Here in New Orleans, we've got a holiday eating tradition unlike any other in the country—Réveillon. By tradition, Réveillon is the big, long, celebratory meal after midnight mass on Christmas Eve in Francophone regions, though for the last 23 years it's become a more organized "food event," with 47 restaurants offering special seasonal meals this December. Check out the NewOrleans.com recommendations here; Gambit's contemporary favorites here; and of course the official site here.
But again, Réveillon is a Christmas Eve thing. Though it runs through most of the month, very few restaurants will actually be open on Christmas Day. And those that are open, generally speaking, will offer a separate special menu. So if you're the type that prefers going to a restaurant over cooking for the fam and friends, here's a guide to the best of what's open on Christmas Day. As of this writing, all of the restaurants listed here have reservations available. Just call to make 'em.
Where: Hyatt Regency, 610 Loyola Ave
What: Kind of like Reveillon, but more options
Call: (504) 613-3860
2) The Grill Room at the Windsor Court Hotel
Where: 300 Gravier St., CBD
What: Four course prix fixe menu, $110 per person, (very limited amount of seating remaining)
Call: (504) 522-1994
Where: 333 St. Charles Ave., CBD
What: Réveillon alongside breakfast and dinner menu, 7AM to 9PM. Reservations required.
Call: (504) 378-2840
4) 5 Fifty 5
Where: 555 Canal St., CBD
What: Brunch buffet, $49 per person, includes mimosa. 11am-2:30pm seating. Reservations required.
Call: (504) 553-5555
5) Café Adelaide
Where: 300 Poydras St., CBD
What: Open from 6:30-10:30a.m. for breakfast; 11:30AM to 7PM with an a la carte Christmas menu. Reservations required.
Call: (504) 595-3305
6) The Bombay Club
Where: 830 Conti St., French Quarter
What: Special a la carte Christmas menu, available on their website. Open 1-8PM, reservations required.
Call: (504) 586-0972
Where: 914 North Peters St., French Quarter
What: Running the Réveillon menu on Christmas Day, 4 courses for $50, with tapas and paella, a la carte also available. Reservations required.
Call: (504) 595-3400
8) Besh Steakhouse at Harrah's Casino
Where: 4 Canal St., CBD
What: Open regular hours. Reservations required.
Call: (504) 533-6111
Where: 823 Decatur St., French Quarter
What: A $40.99 prix fixe menu includes shrimp remoulade, sweet potato crab bisque and roast turkey with oyster dressing. (No longer taking reservations for parties larger than four)
Call: (504) 525-8676
Where: 123 Baronne St., CBD
What: Réveillon and regular menu. Open 11a.m.-11p.m. (No longer accepted parties larger than four. No seating available from 5-9p.m.)
Call: (504) 648-6020
11) 7 on Fulton
Where: 700 Fulton St.
What: Lunch buffet, $45 for adults, $22 for children. Available 11AM to 2PM. Reservations required.
Call: (504) 525-7555
12) Rene Bistrot
Where: 700 Tchoupitoulas Street
What: Set menu, plus complimentary mimosa/sparkling wine. $48/person. Seating 11a.m.-3p.m lunch, 3-7p.m. dinner
13) Royal House Oyster Bar
Where: 441 Royal St., French Quarter
What: Four course Réveillon menu, $30. No reservations required. Walk-ins only.
Call: (504) 528-2601
Where: 817 Common Street
What: Set dinner menu
Where: 310 Chartres St.
What: 7-10am breakfast menu, 11am-10pm lunch and dinner menu
16) Sazerac at the Roosevelt
Where: 123 Baronne Street
What: A 4-course menu is $69/person. Limited seating 1-8p.m.
Call: (504) 648-5486