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Where to Eat on Christmas Eve and Day in the Twin Cities

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Ready or not, Christmas is two weeks away. Perhaps you have grand plans to cook a Christmas goose, but if not, there are plenty of local restaurants that will be open and ready to serve you on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, whether you desire the more traditional route of prime rib and popovers, the super-traditional route of traditional English pudding and mincemeat pies, or something a little different like oysters on the half shell and Beijing wings. Here, we've mapped a baker's dozen of options for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dining.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Merlin's Rest

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3601 E Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN 55406
(612) 216-2419
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Popular Longfellow neighborhood pub Merlin's Rest will be open from 4 pm to 2 am on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, serving the regular menu (and the whiskey bible and mulled wine!).

2. Gandhi Mahal

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3009 27th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55406
(612) 729-5222
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This Longfellow standby is open every day of the year, including regular hours on the 24th and the 25th (11:30 am to 3 pm for lunch and 5 pm to 10 pm for dinner). They'll be serving the regular menu with some specials. Reservations are recommended for large parties (6 or more).

3. Szechuan Spice

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3016 Lyndale Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 353-4281
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No Christmas dining guide would be complete without a Chinese restaurant, but Szechuan Spice would earn its place regardless for its Beef Big Bowl alone. It's open 11 am to 10 pm both days for delivery, take-out, and dine-in.

4. FireLake Restaurant

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31 S 7th St
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(612) 216-3473
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The classic downtown holiday destination will be open on both Christmas Eve (4-8 pm) and Christmas Day (6-11 am for breakfast and 11 am - 8 pm for lunch and dinner). They'll be serving the entire regular menu. Plus, the downtown location will be doing a roast goose dinner and the Mall of America will have popovers Reservations recommended.

5. Cosmos Restaurant

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601 1st Ave N
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 312-1168
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Cosmos will be open regular hours (6:30 am - 10 pm) with the regular menu on Christmas Eve. On the 25th, it's open 11 am to 8 pm with a menu from their new chef, James Beard Award nominee Tim Fischer.

6. Nicollet Island Inn

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95 Merriam St
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 331-1800
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Nicollet Island Inn will be open on Christmas Eve for dinner with its regular menu (5:30-9 pm). On Christmas Day, it will serve a special three-course menu ($75/person) with choices including lobster bisque and seafood mixed grill (10:30 am - 8 pm). Reservations recommended.

7. Marin Restaurant & Bar

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901 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 252-7000
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One sneaky tip for finding an open reservation during a holiday is to hit up the hotels. Although, nothing about the food inside downtown Minneapolis' Marin says "hotel food." Fresh ingredients are elegantly and healthfully prepared. No matter how tired we are of kale, their version is like no other. Slip into the library bar for one of the coziest drinking spots in the cities. Marin is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Christmas Eve and day.

8. The Lowry

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2112 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55405
(612) 341-2112
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While they won't be open until 6 p.m. on Christmas Day, they will at that time be serving the hearty mix of burgers, beer, cocktails, wine, oysters and whiskey that The Lowry has built a reputation upon. For extra hearty comfort foods, order a plate of the mac and cheese, one of the best in the Twin Cities.

9. Monte Carlo Restaurant

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219 3rd Ave N
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 333-5900
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This classic Minneapolis eatery makes a beauty of a dirty martini plus some of the best chicken wings in town. They will be open for lunch and dinner serving Caesar salads, oysters on the half shell and all the dishes we love in this lux throw-back dining room.

10. Moscow on the Hill

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371 Selby Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55102
(651) 291-1236
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Nothing fights the chill in the air like a shot of horseradish vodka with a gherkin chaser. Cathedral Hill's Moscow on the Hill is open for lunch and dinner on Christmas Even and dinner service Christmas Day.

11. Groveland Tap

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1834 Saint Clair Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55105
(651) 699-5058
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Some may want to go all fancy for a holiday, but the cozy, comfortable neighborhood ease of Groveland Tap with their burgers and beautiful beer selection might be more up your alley. Open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Christmas Eve and at 6 p.m. on Christmas Day. Don't worry, the staff here won't judge if you'd like to dine in your footie pajamas. They won't, but we might.

12. Cecil's Delicatessen & Bakery

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651 Cleveland Ave S
Saint Paul, MN 55116
(651) 698-0334
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Look at you! You're tiny. We need some meat on those bones. Tuck into a monster sized sandwich and a bowl of matzoh ball soup at Cecil's. Open 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.

13. Brasserie Zentral

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505 Marquette Ave A
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(612) 333-0505
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Cozy is a plate full of perfect schnitzel on a cold, winter day. Brasserie Zentral is open for Christmas Eve (although, closed Christmas Day). Zentral's sister restaurant Meritage in St. Paul is also open Christmas Eve, although reservation space is limited.

