Bethany Clough

Where to eat out on Christmas Day

Ruth’s Chris Steak House served this surf-and-turf dish last Christmas. The restaurant will once again be open on Christmas Day serving its regular menu.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House served this surf-and-turf dish last Christmas. The restaurant will once again be open on Christmas Day serving its regular menu. SPECIAL TO THE BEE

If cooking for Christmas Day seems like one more holiday chore, you can dine out.

While most restaurants are closed on this day, a few are open. They range from quick-and-easy buffets to a fancy schmany multi-course meal.

This is not a comprehensive list, so if you’re wondering if your favorite restaurant is open, give it a call to find out. And be aware that some restaurants have limited hours that day.

Yosemite Falls/High Sierra

All four Yosemite Falls Cafe locations and High Sierra Grill House (owned by the same people) are open on Christmas Day.

The Yosemite Falls restaurants are open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. They don’t take reservations.

The restaurants will have their large regular menus of American food available. Each of the Yosemite Falls Cafe restaurants except Clovis will have a $15.99 Christmas brunch that includes an omelet bar, waffles, pancakes, bacon and more.

High Sierra Grill at Bullard and West avenues is open from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Interesting sidenote: Workers will have two- or three-hour shifts.

“Just so the employees can get home to to their family we give them all short shifts,” says Manny Perales, one of the owners.

Imperial Garden

Many Asian restaurants are open on this day but always call and check first.

Imperial Garden is a popular Christmas Day choice. The restaurant at 6640 N. Blackstone Ave. south of Herndon Avenue is open from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The regular menu is available and the dim sum cart will be pushed around to tables offering its bite-sized yummies.

Ruth’s Chris

Tables are filling up fast for Christmas Day at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. The restaurant in River Park is open from noon to 8 p.m.

The regular menu will be available though there will likely be a special on that day.

If you can’t get a reservation on Christmas and you’re really jonesing for a good steak, the restaurant has some special holiday hours before Christmas. It’s normally closed for lunch, but will open from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Christmas Eve and from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Tuesday, Dec. 20 to Friday, Dec. 23.

Marie Callender’s

Marie Callender’s is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Christmas Day.

The restaurant is serving six special entrees, including roasted turkey, ham, beef stroganoff, artichoke and mushroom chicken, Cajun salmon and jumbo shrimp or vegetable pasta.

Each entree comes with a cup of potato-cheese soup or hearty vegetable soup or a salad, and a slice of pumpkin or apple pie.

Prices vary, but start at $17.99. Kids meals cost $8.99.


If a Christmas goose sounds like the centerpiece of a good holiday meal, Erna’s Elderberry House in Oakhurst is serving one. The five-star restaurant only has a few reservations left, so act quick.

Seatings are from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. The menu also includes Maine lobster, salad, that goose breast with star anise and an orange glaze, ending with a Braised D’Anjou pear braised with port and served with candied pecans, mint emulsion and dark chocolate gelato.

The meal costs $125 per person.

If that’s booked, Erna’s is hosting a Christmas Eve dinner starting at 6 p.m. The six-course meal includes seared scallops with caviar, organic goose sausage, a truffle roasted Guinea hen and dessert. This meal costs $120 per person, with children 8 years old and under costing $68. There will be carolers shortly before the meal starts.

Bethany Clough: 559-441-6431, @BethanyClough