Fix your holiday feast plans with dine-in & to-go options in Houston

J-Bar-M Barbecue is rolling out the smoked meats for the holiday season | Photo: Robert J. Lerma; courtesy of J-Bar-M

Pull up a chair or take home a feast with our picks for dine-in and to-go menus for Christmas Eve, Friday, December 24 and Christmas Day, Saturday, December 25, 2021.

Don’t break a sweat over the stove this holiday season, when you can pick up a package from one of Houston’s beloved restaurants that are cranking out holiday feasts with all sorts of fixin’s.

Here’s a quick look at some of the delicious dine-in and to-go options for the holiday season around Houston.

Christmas Eve Dine-in & To-Go Options in Houston

  • J-Bar-M Barbecue in EaDo – Off Leeland Street, this brand new smoked meats outpost and beer garden is offering a special holiday menu to bring home. Options for the main entree serve 3-4 people and include prime rib ($225), whole brisket ($120) and whole turkey breast ($60). You can also snag family-style sides that serve 8-10 people for $35, with a mouth-watering menu that includes options like four cheese mac-n-cheese, jalapeño cream corn, cauliflower au gratin, collard greens, and desserts. Orders must be placed by Monday, December 20; pick-up on Christmas Eve, Friday, December 24.
  • Downtown Aquarium Dine with Santa and the restaurant’s mascot, Sharkey, and enjoy a breakfast buffet, exhibit discounts, and more at Downtown Aquarium. Reservations are required. 8:30am.
  • One Fifth in Montrose − Belly up for Underbelly Hospitality’s special holiday tradition, a three-course meal prepared by the chefs of Christmas past, present, and future (Underbelly’s Chris Shepherd, Georgia James’ Greg Peters, and Wild Oats’ Nick Fine, natch), plus dessert from all three. $85; $35 ages 3 to 10. Seatings at 11am and 3pm. 
  • Maize in Memorial – Executive Chef Fabian Saldana has crafted a four-course meal that pays homage to the regional culinary traditions of Mexico. Choices across the four courses include tacos dorados; sopa de marisco with shrimp, guajillo pepper, tomato, onion and crema fresca; lomo de res, an 8-ounce beef tenderloin with pasilla pepper sauce and roasted mushroom; and a menu of sweets that include corn tres leches. $85 per person; $25 to include wine pairing. Lunch is available Monday to Friday 11am to 2:30pm; Dinner served Monday to Friday 5pm to 10pm, Saturday and Sunday 4pm to 10pm.
  • Local Foods in Rice Village – Holiday packs with wine pairings are on offer at the Rice Village outpost of this fresh foods eatery. Make your selections from items like honey sage roasted pork loin ($70), broccoli cauliflower potato gratin ($16), and ginger trifle with caramel pudding ($40), plus wine pairings. Orders are due by noon on Sunday, December 19; pick-up on Christmas Eve, Friday, December 24.
  • State Fare Kitchen & Bar in Memorial City & Sugar Land – The Southern eatery offers up two take-home options for the holiday season. The Christmas Package, which feeds 4 to 6, includes a Southern smoked pit ham, bacony green beans, mac-n-cheese, hatch chile butter and more for $199 (orders must be placed by 9pm on Monday, December 20); while the at-home brunch kits offer cathead biscuits, pancake mix, jam and butter, applewood smoked bacon and more for $55 (orders must be place with 24-hour notice).
  • Backstreet Cafe in River Oaks – Chef Hugo Ortega’s kitchen along Shepherd Drive will be serving up a Christmas Eve four-course feast for dine-in, with sourdough rolls, oxtail french onion soup, lamb shank with couscous and eggnog cheesecake, to name a few options. $55 per adult, $15 per child (plus tax and gratuity). Reservations highly recommended. 5pm to 8pm.
  • Etoile Cuisine et Bar in Uptown – The traditional French restaurant in Uptown will serve up a three-course Christmas Eve dinner featuring delicacies like lobster bisque, striped sea bass with orange-carrot mousseline, braised beef short ribs with beef tenderloin, and a chocolate sponge cake topped with marinated cherries and more. $68 for adults, $25 per child (plus tax and gratuity). Reservations highly recommended. 5pm to 9pm.
  • CRÚ Food & Wine Bar in the Woodlands – Stay out of the kitchen this Christmas Eve and head to CRÚ Food & Wine Bar in the Woodlands for a festive three course menu. $55 per person. 4pm to 10pm.

Christmas Day Dining Options in Houston

  • Blossom Hotel Houston in Medical Center − Dig in to a scrumptious, family-friendly brunch buffet at the luxurious new Blossom Hotel in the Medical Center. Prices vary. 9am to 2pm.
  • Cleburne Cafeteria in West University – The Christmas Day tradition returns to the cafeteria, which has served up holiday meals for 80 years. The traditional feast can be ordered at the counter for dine-in and to-go on Christmas Day and features options like turkey or ham, baked squash, green bean casserole, candied yams, mashed potatoes, and a wide variety of fruit pies. Prices vary. Christmas Eve from 11am to 2pm; Christmas Day from 11am to 8pm.
  • Mala Sichuan at Multiple Locations – From Sugar Land and Katy Asian Town to Montrose and the Heights, all five locations of Mala Sichuan will be open for dine-in and to-go, offering traditional Sichuan street foods like wontons and dan dan noodles, plus soups, spiced beef and pork, fried rice and mille crêpe cakes. Hours vary.
  • Phat Eatery in Katy Asian Town – The Malaysian street food outpost will be serving up all of its usual goodies for Christmas Day dining, plus a limited menu of Chinese American classics. 11am to 10pm.
  • Musaafer in the Galleria – The upscale Indian restaurant with a luxurious interior will have Christmas Eve and Day dining specials, in addition to their usual menu of a la carte courses. Special for the holiday, they’ll be serving up a Spiced Turkey Mosaic of compressed turkey, cranberry chutney, cumin celeriac mash, gold dust blueberries and makhni sauce. Reservations recommended. Noon to midnight.
Maize in Memorial offers regional Mexican dishes and a 4-course meal for the holiday season | Courtesy of Maize

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A longtime Houstonian, Justin Jerkins keeps an eye out for all sorts of happenings in H-Town, including breweries, sports, concerts, must-see destinations and much more while serving as Editor-in-Chief of 365 Things to Do in Houston.