Forget the Christmas Goose – Try One of These 6 Boston Restaurants

December 22, 2016

Make reservations, not ham. From a comfortable beer bar to a classic castle, your choices for eating out on Christmas go far beyond the obvious.

Danielle DeSiato

Almost every single Chinese restaurant and hotel restaurant in the Boston area will be open on Christmas, so there’s certainly no shortage of places to dine. However, if you’re looking for an experience that feels unique for the holiday, whatever that means to you, here are a few other options. 

Not your average beer bar

Easily one of the most comfortable and welcoming beer bars in the area, with a stand-out beer selection (including their own brews) and mouth-watering menu - Lord Hobo is way above average. Which is precisely what makes it a perfect, if not obvious, choice for a holiday meal. 

Nick Gardner, General Manager, had this to say about why it’s important for them to be open when so many other places are closed. 

“We mostly think that it's important to have a place for people to be able to come and feel like they are with friends on a day that can sometimes be hard to be alone on. The overall thought on days like Thanksgiving and Christmas here at Lord Hobo is that we don't want it to read like we're ‘opening the bar’ as much as we see it as ‘having friends into our home.’ It's Christmas for us too. There are plenty of people, myself included this year, who for whatever reason can't travel home for the holidays. Many of our staff find themselves in that situation from time to time, so what do you do when you can't make the big journey? Get together with the people you can see. We like to spend it surrounded by friends, and why not welcome them into a place where we can offer good food, good beers and good company?”

The decision to stay open isn’t always easy, especially when there’s often pressure to close like most places do. But Gardner explains the feeling at Lord Hobo in terms of their connection to the community. “I wouldn't knock anyone else for closing. It's a decision every business needs to make on their own, and each have their own reasons for choosing either way. For us it's important because of our neighbors. We've come to be reliable in being open on the holidays and we'd never want to let anyone in our community down. Cambridge has had a rough run of it lately with the recent tragedy of the fire. That was only a block away from our front door, and we sat with regulars and friends of ours while their houses were burning. If we have a warm place for anyone to be when they need company the most, we want them to know that they are welcome.”

Lord Hobo will be posting their menu and holiday operating hours this week on their Facebook page. They plan to open at 8pm and remain open until 2am, as usual. You can expect the same atmosphere Gardner says the staff always hopes to produce, “Fun, warm and inviting. We'll have movies on, eggnog, hot buttered rum. Everything you'd like to do with friends in your own home, just here with loads more beer!” 

Lord Hobo

92 Hampshire St., Cambridge, 617.250.8454,


Still looking for even more Christmas dining options? Here are a few that serve quite a diverse range of tastes. 

Set a new standard

Eastern Standard feels like a special place to dine, whether its Christmas or a Red Sox home game. Their food and drinks are critically acclaimed, and their service is top-notch so they cover absolutely all the bases for impressing relatives or relaxing into an indulgent holiday meal for two. 

They’ll be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, including breakfast! Here’s the schedule, so you can plan ahead: 

Saturday, 12.24:
Full Dinner menu until 11pm
Limited Snacks until 11:30pm
Bar until 12am

Sunday, 12.25:
Breakfast 7am—11am
Limited Snacks 11am—1pm
Christmas Dinner 1pm—8pm
Bar until 11pm

Their sister cocktail lounge The Hawthorne will open at 8pm on Christmas Day, so even if you cook at home you can end your evening with some posh cocktails out on the town. 

Eastern Standard

528 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, 617.532.9100,


Your castle away from home

When you’re looking for a steakhouse with wow-factor (that goes beyond the price of the steak), the castle that houses Smith & Wollensky’s Back Bay location is it! From their reliable quality to their uniquely austere atmosphere, there are few downtown restaurants that deliver so much in one package. 

Smith & Wollensky Back Bay

101 Arlington St., Boston, 617.423.1112,


Go for the gold

While to some it may seem obvious to go out for Chinese food on Christmas because of the widespread Jewish custom, it’s not always the first thing gentiles think of. But why not? Especially at a large, high-quality restaurant like Golden Temple where you can get a table for 20 as easily as a table for 2. This is a sure-fire alternative for good food and a festive atmosphere without actually heading down to Chinatown. They'll be open on Christmas Eve from 11:00 am to 2:00 am and on Christmas Day from 11:00 am to 1:30 am.

Golden Temple

1651 Beacon St., Brookline, 617.277.9722,


A different kind of hotel restaurant

Sure, ArtBar is in a hotel so it technically falls into the category of “all hotel restaurants are open on holidays” but this one feels different. With its pristine view of the Charles river and Boston skyline, a festive winter menu, and fun holiday cocktails, ArtBar isn’t your typical hotel restaurant. While it certainly offers the same convenience as other hotel restaurants, its general approach sets it apart. Nothing generic going on here this holiday. They have a special holiday buffet menu, at a price that won’t totally blow your Christmas budget. 

ArtBar Cambridge

40 Edwin Land Boulevard, Cambridge, 617.806.4122,

  • December 21, 2016