Santa sightings, Christmas tree forests springing up on corners and mega mall jams (reason to shop small) are sure signs that Christmas is drawing near. No doubt you’re a little like Santa, checking lists twice for gifts to procure, not-to-miss holiday happenings and finding a place to celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas with a special dinner. Santa helpers that we are, we’re here with a list of Atlanta restaurants open on Saturday, Dec. 24 and Sunday, Dec. 25.
Enjoy an elegant Christmas Eve dinner at Aria in Buckhead before heading out to a candlelight service or to view Christmas lights. Gerry Klaskala’s acclaimed restaurant opens at 5 p.m. Dec. 24.
Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar in Virginia-Highland stays open late Christmas Eve night for those waiting up for Santa (or frustrated by DIY assembly directions). Coals glowing in the Big Green Egg will rival the lights on your big green tree when the neighborhood gathering spot opens at 4 p.m. on Christmas Day. The special prix fix dinner menu stars BGE smoked turkey breast with caramelized apple and sage stuffing and cider gravy; bourbon glazed ham and roasted root vegetables; a crispy onion and roasted mushroom-decked green bean casserole; roasted garlic mashed potatoes; cranberry Grand Marnier compote; sweet potato biscuits; and sugarplum choices of peppermint cheesecake or Southern pecan pie for dessert. Reservations recommended, call 404-876-7249. Priced at $28 for adults, $18 for young adults and $10 for the under 10 set.
Down the street in Poncey-Highland, Rize Artisan Pizza + Salads will be open Christmas Eve and serving from its regular menu of artisan pizzas, healthy salads and global American fare from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
5Church Atlanta in Midtown will be open Christmas Eve and serving from their regular menu. Closing time will be determined by the amount of merriment filling its dining room and bar.
Your Christmas cheer headquarters is Ormsby’s. The Westside restaurant will be open on Christmas Eve and serving as usual, although closing time is flexible. Ormsby’s will be closed on Christmas Day.
After a Christmas Eve stroll in Piedmont Park or taking in Garden Lights Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, stop by HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern in Midtown and warm up with favorite dishes and drinks from the regular menu. Park the sleigh at HOBNOB on Christmas Day to celebrate the holiday from 3-9 p.m.
During Christmas Week Dec. 18-24, enjoy a special three-course holiday dinner at Aqua blue. The $39 per person prix fixe menu includes seafood gumbo or house salad; grilled ahi tuna with scallops and shrimp or grilled New York strip with coconut shrimp; and warm chocolate cake or New York-style chocolate cheesecake. Call 770-643-8886 for reservations.
Take a break from last minute holiday shopping at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta and head to Gypsy Kitchen, which will be operating during regular hours on Christmas Eve.
Across the Chattahoochee River in East Cobb, sister restaurants Seed Kitchen & Bar and Stem Wine Bar on Johnson Ferry Road and Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar at The Avenue Marietta will all be open as usual and offering their regular menus on Christmas Eve.
Secreto Southern Kitchen & Bar in Alpharetta will be open and featuring a prix fix menu on Dec. 24. The staff is taking Christmas Day off and hopes you’ll be enjoying the day with friends and family as well.
Those hitting the road to visit friends and family in Winston Salem, North Carolina, can treat the bunch to brunch with Santa at The Katharine Brasserie + Bar on Thursday, Dec. 22, Friday, Dec. 23 or Saturday, Dec. 24 from 8-11 a.m.