No need to spend $100 or more more per person to eat out at a NYC restaurant on Christmas or New Year’s. Our list is only local eateries serving affordable holiday meals, $50 or less. No fast food chains are on this NYCOTC list, and no restaurants raising their prices just because it’s a holiday.
Make reservations now before they are sold out. Prix fixe menus do not include beer, wine or other alcoholic beverages for toasting the holiday.
Be sure to tip well, since the kitchen staff and waitstaff are giving up their holiday so you don’t have to cook or wash dishes on yours.
For just the fifth time in just over 100 years, Christmas Eve and the first night of Hanukkah are the same day, which will make for some interesting decorations and menu specials.
These restaurants are in Manhattan. To be fair, we are listing them alphabetically. We’ll have Brooklyn and Queens tomorrow.
Bistro 61 – This casual French bistro is serving its regular a la carte menu Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, plus some specials. I could be very happy any day, thank you, with onion soup ($11), short ribs Bourguingon ($28) and a glass of red wine. Bistro 61 is at First Ave. and 61st St..
Burger & Lobster – As its name implies, this restaurant focuses on our favorite surfy and turfy edibles, with top quality Pat la Frieda beef and New England lobsters. Newest menu addition is a burger topped with lobster ($30), and there are a couple of new lobster roll additions, too. Burgers start at $15, and everything, including lobster rolls, and include salad and crispy fries. That means you can have a holiday meal, including beer or wine, for $25. Burger & Lobster is at 39 W. 19th St., in Flatiron.
Carmine’s – We recommend the original location on the Upper West Side, instead of the toursity version in the Theater District. Carmine’s is famous for its huge, family-style portions of garlic-laden everything (except dessert), ample enough to feed two or three people each, so don’t over-order. Unfortunately, there are no prices on the website, but if two of you share a salad and a platter of rigatoni with sausage and broccoli, plus a glass something for each of you to toast the holidays, it’s less than $50 a person. Mangia! Carmine’s is at 2450 Broadway, at 90th St.
Garfunkel’s – Have formal Afternoon Tea at a gorgeous, vintage-inspired Speakeasy in the Lower East Side.. Normally, Afternoon Tea is scones (with cream and jam), four sandwiches and four sweets served on a tiered tray alongside pots of steaming tea with all the accompaniments. The holiday menu is $50 Prix Fixe (normally $29) with the addition of salmon sandwiches with caviar, house-roasted goose with cranberry sauce, and fondant fancies instead of our normal cookies. All adult teas come with a glass of champagne as well. Garfunkel’s is at 67 Clinton St., on the 2nd floor, above The Burgary.
Green Fig – Dreidels meet sleigh bells at this Modern Israeli restaurant near Times Square, with dishes from the cuisines of the Jewish Diaspora from North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Try Pastilla, a savory-sweet Moroccan meat pie made with pulled turkey meat, a poached egg and sweet potato puree seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg, encased in brik pastry and fried. Turkey also is a topping for laffa bread, with butternut squash, charred onions and the spicy North African condiment harissa, while the Yemenite pastry Jachnun is served with tomato coulis and egg boiled with tea bags to impart extra flavor. For Chrismukkah brunch, try the Jewish Benedict, latkes (a Hanukah tradition) topped with poached eggs, smoked salmon, leeks and Syrian labane cheese. Chrismukkah brunch ($18) includes a complimentary cocktail. Or, opt for the a prix-fixe menu ($36) with “Bar-vaz” Duck (“bar-vaz” means duck in Hebrew) with carrot puree, curry peanut crumble, wild mushrooms, nutmeg and cinnamon; Lamb Chops atop freekeh risotto with almond-rosemary cream and zesty quick-pickle cauliflower; and Pumpkin Spice Crème Brulee with candied pumpkin puree, almonds, and a chest nut crumble with coriander and sea salt.
Chrismukkah Brunch is being served both Saturday December 24th and Sunday December 25th, from 11am-4pm. The Chrismukkah Dinner menu is both days, 5pm-11pm. will be served December 24th and 25th from 5-11pm. Green Fig is at 570 Tenth Avenue, near 42nd Street, 4th Floor of YOTEL Hotel.
Katz’s Delicatessen – This legendary Lower East Side outpost describes itself as “No-frills deli with theatrically cranky service serving mile-high sandwiches since 1888″ They’re right about no-frills, and mile-high pastrami and corned been sandwiches, but I’ve always found the service to be fast and friendly, except, maybe if you ask to sit at the “Harry Met Sally” table, or lose the punch card you need for payment. Oy vey! Open regular hours Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Katz’s Delicatessen is at 205 E. Houston St.
- Note that reservations not accepted unless it is a large group, for all or part of the dining room in the back.
Le Marais – This kosher French brasserie and steakhouse in Midtown opens at 9pm on Christmas eve, at the end of the Jewish Sabbath, and is open all day Chrismukkah day for lunch and dinner, with regular seating, and regular menu pricing. The owner originally owned Les Halles, a non-Kosher Brasserie where Anthony Bourdain got his famous start. I could be very happy with steak au poivre and frites ($29) or roasted salmon with ratatouile ($24) and a glass of wine. Le Marais is at 150 W. 46th St., in the heart of the Theater District.
Treadwell Park – There’s an extensive international draft beer and wine list to accompany either the regular menu or the three-course option on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The $39.95 prix fixe meal includes Shrimp Bisque ($9) for appetizer, House-Smoked Filet Mignon ($24) with garlic mashed potatoes, fresh spinach and mushroom demi-glace for entrée, and Warm Bananas Foster ($8) served with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate and raspberry sauce for dessert. Treadwell Park is at 1125 First Ave.., at 62nd St.
As a holiday bonus, Treadwell Park is collaborating with City Harvest, and will match each dollar donated through their website page up to $5000. Good deal!
Check back tomorrow for
where to eat cheap in Brooklyn and Queens on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.