As regional public health officials are, themselves, avoiding indoor dining, Nosh strongly suggests that you carefully evaluate your risks of COVID-19 exposure before participating in any indoor activities that involve mask removal.
As the final scene in A Christmas Story attests (unabashed sinophobia notwithstanding), dinner at a restaurant on Christmas can provide both a saving grace and a festive memory. Plus, you don’t have to cook and clean for a gaggle of guests. This year, a handful of East Bay restaurants, ranging from Italian menus to a la carte Sichuan fare, will be open for Christmas 2022, ready to serve those of you who eschew holiday feast preparations, or don’t honor Christmas at all. And if you’re all alone for the holiday, don’t fret — grab a good book or a fully charged Kindle or iPad, and make a reservation at one of these choice spots.
Note: This isn’t an all-encompassing list of East Bay restaurants that are open on Christmas, just a guide to get you started. If you’re hungry for a meal from your favorite spot not on this list, give them a call to see if they’ll be open that day.
Brasas Do Brazil Brazilian Steakhouse will offer a full churrasco dinner, featuring 16 cuts of meat, salad bar access, and a hot station, for $66.95. Other meaty highlights include top sirloin wrapped with bacon, picanha com alho ($21.95) and a full rack of pork ribs ($36.95). Reservations are recommended. Brasas Do Brazil Brazilian Steakhouse, 1631 Willow Pass Rd. (near Gateway Boulevard), Concord
Fiore will serve an Italian (with a touch of French and Moroccan notes) three-course meal from chef-owner Habib Jacifi from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Fiore, 3103, 5100 Clayton Rd. # A14 (near Ayers Road), Concord
Holly’s Mandarin will be open from noon until 9 p.m. Christmas Day with their standard tasty fare, which includes General Tso’s chicken, tea-smoked duck and Mongolian lamb. Holly’s Mandarin, 4080 Piedmont Ave. (near 41st Street), Oakland
Horatio’s offers bay views galore while you enjoy such classic contemporary items as oysters on the half shell ($21), little gem salad with blue cheese and bacon ($12), striped bass ($32), roasted lobster tail ($58) and herb-crusted prime rib ($41-$50). Open for business from noon to 8 p.m. Horatio’s, 60 Monarch Bay Dr. (near Pescador Point Drive), San Leandro
La Sen Bistro has their annual holiday prix-fixe menu that comes with a selection of appetizers (lobster bisque, beef short rib and oxtail torchon salad, or salmon mi cuit), entree (scallops, prime New York strip steak, rack of lamb, duck breast, halibut or black truffle risotto) and dessert (crème brûlée, chocolate pot de creme or apple-blueberry cobbler). Call 925-448-8187 to make a reservation. La Sen Bistro, 1606 N Main St., (at Lincoln Avenue), Walnut Creek
Limewood, the restaurant inside the historic Claremont Club and Spa, tells us that they will indeed be open for Christmas Day, “but you need to make a reservation as soon as possible” for they book up right quick. Among the plethora of fine-dining fare found at the luxe venue, care of chef Joseph Paire, I recommend the ribeye steak ($55) or Berkeley smashburger ($25). Limewood Bar and Restaurant, 41 Tunnel Rd. (at Claremont Avenue), Berkeley
Luna Ristorante, sandwiched between a Starbucks and a taqueria, seems like an unassuming spot for beloved Italian fare, but chef-owner Abdel Redouane has gained a loyal following for his take on Italian food. See why on Christmas from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Luna Ristorante, 2118 Willow Pass Rd. #100b (at Mt. Diablo Street), Concord
Monkey Thai South Shore’s classic pad Thai, tom yum and papaya salad will provide a refreshing reprieve to all of the exceedingly rich Christmas fare found this time of year. Don’t miss their nam prik ong, gang hung lae and kao soy. Bonus: Most of the dishes here can be made vegan. Reservations are recommended, and can be made at 510-263-8505 Monkey Thai South Shore, 2210 S Shore Center Unit H (near Franciscan Way), Alameda
Pacific Lighthouse will take care of your dim sum hankering this Christmas with a wide array of treats like siu mai, custard cream buns, roasted pig, pork buns and more. Pacific Lighthouse, 1051 Pacific Marina, Alameda
Quinn’s Lighthouse, located inside an historic landmark lighthouse built in 1890, will offer its regular menu on Christmas, which includes garlic cheese bread, prawn cocktail, New England clams and mussels and dill salmon. Delightful! Quinn’s Lighthouse, 1951 Embarcadero, Oakland
Sichuan Style Restaurant features Chef Yang Jian’s Sichuan and Hunan stylings, which include sliced spicy beef tendon, salt and pepper wings and spicy chili pepper fish filet in chicken broth. Sichuan Style Restaurant, 1699 Solano Ave. (between Tulare and Ensanada avenues), Berkeley
Zino returns this year with their annual holiday buffet from 1-7 p.m. Highlights include herb roasted chicken and glazed ham, as well as a dessert station brimming with pies, cookies and cakes. It’s $69.99 per person for adults, $39.99 for kids 6-12 and those 5 and under dine for free. Reservations recommended. Zino, 2086 Allston Way (at Shattuck Avenue), Berkeley