 7:51 AM on September 5, 2007

Most restaurants will be open on Christmas Day. In fact, you can probably book a nice Christmas Dinner using OpenTable when the time nears.

Here's a list of most of the major holiday light displays. See also Newyorkology: What's open on Christmas?

Makor/92nd St Y also traditionally does a "Chinese and a Movie" event. Last year it was a Chinese food buffet and a Charlie Kaufman or Will Ferrell double feature on Christmas Day.

I would also look at Flavorpill's weekly event listings around that time to see what else is going on. Here's last year's Christmas edition.
posted by kathryn at 7:52 AM on September 5, 2007

The subway will run on a holiday schedule, which may mean that certain express lines won't run and that trains will be less frequent. This shouldn't cause you any problems, but you might want to double-check any travel plans to be sure.
posted by thejoshu at 8:20 AM on September 5, 2007

I have gone multiple Xmases to the smorgasbord at Good World. It's really lovely and warm, with a great holiday spirit.
posted by xo at 9:34 AM on September 5, 2007

Thanks to everyone who has responded, much appreciated. We're big fans of chinese so that'll do nicely!
posted by triv at 1:36 PM on September 5, 2007

If you don't want to deal with the mobs at the Chinese places, go for Indian.
posted by brujita at 9:23 PM on September 5, 2007

Seconding Bookhouse's recommendation - Grand Sichuan on Christmas is a fantastic idea. Just understand that you go there for the food, not the service or ambience.
posted by anildash at 11:58 AM on September 9, 2007

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