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A holiday spread from Commons Club
Virgin Hotels New Orleans

Christmas in New Orleans: 10 Great Choices for Dining Out

These top restaurants are open on Christmas Day

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A holiday spread from Commons Club
| Virgin Hotels New Orleans

Dining out on Christmas Day isn’t for everyone, but for some, it’s part of the tradition — particularly in New Orleans, where restaurants are like family. At this second-most festive time of the year (yes, Carnival season is first), these kitchens are here to take care of your Christmas day meal. There are also plenty of spots that offer their regular every day menu, no fuss no muss. Just remember — whatever you eat it’s still Christmas, so don’t go cheap on the tip.

If you’re looking to dine out on Christmas Eve instead, see our 2021 guide here.

Don’t see a great spot that’s open on Christmas Day? Let us know.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Jack Rose

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Open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and serving guests of the Pontchartrain Hotel and everybody else, Jack Rose features chef Brian Landry’s focus on seasonal and Cajun flavors. The four-course prix-fixe menu ($65 to $75) including the likes of royal red shrimp and fusilli, duck gumbo, and seared scallops with fettuccine, will be served 5 to 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Christmas Day.

Seared scallops
Jack Rose

Vessel NOLA

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This church-turned-restaurant space in Mid City makes for an appropriate Christmas destination, right? It’s open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and the global, a la carte menu is available both days starting at 4 p.m.

Commons Club New Orleans

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Try the latest from longtime local chef Alex Harrell at Commons Club, this year, the restaurant in the newly opened Virgin Hotels New Orleans. Open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas, the special dinner menu includes roasted heirloom carrots with harissa; slow roasted prime rib; and lobster bucatini; finished off with sweet potato sticky toffee pudding or warm apple and almond crisp. If you’re looking to splurge, you can even add LA blue crab or shaved black truffle to many of the entree options.

Virgin Hotels New Orleans

The Fountain Lounge at the Roosevelt New Orleans

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Since the Roosevelt can’t be missed this time of year, might as well have a Christmas meal there and soak it all in on the day of. First, there’s Christmas Day brunch, offering roasted turkey breast and spice-rubbed roasted sirloin, as well as more traditional brunch items like poached eggs with crabmeat ($125 for adults). For lunch and dinner on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, there’s also a more affordable three-course, pre-fixe option for $49.

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Bar Marilou

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Try something different this ear at the chic Bar Marilou — the first US project from France-based hospitality group Quixotic Projects — which is open on Christmas night for live music (French jazz), aperitif and specialty cocktails, and French-inspired snacks from its latest menu including the lovely pommes Marilou, crispy potatoes topped with bowfin caviar.

Bar Marilou
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Compère Lapin

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Celebrate with a midday meal at Nina Compton’s flagship restaurant downtown, for a reasonable $80 per person. From noon to 3 p.m. on Christmas day, Compère Lapin will be serving options like roasted jerk porchetta, cornbread stuffed acorn squash, and stuffed bell peppers and sausage. Call or go online to make reservations.

Compère Lapin

The Grill Room at Windsor Court Hotel

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Looking to splurge on Christmas dinner in an elegant, festive setting? The Grill Room at Windsor Court offers an opportunity to do so for every meal on Christmas: Breakfast from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; pre-fixe lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and pre-fixe dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. For both lunch and dinner, the four-course meal ($160) is a stunner — starters include creme fraiche ice cream with caviar or scallop crudo, followed by lobster ravioli or seared foie gras; and pheasant, pumpkin risotto, filet mignon, and red snapper options to round out the meal. Desserts look great too.

It’s always festive at at SoBou in the French Quarter W hotel, and it’s especially lit up this year. Open from noon to 8 p.m. by reservation only, enjoy a few appetizers at the bar or mains like roasted acorn squash or a duck duet of seared breast and confit leg on the gorgeous courtyard. Cocktails are always special and seasonal — maybe a smoked cranberry daiquiri if it’s on the menu?

Tujague's

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On Christmas Day, a relatively affordable $60 menu at Tujague’s is classic holiday: Autumn bisque, roasted maple leaf duck leg, and braised pork shank with Southern greens, for instance. Tujague’s is always fun at Christmastime, a tradition dating back centuries and continuing in its new location.