1. Merlin's Rest

3601 E Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406
Popular Longfellow neighborhood pub Merlin's Rest will be open from 4 pm to 2 am on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, serving the regular menu (and the whiskey bible and mulled wine!).
3601 E Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN 55406

2. Gandhi Mahal

3009 27th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406
This Longfellow standby is open every day of the year, including regular hours on the 24th and the 25th (11:30 am to 3 pm for lunch and 5 pm to 10 pm for dinner). They'll be serving the regular menu with some specials. Reservations are recommended for large parties (6 or more).
3009 27th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55406

3. Szechuan Spice

3016 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408
No Christmas dining guide would be complete without a Chinese restaurant, but Szechuan Spice would earn its place regardless for its Beef Big Bowl alone. It's open 11 am to 10 pm both days for delivery, take-out, and dine-in.
3016 Lyndale Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55408

4. FireLake Restaurant

31 S 7th St, Minneapolis, MN 55402
The classic downtown holiday destination will be open on both Christmas Eve (4-8 pm) and Christmas Day (6-11 am for breakfast and 11 am - 8 pm for lunch and dinner). They'll be serving the entire regular menu. Plus, the downtown location will be doing a roast goose dinner and the Mall of America will have popovers Reservations recommended.
31 S 7th St
Minneapolis, MN 55402

5. Cosmos Restaurant

601 1st Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Cosmos will be open regular hours (6:30 am - 10 pm) with the regular menu on Christmas Eve. On the 25th, it's open 11 am to 8 pm with a menu from their new chef, James Beard Award nominee Tim Fischer.
601 1st Ave N
Minneapolis, MN 55403

6. Nicollet Island Inn

95 Merriam St, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Nicollet Island Inn will be open on Christmas Eve for dinner with its regular menu (5:30-9 pm). On Christmas Day, it will serve a special three-course menu ($75/person) with choices including lobster bisque and seafood mixed grill (10:30 am - 8 pm). Reservations recommended.
95 Merriam St
Minneapolis, MN 55401

7. Marin Restaurant & Bar

901 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55403
One sneaky tip for finding an open reservation during a holiday is to hit up the hotels. Although, nothing about the food inside downtown Minneapolis' Marin says "hotel food." Fresh ingredients are elegantly and healthfully prepared. No matter how tired we are of kale, their version is like no other. Slip into the library bar for one of the coziest drinking spots in the cities. Marin is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Christmas Eve and day.
901 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403

8. The Lowry

2112 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55405
While they won't be open until 6 p.m. on Christmas Day, they will at that time be serving the hearty mix of burgers, beer, cocktails, wine, oysters and whiskey that The Lowry has built a reputation upon. For extra hearty comfort foods, order a plate of the mac and cheese, one of the best in the Twin Cities.
2112 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55405

9. Monte Carlo Restaurant

219 3rd Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55401
This classic Minneapolis eatery makes a beauty of a dirty martini plus some of the best chicken wings in town. They will be open for lunch and dinner serving Caesar salads, oysters on the half shell and all the dishes we love in this lux throw-back dining room.
219 3rd Ave N
Minneapolis, MN 55401

10. Moscow on the Hill

371 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102
Nothing fights the chill in the air like a shot of horseradish vodka with a gherkin chaser. Cathedral Hill's Moscow on the Hill is open for lunch and dinner on Christmas Even and dinner service Christmas Day.
371 Selby Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55102

11. Groveland Tap

1834 Saint Clair Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105
Some may want to go all fancy for a holiday, but the cozy, comfortable neighborhood ease of Groveland Tap with their burgers and beautiful beer selection might be more up your alley. Open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Christmas Eve and at 6 p.m. on Christmas Day. Don't worry, the staff here won't judge if you'd like to dine in your footie pajamas. They won't, but we might.
1834 Saint Clair Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55105

12. Cecil's Delicatessen & Bakery

651 Cleveland Ave S, Saint Paul, MN 55116
Look at you! You're tiny. We need some meat on those bones. Tuck into a monster sized sandwich and a bowl of matzoh ball soup at Cecil's. Open 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
651 Cleveland Ave S
Saint Paul, MN 55116

13. Brasserie Zentral

505 Marquette Ave A, Minneapolis, MN 55402
Cozy is a plate full of perfect schnitzel on a cold, winter day. Brasserie Zentral is open for Christmas Eve (although, closed Christmas Day). Zentral's sister restaurant Meritage in St. Paul is also open Christmas Eve, although reservation space is limited.
505 Marquette Ave A
Minneapolis, MN 55402

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