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Wanna have Christmas dinner out? These restaurants are open. 

For some people, nothing slays the holiday spirit like toiling over a hot stove on Christmas. If that doesn’t kill their ho-ho mojo, doing the dishes does. If you count yourself among them, why not go out to eat? Leave the cooking to the professionals and start a new tradition.

These restaurants are open Christmas Eve or Christmas Day or both. Pick one or more and leave with a full stomach and enough energy to sing carols on the way home.

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Amaya Indian ($$)
11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5-9 p.m.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
North and South Indian
1900 S. Clinton Ave.
585-241-3223 / amayaindiancuisine.com


The menu at the family-owned Amaya is Indian comfort food at its best. Digging in to each dish is like being wrapped in a warm blanket of house-made spices and flavors that leave you satisfied but not full. Amaya has something for everyone with a wide selection of vegan and vegetarian entrées as well as plenty for meat-lovers, like the savory curry goat. It is recommended you bring a large hungry group and order the entire menu.

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Black & Blue Steak and Crab ($$$-$$$$)
3-8 p.m.
Christmas Eve
Steakhouse & Seafood
3349 Monroe Ave.
585-421-8111 / blackandbluesteakandcrab.com/rochester


One visit to Black & Blue in the Pittsford Plaza will dispel any preconceived notions you may have about plaza restaurants. It is dining at its finest. The space? Elegant. The service? Exceptional. And we haven’t even started on the food. Black & Blue has offered a selection of some of best seafood and steaks in the city since it opened in 2005. With a dedication to not over-season, the team at B&B allows their quality ingredients to speak for themselves.

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Chen Garden ($)
12-9 p.m.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Chinese
1750 Monroe Ave #1843
585-241-3070


With its dim lighting and zodiac placemats, Chen Garden is a throwback to the Chinese dining experiences of the ’70s and ’80s in the best way possible and a Rochester favorite. The menu offers all the well-known dishes, from Sesame Chicken to Peking duck, each well executed and delicious. Chen Garden will be offering its special Lunar New Year menu with items signifying good fortune in the new year, such as noodles for “longevity” and sweet rice balls for “family togetherness.”

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Fox’s Deli ($)
8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Christmas Eve
Kosher-Style New York Deli
3450 Winton Place
585-427-8200 / foxsdeliroc.com


Ownership changed in 2022 but much of the classic menu and ambiance has remained at Fox’s Deli. Open for breakfast and lunch and specializing in kosher-style comfort food, you can start your day with items like latkes, or one of Brownstein’s bagels, arguably among the best in the city. For lunch, the go-to is The Reuben or one of the selections of soups, like matzo ball, to help keep you warm in the late December chill.

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Han Noodle Bar ($-$$)
11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Chinese
687 Monroe Ave.
585-242-7333 / hannoodlebar.com

A perennial CITY “Best of Rochester” winner, and for good reason. Han Noodle Bar offers authentic and delicious Chinese fare at an affordable price. Chef Tony Ko came to the States by way of Shanghai to study at RIT, but found that his passion to cook was too overwhelming to resist. His dedication to capturing the essence of Chinese cuisine is present in every dish, which makes ordering easy. But it’s mandatory to start your meal with either the Pork Belly Buns or the Crab Rangoon. Hey, we don’t make the rules.

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JoJo Bistro & Wine Bar ($$)
3-8 p.m.
Christmas Eve
New American
60 N. Main St., Pittsford
585-385-3108 / restaurantjojo.com/jojo-rochester


The warm and casual ambiance of JoJo Bistro & Wine Bar greets you the moment you walk in, and holds you until you leave. Have a seat at the bar and choose one of the many wines that line the wall to pair with your dinner. Wood-fired pizzas are among the most popular options, but before you order, ask for the specials. Chef Joe promises some dishes you won’t want to miss.

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Khong Thai ($$)
12-9 p.m.
Christmas Eve
Thai
260 Winton Road North
585-434-2238 / khongthaicuisine.com


Khong Thai, a gem nestled in the North Winton Village neighborhood, offers an array of authentic Thai rice and noodle dishes in a cozy fast-casual environment. Chef and Co-owner Sak Southi, who was born in Laos and immigrated to America in 1979, puts a modern twist on traditional South East Asian flavors. If you’re feeling adventurous, order your meal “5-Fist” hot and make it a Christmas Eve to remember. Ho-ho-hot!

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Marshall Street Bar & Grill ($)
11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Christmas Eve
Pub Food & Drinks
81 Marshall St.
585-325-2191 / marshallstreetbarandgrill.com


The quintessential neighborhood bar, Marshall Street is the friend you haven’t seen in years but still welcomes you with open arms. The space is ideal for any kind of gathering, large or small, with booths and tables that can be moved to suit your needs if you ask nicely. The menu is packed with traditional bar fare, but with the Marshall Street spin — like the PB&J on Texas Toast or their Rochester staple-inspired Volcano Plates served with jalepeño queso. You can have yourself an unorthodox but tasty and memorable Christmas Eve.

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Plum Garden ($$-$$$)
12:30-9 p.m.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Japanese Cuisine & Sushi
3349 Monroe Ave.
585-381-8730 / plumgarden.com


Celebrate the holiday with an authentic Japanese hibachi experience at Plum Garden. Perfect for large groups to gather around the grill and enjoy the chef entertaining you with (spoiler alert) onion volcanos and egg tricks while cooking your meal with precision. In addition to hibachi, Plum Garden offers a wide-ranging menu of sushi, all made to order, each as aesthetically beautiful as it is delicious.

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Redd ($$$)
4-7:30 p.m.
Christmas Eve
Upscale New American
24 Winthrop St.
585-483-7333 / reddrochester.com

Opened by Michelin-Starred Chef Richard Reddington in the summer of 2019, Redd offers a taste of the Napa Valley in both its cuisine and extensive wine list. Drawing inspiration from seasonal ingredients and flavors, specials offered will be a nod to “the classics and comfort food.” Reservations are highly recommended as well is arriving prepared for an excellent meal.

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Szechuan Opera ($$)
11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Chinese-Szechuan
630 Park Ave.
585-340-6133 / szechuanoperany.com


Szechuan Opera hides in an unassuming plaza with a 7-Eleven on Park Avenue, but don’t let the location fool you. This restaurant is anything but ordinary. Start with the decor, from the artwork to the furniture, all imported from China. With traditional Chinese dishes like lo mein, most of the menu is derived from Sichuan province, where the flavors are bold and the spice is elevated. You’ll be tempted to stand at the end of your meal and exclaim, “Bravo!”

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Zemeta ($-$$)
12-9 p.m.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Ethiopian
1015-1009 S. Clinton Ave.
585-244-3344 / zemeta-ethiopian-restaurant.business.site


With Ethiopian cuisine still relatively unfamiliar to most Americans, Zemeta provides a perfect entry point into its diverse world of flavors and textures. Eating with your hands here is encouraged, although it’s worth noting that most Ethiopians eat with only their right hands, using injera, a sourdough flatbread to pick up an array of stewed vegetables and meats. Because Zemeta is buffet-style, there’s no need to choose one dish, and trying everything is part of the fun.

Dario Joseph is a freelance food writer for CITY. He co-hosts the podcast “Refined Taste with Dario and Chris” with Chris Thompson, also a freelance food writer for CITY

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