The Elysian Bar

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The Elysian Bar, the part-French, part-Southern outpost in the Hotel Peter & Paul, will be open to serve guests and Marigny neighbors who wander into the cozy space, which feels exactly like a church of the cool bar. The regular menu is served from 11 a.m. to 8p.m., with brunchy and snacky bites like mussels escabeche, chicken liver mousse, and a classic French omelet with duck egg. Expect some special dishes for the holiday.

Jack Rose

Open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and serving guests of the Pontchartrain Hotel and everybody else, Jack Rose features chef Brian Landry’s focus on seasonal and Cajun flavors. The four-course prix-fixe menu ($65 to $75) including the likes of royal red shrimp and fusilli, duck gumbo, and seared scallops with fettuccine, will be served 5 to 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Christmas Day.

Seared scallops
Jack Rose

Vessel NOLA

This church-turned-restaurant space in Mid City makes for an appropriate Christmas destination, right? It’s open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and the global, a la carte menu is available both days starting at 4 p.m.

Commons Club New Orleans

Try the latest from longtime local chef Alex Harrell at Commons Club, this year, the restaurant in the newly opened Virgin Hotels New Orleans. Open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas, the special dinner menu includes roasted heirloom carrots with harissa; slow roasted prime rib; and lobster bucatini; finished off with sweet potato sticky toffee pudding or warm apple and almond crisp. If you’re looking to splurge, you can even add LA blue crab or shaved black truffle to many of the entree options.

Virgin Hotels New Orleans

The Fountain Lounge at the Roosevelt New Orleans

Since the Roosevelt can’t be missed this time of year, might as well have a Christmas meal there and soak it all in on the day of. First, there’s Christmas Day brunch, offering roasted turkey breast and spice-rubbed roasted sirloin, as well as more traditional brunch items like poached eggs with crabmeat ($125 for adults). For lunch and dinner on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, there’s also a more affordable three-course, pre-fixe option for $49.

Getty Images

Bar Marilou

Try something different this ear at the chic Bar Marilou — the first US project from France-based hospitality group Quixotic Projects — which is open on Christmas night for live music (French jazz), aperitif and specialty cocktails, and French-inspired snacks from its latest menu including the lovely pommes Marilou, crispy potatoes topped with bowfin caviar.

Bar Marilou
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Compère Lapin

Celebrate with a midday meal at Nina Compton’s flagship restaurant downtown, for a reasonable $80 per person. From noon to 3 p.m. on Christmas day, Compère Lapin will be serving options like roasted jerk porchetta, cornbread stuffed acorn squash, and stuffed bell peppers and sausage. Call or go online to make reservations.

Compère Lapin

The Grill Room at Windsor Court Hotel

Looking to splurge on Christmas dinner in an elegant, festive setting? The Grill Room at Windsor Court offers an opportunity to do so for every meal on Christmas: Breakfast from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; pre-fixe lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and pre-fixe dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. For both lunch and dinner, the four-course meal ($160) is a stunner — starters include creme fraiche ice cream with caviar or scallop crudo, followed by lobster ravioli or seared foie gras; and pheasant, pumpkin risotto, filet mignon, and red snapper options to round out the meal. Desserts look great too.

SoBou

It’s always festive at at SoBou in the French Quarter W hotel, and it’s especially lit up this year. Open from noon to 8 p.m. by reservation only, enjoy a few appetizers at the bar or mains like roasted acorn squash or a duck duet of seared breast and confit leg on the gorgeous courtyard. Cocktails are always special and seasonal — maybe a smoked cranberry daiquiri if it’s on the menu?

Tujague's

On Christmas Day, a relatively affordable $60 menu at Tujague’s is classic holiday: Autumn bisque, roasted maple leaf duck leg, and braised pork shank with Southern greens, for instance. Tujague’s is always fun at Christmastime, a tradition dating back centuries and continuing in its new location.

The Elysian Bar

The Elysian Bar, the part-French, part-Southern outpost in the Hotel Peter & Paul, will be open to serve guests and Marigny neighbors who wander into the cozy space, which feels exactly like a church of the cool bar. The regular menu is served from 11 a.m. to 8p.m., with brunchy and snacky bites like mussels escabeche, chicken liver mousse, and a classic French omelet with duck egg. Expect some special dishes for the holiday.

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